Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Even the narrowest of hallways can be beautified with intense, bright, dazzling, and unusual colors as well as extravagant pattern wallpapers, and the pattern size and type don't necessarily play a huge role when using it on just a feature wall. For instance, the area with the coat-hanger, perhaps a storage bench, and a mirror can be adorned with just a few strips of wallpaper. On a feature wall, the colors can be fairly dark, too, but they should simply be a pleasing contrast to the rest of the space. In terms of pattern motifs, there is no limit to your choice: baroque ornaments, leaves, petals, flowers, graphic elements, objects, animals. people and abstract images are all possible.
Another increasingly popular variation is putting up a patterned wallpaper on just one wall, whilst using a one-coloured type on the other walls (or just painting them). This method distracts the eye from the narrowness of the hallway and lends it more depth and structure. But some thought is required to make this concept a success. Should it be the left or the right wall of the hall? Don't rely on the principle of chance. The feature wall should not have a door and some daylight would be beneficial. A wall that goes around a corner or has some angles shouldn't present a problem.
Here are some wallpaper patterns and colours that are particularly suitable in terms of providing contrast:
Material imitations of wood, stone, marble, ceramics or tiles in warm matching colours of subtle shading of brown, red, grey and white hues
Abstract patterns, modern ornaments, retro patterns, stylised flowers which turn the feature wall into a mural; bright colours are also great
Patterned wallpapers with printed picture frames to add your own photos or drawings etc.; various interesting objects
Landscapes and romantic motifs, e.g. abstract tree shapes or a magic forest, in light or dark colours that contrast with the other walls
Additional tips to make a narrow corridor look larger
In addition to applying design pattern wallpaper to walls and ceilings, there are a few other factors that will make a narrow hall looks larger and make it feel cosier:
Light-coloured flooring - the choice of flooring is of course up to you, but it would be preferable to select lighter shades and avoid dark colours or strong patterns in carpets etc. If the flooring is dark and cannot be removed very easily, a long runner rug in light single colours can provide some visual interest. Modern, dirt-repellent and easy-care rugs and runners allow you to choose light colours, even for a busy area like the hall.
In terms of furnishings, less is more. It's never a good idea to squeeze in too many chests-of-drawers, coat-hangers and other bits of furniture. Instead, choose some practical storage solutions, preferably not too deep, to avoid making the hallway even narrower. Open wardrobes with a chaotic array of coats and jackets take up too much room; a wardrobe with doors will solve this problem and make the hallway look tidy.
Long and high mirrors add visual space to the hallway - and they obviously have a very practical use, too!
Large decorative objects or pictures aren't advisable additions. Avoid dust traps, large pictures and paintings as they can't be seen properly in narrow corridors due to a lack of viewing distance. Instead, hang several medium-sized pictures in straight lines. Make sure they don't clash with the wallpaper colour and pattern.
Optimum lighting - a windowless hallway needs appropriate light even during the day. Long, straight or wave-shaped ceiling lights or spotlights built into the ceiling, slim wall lights or halogen lamps along the walls are all suitable. A geometric form design with clear lines should take preference over large chandeliers.
Dark wooden doors, often found in old buildings, can be overpowering and make narrow corridors look even smaller. If the doors are in a reasonable state, they can be painted in fresh new colours and become a nice addition to the hallway space. If the old doors have to be replaced, glass doors are the obvious solution as they let some light into the hallway.
And finally: make sure the hallway is always tidy, as clutter and mess make any space looks smaller and narrower.