How Wide is a Hallway Supposed to Be?

If you’re lucky enough to have the choice to build your own home, there will come a time when you’re going to find yourself wondering, “How wide is a hallway supposed to be?”

You don’t want them to be so narrow that you end up feeling claustrophobic. There are minimum standards for the sizes of hallways, but if you prefer your hallways to feel like large walkways in the mothership that is your home, then you should consider the following tips:

  • Never settle for a size that is below the minimum standard for hallway sizes
  • Consider all the things you may have to pass through this hallway
  • Don’t forget how you would prefer to navigate around your house

Stay Above the Minimum Standard

How wide is a hallway ‘supposed’ to be? The minimum standard size for a hallway stands at 36-inches wide. Even though some people will argue that hallways should at least measure up to 42-inches to feel a little comfortable. Both of these can easily be supported with their own arguments. But at least one thing is clear: you shouldn’t go below 36-inches.

How Wide is a Hallway Supposed to Be?

Some people say that 36-inches may already feel like you’re walking through a tube of sorts. Therefore, going below this will be perceived as claustrophobic – even if you’re used to a small apartment. Still, if you’re planning on sticking to this minimum standard, then we’d highly recommend raising the height of the ceiling.

Think About How You Are Going to Be Using the Hallways

If you’re planning on using these hallways like a passage, then a narrower hallway should be just fine. You could choose to spice things up by sprinkling a few decorations along these walkways in the form of console tables or wall décors.

However, if you are going to use this hallway for something more than a walkway, then you should consider adding some more width. This should be the case if you’re thinking about placing storage cupboards or furniture along your hallways.

Consider How You’re Going to Navigate Around Your Home

Typically, hallways lack natural light and are usually lit up from the second-hand light from the door you open to walk into the hallway. Depending on how much you plan on investing in artificial light, it can be a challenge to make it larger.

For instance, when long hallways are shaped oddly, such as the ‘L-shaped’ hallways, you might have some trouble moving large furniture or adding artificial light in a manner that you don’t disturb the ambiance in other areas of your home.

The following are just some strategies on how you can make your hallways look cozier or wider than they actually are:

1. Add Horizontal Stripe Wallpapers

To make a narrow corridor seem shorter or wider, you should learn how to manipulate and distract the eyes of visitors. Have you noticed that before we begin to walk through long hallways, our eyes automatically start following their length? This reflex action makes the space seem a lot narrower than it really is. However, there are methods of manipulating this railroad effect once and for all.

If you have a very narrow hallway, we recommend adding horizontal stripe wallpapers to make it seem more spacious or wider. It isn’t necessary to have well-divided or geometrical horizontal lines. Having wave-like or organic lines will have the same effect.

2. Divide Different Parts of the Wall

This particular strategy tends to work better if you have some plants or shelves dividing the walls along your hallways. For instance, you could have groups of picture frames that will count as one section and perhaps a larger abstract poster on another wall to create another section.

The significance of these sections is that they will be treated as separate walls altogether. This kind of design helps in dividing or framing long hallways that are longer than usual.

Another tried-and-tested method is to separate hallways with the help of a curtain. If this sounds like a good idea, then you will have to invest in ceiling-mounted curtain rods that will be placed with hallway openings or doors. We recommend beaded curtains because they add to the decoration and don’t dramatically change the vastness of the hallways.

3. Scale Decorations Appropriately


Pictures and artwork along your walls should be scaled based on the size of your hallways. As a general rule of thumb, you should stick with smaller pictures for small hallways or smaller decoration pieces such as small plants.

On the other hand, larger art prints and posters are the way to go if you have a large corridor since they will provide more room to stand and admire these works of art.

Also, you may be wondering whether these decoration pieces should be kept at eye-level or otherwise. Well, this is a matter of opinion, and the only thing you need to know is that the standard for eye levels is approximately 62-inches.

4. Dress-Up Your Walls

Among the easiest ways of decorating your walls is to use wallpaper, wall paneling, or murals. For instance, nowadays, people are really liking wave-like lines that have a reflective quality along the walls to two-tone their walkways and to make them seem more spacious.

When it comes to wall paint, we will highly recommend warm colors, since they are known for drawing the onlookers’ eyes forward. However, if, instead, you prefer cooler colors, it would be best to choose bright colors so that they do not recede visually. Another great option is high-gloss paint since it has reflective qualities and always makes hallways seem larger than they really are.

Our Final Thoughts

And with that, we really hope that you now know “How wide is a hallway supposed to be.” In fact, we hope that our answers and tips have inspired the design of your home and its glorious hallways.

If you have any questions or comments that could add value to whatever we have shared in this post, we’d like to hear from you in our comments section below.