Ways to Dress Up a Drab Hallway

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The hallways that connect living spaces to sleeping spaces to the exterior of a home are just as important as bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Whether you’re working with a short hallway, a hallway with a sharp turn, a spacious hallway or one that’s a tight squeeze, you can make it feel just as special as the rest of your home. Make your hallways come alive with built-ins, lighting, colorful rugs and more.

1. A colorful rug. If your hallway could use a pick-me-up, add a colorful rug for instant style. The horizontal stripes on this rug help a narrow hallway feel wider. The long rug, which extends from one end of the hallway to the other, has a dramatic impact. Can’t find a rug that’s long enough? Try sewing several of the same rugs together to create a faux runner.

2. A picture gallery. This designer took advantage of an extra-long hallway by hanging a row of family photos and art. While identical frames and matting can look graphic and bold, this eclectic mix of colors and sizes adds warmth to the space.

3. Cabinetry. Take advantage of a wider hallway and build in some custom cabinetry for extra storage and display space. The cabinet in this photo serves as a display shelf for collectibles. Its neutral shade of paint keeps the hanging artwork as the focal point.

4. Pendant lighting. Most interior hallways don’t have windows, which means adequate artificial lighting is a necessity. Try adding hanging pendants instead of the standard surface-mounted lighting. The right pendant will light up your hallway while adding design flair, too.

5. Bookcases. Some avid readers can never have enough room for books. Extend a library out to the hallway to create extra display space for beloved books. Whether built-in or purchased, bookcases can add a functional and aesthetic element to wider hallways.

6. Murals. A floor-to-ceiling map installation can transform an awkward hallway into an educational opportunity. Don’t like the look? Wall decals and murals come in all sorts of customizable options, and they’re often more affordable than wallpaper.

7. Framed mirrors. For those who love the gallery look but don’t know what to put in their frames, a hall of mirrors can be the perfect solution. An installation like this can highlight a great collection of frames, or simply bring additional light and visual space into a small and dark hallway.

These are some great ideas!

Alix Flamm is an interior designer working in the Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Tustin, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, area of Orange County, California.