What Colour To Paint Hallway With No Windows?

What Colour To Paint Hallway With No Windows
Image credit: Annie Sloan

Dark narrow hallways are notoriously tricky to tackle when it comes to decorating, and hallways without windows make that task of making a hallway feel much brighter, lighter and more open a little more difficult.

That’s when we need to rely on the power of paint even more. Pick the wrong colour and your hallway will feel ever darker and smaller.

What colour to paint hallway with no windows is a commonly asked question, for terrace houses and beyond, a hallway with no windows is a very common sticking point.

So, I’m going to share what considerations you need to make when choosing paint, the undertones you need to look for, and what paint is going to make your hallway with no windows look brighter, lighter and more welcoming.

What Colour To Paint Hallway With No Windows?

Generally speaking, you can treat a hallway with no windows like a North facing room, it’s going to receive little to no natural sunlight (unless there is a door to a light room nearby), and any light that does come in is likely to be cold.

A bright white is the worst thing you can do here, it is NOT going to make your hallway feel brighter or lighter, in fact it’s going to make it feel flatter, and darker.

Why? Bright white paint can only bounce around what light it has available, which in this case is none, so the result is a flat, uninspiring finish.

White is not off the cards completely, you just need to select whites with the right undertones that are going to ignite some warmth in the hallway.

Choose Whites With Yellow or Pink/Red Undertones

When choosing an off-white always look for whites with yellow, pink or red undertones.

These shades will help to counteract any blue light that’s associated with dark spaces, and most importantly, they will bring warmth and colour into a hallway with no windows.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on some of the best shades, check out these Dulux shades I recommend and Farrow and Ball shades that work well in North facing spaces, the same rule applies here.

hallway with no windows
Image credit: Original BTC

Choose Warm, Colourful Shades

It goes without saying that dark shades should be avoided in a hallway with no windows, unless it’s something you particularly want to lean into.

If you do want to create a bright and warmer invitation into your home, opt for warm, colourful shades such as yellow, green, red and pink.

Avoid grey based colours, they’ll make the hallway feel even colder, and uninviting.

red hallway
Image credit: Earthborn

Paint Your Doors In A Different Colour

A great way to introduce another colour and warmth into a hallway with no windows is by painting your doors throughout your home in an accent colour.

This will contrast with your chosen colour, and bring a sense of brightness with it.

If you opt for an off-white with pink undertones, you might choose a pink shade for your doors, or if you have an off-white with yellow undertones you might want to use a sage green on your doors.

It’s also going to help deliver additional visual interest and help build on that inviting presence you want to deliver in a hallway.

pink hallway
Image credit: Annie Sloan

However, there is going to be some exceptions to these rules.

For example, we have a terrace hallway with no windows YET, we have a door that directly leads into our South Westerly facing living room.

Now, this room gets bathed in swathes of natural light from early afternoon into the evening which means our hallway actually gets a lot of gorgeous light, in fact it’s not dark at all.

If you have a hallway that benefits from a lot of indirect natural light, you don’t have to follow the same rule book of colours.

You have the flexibility to introduce darker colours into the equation if you like, or even focus on cooler tones such as sage green and soft blues.

You’ll notice that we actually went for a white in our hallway to make there most of that natural light, with sage green on our internal doors for visual interest.

narrow hallway ideas

How Else Can You Make a Hallway With No Windows Feel Brighter?

There are SO many other tips and tricks you can utilise in a hallway with no windows that are going to help make your hallway feel more open.

Paint does have a huge impact as it takes up a big expanse of a hallway, but decoration and styling is just as important where every inch of light matters.

Introduce A Mirror

Adding a mirror is one of the greatest design tricks in the book.

The simple art of hanging a mirror can make a space feel larger, and it will bounce around what available light there is in the hallway.

If you have a door leading off from your hallway into another room, position a mirror near the direct path of any light from that room as it will make the room feel brighter too.

Think about scale.

Don’t get a mirror that’s too small as it will look inferior in the space and make your hallway feel even smaller, and don’t be afraid to go larger and affix it to your wall, or above a console table, the vertical hanging will make the ceiling feel taller.

mirror hallway

Change Your Front Door

Now, if you don’t have a window in your hallway and no access to additional light from another room, your front door needs to have some kind of windows.

This is going to be the easiest way to steal light into your hallway, and it will go some way at resolving the issue of no natural light.

There are hundreds of different varieties of front doors on the market with windows which aren’t just UPVC based.

I really like a traditional door like this and adding some reeded glass film provides an on-trend appeal, yet offers that all important privacy that’s needed behind closed doors, whilst still allowing swathes of natural light to enter the hallway. Gorgeous!

glass windows front door
Image credit: Purlfrost

Avoid Bulky Furniture

Adding large, bulky furniture to a small, dark hallway is just asking for trouble.

If you have to question whether something is too big for the space, it’s probably because it is. Having a good flow in a hallway is so important, so minimal furniture or nifty storage solutions is all that should be employed in a hallway with no windows.

Bulky furniture will take up space, light and it will affect traffic flow through a hallway. If you’re desperate for a console table, try looking for narrow console tables, radiator covers or simply affix a plank of wood to your wall for additional storage that doesn’t eat into your floor space.

narrow hallway storage

Choose The Right Lighting

We’ve spoken about natural light, but what about artificial light in a dark space with no windows?

Getting the right lighting becomes even more important here.

Firstly, you’re going to need to layer your lighting, i.e you’ll want more than one light source. So, this could be an overhead pendant light which is classed as general lighting and then an accent light such as a floor or table lamp for some ambient lighting.

When choosing your pendant light there are a number of considerations to think about, material is important.

Material such as glass and rattan are general best as they’ll continue to disperse and reflect light throughout the day, and they won’t inhibit light like some enamel pendant lights can.

You might want to check out the following post for more information on choosing the best types of pendant lights for dark hallways.

11 Hallway Pendant Light Ideas For Narrow Hallways

hallway pendant lights

If you have any more questions or need any advice about the right colours for your hallway, please leave me a comment below and I’ll come straight back!

Before You Go…

Perhaps, you’re also looking for some tips on how to make your space feel more open than just giving it a fresh lick of paint. I share my exact narrow hallway transformation, along with actionable tips you can make in your own hallway…

How To Lighten A Dark Narrow Hallway

Photo of author


Nicole Sage

Nicole Sage is the founder of Sleek-chic Interiors and is a highly experienced interiors writer and skilled home renovator who has a passion for all things design. She has been featured as an authority at Pinterest, Ideal Home, Daily Mail and in countless other interviews. For 8 years, Nicole has written, observed key interior trends, renovated and undertaken interior short courses at the renown KLC school where she has gained her grounding interior design principles. With a keen eye for detail and a love of creativity, she shares her expertise on the latest interior trends, practical DIY tutorials, and styling inspiration to help others transform their homes into stunning spaces. With a commitment to delivering informative and engaging content, Nicole inspires and empowers readers to explore their own unique sense of style and create beautiful, personalised interiors. Contact her at hello@sleek-chic.co.uk for interiors advice, colour questions and any commentary.

2 thoughts on “What Colour To Paint Hallway With No Windows?”

  1. Hello Nicole! What would you do with a long hallway with pine walls, no natural light at all. The pine was stained when it was built and has that dark orangey tint to it. It is dark, uninviting and cold. I need help!


Leave a Comment