Home & Garden

How to Decorate a Narrow Hallway

Learn how to decorate a narrow hallway with these easy tips. From being dingy and dark to now open and bright, our new hallway has become a polished space with traditional inspirations that everyone will love. Perfect for the English cottage or country home look.

Simple hallway decorating ideas were used to create this bright white, traditional hallway with a black and white gallery wall.

I knew I had to renovate our hallway when I realized it was too dark, dingy, and overall too green. We had painted it a sage green to match our vibrant, energizing living room. But it was just too much in our hallway. I realized I needed to incorporate some simple hallway ideas for a complete refresh.

Now it’s a beautiful, clean white. It has a traditional gallery wall with black and white photos from our wedding day. It’s still classic and simple, but it now has a bit more character to it. My husband and I are in love with the stunning, new look. It has style without being too loud or drastic. 

A narrow hallway is decorated with a black and white gallery wall full of elopement photos.

Why I gave our hallway a refresh

Although our hallway was fine before, it just needed to be opened up more. It needed a classic, simple look to transition smoothly into other spaces in the house. It cleanses the palette with a calming neutral before entering into a more colored room. 

When I’m looking down the hallway into another room, I now have a view of the white that smoothly transitions into the dark green room. Before it was one green to another and wasn’t quite as well wrapped together. 

This is a common method that interior designers use when styling different rooms and selecting color schemes. How colors wrap together from one space to the next makes a difference.

A white hallway is decorated for its narrowness and kept simple.

How I added simple hallway ideas into our hallway

I transformed our hallway using paint, some photo frames, and a few other decorative pieces to pull the entire look together.

You can use whatever decor you prefer in your hallway, but I really wanted something classic and timeless. That’s why I kept it simple with black frames and minimal decor other than the gallery wall we created.

A hallway sparkles with its new white paint and gallery wall after incorporating simple hallway decorating ideas into it.

Simple Hallway Ideas

Change the wall color + light fixture | how to decorate a narrow hallway

This is one of the more obvious ways to refresh a hallway. As I mentioned before, I just had to get rid of the sage green. I love, love, love that color. But not in the hallway. I needed something a little more refreshing in this space.

I also love white on white (though I can’t imagine every room in my home in a pristine white). The trim and doors had been painted a warmer white color recently. I decided to go with a brighter white for the walls. Believe me, it brightens up the hallway.

My husband said the white was still growing on him… until he saw how put together it is with the gallery wall and art. Whether you want a darker color, a bright white, or a calming pastel, changing the color can change the entire tone of a room. Painting takes a bit of work, but it is the most affordable of my simple hallway ideas. You’ll get a big bang for your buck.

Replacing the light fixture was also a must. The previous one must have been 30 years old. It was cheap and ugly. I found a new vintage style light fixture that is perfect for the hallway on Wayfair. It has an antique look to it without looking dated and old.

Replacing light fixtures is an essential step to redecorating, so please do not skip this. I feel like this really pulls the entire look together.

A hallway has been painted white from top to bottom to open up the space.

Add in some art or photos | how to decorate a narrow hallway

This was my favorite part. I was so excited to add some black and white photography and art into the mix. I was inspired when I saw Farmhouse on Boone’s gallery wall along her staircase in her home. But I knew I wanted mine to have a bit more of an eccentric arrangement. 

I opted for different sized frames, with one circular frame added in, for the gallery wall. Additionally, I found this nostalgic vintage art from Michael’s craft store and knew I had to have it when I saw it. 

Choose art that not only meshes well with your hallway, but make sure it speaks to you. You don’t need to add something just to fill a space. Be sure it has a purpose. Does it make you smile when you glance at it? Does it bring back memories of a day from years ago? Furthermore, in a narrow hallway you don’t want too much clutter (even on the walls).

Keep all this in mind when selecting the perfect art and photos for your walls.

A hallway has been transformed with this black and white photography on one wall.

Add other decorative touches | how to decorate a narrow hallway

I personally wanted to keep decor minimal in the hallway, so it wouldn’t be overwhelming. I love decor, but I’m not a maximalist by any means. 

That being said, if I had a bit more space in my hallway, I would add in some more vintage art to the mix and possibly some dried herbs or flowers. I love seeing a small bouquet of wheatgrass or lavender bundled up and hung on a wall for a simple statement. It’s just so lively. 

If you go this route, think about switching these little bouquets up each season. For example, wheat grass is appropriate in the summer or fall, while pine tree and holly branches are good for winter. Keep this in mind for a little change throughout the year. I love seeing careful attention like this paid to small spaces.

I would also love to add a rug to this area of our home, but it just wasn’t in the budget at the moment. This is another practical way to add an elegant touch to a narrow hallway.

Replace registers (vents), outlets & switch plate covers | how to decorate a narrow hallway

We had the oldest register on the hallway floor. It was so outdated and gross. I don’t think anyone had cleaned it in years when we moved in. Bound and determined to find a new one, I was going to find something with flair. 

I searched high and low and was only able to find antique-style registers in the large size we needed for $250-$300. That seemed unreasonable to me. So I started to research and discovered these decorative register covers that go over the actual vent. Brilliant! 

I still ended up buying a new register with a very basic style in a brown color and painted the edges white. Then I added my magnetic register cover and it looks magnificent. Yes, you can tell it’s a magnet. But only if you’re looking closely. It’s easy to clean and affordable compared to the alternative. I spent less than half of what I’d spend had I invested in the original antique-style register I was eyeing. And there weren’t many options in the first place. 

I recommend doing something similar if you’ve found that costs are outrageous. Though you could find a small antique-style vent for about $30 from an online retailer (like Signature Hardware), the magnetic cover is better for larger ones if you’re on a budget. 

A decorative register cover has been added to a register at an affordable cost.

Incorporate a small hallway table (if space allows) | how to decorate a narrow hallway

Our hallway is rather narrow and short. Due to space issues, we were not able to add in a hallway table. If you have room, I’d highly recommend adding this in since it can add that much more character to your hallway. Even adding a couple of ledges is a nice touch if your hallway lacks floor space.

Vases, fresh flowers, and other decor can be added to it. A decorative mirror or framed art could be added directly above it. Just be sure to measure your hallway and any pieces you’re eyeing first to make sure it fits your space well.

A pristine white is shown in a hallway with simple hallway decorating ideas added to it.

More Decorating Inspiration

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