Project Hallway

Image source: Pinterest

Ah, the hallway. Not really a room is it? More of a busy thoroughfare. Every day we pound through it – scooters, shoes and coats are scattered to the wind. I rarely stop to notice our hallway, except to think good grief these walls are filthy. 

It’s sad to think of your hall this way. It should be a happy gateway into your home. 

Our hall is dark and dingy. There’s no escaping it. It has no natural light of its own. It’s not ideal, but it’s very typical of an old Edwardian house. When we moved into our home five years ago it had been freshly decorated and carpeted. A few years ago we ditched the impractical carpet for hard flooring, but other than that we’ve changed nothing. It’s boring, and it doesn’t reflect our personality at all.

A dark narrow hallway

My hall

The paint is a special shade of dingy cream and is covered with all sorts of finger prints and dirty marks which I don’t care to examine too closely. There’s also still the remains of an exploded bottle of bubble bath down one wall (don’t ask).

What do I want?  I’d like to open my front door and smile rather than sigh. I’d like it to be bright, light and witty. As the hall is very narrow, furniture isn’t an option. So I need to create a happy, bright feeling through just the walls and lighting.

The walls. I’d love to have a bright, cheerful wallpaper in the hall, but it simply isn’t practical with small boys. Instead, I want to choose a good light reflective colour in a strong, endurance paint (which can be scrubbed down and endure the rigours of family life). I’m currently favouring brilliant white – but I’m also open to a soft, pearly blue-grey. I love the purity of white in the hall pictured below and would like to achieve the same effect:

Image source: Pinterest

Lighting. We currently have that classic terraced house staple: the single dim pendant light. The light it gives off is pathetic. Instead, we’d like to switch to LED downlights along the length of the hall. I’m a real convert to LEDs – they cost a bit more, but last so much longer than anything else. Plus, the light quality is infinitely superior to dingy, low-energy lightbulbs. Light Supplier has a great range of different options.

Picture source: Pinterest

Photos and art. This is the fun part. Once I’ve created a light bright canvas, I want to bring my hall to life with colourful photos and art. I have some large prints already framed, but I’m gathering more. The more the merrier.

Image source: Pinterest

When you have a big space to fill on a limited budget try framing sheets of interesting wrapping paper. I love the designs by Cavallini & Co. They’re usually about £3 each and they look way too good to just use as wrapping! I particularly love this shell wrap which is available here.

I’m about to get the decorators booked in. I’m so excited. Do you have a dark hallway too? I’d love your advice before I get started! 

This post was written in collaboration with Light Supplier, but all thoughts and words and my own. 

Home Etc


  1. February 8, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    Our hall is similar to your but a bit wider and has natural light from the window in the door. Painting the walls a very pale grey and painting the stairs white immediately made it brighter and feel wider. A mirror helped with the brightness too.
    In our bathroom LEDs in the ceiling made a massive difference to the brightness. We used to have a single bulb in there.
    You inspiration from Pinterest is gorgeous. I’m sure you’ll end up with a beautiful space.

    • marmaladepie
      February 9, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Thanks! I really must get a mirror – maybe switching to a more interesting stair carpet would help too? x

  2. February 8, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    They are funny spaces, so tiny but you want them to look lovely as they are the entrance to your home.

    I would definately go with Valspar paint, it costs a tiny bit more but my god is it hard weraing, I am a total convert.

    Also I would paint your door on the inside a pretty colour like your first source image. That would look gorgeous.

    I agree wrapping paper is a great idea and even maybe make a few pieces yourself.

    #homeetc xx

    • marmaladepie
      February 9, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Great idea about the door – it would certainly cheer things up. Thanks for the tip about Valspar!

  3. February 9, 2017 / 11:05 am

    We plan to redecorate our hallway this year so I enjoyed this post and some of the inspiring hall pics! I’d say you need to keep it light and bright – as Fionnu says a mirror would be ideal and lots of pale colour on the walls. Looking forward to the decoration updates! #HomeEtc

    • marmaladepie
      February 9, 2017 / 8:34 pm

      Oh yes, a mirror is definitely a must! x

  4. February 9, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    My hallway is really dark and we went for light grey and yellow on the walls. Sadly it just always looked horrendous!! Toddler life, eh? We’ve recently painted it a very dark green and it just suits the room so much better. We’ve sort of just embraced the dark I guess – and it shows lots less marks 😉

    Good luck whatever you pick!


  5. Julia
    February 9, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    We decorated our hallway last year and went for a grey on our walls. Previously we’ve had yellow and cream both show up finger prints etc , the grey is working brilliantly and goes with our natural wood skirting and bannister.

    • marmaladepie
      February 9, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Thanks Julia! x

  6. February 9, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Fab idea about framing wrapping paper! Might have to steal that one 😉

  7. February 10, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Hi Lizzie, great post! I’m excited about your proposed makeover. Isn’t it amazing what a lick of paint and good lighting can do. I do love Edwardian Hallways, though. Look at that lovely high ceiling and curved wall. We have a newish home but it’s double fronted with a wider hallway…It still needs light walls and white woodwork and downlighters to brighten it up.

    Great Pinterest choices. Have pinned them. #HOMEETC

    • marmaladepie
      February 17, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Thanks Jane! I do loved the curved wall – one of my favourite features! x

  8. February 12, 2017 / 7:39 am

    These are lovely ideas. I want to make more of our hallway as its actually a fairly good size, I would like a console table but I can’t decide on one. I really want to paint it but one of the walls goes right up to the top of the house so I think we would need to get someone in to do it for us. x

    • marmaladepie
      February 17, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Hi Caroline – yes, we definitely need help to paint it as it’s so high. A good place to look for a console table would be an auction or antique shop – you’ll get something really nice for much less money!

  9. February 13, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Sounds very exciting! I love hallways and think they can really set the tone for the whole house! Cannot wait to hear more 🙂 Thanks for linking up & sharing – Jess xx


  10. February 14, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    We have NO hallway!!! I envy yours!! We have — I think what can only be described as ‘a vestibule’!! LOL! I’d go dark, if that were my hallway. Embrace the dinge and make a feature of it! Thanks so linking up lovely xx #HomeEtc

    • marmaladepie
      February 17, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      I am tempted by this! Although I just can’t get beyond the vision of clean, white walls with lots of pictures. I was so happy to have a hall when we moved here – in our old house our front door opened straight into the living room which I hated! x

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