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5 ways to brighten a dull hallway

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

If you are lucky enough to have a bright and airy hallway, hurray! In the UK you will find a lot of hallways tend to lack light and can end up looking dull and unloved.

As an Interior Designer & Stylist I’m often asked how to brighten up a hallway. It’s the first space your guests see as they enter your home. So it’s the perfect time to make a lasting impression. From bright colours to patterned wallpaper to contemporary decor and cosy styling. You can really bring your personality into this space. What I would suggest, is thinking about how you want to feel when you enter your hallway.

Whatever style you choose, focus on making your hallway welcoming and functional by following these 5 tips.

1) Improve the lighting, it will transform your hallway.

If your ceilings are low downlights are perfect. Look for a higher Kelvin (meaning a brighter light). Warm is more comforting while cool will really brighten the space.

If you have high ceilings add a pendant light as well as spotlights. I love these Aged Brass Pendant lights from LuxDeco they are luxury and catch the eye while adding a bit of drama. Remember your hallway does need to be functional so if your ceilings are low pendant lights can clutter the space and make it a bit awkward.

If your hallway is wide try adding wall lights, especially if you want to highlight that latest bit of artwork you just bought (& are hiding the receipt…we’ve all done it). Try these form Wayfair

2) A hallway needs to remain functional, if its narrow and small don’t clutter the space.

Pictures are an ideal way to add interest without taking up much space, it’s the perfect place for a gallery wall. Follow this link to my previous blog on how to create a gallery wall.

If you do have a small hallway bespoke furniture is probably your best option. We created a beautiful plinth for our hallway to add interest without encroaching into the space.

3) Add a large mirror, as it will catch and reflect light.

It will also help to give the illusion of depth and can make the space look larger. Plus it’s the last space you pass through before leaving the house, so perfect for a last look at your outfit before waltzing into the world. We used this Habitat Window Pane mirror in our hallway and teamed with a rectangular mirror underneath for more length.

If you have space try adding a floor lamp near to the mirror, it will help to reflect light back into the hallway and creates a lovely feature.

4) Add interest to the walls with a shot of colour.

Bright colours at the top and darker at the bottom give the illusion that the space is bigger.

Neutrals are also a great option especially if you add black and white highlights to elevate the space.

5) Panelling will section the hallway and add interest while drawing the eye along the walls.

Keep the detail low, definitely below the waste as it will help to create depth and height.

If your hallway is narrow keep the design simple. I love Wainscot for this as its simple, chic and helps balance the space.

And have a bit of fun, people don’t tend to linger in the hallway so it’s a great space to experiment with ideas and find your perfect combination.

I’d love to hear your ideas on how you’ve brightened up your hallway, so please pop a comment below.

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