If your home includes one or more upstairs hallways, you may want to consider adding a fresh coat of paint in a vibrant color to breathe life into the often-overlooked area. Upstairs hallways are considered passageways to a destination, which is usually an adjoining room. Define the space with a fresh color palette that encourages family members to slow down and enjoy the journey.

Start at the Top

Prior to painting your upstairs hallway, examine the condition of the ceilings and apply a fresh coat of ceiling paint to give your project maximum impact. Consider a tinted ceiling paint color that complements your new wall color, if there is enough light in the hallway; otherwise, stick with a white ceiling to brighten the space. Use a mild wood-soap solution on your wood moldings and doors to reveal problem areas that require a paint touch-up, or select a new trim color that will enhance your vibrant wall color, such as vanilla semigloss trim with lime green walls in an eggshell finish.

Warm and Cool Color Choices

Determine the type of natural light exposure your upstairs hallway receives to maximize the benefits of either a warm or cool vibrant color. If your hall receives cool, northern light exposure, warm things up a bit with a color such as tangerine orange, parrot green or lemon yellow. Alternatively, to promote the cool light that is present in a north-facing hallway, consider cool color choices such as violet or opal blue. A southern-exposed hallway may benefit from a cool-down, especially in warm climates. Consider the cooling effects of colors such as Nile blue or Concord grape for a vibrant color splash in your upstairs hallway.

Connecting the Dots

A vibrant wall color change requires planning ahead. Don’t paint yourself into a color choice corner at the last minute. Hallways should create a unified feeing. Avoid chopping up the area with multiple wall colors; instead, opt to work exclusively with one vibrant color that links the adjoining rooms with a common color. Extend an invitation from the adjoining rooms to your vibrant hallway color by placing accents such as pillows, valances, bedspreads and bath towels in the room. For instance, welcome a vibrant shade of iguana green into a bedroom with jungle-inspired bedding and valances. For a feminine touch, study the vibrant colors found in lipstick and eye color for inspiration to reveal vibrant choices such as aubergine and mulberry.

Considerations When Changing Paint Colors

To create a vibrant mood in your upstairs hallway, focus on the walls. The moldings, doors and wood frames connect to other rooms and elements that are common to an upper hallway, including the staircase components, and should flow easily. If necessary, install a piece of flat wood molding to separate your hallway color where it meets up with your downstairs color at the top of the stairs, particularly when there isn’t an obvious corner to transition between two wall colors. Avoid alienating your hallway with conflicting color schemes in adjoining rooms. Instead, consider working with a jazzed-up version of your existing colors. For example, if your adjoining rooms feature a soft, creamy beige or yellow color, consider colors such as saffron or mustard for a complementary, vibrant color extension in the hall.