dark hallway corner with a wall painted in a teal green colour, wooden mid-century built in sideboard, vintage accessories placed on top of it and a geometric artwork in white and blue on the wall

How to use colour to make your dark hallway brighter

By Emily Harnasz on

Welcome to a well-known age-old interiors dilemma: what to do with dark hallways. By nature, these spaces are (more often than not) lacking in direct natural light, an odd shade and/or pretty narrow in comparison to other spaces in the home. So it’s not surprising that they are so difficult to decorate. 

Well, don’t worry, your paint colour obsessed YesColours gang have some handy tips to help you make the most of that difficult space. Here's our expert advice on using colour to make your dark hallway brighter.

Be mindful with whites.

Slapping a bright white hue in a dark hallway might seem like the best thing to do to make it feel brighter, but in actual fact, it's going to do the exact opposite. The starkness of a brilliant white paint colour is only going to accentuate dark corners and shadows, so it's definitely something to avoid when decorating this particular space.

If you’re set on a pale tone, opt for a warmer neutral paint, something like our Graceful Neutral or Calming Neutral colours. They will do the trick to create a fresh canvas that maximises the available light. To style your hallway, either stick to neutral accessories for a more minimal vibe or introduce pops of colour in accessories like rugs, artwork and soft furnishings to inject life and energy.


bright hallway in a house with walls painted in a warm peach paint colour, decorated with art prints and greenery

When it comes to dark hallways, forget about the bright white colours and instead embrace warmer tones, even if you're after a strictly neutral palette. Here's Bo Fentum's hallway makeover with our gentle Serene Peach paint colour. What a beauty!

Go bold.

If you're feeling a bit adventurous, why not add that colour pop in your dark hallway by using paint? Choose a vibrant hue like our Passionate Yellow, Electric Mint Green or Joyful Orange colours and add these to areas such as woodwork, bannisters, doors or even a few feature walls for a unique and eye-catching feel that will brighten up the space and make it feel much more uplifting.

Mid tone wonders.

Now, we know you'll have heard the phrase, ‘embrace the darkness’ when it comes to already dark hallways, and yes, this is definitely a great option for a more moody feel. BUT our advice is to stick to more mid tone shades, as the lack of light is going to make any colour feel darker anyway. So to avoid it looking like a dingy cave, try shades like our Mellow Teal, Mellow Pink or Passionate Lilac paint colours for a more balanced take on the dark hallway trend.

In a scheme like this, it’s also important to harness the power of mirrors to reflect light around and give the illusion of more space, as well as considering a variety of light sources to help support a more comfortable feel. Think wall lights, chandeliers, low lamps, candles, anything to add some atmosphere and dimension.


dark hallway corner with a wall painted in a teal green colour, wooden mid-century built in sideboard, vintage accessories placed on top of it and a geometric artwork in white and blue on the wall

Our Mellow Teal paint colour will surely bring a dose of warm brightness to any dark hallway.

Warm it up.

Whatever type of colour you go for, whether it be a white, a vibrant colour or deeper tones, they should all ideally have a little warmth to them. If you love blues, stick to warmer versions like our teals and aquas so that your hallway space feels more balanced. Peach and yellow colours are also great choices for a dark hallway, as their warmth feels like a gigantic hug.

Bonus points: our Fresh Peach paint colour could have been made specifically for a dark hallway as it's such a great match (as proven by our home decor community too!).


hallway wall and wooden wall panelling painted in warm peach and warm green colours

YesColours' Fresh Peach and Loving Green make an incredible colour combo... as seen here in the dark hallway of Emily @our1935terrace.


Here they are — our handy little tips and tricks on using colour to make a dark space look truly welcoming. Say goodbye to your dark hallway woes and hello to a bright, beautiful passageway that's sure to impress. No need to wait anymore — roll up your sleeves, unleash your inner decorator, and let's bring some life to that dark hallway.

And if you need any help with choosing the colours for your space, simply book a colour consultation with us and we'll sort your colour puzzle in no time. It's easy, it's fun... and there's a free option available too.

Share your YesColours home transformation by tagging us on Instagram.