Dark hallway

Any ideas to brighten up and a some fun decor in this space?
dark hallway, foyer, home decor, What it looks like now
What it looks like now....
  71 answers
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 02, 2014
    I think you need some color, at least at the wall you are facing in the picture. I think I would brighten the walls. There is too much neutral going on for me, with everything. I immediately thought of a mirror when I saw the wall the vase is against. There's nothing wrong with any of the elements, it's just the combination, for me. I think I would brighten the walls. I love the way you display your children's art!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 03, 2014
    This is one of those out of the way places that needs a WOW! Pick up an small old chandelier and spray paint it one of those beautiful Rustoleum colors like copper or pewter and put it up here. You can hang it high so no one will bump their head! No shades needed...just bare bulbs...those small Edison bulbs would be unique. If you are handy, you can shorten the length of the shank.

  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on May 03, 2014
    I have a dark bathroom and I made a wall of mirrors. I found old mirrors from flea markets and yard sales and just kept adding to it. You could mix in some with your pictures along that back wall. Ceiling to floor. I also like Jeanette's idea of a cute chandelier. Also, If it is possible, what about painting that back wall the same color as your stripe. Adding my wall of mirrors.

  • Sarah Deltoro Sarah Deltoro on May 03, 2014
    These are all great ideas! Like the chandelier idea! Donna byram love all those mirrors and that's a great idea! Thank y'all!

  • Yes a light fixture that projects light upward always lightens a room taking advance of the radiant light from the ceiling. Brighter, bolder, solid colors on the walls always helps. One thing that strikes me is that the tile floor, striped wall, and most all the artwork on the neutral walls are dark. That makes the space look smaller and darker than it may actually be. I'd keep that in mind when redecorating.

  • Peggy Peggy on May 04, 2014
    I think I would try painting the back wall the color of your dark stripe. Then I would purchase a narrow cabinet and add accessories including a small lamp and put it where the vase is

  • Amy Hodgen Amy Hodgen on May 04, 2014
    Paint the facing wall a bright colour or put some funky wallpaper up (see Evelina's wall - http://blog.stylehaul.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/main3.jpg), paint the other two walls (right and left) white, change the light bulb (possibly get a lampshade that will reflect the light more, like a mirrored one). Also get a small hall table with a modern looking lamp to bring in more light and try some small illustrations or prints spread out on one of the walls :D

  • Joan @ Nicer Than New Joan @ Nicer Than New on May 04, 2014
    Add a console table and a lamp with a painting on the end wall. Mirrors is a good idea too.

  • Megan Lillich Megan Lillich on May 04, 2014
    How about a rug and some paint on the stripped wall

  • Sharon Sharon on May 04, 2014
    I agree with the chandelier suggestion. But, also take the vase out at the end of the hallway. It tends to draw your eyes downward.

  • Laura Laura on May 04, 2014
    Chandelier I agree, colourful frames on the end wall with a small table that pops with colour. Or paint your large vase a bright light colour. Just have something pop

  • Betty819 Betty819 on May 04, 2014
    I had the same idea as Joan from Canada had..use a sofa table there, with a lamp if there is an electrical plug there..change ceiling light fixture for something more updated.

  • DeEtte Bruce DeEtte Bruce on May 04, 2014
    First I love the idea you used for the kids pictures! I agree with many of the ideas above move the vase it draws the eye down as said . Paint that wall with a brighter coordinating color and add mirrors or a great art piece or pieces that make a statement. On the striped wall consider adding something with color in it . I saw a great metal piece with leaves like yours but larger and with more color. Chandelier would be great , don't know about table not sure what your clearance is their. Have you seen the suitcase shelves just ideas have fun it will come.

  • LA - Fairhope Supply Co. LA - Fairhope Supply Co. on May 04, 2014
    The artwork is very cute, but I think it would be better in a larger space. It makes this tiny space feel cluttered, and you can't really see it well enough to appreciate it. Lift the vase with a small hall table - or better yet, put a small lamp on it to brighten things.

  • Petra Gillis Petra Gillis on May 04, 2014
    I would go for horizontal stripes on one side to make it look larger, add a console with lighting and a mirror to reflect the light, and have one colourful artwork instead of many small ones.

  • Connie Connie on May 04, 2014
    I agree with the adding color. That room needs a pop of color and the Chandelier is a great idea. Add light and color and that hall way will be wonderful.

  • Tuzwoo Tuzwoo on May 04, 2014
    I would put a solid wall of mirror on the back wall. change the wall paper to something more light and airy looking, the black frames have to go, I would use light wood or some brighter ones. and the add a nice medium shade rug to add s0me "pop" to the space. if you wanted to add wall sconces for added light at night too.

    • Lila Mae Dease Lila Mae Dease on May 04, 2014
      Absolutely, a large mirror on end wall will bring in light plus look twice as long. Add larger light fixture. Done and done

  • Mabeline Mabeline on May 04, 2014
    I would consider leaving the striped wall, but remove the gold leaves add one large picture to break up the stripes. The other wall lolls cluttered in this space - use the gold leaves and hang 3 good size pictures under it. I like the idea of an small table and mirror at the end of the hall, plus update the lighting fixture. Ps. Love the children's art. One suggestion is to buy and paint one if those flat molding frames, then place the art on the rod as you have it inside the frame- make it more of a a statement piece.

  • Samye Turner Samye Turner on May 04, 2014
    I would take off the gold leaves, leaving the striped wall empty. Adding a chandelier will definitely brighten the entire area. I would place a mirror over a table in place of the vase and pictures at the end of the hallway, being careful not to block the return air. This will bring the eye up. I like the idea of a molding frame for the children's art! Lots of ways from the previous comments.Good luck!

  • Tammy H Tammy H on May 04, 2014
    Like the Chandelier idea…how about adding a decorative mirror to reflect the light from other areas

  • David Perona David Perona on May 04, 2014
    Remove that ceiling fixture, and in it's place, install a Solatube (or similar solar device with or without the additional interior auxillary light). I did this for my parents dark hallway, and it literally changed how they lived. The artwork was constantly illuminated and appreciated (at no additional $$), and they no longer tripped over their brown miniature dauchsund. (They had dark brown carpet there, so....) http://www.solatube.com/

  • Debra Peters Debra Peters on May 04, 2014
    Continue the art work theme...the artists would be so proud, and it would add the color needed. Maybe a light fixture to focus on the works.

  • Happygirl Bailey Happygirl Bailey on May 04, 2014
    Solatube skylight!! :)

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 04, 2014
    Notice you have a light switch in mid of back wall. I'd move this if possible to accommodate a large mirror to expand space. Agree with having a larger hanging light fixture. LIKE the striped paper - but full length on wall contributes to tunnel effect. I'd wainscot the walls using a moulding/wallpaper border to break up the height of the walls, & use the striped paper on the lower section. Think a rug would break up the expanse of dark tiles and possibly expand width. I'd move the rod with the kids' artwork elsewhere as too bulky. Colour can be added with artwork above the wainscoting. A really skinny-width table on back wall with some colourful accessories, some with curvy lines, to reflect in mirror would also be nice.

  • Ali Foster Claypoole Ali Foster Claypoole on May 04, 2014
    Large mirror over tiny table at end of hall. Paint walls Light Yellow by ben moore, paint ceiling same color or a half tint of same. Airy light fixture-white, shells? Just finishing up my entrance hall and doing these things have changed the whole feeling! Put almonon end table- keep the bright and cheery art- maybe gang on stainless steel and paint frames white to make them blend into light walls better. Good luck! Painting my living room a brighter color today! Ali

  • Ali Foster Claypoole Ali Foster Claypoole on May 04, 2014
    Oops! A lamp on end table. ... Hang on stainless steel. I should spellcheck!

  • Nedra Brush Bohan Nedra Brush Bohan on May 04, 2014
    It would be good if the table you choose could hide the grate on the wall. That's worse than the vase! It just needs to hide it without closing off the airflow. As the other Nedra says, mirror above will make the hall seem bigger and it will also reflect light from the light fixture you choose. If your home is a one story, you might look into having a natural light tube installed. It is on the lines of a skylight, but is round and more reflective than it is direct.

  • Lynn Zawojski Lynn Zawojski on May 04, 2014
    I would like to see less clutter on the walls, the gold piece off the wall paper, a larger lower white lighting piece, a large mirror over a light colored table, any art work could be put together in a large white frame for changing out as new artwork comes in. The mirror could be a round or rectangle and the table could have 3 different heights of items, ( table scaping). A long runner with light color or neutral but it should fit the area not just a short piece and it would cover up the dark tiles( or maybe its a dark rug). The more light pieces you add, you won't notice the areas of darkness. just an opinion

  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on May 04, 2014
    Some type of mural that fills the entire space at end of hall,or a decorative mirror,something with Detail around the sides to give it more interest

  • Linda Anthony Linda Anthony on May 04, 2014
    They NOW have a very small LED light incorporated into the light switch plate - just replace the plate and you are done! only comes on when it's dark...

  • Julie Julie on May 04, 2014
    I would remove the artwork on the rod. Brings the wall in too much. Frame all the artwork and paint all the frames the same color to unite them. Hang close together to give a look of one item so it doesn't look so busy. Definitely a mirror and chandelier (maybe on a dimmer). Love the stripe look. Sometimes I use the same color to make the stripe but use stripes of flat against stripes of semi gloss to break up wall without adding too much busyness.

  • Paula Perry Paula Perry on May 04, 2014
    The Solatube is my favorite suggestion!!! Also I agree with Julie about framing all the artwork in the same color to make it less busy.

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on May 04, 2014
    Hi Sarah! To make the hallway appear longer and brighter, I would first eliminate the gold stripes and the hanging art on the rod. The vertical stripes are dark and heavy and the focus stops there. I would paint the walls in the same shade as the wall at the far end where the vase is sitting to create one seamless space. Since the floor has many colors of browns and golds, I would go with the palest, lightest shade of gold or creamy white. If there is enough room at the end of the hall, I would add a demilune table with a mirror over it to reflect the available light. Also, replacing that single bulb fixture with a small chandelier that casts a glow in all directions would help. Since the floor is dark, your walls need to be quite light. Also, adding a runner in a light color would help. Good luck! Post the after pics!

  • Linda Linda on May 04, 2014
    I aged that a lighter color on walls, add large mirror at end, and yes a console table long enough to cover air return. Replace overhead light with a small chandelier in crystal or glass something that sparkles. The tile makes it look dark also, perhaps replacing or a runner that is very very light would help. I agree that the children artwork maybe something you want to keep the r but how about painting the rod a lighter color or I have seen people using picture frames, changing out when something new comes in or maybe using bull clips to hold the artwork. Frames/clips/rod white or a light color. Good luck.

  • Pam Pam Pam Pam on May 04, 2014
    Clear the walls.....add mirrors

  • Elizabeth Chapman Elizabeth Chapman on May 04, 2014
    first off i would clear the space. its obvious that your not afraid of color. you have color going on all over this space but none of it pulls everything together.a white color or lighter color isn't what i would go with. after you have cleared your space. now is the time to go to home depo's paint department. and bring home lots of samples. put them up on your walls and evaluate how they make your feel. do they inspire you or make you want to run. write how you feel about the color on each card. i would get rid of that striped wall. after you have gotten your paint. go to paint your walls. 1 solid color. they don't have to all be the same color. take that art work and frame it. if it came from a grand child it deserves a frame and a plate saying who made it and who it was made for. if i came to your home i would never know. you have a lot going on in the space but nothing pulls my eye in one direction. after your paint has dried you may find that you need 2 3 or 4 more coats. depending on the color you bought. in between your coats get on the internet and look at things you like. find things that you just cant live without. evaluate will it fit in that space. and if it does make an effort to put it there. you have 3 wall going on here. the wall at the end needs a mirror and a tall sofa table. the sofa table if its too wide can be cut in half long ways to make it fit. what your doing with the table is trying to get my eye on this wall to come up and not notice that air vent in the lower right. it looks like you have a thermostat right in the middle of the wall. see if that can be moved. if it can do it. now once you get your sofa table cut and secured to the wall. you can put a series of mirrors mounted to the all with different colored ribbon. going in any direction or one large ornate mirror. bring up off the floor your vase and put it on one side. get a couple of fatter shorter vases or varying height vases and put on the floor. not that you have your pictures put in frames. we can turn our attention to that wall. paint your wall. get rid of your curtain rod. curtain rods are for curtains. start hanging your framed art work on the wall. try different angles. no one ever said you had to do everything straight across. straight across gets the job done but its boring. try grouping them in 5. put a small one in the middle and 4 larger ones on the out side of each corner. and then 3 smaller ones going down the sides on each end of the wall. on your third wall. you have stripes going on. there is nothing wrong with stripes. but that wall pulls the eye completely away from the other two. this is where the ideas from the internet and books and mags will help you. if your an artist great. if your not find one and see if they would put a mural up on that wall. because you want this space to be warm and inviting. you want it to scream stay look at me. they love me enough to make you feel welcome. this area of your home already says something about your life. lets bring it together and make a bigger statement. i would love to see the after pictures.

  • Carla Ward Carla Ward on May 04, 2014
    Mirrors to reflect the light.

  • Tammy M Tammy M on May 04, 2014
    I absolutely hate white walls. Find them boring. Get rid of the wallpaper and paint all the walls the same uniform color. I, personally, would go with a light creamy yellow, or a beautiful light sky blue!! Either would look amazing with the tile. Replace the old light fixture with a nice small chandelier type light fixture. A nice big mirror on the wall at the end of the hall and a long sofa table with a lamp or flower arrangement. Lose some of the clutter on the hall walls and add a runner on the floor!!!

  • Marianne Marianne on May 04, 2014
    Clear walls and paint a light, soft color. Also, remove the vent door at the end of the hall and paint the door the same color as the walls. As suggested I would put a full length mirror at the end of the hall. If I put anything on the walls they would be mirror or metallic to reflect the light. If possible replace lighting with a strip of lighting in the center area of the hall ceiling. Possibly add a wide, light color runner on the floor.

  • Centrd Centrd on May 04, 2014
    Definitely reflective surfaces would help a lot, mirrors, metals, shiny things. Also a pretty light fixture would be high impact. I'd also seriously consider a runner that creates an illusion of width. There are millions of ideas out there, it all depends on what style you're going for. You could go dark and dramatic with huge prints framed with large white mats and small picture lights over the top to create a gallery effect...or you could use pretty moldings or wainscot in white with a color at the top to add character if your house is in need of that. Strongly recommend doing a google image search for "hallway decorating ideas".

  • Libby Yuewhoo Libby Yuewhoo on May 04, 2014
    Get some easy to open frames and place all the children's art work into the frames and place it on the wall at the end of the hall. This wall will become a showplace for their art. You can occasionally change the art work, perhaps with the seasons and it will probably hide that light switch and the air register will be less noticeable. consult, on line, to see how a group of pictures should be hung. Change your light fixture to something more up to date.

  • Steve R Steve R on May 04, 2014
    Install a light

  • 117135 117135 on May 04, 2014
    I love how you have hung your kids art work. Very clever idea and easy to change out! It so beats hanging on the frig.

  • Iva Iva on May 04, 2014
    Always start fresh. Clear everything out. Paint is your friend. Use a paint with a gloss to reflect light. Next change out the light fixture for on the holds at least 3 blubs. This will really light your way. Go to your local builders supply and pick up a small white cabinet for the end of the hall. Pick up a mirror to reflect light back down the hallway. Add a lamp in a bright shiny hue to the cabinet. Now you have walls that shine, better lighting, and light reflecting back in front of a mirror. All good, even if you can't replace the light fixture at this time. The light at the "end of the tunnel" will really help you out. Go for it. Let us know how it turns out.

  • Lorraine-Lori Johns Lorraine-Lori Johns on May 04, 2014
    Definitely reflection, reflection, reflection! Use a glossy paint, Change out light fixture to something sparkly. Use mirrored outlet and switch covers. Mirrors. Glass things like artwork and paintings. If you are religious get really shiny crosses or crucifixes or star of Davids to hang on walls.

  • Jean Kiehl Kloska Jean Kiehl Kloska on May 04, 2014
    Remove the wallpaper and lighten up all walls. Wainscoting is even ok so long as the top part of the wall is left clean. Remove the dark wall decorations and if replacements are desired, use light frames. Check out your best lighting options as well. Whatever you decide we would love to see the results ~ make it your own, whatever you do ~!

  • Cissy Jones Cissy Jones on May 04, 2014
    Paint the walls a summery color light pale color and frame your children's pictures

  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold on May 04, 2014
    Bob just said what I was going to say. It's exactly what we did to our dark hallway and it is wonderful!

  • Patricia Moondancers Patricia Moondancers on May 04, 2014
    I saw where someone stated to remove the return vent and paint it the same color as your wall. I suggest to cover the vent with a rubber door mat a nice mettle grill. You can find these at lows. They come in black gold and silver. They can tie any color that you choose with the wall. I personally would chose a nice sand color to pull the colors from the floor as well. On the back wall where the return vent is located after you place the rubber mat or mettle grill over the return air plate choose the same color frames to accent that wall. Remove the plant from the floor. On the other walls you can a few framed art work from your children. You can replace the artwork every so often with other artwork that they complete. This gives them a space as well but still is attractive for your hall. Good luck and most of all have fun with the space. Don't be afraid to bring out the inner you.

  • Eliza Eliza on May 04, 2014
    I would put white wainscoting below a white chair rail, and paint a soft blue above. Frame pics with large white frames, get a light colored natural jute runner that covers most of that dark floor. A big, fun light fixture that is longer, like this....

  • Amy Stiffler Amy Stiffler on May 04, 2014
    I would do some thing with the floor also maybe light colored wood flooring get rid of the wallpaper becareful with the vent don't want moisture to build up and cause mold and roof damage

  • Nancy Block Nancy Block on May 04, 2014
    The tones are all so drab, I would definitely paint , add a runner with a bit more color. I would add a mirror or two and change artwork, sorry but the kids artwork may work better in different place

  • Chris G Chris G on May 05, 2014

  • Marianne Marianne on May 05, 2014
    Let us know what you decide, pictures would be great.

  • Melissa Leach Melissa Leach on May 05, 2014
    Paint all the walls, adding a focal wall of color, at the end of the hall with the air return. I agree with adding a light fixture with multiple bulbs. I love beadboard with a chair rail for the other walls. Keep the rod with the kids art! I also agree with adding mirrors. You always want to have something for your mirrors to reflect, perhaps the kids art work on the opposite wall. A collection of round and oval mirrors would work well with the straight lines of the hall. Good luck, post pics!!!

  • Carol Zemke Carol Zemke on May 05, 2014
    You can change the lighting to track lighting, and you can run it down your hallway to highlight your kiddies' artwork to :)

  • Nancy Nancy on May 05, 2014
    Here is ideas that are totally different. The dark floor is your major problem. Depending on your budget I would change out the tile to a white or cream, or add light colored rugs. I never recommend shiny walls as the reflection they provide competes with other things on the wall. A wanes coating would be good as opposed to bead board as the larger will keep the space open. Paint the top of the wall with a darker neutral color, ( gray, tan) something that will go with the rooms off of the hallway. Then add large frames with the kids are work that you can switch out. You definitely need bright lighting but make it interesting to look at as well as functional. At the end of the hall, place a small iron table or mirrored reflective table, nic knacks and punch of color. Be sure to paint the air return the same color as the wall paint. The idea of changing it out for a decorative piece of metal is great, just paint so it doesn't call attention to itself. You really want this to disappear. If you are able to install floor tiles install them horizontally so the hall appears wider. Good luck, looking for the final post.

  • Nancy Nancy on May 05, 2014
    Also, instead of the curtain rod, mount coat hooks in the wanes coating and use the rings to hang the kids are work.

  • Judith ewing pilgrim Judith ewing pilgrim on May 05, 2014
    Remove the wallpaper and paint the walls a soft white. Add a light colored runner for the floor and remove all the small things on the walls. At the end wall hang one larger painting or print in light colors.

  • Sandy Eck Sandy Eck on May 05, 2014
    A long mirror on that back wall would make the room look longer and reflections would bounce off of it. I would get rid of the wallpaper to start with.

  • Pirate Pirate on May 05, 2014
    Too many little, dinky things make it hard to focus. Create one large (awesome) focal point on the back wall and get rid of everything else including those striped walls. You could even paint the back wall an accent color. Replace the ceiling light fixture pronto!

  • Paula prislovsky Paula prislovsky on May 05, 2014
    All art work and pictures removed. Consider changing the floor if possible, but if not a simple runner and the walls painted a light color. No to a chair rail, hall too narrow. Something creative with the air return or paint this the wall color. Hang a mirror at the end of the hall and be selective as to what you put on the hall walls. Go much bigger and less

  • Debra Anderson Debra Anderson on May 06, 2014
    Lighten up the floor with a solid color (light oak wood). Get rid of the stripes on the wall, and that rod holding wall art. Paint the vent same color as the wall. Hang up electric wall sconces on wall with vent. Hang a horizontal mirror on the wall to the left. It will pick up the light from the sconces. Hang only a couple scenic pictures across from mirror using lighter colored frames--a medium wood stain color. Hang the kids' art somewhere else - as they don't look right in the narrow hallway. The wall with the vent needs to be painted in a bright accent color as well, so it all doesn't meld together. That's my view on this dark hallway.

  • Carol Tomlin Carol Tomlin on May 06, 2014
    I love all the wonderful ideas. My favorites are paint all the walls, one wall a focal color chosen from the art piece you choose, with a mirror, Less and larger things on the walls. Check out some of Akienne's artwork.on line. I personally would vote for her portrait of Jesus on one wall with an inspirational message on the other. Or perhaps one of her other pieces with lots of color will inspire you and for you bring life to the space. You'll love her story.

  • Linda Anthony Linda Anthony on May 07, 2014
    Love all the ideas. Remove all pictures - paint the walls as suggested (I would forget the waines coating as it will make it look narrower) - lighten up the floor (solid color/very little pattern if any), and make a focal point at the end of the hall. (Narrow) table, with bottom shelf (could put baskets on lower shelf for storage - only if it is needed) with a lamp - mirrored table would be great- not a chest or hang appropriately sized mirror on the wall, If this is front entry area, then think hidden storage. I only see a light switch on the wall, not an electrical outlet at that end, however, you can install a switch/outlet combo there to plug in lamp. Definitely change out the light fixture to something more 'glamorous'...

  • Linda Anthony Linda Anthony on May 07, 2014
    If you go to Houzz.com, bring up the site, and then at the top 'search' box, type in 'narrow entry hall tables' and then look from there... GREAT ideas there! http://www.houzz.com/

  • Deborah Durham Deborah Durham on May 07, 2014
    I agree. Add a runner with bright colors and mirror tiles? or something made of Glass and sparkle to reflect light. Maybe a wallpaper with a Foil glow. Don't ignore the ceiling and lighting.

  • Rossa D Rossa D on May 07, 2014
    Get rid of the wall paper and collection of pictures;.. find one or two photos to create interest in this limited space , use a colorful floor cloth runner. Maybe One you make yourself...One bright light or lamp . Neutral Monochromatic paints would be about all,I would add; then enjoy the space. A few hooks stragetically placed may serve a useful purpose on rear wall. If budget allows I would insist on a sky light ! The vent maybe covered with a simple desk or table that may have some attractive detail.....

  • Barbara Passaro Barbara Passaro on May 08, 2014
    Change lighting fixture, get rid of wall paper, paint walls creamy bright neutral color, add chair rail on each side and display pictures above, add pretty mirror at the end of hall. Good luck!

  • Shari Veater Shari Veater on May 15, 2014
    If you can't replace the flooring, choose a paint color that works well with it, but first you should strip the wallpaper...replace the light fixture and perhaps a grouping of different style mirrors on one wall...share the end results!

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on May 16, 2014
    I love the colors of the floor.. It is dark, I'd add a lighter colored runner instead or replacing...the light is too small bigger fixture, since its a gallery for kids artwork, I'd go track with spots you can move to focus depending on whats needed. While they are changing out the fixture,,I'd move the switch,,, to the L by the door casing, or R about 2 tile widths..its in a strange spot, it breaks up the wall. I'd then put a better grouping on the switch wall. I'm seeing the bold stripes off balance with the artwork, both compete for your eyes to look at. I'd reconfigure the wall to be either all kids artwork on each wall.I'd add another rod highter up for more of it....they love that. Framed pieces on the end..the L wall has me puzzled.... I like the L wall. But, not with the artwork opposite it.. Not sure If I'd repaint it or remove the paperor what..