59 hallway ideas to make the ultimate first impression

Make an entrance with hallway ideas that create impact, and open up a narrow space

White stairs and wood banister with feature wall mural, and bench.
(Image credit: Wallsauce.com)

A winning hallway idea is the first thing that greets you and your guests when walking through the door, yet they tend to be towards the bottom of our decorating priorities – how sad. But change ahoy – as your hallway is in fact, the best place to inject your personality and create a statement through decorating.

Set the tone for the rest of your home with hallway decor ideas that make the most out of what can be quite a neglected space. The latest modern hallway ideas will have you eager to get on with updating your space as soon as possible, whether you need long and narrow hallway ideas, small and stuffy, or larger than life (lucky for some, hey.) From gorgeous but speedy fixes to complete revamps, you have options, options, options...

1. Brighten up your hallway idea with light-enhancing paint

Glass paneled front door with light pink painted contrast, in in bright hallway, with two tone mono wall.

(Image credit: Crown)

Hallways can often feel narrow and dark. Justyna Korczynska, color expert, Crown (opens in new tab), gives her top tips on how to brighten up the hallway, especially useful in small hallway designs:

*Bring in areas of a pale color that will reflect the available light – this could be in stripes or a series of checks or squares.

*Try using metallic paint as a paint effect over a matt emulsion to add shine and reflection and bring a space to life.

*Tones of white will obviously be a suitable color for a bright hallway and can look super stylish – especially if you think about painting woodwork something like a pale gray to give definition.

If you fancy donning the dungarees and getting your paint splatter on, learn how to paint a wall for streak-free, professional results.

2. Paint stairs in ombre tones 

Stairs with blue ombre effect on risers in a traditional hallway

(Image credit: Crown)

Don’t just think about the walls - putting a new coat of paint on woodwork including staircase ideas really helps to freshen and brighten a hallway. We love this striking staircase paint idea that features a blue ombre effect

Always keep dark tones at the bottom, and work through a palette of tonal shades, leading to the lightest at the top, to enhance the feeling of space, height, and light.  

3. Illuminate your entranceway with the right lighting scheme 

White narrow hallway with glass sphere ceiling pendants, and trio of black framed photo art.

(Image credit: Design: Malka Helft, Think Chic Interiors)

A hallway should always feel warm and inviting so choosing the proper hallway lighting ideas is key. Whether you’re opting for a number of lighting sources, you should always consider a statement ceiling light.

Julian Page, head of design at BHS Lighting (opens in new tab), says: ‘Hallways are the first impression when entering a home. They should not only be welcoming but should also be the starting point for conversation. A statement light in an entranceway creates a focal point and for those with smaller spaces, it helps to lead the eyes up making the room feel larger.’ 

‘Pendant lights create a sense of coziness, especially when hung low, but also act as a statement piece. Wall lights are also another great lighting option. Not only do they light up larger areas such as hallways or staircases but can highlight interesting features in the space such as art or family photographs. If you decide to choose more of a sculptural wall light, this too can act as a piece of art in the home.’ 

4. Make a statement with hallway runners 

Narrow hallway with striped sisal floor runner, leading to open door and garden path.

(Image credit: Kersaint Cobb)

Make a statement in your hallway with eye-catching designs that will withstand heavy footfall, whilst adding instant impact and interest to your space. Whether you opt for a staircase runner idea or a runner in the corridor, it will instantly create the illusion of an elongated space. 

Mike Richardson, general manager, Kersaint Cobb (opens in new tab), says: ‘Runners made from 100% Sisal are practical flooring solutions as they are hard wearing and stain-resistant; making them perfectly suited to entranceways and stairs. Runners can be fitted on the stairs either as a standard carpet, attached with stair rods, or used as stand-alone hall runners.'

'A playful runner can provide an attractive focal point in the home and is an ideal way to experiment with patterns on a smaller scale without dominating the area. The hallway is often the first thing seen when entering a home, so it is important that your choice of flooring reflects your personal style and taste.’ 

5. Anchor your destination and create a relationship 

Hallway with arched walkthrough, dark wood flooring, half wall paneling, and modern framed artwork on walls.

(Image credit: Design: Maria Viola Kuttruff, Viola Interior Design.)

Mark Williams and Niki Papadopoulos of Mark Williams Design (opens in new tab), say: 'Hallways need to provide good flow, but they are also important visual destinations, especially in homes with more open plans. Where possible anchor the termination of a hallway with a substantial piece of art, wall decor ideas, or furniture. 

This technique provides added depth and interest to explore what lies beyond. To create greater design continuity, consider adding ceiling-mounted lighting that complements or mirrors a larger light fixture in an adjoining room.’

6. Add reflective qualities 

White hallway with mono graphic floor tiles, honeyed wood sideboard, oversized wall mirror, and variety of fresh plants and greenery at different levels.

(Image credit: Ercol)

Bring in hallway mirror ideas to bounce the light around a narrow hallway and open up the space. Korczynska advises: 'You could buy lots of different shapes and sizes old and new then paint the frames the same color as the wall and group them together.'

Susan Currie, Susan Currie Design (opens in new tab), says: 'I love adding mirrors to make hallways feel more expansive. It works especially well when you can install the mirrors on closet doors.  We also love seeing the reflection of adjoining rooms and they brighten the hall by bouncing light from chandeliers and any natural light flooding into the space.'

7. Get organized with slim storage in a hallway 

Dark, moody hallway with hat metallic pendant light, and slim brass console table with open storage space.

(Image credit: Atkin & Thyme)

The organization is key in a hallway to keep it tidy and welcoming. Depending on the size and shape of your entryway will very much determine what you put in there. Utilize clever hallway storage ideas to max out your space. 

Courtney Dickey, TS Adams Studio (opens in new tab), says: 'A large hallway is a practical place for adding storage and shoe storage ideas. Perhaps add a small desk for use as a remote workstation, or an antique bench and a shelf for towel and beach bag storage. To keep it playful, we use colorful artwork and accessories.’

Amy Stansfield, interiors writer, Wallsauce.com (opens in new tab), says: ‘If you have a narrow entryway, choose a slim storage unit with tilting drawers so you can store all of your shoes inside! Alternatively, choose a slim bench with storage inside. These are handy to store shoes and winter coats in the summer. As well as this, they are great spots for sitting and putting your shoes on before heading out of the door. For those of you who have a large entryway, why not have a coat rack to hang your clothes, hats, and scarves?’

‘When it comes to key storage, there is a wide range of key hooks that you can easily grab before going out. Not only this, but they are great if you often lose your keys! Having somewhere to have a “key station” means you will always be able to find your keys in a rush.’

8.  Create a family photo wall

White narrow hallway with light wood floor, and family photo wall feature with matching black frames.

(Image credit: Design: Allison Babcock; Photo: Keith Scott-Morton)

Take inspiration from stately homes of the yesteryear, and use a blank hallway wall as an opportunity to display the family tree in all of its ancestral glory with an easy photo wall idea. And ta-dah - you’ll have a super personalized focal point that’s constantly evolving. Depending on preference, you can either match the frames to the wall color or paint them in color-pop contrast shades for a contemporary twist. 

Allison Babcock, Allison Babcock Design (opens in new tab), says: ‘I’ve found that when designing client homes, displaying family photos can sometimes be a bit of a challenge because of the amount of them there are and the space they take up on the wall or on a console. That’s why in this particular project I utilized the upstairs hallway to create a chic gallery wall. By using the same black frame in varied sizes and black-and-white photography, it looks extremely clean and intentional and fills up the space perfectly. It also allows for room to grow. You can start with a handful of frames and as your family grows or ages, add more. It really makes the hallway come alive and a talking point.’

9. Utilize impractical nooks 

Light and bright upper hallway with built-in bench seat with integrated book storage.

(Image credit: Design: Allison Babcock; Photo: Matt Kisiday)

In traditional hallways, where unique layouts rule, turn an unloved cubby or nook in connecting space, into a charming DIY bookshelf or seating moment. 

Babcock says: ‘I’ve worked with a lot of clients who live in older homes and anyone familiar with historic homes knows that often the original architecture and the overall flow of the space is not always practical.'

'Because of that, I have to get creative in my designs to reduce the pockets of impractical or unusable space. In this project, the upper staircase landing and hallway were extremely wide.'

'Rather than just throwing some art on the wall and leaving it, we decided to retrofit a window seat with a printed cushion and storage cubbies below. Now not only is it a cute seating area, but it also offers the client's children another place to stash their books.’

10. Lead the way with check or harlequin flooring 

Modern hallway scheme with bright pink painted console and radiator, and blue contrast painted check design on floor.

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Get creative with dynamic hallway flooring ideas for an impactful look, bursting with personality. 

Michel Cocke, CEO, 253 Houses (opens in new tab), says: ‘Paint a striking harlequin design on a wooden floor and let the statement diamonds guide you towards the most fascinating pieces of your home. Solid shapes of variety utilized on entryways will add character without overpowering a space.’

If you’re feeling brave with painted floor ideas, think outside of the mono box, and experiment with an energizing color like sunshine yellow.

11. Dazzle visitors with a wall mural 

Hallway staircase profile painted in light neutral, with whimsical patterned wall mural leading up stairs.

(Image credit: Wallsauce.com)

Make the ultimate best first impression and ensure visitors ooh and ahh with admiration, with a pattern-packing, color-popping hallway wallpaper idea. Hallways really are the ultimate place to get creative and be brave with design choices!

Oshri Adri & Jillian Dahlman of Adri + Dahlman Interiors (opens in new tab), say: ‘People often feel intimidated when decorating hallways as they often consist of various long walls. One way to easily decorate a hallway is to wallpaper the walls and extend the stair carpeting on the floors. After installing wallpaper, the walls don't feel empty any longer and the wallpaper itself becomes the interest needed to fill in large wall spaces in hallways.’ 

Stansfield says: ‘To open up a small hallway or to add style to this well-used room, opt for a wallpaper mural. After all, a hallway is the first thing guests see when they walk into your home. Let them know straight away that you have amazing interior design taste.’ 

And fear not, once you know how to hang wallpaper, you'll be able to freshen up every room in the house. The easiest way to DIY is to use the paste-the-wall method, according to experts.

12. Add a luxe chandelier to wow guests from the get-go

seating area and statement chandelier in a yellow hallway with wood flooring and hallway rug

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Add a luxe look to your hallway with a sparkling statement chandelier. 

We love everything about this scheme from Carpetright (opens in new tab). The textured ceiling works wonders when coupled with the luxury chandelier. However, this is contrasted with unstuffy informal details, such as the wooden flooring and jute doormat. 

13. Go half and half with painted doors 

pastel blue and white emulsion paint in a half and half hallway decor

(Image credit: Crown)

Whether you've just moved into a new home, or fancy a weekend of redecorating, it can be frustrating to settle on just one shade. So if you're down to two swatches, it can be possible to include both.

This gorgeous idea by Crown Paints (opens in new tab) uses cornflower blue and a crisp white shade to create a dipped design that creates interest and cohesion. Be sure to equip yourself with masking tape and a spirit level for great results when painting doors yourself. 

14. Use calming lavender for a country-style hallway

Hallway idea by Crown Paints using shades Lavender Cupcake and Picnic Basket, Both Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5L

(Image credit: Crown)

Lilac is naturally relaxing and it can create a calming color scheme perfect for smaller hallway spaces. Add rustic furniture, and a mix of ceramic and glass vases for a cute country look.

15. Dress your hallway with distressed furniture

Burgundy hallway idea by Benjamin Moore with white distressed wooden cabinet and framed wall art

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

If you have a home with history, the chances are you'd want a home that reflects its heritage. Why not impress guests with a taste of period decor near the front door?

Not everything needs to be new, so scan online marketplaces for secondhand cabinets and consoles. Don't worry about scuffs, scratches, and burrs ⁠— they all add lots of character to your interior scheme.

If you love this rich burgundy paint shade, shop Benjamin Moore New London Burgundy HC 61 (opens in new tab) and search antique or charity stores for lots of gold or brassy frames.

16. Create a warm and welcoming entrance with carpet

pink door decor and beige colored Kingston Citrine Carpet in a hallway with white walls and slim console table

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If you ask your kids (and guests) to remove their shoes before they walk into your home, using carpet is one of many hallway ideas that can keep your home clean and cozy. That, or using one of the best indoor doormats!

Bursting with light, the pastel pink door, and sandy carpet color will make your hallway feel bigger. Of course, the real design trick here is the hallway mirror which makes the most of the smallest room in the home by creating an illusion of a wider space.

Notice how the pink and beige theme comes together with the vase accessories in similar shades.

17. Add shelves for keys and accessories

Wooden shelf with pegs and hooks for keys, bags, and compartment for mail.

(Image credit: Woodyoubuy)

Is your Victorian home in need of a revamp? Then carry on reading as we've got ways to modernized this architectural style.

First and foremost – let's talk about that dreamy door. Yes, pink is not for everybody, but where the walls and banister is kept relatively neutral, it's a welcome addition to an otherwise traditional space.

To keep in line with these modern additions, the owner has introduced a round, wooden shelving idea.

18. Fake an expensive marble look with luxury vinyl tile

Hexagon Vinyl and Platinum Marble Bianco Hexagon Gold Vinyl flooring in a modern hallway with concrete effect staircase

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Once you've prioritized other rooms, it can seem that your hallway ideas are an afterthought. So if you haven't got a budget for expensive details ⁠— don't fret. Luxury vinyl floor tiles are ideally suited for this high footfall area.

Using the same design in different colors, this idea zones the home and gives it direction. Using white on the back wall of the dining area draws the eye to the end of the room and gives the illusion of a lengthy corridor. It's also parallel to a similarly-colored stairway which also helps trick the eye.

19. Paint on a staircase 'runner' in a bold blue hue

White and blue painted runner up a staircase in hallway

(Image credit: Dulux)

If you want to make a regal entrance for your family ⁠— choose a royal blue scheme. Smart and sophisticated, this jewel-like, sapphire shade can even make small hallway ideas look expensive. Forget the red carpet, it's all about the blue carpet. And don't forget to crown your banister with this beautiful color too. It's the perfect suitor for your staircase.

20. Create a contemporary feel with herringbone tiles

white porcelain tiles and dark purple wall paneling in a hallway

(Image credit: Porcelain Superstore)

Marvelously modern, herringbone or broken twill weave tiles are a fail-safe way to introduce patterns into your home if it's not usually your thing.

While it's a modern-looking motif, it can suit older properties too. Here, it's been paired with berry-colored wall paneling and an elegant table in the entryway.

21. Add an Art-Deco feel with mono flooring

Hallway ideas by Amtico - Checkerboard flooring with stain glassed window doors and bicycle

(Image credit: Amtico)

Whether you're dashing out of the door in your Sunday best, or shyly accepting mail in your dressing gown, there's always a reason to celebrate your hallway with a traditional look.

And, we're heading to the roaring twenties for tile inspo. Using just two colors, this monochrome checkered floor looks classy by itself, but even better when combined with beautifully gothic stain-glassed door panels.

22. Invest in a rattan console to bring the outdoors in

Hallway ideas by Oliver Bonas with rattan console table with built-in mirror and umbrella storage

(Image credit: Oliver Bonas)

Investing in a rattan console stand can revive your space and give it an exotic vibe. To complete the look, add an Aztec print or globally-inspired accessories and use lots of houseplants or cacti to create a tropical atmosphere.

23. Decorate your door with a geometric paint design

Hallway ideas by Dulux using Chiffon White paint, Highland Falls 2 and Highland Falls 4 green paint shades with floor length mirror, bicycle and jute doormat

(Image credit: Dulux)

Green is the color of the season it seems. From sage green bathroom ideas to cool, cucumber-colored kitchens, we can't get enough of this soothing shade.

So if you've had a stressful day at work, or need a color that screams Carpe diem, this hue works hard to put you in the right headspace at home.

This idea by Dulux (opens in new tab) requires a bit of masking tape to make it work. In this hallway idea, they've used Chiffon White 1, Highland Falls 2, and Highland Falls 4. But feel free to use an alternate combination of gradients to make this work in your home.

Nailing how to paint doors to get professional results is easy with our expert advice.

24. Fit a tall cabinet into an alcove for practical purposes

Clay Mid and Clay Pale, Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If the thought of floating or fixed shelving ideas feels a bit 'messy' in a hallway, consider placing a cabinet in an alcove to display a curated edit of your best homewares.

While this hallway idea uses white and cream tones for the foundation, notice how the inserts have been given a pretty polka dot makeover. Using off-cuts or samples of a hallway wallpaper idea can provide cohesion without straying too far from your angelic aesthetic.

25. Pick the best color to paint a hallway

To celebrate the original features of their Victorian terrace, Karla and Andy have created a modern family home with plenty of period character

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Hallways are such great spaces to be a bit bolder with your color choices. They are usually smaller spaces that we just pass through, so this means you can afford to be braver in the colors you go for ⁠— have fun with the space and use it to reflect your personal style. But you do have to think carefully when picking a scheme because not all shades are going to work if your space lacks natural light, as most entries do.

Our advice would be to avoid any dark, strong colors that are going to make the space feel gloomy. That's not to say you can't use darker colors in a hallway, just keep them softer with warmer undertones. 

Always order swatches and test out your potential colors in your space.

Check out this amazing before and after for more inspiration, and see how a lick of paint makes a huge difference to this hallway makeover. Talk about serious style on a budget.

26. Decide what furniture to put in your hallway

Matt and Emma Rawlinson transformed a run-down property full of bedsits in Cheltenham into a vibrant family home

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

Just because hallways are often the smallest space in your home, that doesn't mean they can't squeeze in some functional furniture. These spaces are landing areas, they need a small console table to store your keys, lipsticks, dog leads, etc.

Or maybe a compact bench would be a better use of your space, somewhere to perch while you put on shoes (or impatiently open all of the deliveries). Benches can double up as places to dump, sorry we mean, neatly store bags.

27. Choose small accessories to add interest 

Artwork on white walls with pink accent painted striped

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Just because hallways are small spaces, that definitely doesn't mean that they have to be void of any personality. Prints take up zero of that precious floor space, and cute baskets can double up as storage, you might even be able to squeeze in a houseplant to bring a bit of life to the space. 

Adding hooks to your walls is a good way to accessories too. Go and steal some pieces from your closet to decorate with and add a bit of texture to those walls. Bags and straw hats are still all over Pinterest, plus it makes sense to have these near the door so it's not all about the aesthetic, there's some practicality here too. 

28. Tile your way to practical hallway flooring

Matt and Emma Rawlinson transformed a run-down property full of bedsits in Cheltenham into a vibrant family home

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

Now if you are totally redesigning your hallway, rather than just redecorating, flooring is what you are going to be wanting to think about first.

(Learn how to tile a floor step-by-step for a pro finish with our video and guide.)

We cover loads of different options below but do consider your flooring as a way to bring in some style and color to the space, as well as being a practical choice.

For us, that means tiles. They are easy to clean, can handle wear and tear, but look gorgeous too. And you can always soften them up by throwing down a runner. 

29. Choose neutral tones to give the illusion of added space

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

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Creating the illusion of a bright, airy space is best achieved by opting for a neutral color scheme, especially if you are designing a small hallway.

Maximize natural light with white walls, a large mirror design, and furniture that (almost) blends into the rest of the scheme if you like the idea of a spacious, minimalist-inspired hallway design.

30. Add depth to your hallway with contrasting colors

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 among a lighter scheme.

If you're worried about a dark color overwhelming a narrow space, couple it with a row of pendants or spotlights to create the illusion of a longer and lighter space. Deep sage green or gray hallway ideas are both on-trend options that would work nicely. 

31. Consider a darker scheme

dark green hallway packed with personality

(Image credit: Nest)

As much as we love a neutral scheme, you can't beat a darker, inkier hallway paint idea. And we can't get enough of this rich, dark green scheme.

Not only does this hallway idea fill the space with personality, but it also makes the space warm and inviting which is exactly the vibe you should be after in a hallway.

32. Keep hallway woodwork bright white

hallway with dark purple scheme

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If green doesn't appeal, perhaps this gorgeous mauve shade will. Another of our favorite ideas for hallways, it's a color that promises to work in all seasons, especially when paired with a more neutral carpet.

Or even a carpet with a natural finish ⁠— something like seagrass would work really well. However, if you're picking a bold, deep shade for your walls, white woodwork to reflect as much light as possible is a must.

33. Choose a stylish shade of pink 

Pink hallway with straw hat against white room

(Image credit: Mylands)

Does your hallway always feel a bit cold? You can combat that by choosing warm and welcoming hues. We love this muted coral shade and how it's balanced with the crisp white floorboards.

The natural textures add some interest and give the space a lovely modern rustic vibe. Note the addition of the runner too, for subtle pattern, softness underfoot, and, of course, practicality.

34. Blend your hallway into your home

open plan hallway and kitchen with whitewashed cabinets and patterned blue tile floor

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If your hallway opens straight into your kitchen or living space or you have a really small home that's tight on space all around, blending the decor and furnishings from the hallway into the adjoining room is a must. Why? Because doing so will create a one-space feel that helps make it look and feel bigger. 

35. Go for pastel 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 color 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 color that really lengthens the space. The blue floor tiles bring the whole look together, and that pop of yellow? Perfection. 

36. Give an all-white hallway personality with colorful furniture

a hallway with storage options including cabinets, staircase and console table

(Image credit: IKEA)

We are totally sold on this slightly more unfitted, rustic hallway decorating idea – and it's easy to recreate with white walls and a set of green in/outdoor cabinets and shelving units. Of course, you could just pick a paint color you love and paint your hallway furniture to coordinate. 

37. Upcycle furniture to add interest

an elegant hallway with tree wallpaper, bright blue storage and chandeliers

(Image credit: Matt Cant)

We love how in the hallway idea, an old chest of drawers has been painted in a lovely bright blue which contrasts so well against the rest of the monochrome hallway. Before you buy a new piece for your hallway, shop your own home, you might find there is some furniture going unloved in another room that would make for a great bit of hallway storage, all it needs is a lick of paint.

If you do want to give it a go, we've put together a guide on how to paint furniture, it's actually a really easy DIY. 

38. Inject color with a color pop door

an extended and reconfigured hallway with black and white patterned tiles, yellow front door and black painted woodwork

(Image credit: Georgia Burns)

If you like the idea of experimenting with bright colors but can't commit to an entire hallway, consider copying this fab hallway decorating idea and incorporating color into your space on the inside of your front door. A bright shade of yellow is pretty happiness-inducing, but we also like the idea of a light pink if you're after something slightly more subtle.

39 Pick a repeat print for maximalist impact

space with tile-inspired wallpaper and black aluminium glass feature

(Image credit: Nest)

If subtle and neutral aren't your thing, consider choosing a bold wallpaper to add interest to your space. You can either opt for a (slightly more subtle) feature wall, as seen in the hallway idea above, or go all out with a bold print and dark scheme like below. 

40. Introduce wall panels into your space

dark panelling in hallway with painted border rail and plants

(Image credit: Nest)

Wall paneling is back in vogue and we're totally here for it, especially in the hallway. Not only does paneling add a slightly more sophisticated feel to a space, but it also offers a unique opportunity to add color without having to commit to using it from floor to ceiling. Go on - have a bash at a DIY board and batten wall and change up your space instantly with a textural dimension. 

41. Or experiment with color blocking

elegant, light-filled extension with painted border and coat hanging space

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Alternatively, if wall panels aren't an option, you could think about trying color blocking in your hallway. This requires that you use one color to paint up to paint from the floor up to a certain height, then choose another color for use up to the ceiling. 

Here white and a pretty millennial pink have been used, but you could choose whatever combination of colors you'd prefer.

42. Twin entryway and stairway flooring to max out space

Hallway with staircase decorated with stickers by Purlfrost

(Image credit: Purlfrost)

We love this idea – these painted stairs have been given instant character with stickers. Simply peel and stick and you've got a whole new staircase.

Find a pattern that complements your hallway decor ⁠— it doesn't have to match. Find more tips on how to paint your stairs in our guide.

43. Paint hallway floorboards for a quick and cheap update

wood flooring painted in a diamond pattern in a white hallway with white painted banister

(Image credit: Hallway)

If you've got plain wooden floorboards in your hallway, an easy way to add pattern to them is to simply throw down a rug... but if you want to go a step further, adding a tile pattern to the floorboards is a brilliant way to up the interest.

Use suitable floor paints and stick to a very muted scheme like this one for the best effect – you want the floor to add character, not be the focus. 

44. Make hallway lighting a glowing centerpiece

patterned wallpaper in a bright hallway with black vintage radiator and glass statement lighting

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If natural light is limited, it's important that you invest in quality hallway lighting that illuminates your space and makes it easier to navigate on dark mornings ⁠— anything to make it easier to get up in the morning. 

Here a stunning pendant light has been used to enhance the pared-back, boho style of this space, adding height and texture with ease.

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 color because it's light-reflecting and easy to maintain) with a gallery wall idea, created with prints, wall art, and treasured mementos. 

hallway space with gallery wall

(Image credit: Nest)

You could go for a slightly more cohesive gallery wall if that's slightly more your style. We love the neutral tones of these prints and how they perfectly bring together the darker and lighter hues going on in this space.  

47. Maximize space with a stylish sliding door

Grey sliding door in hallway idea by Norsu Interiors

(Image credit: Norsu Interiors)

Sliding doors, or barn doors as they are also known, are a great option for small hallways as they take up much less space than a conventional door and blend seamlessly into a scheme if painted the same paint color. Plus, we think they look pretty stylish. This gorgeous idea is a great example of just how well sliding doors can work.  

48. Hang a curtain at the door

curtain on a door in a hallway with seating and cushions

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

This makes great sense to do ⁠— it's a good way to add pattern, interest, and even a feeling of luxury to an otherwise unloved space, and it's brilliant for keeping out the cold. And you know what draughts bring with them? Dirt and noise, too. 

If you are going with this hallway idea to hang a curtain over the front door, here's what to know: first, the curtain either needs to be hung from a rail that's fixed to the back of the door ⁠— and this is what you'll have to do if the hallway is narrow like this one – or it will need to be on a rail that extends to the side of the door so that there's enough room to pull the curtain right back so that you can get the door open. 

Second? A lined curtain is best because it brings better insulation, but if your door is glazed, bear in mind that the lining is what's on show from outside (so you'll want it to look good). 

49. Revamp hallway floors with tile stickers

a hallway with patterned black and white stickers on floor tiles and black painted woodwork

(Image credit: @whisperingbold)

Interiors Instagrammer Marieke (follow her account  @whisperingbold (opens in new tab) for more gorgeous ideas) transformed her drab hallway tiles into something amazing using a very easy trick: tile stickers. 

Literally, vinyl tiles that you peel the back off and stick over your original tiles. It takes a day at most  (with coffee breaks, of course) to completely cover your old flooring. It looks totally stunning on this hallway floor but would work just as well in a kitchen or bathroom too.

We love how the monochrome works with the colors of the stained glass and the belly baskets add the perfect amount of interest and texture. The best part? You could do this makeover yourself for under £50 – check out places like Etsy (opens in new tab), B&Q (opens in new tab), and Wayfair (opens in new tab) for plenty of stylish options. If you are after the exact same tiles used by Marieke, they are from Moon Wall Stickers (opens in new tab). You can also pick up baskets similar to these from Amazon (opens in new tab) really cheaply, pop in some house plants, and you're done!

50. Picking a hallway carpet? Do it carefully

Black and white patterned carpeted hallway

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Picking a hallway carpet is a tricky job: you might not love the pattern, but it's a real must-have in a space that will see so much traffic. Why? Well, for one, the hallway is going to gather everything from muddy footprints to leaves that blow through the front door, all of which will show up less obviously on the pattern; and wear and tear are also less evident on a patterned carpet. 

Can't handle the graphics of this one? Look for a hallway carpet with a speckled design that is subtler but will do the job.

51. Or split the difference with solid floors and runners

staircase in fresh looking hallway with blue striped runner by roger oates design

(Image credit: Roger Oates Design)

The bonus of runners on hallway stairs: they add color and character to a space that's sometimes too narrow to furnish with much more than a mirror, a shelf, and artwork; they provide comfort underfoot, and they cut down on creaking stairs ⁠— all-important when you have a partner or teenager who likes to come to bed later than you...

52. Prioritize storage solutions that double up as seating

hallway storage bench for boots, umbrellas and coats

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

If the priority for your space is maximizing functional hallway storage ideas, find options that are visually appealing as well as practical. 

We can all install a great big run of shallow cabinetry to make our hallway storage really vast. But doing so will just make our hallways feel smaller, narrower, and character-free. So, do what's been done above and make the storage into an opportunity to add seating.

53. Invest in wall-hung solutions to save floor space

a hallway with red walls and storage

(Image credit: Ikea)

Forget the weird coat tripod in the middle of this hallway – the real focus should be on those wall-hung solutions. There's everything there for coats, hats, bags... Then all those annoying pieces of clutter that get in the way or get lost (keys, paperwork, stuff) are all kept neatly on the pegboard. The clever touch? The mirror with the wall light directed at it - it reflects the light and keeps the space feeling roomy. 

54. Go floor to ceiling with slim storage

a little girl standing by wall mounted storage in a hallway

(Image credit: Ikea/Sam Grigg/Ben Robertson)

Using vertical space in a hallway is a must, so install tall, shallow cabinets, shoe stores, or even shelving to make the most of a blank wall. Blend them into the space by keeping them neutral ⁠— or matching them to the wall behind. 

55. Style a console table with a rustic nod

large console table with rustic old door behind in hallway with wood home accessories and ornaments

(Image credit: Dunelm)

If you're blessed with a large hallway, you may be wondering how to make the most of the space and prevent it from feeling too sparse. Well, friends, it's time you met the console table.

A stylish addition to any modern hallway, a console table not only offers a space to store keys and other essentials, but it will also draw the eye and make your hallway look a little more interesting. Style with a mixture of vases, lamps, and baskets or something a little more unique like the gorgeous wooden door panels above.

56. Be imaginative with under stairs storage spaces

grey panel wall under staircase with storage area and in built shelving


(Image credit: De Rosee Sa/Alex James Photography)

Even modest-sized homes have decent under stair storage space that is usually massively under-exploited. Make the most of yours by putting in a central door to create a spacious cupboard for large items (or lots of small ones); a door beneath the bottom steps for seldom-used items; and use leftover space for a shelved-out niche. 

57. Maximize light where possible

stain glass hallway windows in a south London Victorian house

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Hallways have a tendency to be dark spaces – we've all experienced rummaging around in the dark looking for keys ⁠— so we'd recommend considering how you can incorporate as much natural light as possible into your space while designing it.

This might mean installing a front door with windows instead of solid panels or restoring the original leaded lights of Victorian or Edwardian front doors. 

58. Or totally open your hallway up to natural light

hallway with white scheme and window film with floral design by the window film company


(Image credit: The Window Film Company)

The addition of natural daylight can work wonders for a dreary hallway ⁠— swapping the front or back door for a glazed version is an easily achieved example. 

To turn plain glass into a feature, consider fitting window film ⁠— a single large-scale motif is effective for highlighting the hallway’s decorative scheme. Period properties will be enhanced by beautiful stained glass panels. Borrowing light for the hallway from an adjacent room can be achieved by replacing an internal door with a glazed version or simply removing it altogether. 

Check before doing so as in some properties, building regulations require a fire-proof door to make the corridor a safe escape route. 

59. Choose metallic wallpaper to reflect light

gilded mirror and blue walls in a stately home's hallway

(Image credit: Axminster)

Just like a mirror, reflective wallpaper will help bring more light into a hallway and can enhance the size of your space is small. We get that metallic wallpaper has a bit of a bad rep, but check out a design like Cole & Son's Salvage (opens in new tab), which has a very slight almost aged-looking shimmer. 

How do you make a hallway look welcoming?

'Often the first thing you see when entering a house, the stairs and hallway create a first and lasting impression on your guests.', says Jemma Dayman, buyer, Carpetright (opens in new tab).

'It's the perfect area to take risks and be daring with your styling. Bold, geometric designs and bright colors will give your stairs that wow factor and work well when mixed with minimalist furniture and accessories.

'Opting for repeating patterns will not only allow your design to flow easily into other rooms but will be forgiving to everyday marks and scuffs as your stairs see some serious use over their lifetime.'

Noemie Deed, founder cosycoco.com (opens in new tab) adds: 'Pared back rugs can be used to tie together any interior style while adding a touch of luxury underfoot.'

'Neutral schemes are popular for hallways as they are the first impression of the home and can be a place of calm and relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.  For subtle impact, you can add a dash of color with a border or tonal pattern. 

'For a statement hallway, incorporate bold patterns and colors as a focal point and an injection of personality. A hallway is a great place to introduce guests to your interior style so if you’re a maximalist, don’t be afraid to show it straight away.'

How do you decorate a boring hallway?

Quick, easy, and affordable hallway updates to instantly revamp your space include:

1. Adding a statement ceiling pendant

2. Painting your front door a color pop contrast shade

3. Making a statement with art on walls or a gallery wall idea

4. Painting stair risers in gradient tones

5. Paving the way with geometric floor tiles

6. Painting walls in a half and half, two-tone palette

7. Styling a console table with decorative accessories and mixed textiles

8.  Adding slimline storage furniture

9. Reflecting the light and opening a narrow space with hallway mirrors.

10. Adding houseplants at different levels to bring nature in, and lend a verdant lift.

Holly Phillips

Holly is a Content Editor at Real Homes, and has previously worked at Future Homes brands including Country Homes & Interiors and Livingetc. She has a background in interior and event styling spanning a decade, which previously took her from coast to city and beyond to Australia. 


Holly loves working with creative minds and discovering fresh, indie brands, and is a firm believer that no home can have too many cushions, unruly blooms or decorative details of happy

SPONSORS