Kelly Hoppen's genius idea for painting narrow hallways – to make the space feel bigger

The interior design expert shares her paint trick for making a narrow hallway feel more inviting

The queen of interiors, Kelly Hoppen, appeared on This Morning this week to aid viewers with their decor dilemmas. This week's interior problem solver tackled painting narrow hallways.

Related: 10 unmissable interior design tips – for making a house a home

One caller was Lucy, who asked 'How can I spruce up my boring hallway?'. The answer was simple, according to Kelly Hoppen's interior design advice - she should paint half the wall in an alternative colour.

And here's why...

Kelly Hoppen's advice: painting narrow hallways

hallway with white walls and mirror on walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Lucy's narrow, all-white hallway offered a blank canvas for Kelly Hoppen to showcase her talent for interior design.

When shown a video of Lucy's stark white hallway Kelly is quick to respond 'It's an incredible space. But the problem you've got is that it is very narrow.' 'I think you should choose a colour, it can be any colour that you love. And paint along the hallway but only to your waist level' Kelly expertly advises. 'So you're painting one colour, say it could be purple, it could be beige, it could be grey' she suggests.

Going on to explain the theory behind why you only paint half the wall in a narrow space. 'By doing that you're framing it (the space).' This smart use of colour helps to break up a solid corridor of wall, creating a Trompe-l'œil style optical illusion of interest that can give a different perspective.

hallway with brown door and white walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Kelly goes on to suggest how Lucy should style the space, after using her smart paint idea. 'I would put some pictures, just above the waist line all the way along' Kelly says, talking about the full length of the hallway or corridor space. 'It can be pictures of your family, all along one side. You'll see that that will make it more welcoming, and a lot more cosy by just doing half the height of the way painted in one colour'.

Great idea agree both Phillip and Holly.

More great advice: Kelly Hoppen explains what NOT to do when decorating a new-build home

So you now know what to do if your narrow hallway needs a new look. Get the Frogtape ready to section half the wall, ready for painting


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.