A drab and dreary hallway can bring down the look and feel of your entire home. But with some thoughtful updates and decor touches, you can easily transform that blah space into a stylish and inviting entryway. Here are 8 great ways to dress up a drab hallway.

Add Colorful Artwork

Hanging some vibrant and lively artwork is one of the easiest ways to inject personality into a boring beige hallway. Go for large-scale prints, paintings or photographs in bold colors and fun patterns. Arrange a gallery wall with a mix of different pieces for maximum impact. Just be sure to keep the artwork elevated at eye level or higher for best visibility.

Install Sconces or Pendant Lights

Proper lighting can make a huge difference in livening up a dull hallway. Sconces mounted on the wall add both illumination and visual interest. Or make a style statement with a dangling pendant light or chandelier. Aim for lighting that provides ambiance as well as brightness to create an inviting atmosphere.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

Painting the walls is one of the simplest DIY upgrades you can do to revive a humdrum hallway. Opt for a rich, saturated hue that packs a punch. Deep blue, emerald green or berry red are eye-catching options. For a two-tone look, paint the lower half a darker color and the upper walls a lighter tone. Add molding at the halfway point to further define the color blocking.

Display Collections

Turn your hallway into an art gallery by highlighting favorite collections. Mount shelves or floating ledges to show off cherished objects like framed photos, antiques, baskets, vases, sculptures, or anything you love to collect. The eclectic mix of shapes, colors and textures will draw the eye down the hallway. Illuminate with track lighting or directional spotlights.

Add Mirrors

Strategically placed mirrors instantly double the visual space in a narrow hallway. Hang a large mirror near the entryway to reflect natural light deeper into the home. Or mount a mirror at the end of the hallway to create the illusion that it extends further. For a contemporary vibe, lean oblong mirrors against the wall in repeating patterns.

Install Chair Rail and Wainscoting

Chair rail trim and wainscoting panels add nice architectural detail to plain drywall. Paint the upper and lower sections in contrasting colors for a crisp, classic look. For a budget option, use wallpaper or decals with faux wainscoting or molding designs instead of the real deal. Add pillars at the corners to embellish the stately vibe.

Layer in Texture

Incorporate tactile surfaces to keep a neutral hallway from feeling flat and uninteresting. Mount reclaimed wood panels in varying widths for organic contrast. Or add texture underfoot with a cozy vintage rug layered over hardwood. Switch out hollow-core doors for ones crafted of solid wood that impart warmth and depth. Touches of brick, stone, or woven rattan bring visual appeal.

Display Houseplants

Lining the hallway with greenery brings color, life, and a dose of nature indoors. Set a trailing pothos in a hanging planter as an air-purifying accent. Place tall bamboo in woven baskets for an exotic vibe. Cluster smaller succulents on wall-mounted floating shelves. Leafy plants make a welcoming impression while softening hard surfaces. Remember to provide adequate lighting for healthy growth.

Now that you have ideas for transforming a lackluster hallway into a stylish passageway, it’s time to start planning your upgrades. Just take it step-by-step to match your time and budget. Even small touches can make a noticeable difference in improving first impressions. Soon you’ll have a hallway space you can’t wait to show off!

Frequently Asked Questions About Dressing Up a Drab Hallway

What color should I paint my drab hallway?

Some eye-catching paint colors to consider for a dreary hallway include deep teal, emerald green, navy blue, burnt orange, rich red, sophisticated gray, or calming blue-green. Go a few shades darker or more saturated than you usually would for maximum impact.

What flooring works best in hallways?

Durable and easy-to-clean vinyl, laminate, or engineered hardwoods are good flooring options for high-traffic hallways. Or opt for decorative concrete, marmoleum, or linoleum in fun patterns. Area rugs layered over existing floors add softness underfoot.

How do you make a narrow hallway look wider?

Using reflective surfaces like mirrors or glossy paint can visually expand a cramped hallway. Hang a mirror across from a window to reflect light. Paint stripes on the lower half of walls for a lengthening effect. Bright overhead lighting also makes hallways appear more open.

What can I put on the walls in my hallway?

Hang artwork, wallpaper, photos, or decorative mirrors. Install reclaimed wood planks, shiplap or textured wall panels. Use vinyl decals for affordable accent walls with geometric patterns or faux finishes. Floating shelves display cherished objects and plants in style.

How do you make a hallway more inviting?

A welcoming hallway starts with lighting – install fixtures like pendant lamps or sconces for ambiance. Cozy furnishings like benches allow you to sit while putting on shoes. Fresh flowers, plants, and art bring life. Keep coats, shoes, and clutter organized and out of sight.

Should you hang art in hallways?

Absolutely! Art galleries make for interesting hallways. Hang artwork at eye level or higher so it is readily visible. Go for large-scale pieces, bold prints, oversized photography, or a salon-style arrangement of mismatched frames. Light it properly with track lighting or picture lights.

What type of rug is best for high traffic hallways?

For hallways that see a lot of foot traffic, natural fiber rugs like wool, jute, sisal, or seagrass are quite durable. Search for ones with low pile heights. Adding a grippy rug pad helps them stay in place. Patterned designs hide dirt better than solids.

How do you decorate a long empty hallway?

Long empty hallways beg to be filled with eye-catching displays. Hang art in groupings for visual impact. Set up console tables punctuated with sculptures or floral arrangements. Line the walls with floating ledges to display photos and favorite objects. Position mirrors near entryways to reflect natural light down the hall.


Transforming a dull, dated hallway into a stylish space you love coming home to is extremely rewarding. With creative upgrades like mood lighting, bold artwork, collections displays, plant installations, cozy rugs, and fresh paint and trim, you can turn a humdrum entry into an inviting focal point. Revitalize small sections gradually if needed, while keeping an eye on the overall vision. Soon you’ll have a hallway space that impressively welcomes visitors and enhances your home’s aesthetics.