Clever Ideas for Decorating a Boring Narrow Hallway

6 easy hallway decor ideas you can do yourself to add interest to a boring window-less hall to create the illusion of more space.

6 Hallway Decor Ideas | DIY and decorating ideas to add interest to a boring window-less hallway + thrifting project tutorials and free printables to pull it off inexpensively.

Here’s the reality:  When we first moved into our house and toured it during the home search process, our upstairs hallway wasn’t exactly on my list of priorities.

I mean… it’s a hallway. It gets us from A to B. Nothing to write home about. (Har har… accidental pun.)

But we walk through our hallway roughly 80 billion times a day (only a sliiiiight exaggeration), so why wouldn’t we give it some love?

If you have a boring hallway in desperate need of some visual interest, here is an easy way to bring it to life. 

This is where this not very long hallway started when we first moved in two years ago.

hallway before

It was devoid of any natural light, had limited wall space, and it didn’t give a great first impression. This dark hallway had a whole lotta womp-womp nada happening. And also a whole lotta beige.

Now, it’s rocking this look after a few small changes. 

hallway decor ideas - light gray painted walls in narrow hallway with runner, wall decor, and plants

This was the other side of the little hallway. That dark feel was simply depressing. 

beige window-less hallway before

​Here is how it looks now.

light gray painted hallway with dark charcoal doors, a runner, new lighting, and wall decor

Isn’t it so much better?! Light colors, contrasting doors, a few art prints on the walls, and a runner did wonders. I can’t get over the difference! The paint alone makes this space feel so much more airy and bright.

And it really didn’t take that much of an effort to get it all jazzed up. If you’re suffering from boring-hallway-itis, here’s how to create a well-decorated hallway.

6 Easy Hallway Decor Ideas to Update a Boring Space

hallway decor ideas - art and magic light trick wall sconce accent lighting

1. Add Interesting Lighting

If you’ve never heard of the Magic Light Trick from Nesting With Grace, go do it now! It makes adding wall sconces without electricity so easy when you need to brighten up a dark corner of your home.

As an alternative, it’s a great place for adding a battery operated picture light above art. 

Swapping out a boring light fixture with a nicer flush mount helps a bit too. For ceilings 10′ or taller, opt for pendant ceiling lights. It’s a great way to accentuate the height. 

plant stand made from a thrifted piano stool

2. Add Some Plants 

I have a self-proclaimed black thumb, so I go the fake plant route. Adding plants is one of my favorite ways to introduce a pop of bright colors against white walls. 

This list of house plants is helpful to find a great option for ones you can put in your hallway that require little to no sunlight at all.

I swiped this artificial fiddle leaf fig from our living room because it felt more at home in this corner. And this artificial potted plant I stuck on my DIY piano stool plant stand looks like the real thing even up close.

If you have the space, incorporate a small hall table or console table in lieu of a plant stand.

fiddle leaf fig tree

3. Paint Your Doors With Contrast

Ever since we painted all of our interior doors Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron, I haven’t regretted it for one second!

It makes the hallway feel luxe and all of our rooms have so much more visual impact for just the cost of paint.

This narrow hallway has a va-va-voom factor just because of the door color change as a focal point.

architectural printable art in a hallway

4. Hang Large-Scale Art

The larger your art, the less cluttered your hallway will feel.

Ever since we hung up these architectural prints as a gallery wall, it has made this side of our hallway seem pulled together.

Or take advantage of a blank wall by hanging art shelves for a modern look.

For another easy, high impact wall treatment, try leaning a full-length mirror against the wall at the end of the hallway to create the illusion of a larger space. 

architectural printable art in a hallway

5. Roll Out a Hallway Runner

We added this runner to add some texture and pattern to the floor space, and it feels so cozy in here now! I put this rug pad underneath to keep it from slipping and sliding on our hardwood floors. So far, so good!

dark charcoal doors and hallway runner

6. Avoid Mid-Tone Paint Colors

Choose a paint color that is very light for a bright, open feel or choose one that is very dark if you want your small hallway to feel cozy. 

I like picking either the very top or very bottom colors on paint sample strips for a clean, dramatic effect in a narrow space.

For extra drama, paint the ceiling the same color as the walls to draw the eye upward to visually expand a small space. 

Choosing medium shades can sometimes make window-less spaces feel flat.

For our walls this go-round, we painted them Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. It’s a very light warm gray and looks beautiful in all kinds of lighting without any odd purple or green undertones.

light gray painted hallway with black doors, runner rug, new lighting, and plants

Hallway Decor Sources

If you want to know about any of the sources in this space, you can see them all below.

We still plan to deal with our ceiling a bit more in order to remove our attic fan that likely hasn’t been used in decades, but we’ll cross that bridge eventually.

Do y’all have any other hallway decorating ideas you’ve used that you absolutely love? Share ’em below! I want to know!

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  1. Lauren, Love your posts look forward to them and I am loving those black interior doors. I have white trim in my home. Starting spraying my hardware black against my white doors, but. I really want to go black on the doors, but I just can’t seem to make that commitment. How did you convence yourself to do it. And I have dorgotten did youleavehardware brass including hindges

  2. Lauren,
    Amazing transformation!
    Love all the light, bright radiance within this space!
    When the walls were beige, I didn’t even notice the beautiful wood floors!
    Truly, I went back and forth between the before and after photo more than once.
    Always inspiring home decor ideas @ the blesser house!

  3. Lauren, I Iove your blog! We also painted our basement doors BM wrought iron and love it! I plan on doing our main floor, as well. I’m wondering if I am able to Pin from your sight? I’ve tried to find it and cannot. Thanks!