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How can I make my long and dark front entrance feel welcoming?

By on May 17th
Use these tips to take your hallways from dark and dreary, to bright and happy.

Use these tips to take your hallways from dark and dreary, to bright and happy.

I need some help making my front entrance feel more inviting. My front door opens up into this narrow hallway that's nearly 20 feet long and only 3'7" across. The first five feet are tiled, but after that, it's all dim lighting, off-white carpeting, and a terrible taupe colour that continues on through the rest of the entire house. Currently there's a super-old pink rug down, but it's not helping the look of the hallway at all. Coming home after work most days, my first impressions of home is just blah, and I'm sure that's all guests feel too.

I'd love to make my entrance feel bright and more welcoming, but I've been struggling to find a good way. The home is a rental so I can't go knocking down walls, but painting is an option so long as it's easily covered. -Alexandra

Oof, you have a seriously long and dark hallway sitch going on. But lucky for you, I have some tips and tricks you can use to brighten it up and make your smile every time you walk through the door. Check out my "happy hallway entrance" inspiration board while I show you some tricks:

Light wall color

Ditch the wall color you don't like, and go with light paint color that you do like. Light colors fool the eye and will make your small space seem bigger. I recommend a light blue that'll remind you of wide open skies.

Light wall color and mirrors.

Light wall color and mirrors.


I see that you already have mirrors on your walls — good thinking. Mirrors bring in more light, and once again trick the eye into expanding small spaces. You can get creative with your mirrors like using these bird mirrors (pictured above). Imagine those guys "flying" all the way down your hallway. Or use framed mirrors, but make sure they come in light frames, like the Kichler mirror with the un-imposing swirly white frame. Or this round wall mirror with a polished frame. Or take mirrors you already have (or found at a thrift shop) and create frames, or spray paint already existing frames in light colors.

Hallway runner

Find a runner that is also light-colored. But not a solid light color, because that will show ALL the dirt that gets tracked in. Get something light but with a pattern. Like any of these:

Wall decor

Since it's such long and skinny space, a big repeating pattern may seem too imposing. But such a long stretch of space just begs for some kind of decoration. If you don't have mirrors on hand to hang, you could invest in a wall mural.

The Branches Wall Decal or the Tree Trunks and Colorful Birds decal feel like a perfect addition. Light in color, pretty, and it brings in a touch of nature to remind you of the spacious outdoors.


Front entryways can benefit a LOT by adding a hallway table. Those long skinny surfaces are great place to put your keys, leave notes for roommates, or place a vase full of flowers to instantly brighten up the space.

For super-small hallways, you want to use a mirrored hallway table, or one made of glass and metal, like this one.

What are YOUR tips for making long, dark hallway entrances lighter and brighter?

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