The homify guide to dressing up drab and dark hallways | homify
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The homify guide to dressing up drab and dark hallways

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Private Residence, Surrey Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Nice Brew Interior Design Modern
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From tiny, cramped hallways to those who seemingly never see the light of day, we have certainly experienced our fair share of design challenges. And yes, we know that working with a smaller, much narrower space can be tricky, but as it turns out there are quite a few ways in which you can inject more space and style (and light) into even the dullest hallway. 


1. For drab hallways: Hang mirrors

Hallway with eclectic furnishings and herringbone wood floor Eclectic style corridor, hallway & stairs by Timothy James Interiors Eclectic Wood Wood effect
Timothy James Interiors

Hallway with eclectic furnishings and herringbone wood floor

Timothy James Interiors

Placed in the correct spot, a mirror will not only amplify your space, but will also cast and reflect light around the room. The result? A hallway that’s nowhere near as dark and constricted as it seemed before. 

2. For drab hallways: Add more glass

Private Residence, Surrey Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Nice Brew Interior Design Modern
Nice Brew Interior Design

Private Residence, Surrey

Nice Brew Interior Design

You want to introduce more natural light to help beat the gloominess away. So, how about some decorative (but also practical) glass panes in your front door? Even the smallest ones can still make a massive difference in terms of illumination.

And should privacy or security be a problem, consider opal or frosted glass. 

3. For drab hallways: Create a gallery wall

Carlton Hill, Entrance Hallway Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs by Roselind Wilson Design Classic
Roselind Wilson Design

Carlton Hill, Entrance Hallway

Roselind Wilson Design

Don’t ever forget about character, for she’s just as important as visibility and practicality. With a gallery wall, you not only add character and a personal touch to your hallway (or any room, for that matter), but also visual interest in the form of colour, texture, shapes, patterns, etc. 

4. For drab hallways: Paint the walls

House in Chandlers Ford II Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by LA Hally Architect Modern
LA Hally Architect

House in Chandlers Ford II

LA Hally Architect

You don’t need to hire a professional Painter to tell you that lighter colours help a room seem bigger and brighter. And fortunately there exists a whole world of appropriate tints for smaller spaces, other than the ever-loving neutrals, of course. 

homify hint: Opt for paint with a hint of sheen to reflect light even more. 

5. For drab hallways: Look up

According to the United Kingdom’s National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, a skylight or roof light can be up to three times more efficient at bringing in light than regular windows. And although this is a novel idea, do be sure to investigate if your roof profile will allow for a skylight over your first-floor hallway. 


6. For drab hallways: Add more light

Modern staircase combined with glass Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Mood Interieur Modern Wood Wood effect
Mood Interieur

Modern staircase combined with glass

Mood Interieur

Just like any other room, a hallway can also be privy to layered lighting. Thus, in addition to that regular overhead fixture, consider adding a wall sconce or two, and maybe even a floor lamp if you’ve got the space. 

And a mirror, of course. 

7. For drab hallways: Build storage

Clutter has no business taking up valuable legroom in an already tiny hallway. Thus, if possible, look at ways to incorporate storage into your hallway/entryway. A simple hallway closet with a sliding door should do the trick. Otherwise, a floating shelf or two, or even slim cubbies can mean the difference between a clear and cluttered hallway. 

8. For drab hallways: Try moulding

Incorporating moulding (on the ceiling, or your baseboard, or both) will not only create the illusion of more space, but also give your hallway a much more detailed look – perfect for certain design styles such as colonial, traditional, farmhouse, etc.  

9. For drab hallways: Add an area rug

Franklin Carmine Hall Runner Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Roger Oates Design Modern
Roger Oates Design

Franklin Carmine Hall Runner

Roger Oates Design

Trust us when we say that a long, narrow corridor will suddenly come to life with the inclusion of the right runner. Adding colour and warmth, a runner also ensures a cosy underfoot sensation for your hallway. 

10. For drab hallways: Embrace the dark

Entrance Hall Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by Studio Hooton Modern
Studio Hooton

Entrance Hall

Studio Hooton

Rather than resist that dark look of your hallway, how about altering it to work for you? A deep, moody colour splashed on those walls can be just the right thing for a dramatic design. Especially if paired with adequate lighting, gleaming finishes/metals, and an accessory with a bright colour that pops here and there. 

Done with one space, on to the next… Have you seen these 10 best interior design ideas for bedrooms in 2020

How will you be injecting some style (and light, and perhaps more space...) into your hallway back home?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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