8 Small Hallway Ideas to Make Your Space Look Bigger

Simple, impactful decorating changes and DIY-able small hallway ideas you can do to instantly make a small hallway look more spacious.

We finally put together some small hallway ideas after months of living through water mitigation and construction tarps in our upstairs! I swear, 3 months ago, this place looked like a scene from Dexter.

I never realized this hallway connecting our stairs to our bedrooms had such a huge impact on my inner peace and mental well-being every day, but after living through the mess, I’m more thankful for this space now more than ever.

Small hallways like this one are spaces that always seem to be overlooked and end up last on the punch list of decorating to-dos, but if its especially a hall that receives a lot of frequent foot traffic, making it feel welcoming definitely matters.

This is what our hallway looked like when we first moved in:

dark, boring small hallway

Our surroundings affect our moods, even when it’s not necessarily a living room and we only see those surroundings in passing. If there’s anything these last few months of renovating have taught me, it’s that one huge lesson.

Home is where our souls can find rest, and hallways totally count in helping with that.

small hallway ideas : add art, a runner, plants, and interesting lighting
Eucalyptus Tree | Runner | Matted Wall Frames | Landscape Art Prints | Wireless Art Light | Flush Mount Light Fixture | Olive Plant | Plant Stand | Large Landscape Art | Wall Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

So if you have a small hallway that’s sort of forgotten, here are a few simple small hallway ideas to help it feel more spacious and inviting.

8 Small Hallway Ideas to Make Your Space Look Bigger

1. Choose Either the Top or Bottom Paint Colors on the Paint Sample Strip

If you have small, closed off, dark hallways, painting them a light color will reflect light to help the spaces feel more open and creates the illusion of more space. In contrast, painting a small hallway an extremely dark color can make the space feel more cozy.

Decide which mood you want to set the tone, then choose your paint color accordingly. Just avoid mid-tones, if possible.

Our hallway is painted Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

TIP: Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect paint color for your space.

small hallway ideas : add art, a runner, plants, and interesting lighting

2. Paint Your Trim and Wall the Same Color in a Small Hallway

To draw the eye further up, paint your trim the same color as the wall. This creates the illusion of more height and space.

3. Paint Your Doors a Contrasting Color

Add some interest to a boring hallway by playing with contrasting colors on the doors. Try navy, dark charcoal, black, or deep earth tones. (Our doors are painted Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron.)

TIP: See how to paint interior doors here.

dark gray painted doors

4. Choose a Light Fixture That Adds Interest

Add personality by playing around with interesting lighting to make a small space feel personable. If you have the ceiling height, consider adding a pendant light.

I love this flush mount light fixture that feels classic and adds a touch of warmth with the satin brass against all of the crisp white.

flush mount light fixture

5. Incorporate Secondary Lighting in a Small Hallway

Opt for sconce lights or a lamp on a console table to add a layer of ambience. You can even use wireless lights like these, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of hiring an electrician to install sconces.

(You can get these free printable landscape art prints here.)

small hallway ideas : add art with secondary lighting to disguise a thermostat

6. Add Art for Personality

Go big with statement making art, a wall covering tapestry, or create a gallery wall / art grouping on a large wall space for a punch of color and texture that expresses your personal style.

TIP: See my favorite trick for putting together the perfect gallery wall or art grouping here.

7. Roll Out a Runner

Not only does it feel more comfortable under foot, it adds an extra statement and texture. I love the feel of this flatweave runner to break up our wood floors.

8. Use a Plant or Two

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can incorporate a punch of greenery with an artificial tree or small plant on a plant stand. (I made this plant stand out of a thrifted piano stool.) Just one plant can add life to an otherwise boring space.

small hallway ideas : add art, a runner, plants, and interesting lighting

I still can’t get over this before and after sometimes. Doesn’t this narrow hallway look so much bigger now?!

boring small hallway

To be fair, it helps that I have the doors open in this second photo with better natural lighting, but still… it’s a world of improvement, right?

hallway painted with white wall paint and dark doors (Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace and Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron)

Proof that paint changes and incorporating some simple home decor changes everything in a small hallway.

Do you have any other small hallway decorating ideas? What do you have in your hallways to add some interest?

Hallway Sources


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  1. HI, I noticed that you did something with your attic door, is that bead board? I’ve been contemplating maybe stenciling mine, but I do like what you did. Could you talk about it?

    Thank you

  2. My husband painted his little hall a chocolate brown with ivory doors and hung a lot of art with mostly gold frames. Most of his house was a medium blue, but this hall was such a nice surprise.

  3. Your hallway looks beautiful! We are in the process of removing carpeting from our hall/living/dining areas and laying laminate floor. We did pick up an area rug and runner (thanks to your helpful tips). Did you tape yours down or put a pad (for the runner)? I wasn’t sure if we should put tape on laminate flooring.

  4. Your hallway is beautiful, and thank you for your tips. I wanted to ask, how did you address the attic door? It looks very nice.

  5. Love the new changes! Funny, I just painted my hallway Behr Polished Pearl and accented with satin gold. But my thermostat at the end of the hallway is driving me crazy. Thanks for sharing.