Ideas To Decorate A Boring Hallway

Of all the rooms in your home, probably the last place you think to decorate is the hallway. Priority usually goes to the living room, kitchen, bedroom, and even the powder room, which makes sense, but can also leave the hallway a little bit neglected. Due to this oversight, hallways can seem boring — but they don't have to be.

Beyond the fact that hallways aren't typically hangout spots, we believe people often dismiss this part of the house because it can be a little intimidating to decorate. Long, narrow, and not a lot of light doesn't always equate to amazing style inspiration. However, it's all about perspective. As Love & Renovations points out, hallways serve as a blank canvas and possess endless bold and creative style opportunities — whether you want to focus on the floor or the ceiling.

We're taking you through some hallway decorating ideas, and we think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how many different things you can do to revamp this forgotten part of your home. From colorful wall art and DIY chair rail molding to furniture pieces and creative paint colors, we guarantee you'll never call your hallway boring again.

Use wallpaper

If you're looking for an easy and sure-fire way to make a drab hallway less boring, turn to wallpaper. Wallpaper provides many different style opportunities, from the colors and patterns to where you want to place it on the wall. Since you're decorating a hallway, this is the time to go for it. For example, you may not want funky animal print wallpaper throughout your entire bedroom or living room, but a hallway could be the right fit.

Wallpaper experts Milton & King Wallpaper point out that your hallway doesn't have to be on theme with the rest of your house. Even if your bedroom has a neutral minimalist vibe, your hallway can burst with eye-catching colors and prints. You can also use wallpaper to play with the lighting of your hallway. Choose a light and bright wallpaper if your hallway feels dark and closed off (as many hallways tend to be). Or, if your hallway is spacious (maybe it contains a window or a railing instead of a wall on one side), play around with a darker wallpaper for a chic, moody vibe.

Create a gallery wall

A hallway is an ideal spot for a gallery wall and art displays of all kinds. For a mix and match gallery wall, gather a variety of photos, art prints, and even small objects, and be sure they range in size and orientation. We've all heard the advice of mapping out the formation on the floor, but we also love the advice from Little Bits of Home. You can use painter's tape to outline the layout on the wall. This tip will give you a real sense of how everything will look as you stroll down the hallway.

If a collage-style gallery wall is not your thing, go for something a little more classic (via Taryn Whiteaker Designs). For example, you can hang framed black and white prints next to family photos neatly in a row. Art display light sconces above each artwork create a more traditional gallery vibe.

Focus on the end of the hallway

You don't need to spend all your time thinking about how to decorate the walls that line your hallway. Simply focus on the wall at the end. If you think about it, this approach makes a lot of sense — it's the part of the hallway you actually see the most. Make it a focal point by painting it a bold color, adding a plant, a chic piece of furniture, or a fun art print — there are endless possibilities.

There are plenty of inspiring ways to spruce up the end of your hallway. According to Update My Cape, shiplap, a wall sconce, and sweet greenery pair together for the perfect end-of-hallway upgrade. To recreate this look, you can DIY faux plywood shiplap and paint it a soft white. Hang up a canvas print with a sconce above, add a small side table and load it up with candlesticks, plants, and books.

Pay attention to the ceiling

Look up! Another way to tackle a boring hallway is by vamping up the one wall we are pretty sure you haven't considered: the ceiling. Sometimes called the fifth wall, a ceiling can be an ideal place to add some color and make a statement. If you think about it, this isn't an entirely new concept. Interior designer Noel Gatts told MyDomaine, "Adding flair on the ceilings is an age-old art form. From quaint tin ceilings to the Sistine Chapel, getting creative up above lifts the eye and gives a feeling of grandeur...even in small spaces."

You can either paint your ceiling or cover it in wallpaper. Both options will make your hallway anything but bland. If you go the wallpaper route, ensure you apply it correctly and use wallpaper primer for adhesion. As for painting your ceiling, this unique look will add visual interest. It also allows you to tie whatever color you pick into your overall color scheme or highlight architectural details (via YouTube).

Spruce up the doors

Just when you thought we covered all surfaces of a hallway, think again — we haven't talked about doors! Some hallways don't have doors, but if yours does, giving them a redesign is actually an easy and relatively inexpensive way to transform your hallway. Paint the doors a fun color, or the trim, or both.

Let's check out a hallway makeover from Threads & Blooms as an example. The hallway features dark brown doors with matching trim. After painting the trim white (which really brightens the space), you can paint the doors green and pink shades. Opt for semi-gloss or pearl paint for doors rather than an eggshell. Be sure to really layer on the paint with three full coats. Give the doors a little more depth and texture to prevent them from looking flat. You can add paneling to the door and attach ½-inch molding with wood glue for dimension. It should only cost about $15 per door.

DIY chair rail molding

Here's another molding DIY that will add a fancy, elevated touch to your hallway. As defined by Builders FirstSource, a chair rail is a type of decorative wood molding that attaches horizontally around the perimeter of a room. The molding prevents chairs from pressing against walls and causing wear and tear. It's usually 2 to 3 inches thick and rests about 2 to 3 feet from the floor. A good rule of thumb when determining placement is to divide a wall height by three and then place the chair rail one-third of the way up from the floor.

You can add a chair rail to any room in your home, but it will look especially eye-catching in a hallway. Before attaching the chair rail, mark the height with painter's tape (via YouTube). You can move it closer to 4 feet from the floor. Add a picture frame molding beneath the chair rail to complete the look.

Add stylish storage

Depending on where your hallway is in your home, it could be a prime place to sneak in some extra storage — in a stylish way, of course. This tip is especially great for hallways near entryways that always end up overflowing with shoes. Not only does this not look great, but it also overcrowds the walking space, which is the whole point of a hallway. Even if your hallway is narrow, there are some great storage solutions that will look seamless and solve that shoe clutter problem.

To tackle this, amateur interior designers always gravitate toward one store: IKEA. Specifically, their selection of shoe cabinets. The DIY Mommy attached a STÄLL cabinet directly to the wall for a chic floating effect and added trim to the wall space above to make it look put together. You can also upgrade a HEMNES cabinet (with legs) by giving it new knobs and replacing the all-white top board with a pine board (via Lavender Julep).

Roll out a runner rug

Transform your hallway without even touching the walls, doors, or ceiling by adding a runner rug. Since a runner rug is long and narrow, it's perfect for a hallway. According to RugsUSA, runner rugs lend to aesthetic transformation (particularly in forgotten places like a hallway) and protect the floor. This feature is ideal for high-traffic areas like hallways. Lastly, they work as a guide to draw guests to a specific area of your home. For example, if your hallway is near the foyer of your house, the runner rug will help usher guests inside in a welcoming way.

When choosing a runner rug for your hallway, consider how long you want it to be and how much of the hallway you want it to cover. Ideally, your rug should not extend beyond the hallway and into another room. A good rule of thumb is that you should have at least 4 to 6 inches of space on the sides of the rug — it should never be right up against the wall.

Install picture ledges

Rather than hanging pictures on the wall, install floating picture ledges instead. It's a little more unconventional and creative and allows you to switch out whatever you have on display without putting new holes in the wall or completely reorganizing the layout.

Installing ledges on the wall is pretty straightforward, and you can leave it as simple as adding some along the length of your hallway. If you want to add a little something extra (and your hallway allows for it), place the ledges along a corner, per Melanie Lissack Interiors. The ledges frame the corner perfectly and are wide enough to display vases, books, and small plants. You can paint them a soft pink, which we think is an excellent way to add a little pop of color. If pink is not your thing, go for a bold orange, green, or red to make a statement.

Paint half of the wall

Just like a chair rail molding divides a wall, you can achieve a similar look by simply using paint. According to Cate St Hill, you can paint half the wall in a portion of a hallway to hide scratches and wear and tear. This painting trick adds personality to high-traffic spots like a hallway. Plus, it's super easy to achieve and will give your hallway a refresh.

To do this in your own hallway, decide on how high up you want the painted portion to be. There is no exact measurement you need to adhere to, but consider any furniture you have in the space or doorways. Essentially, you want it to work in your home. Mark your line with a strip of tape to help you visualize the finished product and gather your supplies, including a brush, roller, and paint color. Then, get to painting!

Decorate with mirrors

Mirrors are a great way to add to the decor of your hallway. Even better, they can give the illusion of more space and light. Andrew Tanner, Design Manager at Habitat, told Ideal Home, "Mirrors have long been used by interior designers to subtly transform spaces through clever tricks of light and space. Ideal for compact spaces such as hallways, mirrors maximize luminosity, reflecting light around the room."

Now, let's talk about mirror placement. If you're interested in feng shui, where you place the mirror actually matters quite a bit. The mirror should not be at the end of the hallway because it blocks the flow of energy (via Feng Shui Nexus). Instead, place the mirror on the side walls of the hallway, and if you choose to have more than one mirror, make sure the mirrors don't face each other. All that said, you should do whatever feels best for your home.

Embrace color

If there's one thing that's going to make a hallway less drab, it's color. While not everyone's cup of tea, filling a hallway with lots of color is a fun design move that certainly makes a statement. Of course, you can always paint the walls or ceiling, but you can also achieve a color takeover by arranging vibrant art on the hallway walls.

Choosing colorful art prints is a quick and easy way to do this. However, even if your art is black and white, you can still give it a colorful twist. You can create a vibrant photo wall by painting the frame's photo mats in different colors (in addition to spray painting the frames gold, but that's optional) (via Kaleidoscope Living). Keep things cohesive by sticking to a color palette with two to three different hues. It's pretty cool how colorful mats can make a huge difference in a hallway.

Incorporate a bench

A hallway certainly does not double as a living room, but that doesn't mean it can't feature a little place to sit. Benches work best in hallways that are by entryways rather than a narrow hallway that leads to a bunch of bedroom doors (unless it's wide enough, of course). As Curated Interior points out, benches work great for hallways because they tend to be long and narrow, similar to the hallway shape.

A hallway bench is a perfect spot to take your shoes on or off, and you can also use the space under the bench for additional storage. Place a basket under your hallway bench to store loose items and clutter without making a mess (via The Lovely Drawer). Alternatively, you can always find a bench piece that already has a built-in storage compartment. Decorate your bench with a comfortable patterned cushion or a wicker basket as a finishing touch.

Be intentional with lighting

Lighting can do so much for the vibe and cool factor in a hallway. According to Love Create Celebrate, you can find the perfect lights by considering functionality. If you have high ceilings, check out hanging pendant lights. Wall sconces will work great if your hallway is wide. Other options include flush mount lights or track lights for more contemporary homes. Ensure the lights are bright enough, as natural light in hallways tends to be limited.

Lastly, consider the style of the rest of your home and aim to maintain consistency. For example, look for brass hallway lights if you have brass fixtures in the adjacent office and bathroom. Of course, there is some wiggle room, and you should feel free to play with textures and patterns. The key takeaway is that the lighting in your hallway should make sense and feel like it's the right fit.