How to Brighten a Narrow Hallway

Do you have a dark, narrow hallway that makes you feel a little uncomfortable as you walk through it? You don’t need to put up with that. Sure – a hallway isn’t where you spend most of your time (it’s usually used for putting on and taking off outdoor wear), but it still adds to the overall atmosphere of your home. Plus, it’s often the space that makes a first impression on guests as they step through the door! For these reasons, you should put a bit more effort into brightening the space, making it more welcoming and attractive. Read on to learn how to do that.

Use Patterned Wallpaper

A narrow hallway doesn’t provide much space for decorations. That’s why you’ve got to make the most of what you’re working with, which means brightening the walls in any way you can. What is the best way to do this? By adding some patterned wallpaper! So many great wallpaper designs will boost your hallway’s appearance. Plus, you can do it yourself. You might want to learn how to do tropical wallpaper right for a tropical paradise, or you may prefer to hang a floral design for a cottage-like theme.

Have a Focus Point 

As mentioned, most narrow hallways don’t offer a lot of space. So, choose a focus point instead of cluttering it with too many items. That might be a table where you place an old-school telephone, some family photographs, and a vase of flowers. Or, the focal point might be a large art piece on the wall that draws your attention as soon as you step through the door.

Add More Lighting

Adding more lighting to brighten a hallway is an obvious but effective method. You don’t have to go overboard – you don’t want the hallway to look like Christmas all year round! However, a couple of different lights will help elevate the space enormously. If you currently only have a ceiling light, add more layered lighting with a couple of wall lights or perhaps a table lamp on a small desk.

Choose Light Colors

The last thing you want is to make the narrow hallway seem darker, and that’s precisely what you’d do by choosing dark colors. So, instead, pick light shades that brighten the space. Neutral shades tend to work best here.

Hang a Large Mirror 

One of the best interior design hacks to make a space look bigger is the use of mirrors. Hanging one large mirror in the hallway will help the light bounce around the narrow room, creating a brighter area. Plus, it’s a handy spot for a mirror, as you can quickly check your hair before rushing out the door! For more visual interest, choose a beautiful antique mirror. With an attractive mirror, it can even serve as the hallway’s focal point.


Your narrow hallways will only feel tighter if you have too much stuff obstructing the way. To help it feel airier, declutter the space, moving items to other parts of the home. If you like keeping certain items in the hallways – such as your coats and shoes – then use efficient storage to do so.

Improve the Stairway

Assuming your hallway has a set of stairs leading to the first floor of your home, you should improve the look of it. It’s an often overlooked part of the house that can make a difference! A lick of paint on the banisters and a fresh carpet runner running up the steps can dramatically improve the hallway’s overall appearance.

Ditch the Doors

A hallway always feels danker and darker when it only leads to closed doors, so consider ditching the doors completely; instead, allow for bright, open arches to lead you from the hallway to the rest of the home! That way, the hallway will benefit from the light from the rest of the home. Plus, the space leading somewhere else will help make the hallway feel larger.

Store Items High on the Walls

Do you use your hallway to store some items? Perhaps you like to keep your books or shoes stored there. Using a hallway to keep your belongings is fine, but it can cause issues if you don’t have much space. The area will feel more cramped, and it will be a challenge to walk through it! To avoid that, build shelves higher up on the walls to give yourself more room to walk freely. You could even use those shelves to add decorations, such as photographs and artwork, for more visual interest in the hallway.

Ignoring your hallway means having a space in your home you don’t feel comfortable in, which should never be the case! With the above tips, you can turn your dark, drab hallway into a bright and pleasant space.