Hallway ideas: 14 ways to create a hallway design to impress

Check out these gorgeous hallway ideas to make the most of your smallest (but most seen) room in your house

Hallway ideas
(Image credit: Ikea)

Looking for stunning hallway ideas? Because we do tend to neglect our hallway design, don't we? You just trudge through it every day, sling off your shoes, throw the keys down, look in the mirror and say out loud, 'God I look tired', before heading straight to the sofa. 

But, if you think about it, hallways are the most seen, most used, space in our home, and it's the first place visitors see when they arrive. So let's give them the attention they deserve.

We have rounded up some gorgeous hallway decorating ideas below – from gorgeous but speedy fixes to whole room revamps. Keep scrolling to be inspired...

1. Stick to neutral hallway decor for a space-enhancing colour scheme

white scheme hallway with large front door and use of natural light

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Create the illusion of a bright, airy space if you are designing a small hallway by sticking to a neutral colour scheme. Maximise natural light with white walls, a large mirror and furniture that (almost) blends in to the rest of the scheme if you like the idea of a  spacious, minimalist inspired hallway design. Find more tips to lighten a dark hallway in our dedicated feature.

2. Pick a large repeat print for maximalist hallway designs

palm leaves wallpaper in hallway

Pattern matching with an adjacent room is a hallway decorating idea worth considering if you're looking to make a statement in your hallway. If you like the idea of an on-trend maximalist look, combine brightly coloured, patterned wallpaper with a hallway rug, lampshade and soft furnishings that are equally eye-catching. The trick to success is ensuring that, no matter how large the repeats patterns, the tones remain similar to keep a relaxed feel. 

3. Add depth to your hallway design with contrasting colours

grey and white toned minimalist hallway

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you want to add depth and interest to a hallway, consider interspersing dark shades amongst a lighter scheme. If you're worried about a dark colour overwhelming a narrow space, couple with a row of pendant or spotlights to create the illusion of a longer and lighter space. A deep sage green or grey are on-trend options that would work nicely.

We love this combination of the shades Cool Arbour, Grey Moss and Wood Ash, all from Little Greene. Find the best washable paints for hallways in our buyer's guide.

4. Inject colour with an accent feature

Painted stairs by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you like the idea of experimenting with bright colours but can't commit to an entire hallway, consider copying this hallway decorating idea and incorporate a happiness-inducing shade into your space with a bold accent feature. This might be a stylish runner, a colourful console table or just painted risers. 

Find inspiration and all you need to know about how to paint stairs in our guide.

5. Choose vintage wallpaper for a period feel

Hallway with orange wallpaper and black bannisters by Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Vintage-inspired wallpapers are a timeless addition to a period hallway design, particularly where natural light is in abundance. Perhaps surprisingly, intricate repeat-patterns can lead to a slightly more subtle finish than a larger print. 

6. Choose a stylish geometric floor for a contemporary hallway idea

geometric print floor in hallway with white stiarcase

(Image credit: Lifestyle Floors)

For a really stylish, contemporary hallway decorating idea, consider investing in on-trend geometric floor tiles. This clever design creates the illusion of space and complements an otherwise neutral colour scheme. Combine with Mid-century furniture if you don't want your hallway to feel overwhelmingly modern.

Find out how to choose the best hallway flooring in our practical guide.

7. Prioritise storage solutions

Ikea shoe racks, benches and coat hooks in a hallway

(Image credit: Ikea)

If the priority for your space is maximising functional hallway storage solutions, find options that are visually appealing as well as practical. A stylish hallway bench with shoe storage or an aesthetic coat stand are great examples. Style with house plants, artwork and a stylish runner. 

8. Create a unique look with bold patchwork tiles

personalise with pattern

Hardwearing and low-maintenance, tiles are the perfect solution for homes with heavy footfall. A patchwork tiled floor works equally effectively in contemporary homes as it does in period properties, particularly if paired with a cohesive colour scheme. To recreate this hallway decorating idea, choose a mis-matching combination of encaustic designs with a modern twist.

9. Create a focal point with striking hallway lighting

large hallway with dark wall and statement lighting by nedgis

(Image credit: Nedgis)

If you're blessed with high ceilings, create a striking focal point and add height to a room with stand-out hallway light fittings. If your style is more traditional, consider opting for a glass chandelier. However, the same effect will be achieved with something more contemporary – see more hallway lighting ideas.

10. Consider colour blocking for an on-trend hall decoration

Colour blocking in a hallway

(Image credit: B&Q)

Looking for colourful hallway decorating ideas? Colour blocking is one of those on-trend paint ideas that works effectively even in small spaces, elevating them from an often forgotten space to a spot that's unique and inviting. The key is not to be afraid of bold shades, but to choose tones that can compete equally. We love this combination of bright greens and the occasional pop of red.  

11. Choose a classic monochrome hallway decorating scheme

Black and white hallway with red floor tiles

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

You can't go wrong with a black and white hallway design – it's simple and elegant. With a monochrome scheme in a hallway, we say, the more white the better and just add touches of black here and there, as hallways tend to be darker spaces anyways and you don't want to enhance that by getting too happy with the black paint. Unless you like dark and atmospheric interiors, then by all means go ahead.  

For an effective hallway decorating idea try painting the banisters and using accessories to add in the darker hues but keep walls and floors light. 

12. Go for blue hues for a calming entrance 

Blue hallways with geometric tiles and yellow statement chair

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

Use a few different tones of the same colour to create a calming, cohesive hallway design. We love how a darker blue has been used on the woodwork in this hallway, but the walls have been kept a lighter colour that really lengthens the space. The blue floor tiles bring the whole look together, and that pop of yellow? Perfection. 

Staircase with carpet runner and gallery wall

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

You can easily add interest to a white-painted hallway (presumably you've chosen that colour because it's light-reflecting and easy to maintain) with a gallery wall, created with pictures and family photos and mementos. 

Use our guide for creating a gallery wall to find out how to do it and find more inspiration for displaying photos and pictures.

14. Hang a curtain

(Image credit: Britannia Rose)

If yours is a modern home, it's likely that its insulation is sorted, but that needn't stop you from hanging a curtain across the front door or across the wall leading from the hallway into an open plan space. It's a great way to tie different rooms together visually, and adds just a touch of added interest.

Looking for more hallway inspiration?