Hallway transformation: from dark corridor to characterful space

Living in London, space is always a challenge, and while the flat is spacious for a one bedroom, it’s still on the diminutive side. With just four main rooms, it was really important to me to make the hallway a room in its own right, somewhere that had its own look and character but also tied the different rooms together rather than just being a route to one of the main rooms.

The main hallway space as you enter the flat is lacking in light, but brightens as you head towards the back of the flat.


With the floor stripped and waxed as the first job when we moved in, the backdrop of the space is modern and fresh, painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White. While there are obviously hundreds of different neutral shades that could be used and considered ‘white’, All White by Farrow & Ball is ‘as it says on the tin’ and has no other pigment in it apart from white, so the colour is true. I went for this to make the hallway feel very fresh and clean and to act as a crisp backdrop to the two main other colours used – a bold, high saturation yellow and dramatic deep blue. Using white in a space means there is no competition with any of the architectural detailing, and the hallway has some lovely quirks of different levels and angles which I really love and wanted to accentuate.



Against a fresh white backdrop, I’ve had a bit of fun with colour and used a bold, zingy, yellow with Little Greene’s Mister David. Yellow is a great colour for dark hallways – highly saturated colours look better in lower light levels and the hue brings some sunshine to the space – I also love it as a colour, so I was really keen to use a shade of it here. The hallway walls framing the bathroom and kitchen space showcase the full depth of the yellow, a colour which is teased in the first half of the hallway with a little block of it used to accentuate a quirk of the architecture and make a bright, curious feature which then carries on throughout the rest of the space. Using this colour has really helped transform the hallway from what was a dull, dark corridor into a vibrant, modern and fun space that ties the other rooms together into one scheme.


In a small space, good storage is key. An existing cupboard by the front door (seen in the mirror reflection) was painted in Stiffkey Blue to tie into the living room it sits next to, while leather strap handles turn some cheap slatted wood doors into a modern, stylish feature. This colour is used again on a newly fitted bespoke unit further down the hallway.

An update on a traditional dresser, we had this built to house some valuable cupboard space and to create three large display areas to make the hallway a showcase of some of the bits and pieces we’ve collected, along with an overflow of cookbooks. While not the original intention, it’s also become a bar space – who doesn’t want one of those?! Made bespoke in spray painted MDF, it has a subtle sheen to bounce light from the hallway window and help the dark space feel more alive. On a sunny day, the light pokes through from the living room at the front to give the hallways some lovely natural light.

The colour accents are tied into a bit of upcycling with the hallway mirror, using something left by the previous owner to create a clean and modernist mirror which ties the two ends of the hallway together using Stiffkey Blue, along with a small cheeky accent of yellow to lead you into the yellow framing around the doors to the kitchen and bathroom.

With a love of all things Eames, the iconic ‘Hang it All’ brings some of the colours together and delivers plenty of character to this eclectic little corner of the hallway.

Further up the hallway, artwork reflects the vibrant colour palette with these framed front covers of Noble Rot magazine. These high saturation pops of colour against the white is a nice reflection of the whole hallway, and teases the colours seen in the rest of the flat.

It might be the ‘room’ you spend the least time hanging out in, but for me it’s one of the most important spaces to get right. It can be a place to tie the whole scheme of a house together, and is the first and last place you see, so make it one you enjoy!

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