Don’t overlook your hallway when you’re designing your home’s interiors. It’s an ideal place to create a visual punch. Think of the impact a striking, large-scale artwork, dramatic staircase or credenza makes when visitors enter your front hall. Knowing how to decorate a hallway transforms the space and turns it into something unique. It’s no longer simply a place you pass through to get from one room to another—it’s a spot where you’ll want to linger and savor the beauty of thoughtful design.
Hallway Decor Ideas
1. Embrace Color
Color creates an automatic focal point that draws the eye. Countless hall design ideas allow you to devise a beautiful palette for your spaces. Paint, wallpaper, artwork or photos are simple ways to add color to a space, making it as bold or subtle as you like.
“Don’t be afraid to use a fun wallpaper,” says Piper Gonzalez of PG Designs. “You won’t grow tired of the pattern and it gives a little pick-me-up from one room to the next.”
You may want to avoid painting the walls a vivid hue if you have a small hall. In those cases, one of the best narrow hallway decorating ideas is to stick with white, cream or very light shades to create the sensation of more space.
2. Don’t Blow Hallways Out of Proportion
Don’t try to supersize your hallway decor if the space is short or narrow. A large console table can overpower the hallway and throw off the scale (not to mention it’s harder to actually walk down the hall!)
If you’re dealing with narrow hallways, keep furnishings at a minimum and in proportion to the size of your space. For instance, accent a petite entryway table with small-scale hallway table decor such as a vase or bowl.
3. Get a Picture-Perfect Look
The gallery wall is a surefire hallway wall decor idea. A gallery grouping is a stylish way to display several artworks, photos or both in one place. Keep a few guidelines in mind.
First, use a neutral paint color on the walls so that they don’t compete with the colors, patterns and images in your gallery. Next, diagram your gallery to avoid putting extra nail holes in the walls by hanging and rehanging pictures. Cut paper in the sizes of your frames and use them to create a mockup of your grouping, either on the floor or by affixing the papers to the walls with painters tape. This way, you can easily change it around until you get the look you want.
Show off your aesthetic flair in your gallery wall. Focus on black-and-white photography, or mix family photos in with art prints and paintings. You can keep all the frames in the same style and size to create a sleek modular grouping or achieve a more eclectic look with frames in various sizes and finishes. Whatever grouping you choose, remember to anchor the center of it at eye level for a look that’s streamlined, not scattered.
4. Declutter with Smart Storage
Do your family members tend to kick off their shoes and plunk down purses, bags or backpacks as soon as they walk in the door? That clutter makes for a cramped and messy hallway. If you have the space, add wall hooks for hanging from or a table with a drawer to house odds and ends.
Plus, hidden storage solutions are practical hall design ideas—they look neat and keep clutter at bay. Consider a bench with a compartment under a lift-up seat. Alternatively, opt for a set of chic rattan baskets, one for each member of the family to stow their personal goods.
5. Play the Long Game
Do you have an extra-long hallway that feels endless? The best long hallway decor ideas employ design tricks to highlight this length and use it to your advantage. Create a photo gallery of personal or fine art photographs that runs the length of one of the walls. This gives the eye something to look at while you walk down the hall.
A narrow and long hallway can benefit from warm lighting (such as pendants or sconces) and a mirror to help reflect even more light and make the space seem airier. Direct focus with a long runner on the floor that leads to the end of the hall; there, use complementary paint colors or wallpaper on your walls, a sculpture or other eye-catching object that draws people in and creates a destination point.
6. Consider a Revitalizing Remodel
Some homes have darker, enclosed hallways that may need to be revamped before a redesign. If you have a vision for your space and the ideal hallway decor ideas you want to use, you may want to remodel to make your dream a reality. One option: a two-story foyer.
“It’s nice and large, and there’s an ample opening,” says designer Jackie Armour. This creates an open feel, with the ability to see many rooms at once. You get a grand sense of scale and spaciousness for dramatic impact.