The Best Way To Make Your Narrow Hallway Feel Wider

When designing a home, many people overlook their hallway. It can be difficult to know what décor pieces and furniture to put in a small hallway. The wrong choices can make this narrow space feel even more claustrophobic. Under-designing a hallway can make it feel like it was forgotten in the design of the home, or it can cause you to waste a great opportunity for extra storage.

Correctly designing your hallway can be a great way to add additional personality, style, and functionality to your home. It can also make this narrow space feel larger. MYMOVE calls designing your hallway an optical illusion. You can actually trick the eye through purposeful design into thinking a space is larger than it actually is. If you have a narrow hallway and don't know how to design it, here are five of the best ways to make your hallway feel wider.

1. Think about wall paint

Perhaps the most important thing to consider in a small hallway is paint color. When choosing a color for the walls, neutrals are always a great idea. Neutrals make a space feel more open — in this case, wider — and also cause the eye to focus on the décor pieces.

Home Painters Toronto lists some of the best hallway color options. These include taupe, light tan, cool gray, and cream. However, you may want to stay away from true white, as it can easily show scuffs and other marks. You should also choose a reflective paint finish, like eggshell, satin, or gloss, because this will create more light and allow the walls to be easily cleaned. 

However, choosing a bolder color can also be a great idea in a hallway. It all depends on your preference — if you want your decorative pieces to stand out, choose a neutral wall color. If you want the wall itself to be the main feature in your narrow hallway, choose a bolder color. Great color options include soft greens and blues.

2. Consider the flooring

The flooring you choose can also make a huge difference in how large a space feels. According to Oak Furnitureland, adding a runner in a hallway can elongate the space. However, if you're choosing a striped pattern, choose vertical lines, not horizontal ones. Horizontal lines will make the rug look shorter. Diagonal lines in tiles can also make a narrow space feel larger. When choosing tiles, it's important to consider the size. Larger tiles will make a space feel larger. Kennington Flooring suggests choosing tiles that are at least a foot wide. Size also makes a difference when it comes to wooden flooring. Choosing wider planks that are at least 3 inches wide will open up your hallway space.

Another thing to consider is the color of your floors. A light-colored floor can make a space feel more open. Neutral tiles, beige carpet, or whitewashed wood are all great floor choices in a hallway. However, don't underestimate the beauty of a dark floor, either. If you choose a dark floor, be sure to paint your walls a lighter color, to maintain an open feel.

3. Add lighting and mirrors

Lighting can make your space feel airy and larger. The best lighting to add is natural lighting, from windows or skylights. However, if adding a window isn't an option in your narrow hallway, there are other ways to add more light. Valspar Paint says you can paint the inside of your front door a light color to make your hallway appear brighter. This is because dark colors absorb light while lighter colors allow more light to shine. Another way to make your hallway brighter is by using light from other rooms. You could add glass panels to interior doors to let the light shine into your hallway. 

Mirrors can also make your hallway appear brighter and larger, because mirrors reflect light. Per Mirror City, if you're not sure how to design your hallway, consider adding a mirror. Mirrors can be great statement pieces in small spaces.

4. Avoid over decorating

Over decorating your hallway can make the small space feel even smaller. To avoid this, be intentional about your overall design. A great tip is to only place items on one side of the hallway, per Oak Furnitureland. This will cause the eye to be drawn to just one wall, and your hallway won't look cluttered or overwhelming.

MYMOVE also says to be very purposeful about every single decoration and furniture piece. Choose things that are flush with the wall whenever possible to avoid taking up valuable walking space in a hallway — especially a narrow one.

Pictures, art, and mirrors are all great ways to decorate a hallway because they take up no floor space at all. They also carry the eye up the wall, which can make the space feel larger. Also, don't be afraid of your hallways looking just a little bare. When decorating your hallway, keep the following phrase in mind: less is more.

5. Choose slim and useful furniture

Furniture can be a great way to add personality and useful storage to a narrow hallway. According to Homes & Gardens, however, you need to consider the impact of adding anything to an already narrow space. For this reason, choosing a furniture piece that's multifunctional is a solid approach.

For instance, a shoe-and-coat rack combination can create a great entryway in your hallway. Or, you could add a tall dresser to your space, both for storage inside and also to display decorative pieces on top. A bench that contains storage will be useful both for taking off and putting on shoes and also for storing items.

Shelf Genie lists some other storage ideas for narrow spaces. You could add built-in shelves or a storage ottoman to your hallway. A ladder shelf could be used to organize many different décor pieces. Finally, you could think about placing storage baskets in the corner of a hallway, for extra blankets and throw pillows.