Small hallway ideas: 17 ways to make your hall feel bigger

Looking for small hallway ideas? We've got loads of tips on how to make the most of your space...

Small hallway ideas
(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If you're looking for some small hallway ideas, you've come to the right place. Designing a hallway can be a challenge at the best of times, but if yours is smaller than average, you'll need some clever tricks up your sleeve to make it feel as big and bright as possible – all while trying to cram in some stylish touches, of course. Use these clever design ideas for small hallways to help yourself think big.

You'll find even more inspiration with our hallway ideas.

1. Use narrow, made for purpose storage

Hallway storage units by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

Narrow shoe storage units with hinged drawers that tip out, are great ideas for narrow hallways, and the surface gives you somewhere to pop keys or post when you come through the front door. Two have been placed side by side for optimum storage opportunities. 

Find tons more hallway shoe storage ideas in our guide.

2. Create a broken-plan space in a small hallway

small hallway ideas: knocking down a wall. Ikea storage in an open plan hallway

(Image credit: Ikea)

We love this small hallway idea of partially removing the wall between the hallway and lounge, creating an open-plan feel, while still having wall space for coat and shoe storage.  

Want to give this whole open plan living thing a go? Find out everything you need to know about creating an open-plan layout in your home.

3. Think multi-purpose function and form in small hallway

Hallway with blackboard paint, by Kreis Design

(Image credit: Kreis Design)

Just because you have a small hallway, doesn’t mean it has to lack character. Paint a wall with blackboard paint to give you somewhere to write messages and reminders, use the space above doors to hang shelves for books, and hang a pegboard with a mixture of hooks and shelves, to provide a range of small storage options. 

If you want to try out this look, it's actually a really easy DIY jobbie. Just check out our guide to how to create a chalkboard wall, (spoiler: with chalk paint).

4. Easy small hallway idea? Choose a bench with storage

Hallway with a bench by Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Look for small hallway ideas to keep your space clutter free and organized: a selection of hooks, shelves and an umbrella stand positioned by the door will do. And, if space permits, a small bench will provide storage as well as giving you somewhere to perch when pulling on your shoes.

Find more hallway storage ideas in our buyer's guide.

5. Hang sliding or pocket doors

Sliding door in a hallway. Picture by Norsu

(Image credit: Norsu)

Unlike a standard hinged door that requires floor space to swing open, a sliding barn door takes up little more space than the thickness of the door. These sliding doors feature a very simple mechanism, which, if you’re a competent DIYer, are easy to install. Just be aware, because barn doors slide and hang to the side of the door, you will need to make sure you have wall space to slide the door across. 

6. Pick storage that fits your space (and needs)

Hallway storage by String

(Image credit: String)

Transform your hall into a welcoming entrance with multi functional modular furniture, which can be customized to work for your space. The system can accommodate a variety of different storage solutions, including hooks for coats, shoe racks, and a bowl shelf for your keys, which is made from felt to minimize noise.

7. Create a feeling of space with huge mirrors

Hallway with a mirror and back door by Brown Architects

(Image credit: Nigel Rigden)

Mirrors in narrow rooms are particularly effective, making the space feel almost twice its size. Have one made to measure so that it covers the whole wall (this will help the visual effect of lengthening and widening the space), and, where possible, place near a window to reflect light from outside. 

Find more hallway mirrors in our buyer's guide.

8. Use under stairs space for storage

Hallway storage in under stairs space by Avar Furniture

(Image credit: Avar Furniture)

Utilize the space under your stairs with built in storage cupboards. Pull-out storage drawers like these are a brilliant way of introducing lots of storage in your hallway and can be used to stash anything from cleaning equipment to coats, to children’s bikes and toys. 

Find tons more under stairs storage solutions in our guide.

9. Decorate for character (and to stretch space)

Hallway decorated in black and white by Trollsteinen Interior

(Image credit: Trollsteinen Interior)

Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t be striking. Check out @trollsteinen_interior's hallway: with bold stripes, painted in wide bands of black and white, which she’s teamed with a neat black bench and peg rail, and some lush green foliage, it's packed with character. Plus, the horizontal stripes make the room exaggerate the walls' proportions.

10. Don't forget good lighting for small hallways

Northern Sunday wall light, £164, Holloways of Ludlow

(Image credit: Holloways of Ludlow)

Small hallway ideas need to include good lighting: after all, you're going to spend a lot of time coming through that front door on dark evenings, and good lighting can help your space look its best. Ideally, choose a combination of lighting types: bright overhead downlights to create a feeling of daylight in otherwise dark hallways; characterful table lights for atmosphere only; and lights in skirting boards to light stair risers (and exaggerate the stairs' width). 

Find all our tips on lighting a hallway our guide.

11. Use lightening tricks to make your hallway brighter

hallway with light colour scheme and small console table and runner carpet by cormar carpets

(Image credit: Cormar Carpets)

Small hallway ideas should include brightening tricks – since hallways tend to be light-starved spaces. If yours lacks the natural light you need to make it feel as big and bright as possible, use all the tricks up your sleeve to lighten it – from hanging mirrors (tick) to choosing pale paint color schemes (tick) to picking pale flooring (tick) to shopping for slimline furniture that won't block light (tick). Browse the best hallway paint ideas in our gallery.

12. Use wallpaper to create visual tricks

Hanging wallpaper with a subtle stripe will exaggerate a hallway's proportions: choose a horizontal stripe to make it feel longer or wider; pick a vertical stripe to make the hallway seem taller. The Emilia from Sandberg takes its cue from Breton stripes and will complement a contemporary home with nautical accents. 

For more hallway wallpaper ideas, check out our feature.

Staircase with gallery wall

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

We know we bang on about gallery walls, but what's not to like: they're easy to create, add bags of character and take up no space. Plus, if you choose light-colored frames and prints, your hallway's proportions will be flattered.

Find how to create your own gallery wall

14. Replace heavy curtains with window film

hallway with white scheme and window film with floral design by the window film company

(Image credit: The Window Film Company)

Saving space and letting in light are the two must-dos when designing a small hallway. Window film is a super-affordable way to create instant privacy, but interest, too, without having to invest in window dressings. 

See more wonderful window film ideas in our design gallery.

15. Add in some sneaky book storage

Hallway door turned into a book case

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Didn't think you had room for any book storage in, say, a narrow hallway? Think again. This book shelf has been built into a door so it doesn't take up any extra space. We are sure you could DIY this kind of thing but if you aren't up for the challenge, a carpenter or joiner would be your best bet. 

Find more brilliant book storage ideas.

16. Small hallway ideas can be dark-toned

Monochrome hallway with white wooden staircase and a high ceiling

(Image credit: Future/Malcolm Menzies)

We know that we have probably said many a time that light, bright colors make a small space feel bigger, and, yes, while this might be true that doesn't mean you should shy away from darker hues. In fact, using a darker color can, in fact, disguise the limited dimensions of a room, making it appear larger. 

If going for an all dark color scheme sounds like too much of a bold step for you, why not copy this small hallway idea? Use dark paint below the dado rail and a brighter white on top. It will make the ceiling feel higher and the darker color is practical for hiding scuff marks, too. Choosing dark flooring will further blur those dimensions. 

Check out our feature on dark decorating ideas, for loads more inspiration. 

17. Reuse a chest of drawers under the stairs 

Ikea small hallway idea

(Image credit: Ikea)

If your small hallway is literally just a space under the stairs, then make the most of that area by adding a small chest of drawers. They look cute plus have plenty of storage, you could even put shoes in them. Add in some baskets and boxes for any extra clutter too and you could hang prints on the wall too to make it more of a feature. 

More ideas for your hallway: