My roommate and I live in a typical San Francisco apartment where the rooms build off of one side of a long hallway. We don't have good natural light in that hallway, and the ceilings are probably 18 ft. (that's a guess).
My question is, what is a good color to paint the hallway? We both agree it needs something to spice it up. I'm not afraid of bold color (the walls in my last room were coral and pink!), but I don't know if maybe a darker color would be better to make the ceilings seem less tall and the hallway less long. I'm just concerned with the lack of natural lighting.
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I, too, once lived in an old Victorian apartment that had a long, boring hall that ran the length of the space. I hated traversing the length of it when I first moved in, since it just seemed so stark and dark and dull. Here's what I did to spice it up. I think that these solutions might work for you as well.
First, I'd suggest painting the hall ceiling white, which will bring instant brightness to the hall. While I'm a fan of bold colors myself (my bedroom is a bright blue), darker bold colors may make the room look a bit dreary. Instead, consider light and bright colors on the walls, such as a goldenrod yellow or a tangerine orange. Any warm color that isn't too heavily pigmented will bring life to the walls. Also, make sure to use either an eggshell or semigloss finish, which will both resist dirt and bounce light off its surface.
Finally, don't stop once the paint is dry! To distract from those statuesque ceilings, hang framed art prints or beloved photographs at eye level down the length of the hall. Finally, dress up the floors with a long runner rug that complements the color of your walls.
Good luck, and I hope this helps you improve that dreary hallway.