When it comes to decorating, hallways are the most often overlooked area of the home. As a passageway between living areas, halls rarely invite lingering. Tiny hallways are even more of a challenge, as there isnít room for furniture or accessories that require floor space. An undecorated hallway, however, looks sterile and unfinished. Even if your hallway is small, you can always use a few decorating techniques to make the most of this often-overlooked space.
A small, dim hallway makes you want to hurry through just to get back into the light. Since few hallways have windows, an investment into good overhead lighting is a must. In a small hallway, one well-chosen hanging fixture brightens the space and breaks up monotony. Choose chrome and glass for a contemporary home, a rustic, lantern-style fixture for country flair, wrought iron if you like Old World style or a colorful glass fixture for a casual look.
A carpet runner not only adds color and design without taking up space, it also muffles the sound of shoes or clicking dog toenails, and adds safety to slippery floors. Choose a runner almost as wide and long as your hallway, leaving just a few inches bare on each side of the runner. Set a nonslip pad or carpet tape underneath the runner to secure it in place and reduce the chance of trips or falls.
Turn your hallway into an art gallery, and the space becomes interesting without losing precious inches of walkway. Hang a variety of photographs, paintings or children's artwork, but maintain a common theme to avoid a disconnected look. Choose pictures with the same theme, framed in the same color, or in matching frames in different colors. Avoid a precisely spaced, rigid pattern when hanging your pictures. Though most artwork should be at eye level, a little bit of staggering or stacking of pictures will keep the walls interesting.
Though stark white walls might make your hallway look sterile, light colors open up a small space. Choose a creamy, off-white or a warm sand. If you prefer color, wash the walls in buttery yellow, soft pink or apricot. Stay away from dark or bright colors, which can close in the space, or cool colors with gray undertones, which can look cheerless in a dim hallway. Another option is wallpaper with a small pattern, or a stencil or wallpaper border along the upper edge of the walls.