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How to Decorate the Walls of a Narrow Hallway

Updated February 21, 2017

A long, narrow hallway can be an intimidating space to decorate. If decorated incorrectly, a living space can feel unwelcoming, cluttered and unappealing. When you use light and visual uniformity, you can design an inviting and aesthetically interesting space that moves a guest into the rest of the abode. Take advantage of a captive audience to show off your own photography skills and personal interests.

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  1. Paint the hallway walls a light colour, such as a cream or butter tone, to make the narrow space feel safe and inviting. Dark colours can intimidate a visitor or make the hall feel claustrophobic.

  2. Paint a wall at the end of the hall a darker colour to provide a visual cue that implies the hall's length. This helps a guest feel welcome to move through the space.

  3. Stand facing one wall in the narrow hall and make a mark on the wall 3 inches above eye-level. Place a level light or run a string along the hallway to mark a line at the same height along one wall in the hallway. Use this line to mark where you will place your nails to hang artwork.

  4. Enhance any natural light in the space by placing a mirror on the hall wall that reflects the light from an adjacent room or amplify light from a skylight feature.

  5. Provide a reason for visitors to move through the hall space. Hang a row of uniform-sized and framed black and white photos gallery-style to invite guests to browse as they go. Use your guideline to hang items straight down the hall.

  6. Leave the opposite wall in the narrow hallway bare so that the hallway does not feel cluttered or closed in.

  7. Tip

    Alternate photos and mirrors if you have multiple natural light areas to make the most of low lighting. Mount rope lighting lengthwise in the hallway for a cinema feel that will move friends into the next space.


    Eliminate clutter and heavy furniture from a narrow hall. Large items or a disorganised entrance or hall is uninviting and can set visitors on edge immediately. Don't hang too many photos on the wall in the hallway. A collage-style photo display in a narrow hallway can make the space feel cluttered and cramped.

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Things You'll Need

  • Interior wall paint
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint pan
  • Pencil
  • Light level
  • String
  • Thumbtacks
  • Mirror
  • Frames
  • Photos
  • Nails
  • Hammer

About the Author

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