Practical hallways connect the spaces in your home, but they're also a canvas ready for decorating. Use these tips to create a hallway that's decorated as well as the rest of your home.

By Jessica Bennett
Updated February 14, 2020
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Hallways serve to connect rooms in a home, but they can also be stand-out spaces themselves. Though typically low on the priority list, these usually narrow areas that lead the way up stairways, between bedrooms, and through entryways can benefit from a few design updates. A thoughtfully arranged vignette or a bold wallpaper treatment can help distinguish your hallway and make it fit with the rest of your home's style. Liven up the areas in between rooms with these smart and stylish hallway decorating ideas.

Credit: Alise O'Brien

1. Create a Destination

Turn a vacant hallway space into a place to stop and take notice. Transform a blank wall into a family gallery. Before you hang anything, trace the shape of your frames onto kraft paper, and tape the shapes to the wall to plan your arrangement until you're satisfied with the look. Complete the look with other cozy elements to add interest to your passageway. Incorporate a chair or bench, storage baskets, and pretty accessories to create a welcoming vignette. Or use a narrow table or bookcase to display a family collection, fresh flowers, or an assortment of pretty candles, knickknacks, and dishware. When decorating a hallway, it's also important to keep safety in mind. Use rubber grippers under rugs, and choose narrow furniture that won't impede traffic.

Credit: Kim Cornelison

2. Decorate Hallways with Pattern

Like vibrant colors, punchy patterns also work well in a hallway. Achieve the look with a pretty wallpaper or stenciled paint pattern. For a longer hallway, try a large-scale pattern. A tiny pattern may be too busy in a long, narrow space. To create a less dramatic look, opt for a tone-on-tone pattern. Finish the space with a narrow storage piece or shelves to hold photos, accessories, artwork, or collectibles.

Credit: Jay Wilde

3. Increase Function with Furniture

A slim hallway doesn't have to become a blank space that functions only for foot traffic. Add a skinny console table or dresser to create storage and surface area in a tight space. For tight hallway corners, employ a small side table to contain odds and ends.

Credit: Lisa Romerein

4. Design a Hallway Gallery

Display a few prized pieces of artwork in your hallway or in a stairway landing for a striking effect. Consider the size of your space when deciding what pieces to hang. A lofty, open stairway can support several large canvases, while a narrow, less open space is more conducive to a mix of small- to medium-size pieces.

Credit: James Carriere

5. Add a Pop of Hallway Color

Decorate your hallway walls (or ceiling!) with an unexpected burst of color. These narrow, and usually confined, spaces can pull off bold hues without being overwhelming. It's the perfect excuse to use a favorite color that would be too much in a larger space. Use accessories in coordinating colors, as if you were decorating a room instead of a hallway.

Credit: Jeff Herr Photography, Inc

6. Keep Hallway Decor Simple

Hallway decorating doesn't need to be complex to be impactful. A few simple accessories and furniture pieces can create a gorgeous transitional space. This front hallway features a narrow bench lined with plush turquoise pillows and a basket of fresh blooms. The arrangement creates a unified vignette, giving passersby a reason to pause. If you have a floor you'd like to show off but are wary of wear and tear, consider a narrow runner. It protects the main walkway, while still keeping the floor on display.

Credit: Helen Norman

7. Color-Coordinate the Hallway

Hallways physically connect spaces. Complete the connection with a visual tie between spaces through the buffer of a hallway. Decorate the hallway with a color from one space, which then carries that color into the connected spaces beyond. Runner rugs, wall art, and paint colors can all help connect rooms with color.

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