Reader SOS – How Do I Decorate a Long Hallway?

I’m back with another “DIY Playbook, Save our Space”. My plan for this series is to take a reader’s space and (virtually) offer design tips and tricks on how to improve it.

Here are some of my favorite design solutions from this series…

How Do I Decorate a Hallway?

Today’s design dilemma comes from Stef. She purchased her home last year and is unsure about what to do with her long hallway. As you’ll soon see, she has a very long span of wall from her front door all the way to the back of her home. It’s prime real estate to do something really beautiful. Let’s take a look at her submission…

Stef’s Design Dilemma

Reader SOS long hallway design dilemma

Since we purchased our home, I have been staring at this never-ending hallway wall. It is so large and intimidating. My vision for my home is a place that’s warm, cozy, and inviting. I love to use neutral colors as a base so that it’s easy to swap out decor and decorate for the holidays. 

How do I decorate a long hallway?

My idea for this particular area is to be able to place photos on these walls but to do it in a way that doesn’t look cluttered. I love the idea of a symmetrical gallery wall and have thought about doing a couple of 9 photo sections down the long hall wall, but am not sure what to use to separate the different galleries. The furniture that is currently in the hallway is not permanent and can be removed or relocated within the hall. 

How to decorate a long hallway

As you may be able to tell from the photos, the lighting in our home is awful. Because of that, I want to make sure we keep everything as light and bright as possible.

Long Hallway Design – The Gameplan

I love this submission because this is a dilemma that many of us face in our homes. What do you put on your walls so that your home feels cozy and inviting, but not too cluttered? And what do you do when you have a lot of walls to cover? Here’s what I suggest…

  • Add an entryway console
  • Fill the long wall with six oversized frames
  • Add picture lights over the frames

The Entryway

Helping a reader with a design dilemma

When you take a look at Stef’s front door, you’ll see that at the very front of the house there isn’t much space for an entryway. Personally, I like having a spot to drop my keys, check myself out in a mirror, and be on my way. I’m not sure if the family comes and goes from this door very often, but when looking at her space, I found a good spot for some decorating…

The bench on the wall

I would move the bench to another area of the home. In that place, I would make an entryway “moment.”

I see that Stef already has a console on the next section of the wall, so I would move that to the bench wall instead. It feels a bit tight on that wall near the kitchen.

Entryway styling to decorate a hallway

Console Table // Table Lamp // Tree Basket // Olive Tree // Round Mirror // Blue Vase // Gold Bowl // Storage Basket

Above it, I would opt for a large round mirror. Then, I would add baskets underneath, a table lamp on top, which will add some of that lighting they need, a bowl for keys, and pretty decor. Since her current console won’t fill the entire 85″ wall, I would opt for a tall plant next to it to add some height and greenery!

Symmetrical Gallery Wall

Okay, onto the big issue at hand…how to decorate the hallway? At 29 feet, this is a very long wall! However, since we’re already creating the entryway area on the opposite wall, I wouldn’t even start to hang anything until you’re past that area, past the kitchen, and into the living room. I think that would make it much more manageable.

How to decorate a hallway
Photo via Jenna Sue Design

I’ve always loved the large gallery wall in Jenna Sue Design’s dining room. The oversized frames, black and white photos, and picture frame lights? So dreamy! I would recreate this look in Stef’s long hallway.

My best tips to decorate a hallway
Photo via Framebridge

I looked up a lot of various frames and products that might work for Stef. In the end, I found that this gallery wall set seemed to be the most cost-effective for the large space. It spans 108″ with six frames (each 34″), which takes up more than 1/3 of Stef’s large wall. You just upload your photos and it’s all printed and shipped right to you.

Frame It Easy also has some good picture frames available online if she wanted to look at various sizes. But, they don’t always include a mat or the photo printing. Oversized frames are not cheap and printing large photos is expensive too. However, with such a large space, oversized is the way to go. If Stef chose a bunch of small frames, they would look tiny and cluttered on her large walls.

Add Lighting

Stef mentioned that her home feels really dark. We already added a table lamp to the entryway table, which will definitely help. Then, I would add three picture lights over the frames! This would make it look high-end, while adding more light to the area. Since the frames are 34″ across, I’d opt for these picture frame lights that are 24″ wide.

I’d also consider replacing the “boob light” in the front area with something that emits more light, while adding some style to the space. I really like this beautiful fixture!

How to Decorate a Hallway – Sources

My best tips to decorate a hallway

Gallery Wall // Console Table // Picture Frame Light // Table Lamp // Tree Basket // Olive Tree // Round Mirror // Decorative Wood Bowl // Blue Vase // Gold Bowl // Storage Basket

As you can see, I chose black and gold for my two finishes in this space. Stef mentioned that she wants to keep things neutral, so you can’t go wrong with wood and wicker to warm things up. I hope Stef reports back sometime soon with the changes she makes. I’m excited to see this one come together!

Oh, and want to see me decorate a hallway? I’ll be sharing a hallway gallery wall on the blog next month. You’re gonna love it!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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