Hallway Decorating Ideas

MacKenzie Cain
Written by MacKenzie Cain
Updated July 29, 2016
Hallways are an important part of your home, but decorating them may seem tough. (Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Cain)

Hallways are the by-ways of your house; the spaces that impact you while on the move.

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This means sometimes you will focus on them when passing through, while at other times you will be focused on where you’re headed and their impact will be unconscious or secondary.

As in any room in your house, hallways need attention to produce an impact. Your hallways are an experience in themselves. They should never be bland or overlooked.

Taking a little extra time to maximize the potential of your hallway décor will go a long way. Their finishing touches can create strong impressions and help bring your whole house together. 

Here are five simple ways you can spice up the hallways in your home.

1. Paint

Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to add some interest in your hallway. Paint the walls a contrasting color against a clean, white trim. Or, go bold and paint the doors a bright color against neutral walls and trim to add a unique look. A contrasting door in a hall space can have huge impact, while multiple doors create the possibility of patterns and rhythms. The key to getting such contrasting elements is considering the impact of movement.

Creating a two-toned visual divide by painting the wall above a molding and the wall below a deeper grounding color is a safe and time-tested choice. It can be calming and rich because the colors are consistent along the hallway, reducing the impact of movement. 

Patterns along a hallway have to be considered in regards to motion. Patterns that run primarily along the hallway undulate as we walk and are less jarring, while patterns that are vertical or irregular can jar the consciousness. In the right circumstance this can be good, but if not properly considered, irregular patterns can irritate over time. 

2. Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be a very impactful solution. The smaller the pattern, the less it will be seen as individual elements. Go with strong vertical elements if you want the paper to be focused on. While smaller, more uniform patterns have a calming effect that is more suitable as a backdrop for art.

Remember, hallways can be dark so select the right wallpaper or paint color to create a satisfying level of illumination.

The wider the hallways, the less the impact of movement. A bright print with oversized graphics can be a great solution to create interest in wider hallways.  

3. Artwork

Add painting or prints periodically down a hallway for a more traditional look, or try a gallery wall of your favorite family pictures. In hallways they will get noticed.

To create a gallery wall, install frames in a random pattern on the wall or select a horizontal line to pull them all together. The horizontal line will draw attention to the wall. It can be at the top or in the middle of the gallery wall. Frames can be uniform or contrast to create a more eclectic style. Large and small items can create a dramatic impact. 

4. Lighting

Lighting is critical. It nearly always has to be a recurrent element, whether coming from the ceiling or introduced by sconces. Artwork should be illuminated, and often their illumination is enough to fill the hallway with light. In any case, don’t leave a dark corner, and don’t miss the opportunity for a unique fixture in a dramatic location in your hall.

5. Accessories

Make sure your floors aren’t lost in the process! A colorful rug on the floor may help complete the whole look. If the space permits it, a bench, console table and mirror, or a vertical sculpture may create the right feeling to give you a lift every time you pass it. 

As of July 28, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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