5 Tips for decorating a dark hallway

5 Tips for decorating a dark hallway

By Emily Harnasz on

Hallways can often be overlooked when it comes to decorating your home. After all, you're usually just passing through or quickly throwing on your shoes to leave the house. 

But hallways shouldn’t be forgotten about, they welcome you after a long day, they introduce new visitors to who you are, they are the journey from one space to the next… therefore they should be considered and prioritised like any other. 

Let's be honest, most hallways are either dark or small (or likely both), making a space that is already notoriously difficult to decorate even harder. Worry not though: here are our five tips to make that process easier:


1. Consider all surface areas.

It’s not just about the walls. Utilising the ceilings, woodwork and doorways to your advantage creates the illusion of more space. A great way to do this is by ‘colour drenching’. This means to apply the same paint colour (or similar tones of the same colour) to all surfaces. It's a great decorating tip as it works to create a serenity and openness to a space, so rather than immediately seeing white doors and bannisters contrasting against coloured walls, all you’re seeing is an embracing wash of colour that invites you in and makes you feel calm and comforted. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that?

Hallway stairwell painted using colour blocking with YesColours Passionate Lilac, Passionate Yellow and Electric Mint Green colours

Photo by Alan James @_thebeautifulhouse_
Steal the look with our Passionate Yellow, Passionate Lilac and Electric Mint Green paint colours.


2. Embrace the darkness.

It seems logical to add a bright white colour to a dark space to make it feel bigger, right? Well the opposite is actually true. Especially if you put a cool white shade in a hallway with limited light, it's just going to pick up on the grey undertones and make it feel even more dull. Why not just roll with the dark and go for deeper paint colours that embrace the lack of light and make it into something special. Try our Loving Green and Passionate Blue paint colours for a rich and cocooning hallway statement palette. 

Dark narrow hallway painted in dark green colour

Photo found on frenchyfancy.com
Steal the look with our Loving Green paint colour.

3. Feeling fresh? Show it.

Dark colours aren’t your thing? Don’t worry. Another trick to try is going for a fresh and vibrant palette to add excitement and uplift to the space. After all, you aren't spending excessive amounts of time in the hallway, so why not use it as an opportunity to be creative and bold? Our Fresh Collection is perfect for achieving this look (trust us, the name says it all). Our top paint colour suggestions for a fresh-looking hallway are the sunny and optimistic Fresh Yellow and the nurturing Fresh Green. With these two shades every day will feel like summer.

Whatever you decide, ultimately, embracing a bit of colour and staying clear of stark and cool white shades in a dark hallway is key!


Bright pink hallway with pink walls, pink stool and a pastel yellow front door

Photo by Kate @kate_rose_morgan
Steal the look with our Fresh Peach and Fresh Yellow paint colours.

4. Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Aside from being handy to check over your outfit before leaving the house, mirrors also serve another useful purpose in dark hallways. Any light that enters the space will be reflected in the mirror and will help to distribute more light around the space. It's essentially like adding another window, but much less messy and expensive.


Airy and bright hallway with a stairwell, mirror on the wall, a green ceiling and a yellow front door

Photo by Sally @greenandmustard
Steal the look with our Passionate Yellow, Calming Green and Electric Hot White paint colours.

5. Go with the flow.

If you’re still not sure what paint colour to go for, take a look at the other rooms in your home and see if there's any colour you can see being used repeatedly. It might be that you notice a love of yellow emerging in your house, so why not go for the colour that makes your heart sing and will instantly make you happy as soon as you see it. Plus you’ll create a ‘flow’ and a harmony through the entire house that is both timeless and innately personal to you. 

top floor hallway painted in a pastel lilac colour, with an open door to another room painted in a peach colour

Photo by Jay @paintthetownpastel
Steal the look with our Fresh Peach and Joyful Lilac paint colours.


Need a little bit (or a lot) more help with decorating your hallway? Our YesColours Colour Experts, Emma and Emily will be more than happy to give you that push you needed to paint your home with the colours of your dreams and make it actually feel like home. Book your colour consultation with them and take it from there. 


*Cover image by Emma Merry @homemilkSteal the look with our Passionate Pink paint colour.