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How to brighten up a dark hallway

Hallways and corridors are known as ‘transitional spaces’ by interior designers, and other home improvement buffs as they are often areas that we spend little time in, only ventured through to move from one part of the home to another, rather than being a destination in themselves.

However, with a little thought hallways can easily be turned into attractive, practical spaces. Being great locations to display artworks as well as to store shoes, coats and keys. There’s always just one issue common to hallways that can be difficult to negotiate — the lack of windows. As they often have rooms to both sides, many halls have a shortage of windows, if they have any at all.

This means that they can be dark and bleak places, with only artificial light to brighten them up. However, there is a few ways you can try to brighten up a dingy hallway. Here’s our top tips…

Image Credit: Farrow & Ball .  Wall and Woodwork: String, No, 8, Estate Eggshell. Woodwork: Off-White, No, 3, Estate Eggshell

Don’t just look at the walls

Okay, so let’s start with the most obvious solution to brighten the feel of the hallway. And that’s with going for a light and airy colour scheme to induce, a well… light and airy atmosphere. But don’t just think about the walls, consider the other elements of the hallway, such as the staircase, floor and ceiling.

Some clever ways to actually accentuate the feeling of light in a hallways is to paint the walls either a dark colour, or a bright primary, which is then juxtaposed with brilliant white ceilings, or painted floorboards. If you do want to paint your walls a neutral or pastel avoid dull shades for ones with a bit more intensity. Going for white walls can seem boring, but it really isn’t! It can act as a blank canvas, drawing more intrigue and gravitas to any art works you have in the space.

 Image Credit: Athena . Athena Lifestyle Autumn 2017 CH SC

Sunny art

At Opun, we tend to take the position that the posters, paintings, prints and any other works of art you put on your wall should be there because you love them, or that you feel they reflect something of your home’s personality. Rather than that they are there simply as an interior design element to add some variety to a bare wall.

However, when thinking about where exactly to put your pictures and paintings, it can be good to put focus on putting bright, colourful works in the darker areas such as halls. Yellow in particular works exceedingly well to brighten a bleak corridor.

Image Credit: Farrow & Ball . Door: Off White No. 03 Exterior Eggshell. Walls: Pointing No, 2003 Exterior Masonry.

Consider the door

One solution many homeowners forget about, when it comes to their entrance hall, is to replace the door. While it may not be feasible, or economical to have windows added to your walls. A simple, and cheaper alternative may be to replace an existing solid door with a glazed one, or having glazing added to it. Modern windowed doors are extremely secure and will allow you benefit from at least some natural light.

 Image Credit: Brabbu Design Forces .


It may be a bit of a clicé, but we couldn’t possibly write an article on hallways without bringing up the matter of mirrors. Reflective surfaces bounce about light, which makes any room feel larger and brighter. The long narrow nature of corridors mean they especially benefit from the edition of a mirror, and the effect can be increased by doubling up on mirrors by placing another parallel.

They don’t just brighten the room either, a mirror in the hall lets you do a few last minute checks for toothpaste around your mouth before heading off to work in the morning.

Image Credit: Dash & Albert Europe .  Herringbone Indigo Cotton Rug.

Look at the stairs

The stairwell can be a particularly gloomy portion of the home, however injecting some bright energy with a particularly vibrant stair runner is a great way to refocus a visitor’s attention from the shady parts of the room creating a far more welcoming vibe.

A range of solutions

These are just a few of the possible design solutions to a lack of light in your hallway. Make sure what ever option you choose to go with matches the ambiance in the rest of your home and reflects your and your family’s unique personality.

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