Hallways are usually seen as pass-through spaces, those tiny areas that lead us from one room to another, like the foyer to the living room or the kitchen to the bedroom, etc. This has resulted in far too many people passing over hallways and corridors in favour of decorating other larger (and, in their own words, “more important”) rooms. After all, isn’t that what a hallway is supposed to be? A simple utilitarian part of the home that gets you from one area to another, like a staircase?
Not at all! Because like a staircase, a nicely decorated hallway can become one of the most beautiful areas in a house, ensuring not only a visual link between rooms, but becoming one of those “important” rooms itself, even though it might be smaller and narrower than any other area in the home.
And like any professional interior designer will tell you, just because your hallway is narrow, doesn’t mean it has to be impractical or tasteless – all it takes is some creative planning and devotion from your side.
And homify can definitely help with the planning part…
Not only is paint one of the most cost-effective ways of styling up a room, but it’s also one of the easiest. Think of how little effort it takes to splash a fresh coat of colour onto a few walls and the impact it can make (when done correctly, of course).
If your hallway is feeling a bit claustrophobic, stay away from the darker colour palettes and opt for something lighter – tones like whites, creams, baby blue, lime green and lemon yellow can make even the tiniest space seem wider and brighter, especially when natural light is added.
homify hint: Beautifully carved moulding can be the ideal finishing touches to that newly painted hallway; these will help emphasise the architectural elements of the doorways and windows.
If you have adequate legroom, a furniture piece or two can add beauty and/or functionality to a hallway. Think of elements like a tub chair and slim coffee table – you don’t need to necessarily use them for sitting, just their presence can make a hallway feel practical and homey.
Bear in mind, however, that sufficient space for movement trumps the addition of furniture, no matter how beautiful they may be.
A bench can also become a beautiful focal point, especially for an entryway hall, as it offers up a seating area plus some storage space for shoes and other elements.
Regardless of your hallway’s limited legroom, those walls have so much potential, and art pieces can make that small space come to life with style and character. Hang up a personal collection of art and photos that is meaningful to your home. Even though you’re the one who will see it every day, guests will also appreciate your personal touch.
Opt for family/friends photos, art pieces you love, DIY frames or even art that you made yourself! And don’t forget about the power of mirrors: they help cast light around to make a room seem lighter, plus add visual spaciousness – perfect for your narrow hallway.
Just take note of the ‘breathing space’ between those pieces/frames, as it’s quite easy to resort to a cluttered look with photos and paintings. A quick rule of thumb for hanging art is: 144—152cm for the height of art on a wall; 8—15cm between art pieces; and 15—20cm between the bottom edge of art and the top edge of furniture, like a chair or credenza.
Hallways and stairs experience more footfall than other areas of the house, so it’s practical to choose flooring that can withstand scrapes, scuffs and dirt being trampled in on a daily basis.
A carpet that is tightly woven, robust and in a mid tone, or a good-quality wool runner to help with acoustics (and which can bring in colour and pattern) are expert choices if you want a soft underfoot feeling. If a wooden flooring is more to your liking, ensure those boards are well-sealed so they can be cleaned easily. And notice the direction in which they run when laying a new one – placing them lengthways down a hall will help make the space seem longer.
For natural floor coverings, opt for a hard-wearing material like stone, terracotta and ceramic tiles – all it takes is a rug or runner to bring in some softness and warmth.
In addition to that storage bench for shoes you’re thinking of adding, you might also want to consider hanging up a few coat hooks or bringing in a hat stand. These take up very little or no floor space and can turn a hallway, especially one near an entryway, into a practical mudroom or ‘drop zone’ for elements like coats, scarves, boots, umbrellas and boots.
If your hallway is much too tight to house chairs and tables, you can still squeeze in a narrow console or shelf (they come in all shapes and sizes), or even make use of a windowsill if there is one. The next step? Place some potted plants and vases with flowers in your hallway to bring in freshness, colour and pleasing scents.
Select them according to their sculptural shape and size. Don’t forget that the planters can also be used for their colours and patterns/textures.
The best part? You can swap and change those potters when the mood strikes, whether it be every week or with the changing of seasons, to ensure a fresh new look for your hallway.
For more ideas, be sure to have a look at these 7 bright ideas for your hallway lighting.