32 hallway ideas to make the ultimate first impression with

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

Try hallway ideas, such as this one with whitw walls, a light wooden door with glass panels, a wooden sideboard with a lamp and flowers on to the left and a white wooden coat rack and bench to the right
(Image credit: Ted Todd)

It's always a good idea to find hallway ideas, as this is the area guests see first  —  AKA, it's important to get right.

You can decorate this space both functionally and aesthetically to create a place you feel relaxed walking into. We've asked design experts for their favorite tricks, from clever paint colors to handy storage tips.

If you're looking for interior design ideas for your home and want to start with a warm welcome, having these to hand will prove very useful indeed.

Brilliant hallway ideas to try in your home

These ideas will work as both larger and smaller hallway ideas. So, no matter what size you have, we've got you covered.

We've also rounded up useful buys throughout, so you can start zhuzhing up your place.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Use vinyl

A hallway with white and green walls, a green door, black and white wall art, a white staircase, and gray wooden vinyl flooring

(Image credit: Tile Mountain)

Want the look of real wood for less? Try using vinyl for a savvy flooring solution which is easy to install.

Opting for a sleek, gray wooden vinyl (such as this Art3d Luxury Vinyl from Wayfair) will not only stand the test of footfall in this high-traffic area, but is also a timeless style you can decorate with for years to come.

2. Reach for a clothes rail

a green wall in an entranceway/hallway with modern coat rack storage

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Keeping essentials such as coats, shoes, and bags neat and tidy is the key to a winning hallway design. 

Investing in a modern storage system like an open wardrobe or clothes rail (this Rebrilliant Berkhamsted Clothing Rack from Wayfair is so chic) will provide form and functionality.

Not only will you be able to find your favorite jacket easily, but you'll be able to show off your most stylish jackets to guests, too.

3. Use 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, but there are some clever tricks you can use to make a small hallway look brighter.

“Go for metallic paint or shades of white to brighten up any hallway,” suggests Tommy Mello, design expert and founder of A1 Garage Door Service. 

Searching for the perfect shade of white? We love this illuminating White Paint in 07 from Lick 

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

4. Utilize various light sources

Hallway entranceway runner lighting dark woodwork staircase lighting

(Image credit: Original BTC)

A hallway should always feel warm and inviting so choosing the proper hallway lighting ideas is key. 

“Proper lighting is essential for creating a welcoming atmosphere in your hallway. Incorporate a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate the space and highlight architectural features or artwork,” says Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

“Consider wall sconces, pendant lights, or recessed lighting for a stylish and functional lighting solution,” she adds.

For those renting, you can get adhesive lights for your walls, such as these TikTok-famous Langoo Lights on Amazon.

5. Make a statement with 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. 

 “Start with a runner rug in a fun pattern or color combination — a hallway is a great space to try out pops of color that you might not be sure about in a larger room,” says Kathy Kuo, interior designer and founder of Kathy Kuo Home. 

It's also a good idea to grab a runner rug you can wash in case muddy footprints go through the door, such as this Bridgerton Runner Rug from Ruggable.

6. Add mirrors

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. 

Nina explains, “Mirrors are a hallway decorator's best friend, as they can visually expand the space and bounce light around to make it feel brighter and more spacious.”

She adds, “Hang a large mirror on one wall or create a gallery wall of smaller mirrors to add depth and dimension to your hallway.”

We have seen this Gleaming Primrose Mirror from Anthropologie in so many homes and are officially in love with it.

7. Get organized with a console table

entranceway hallways slim storage round mirror

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Organization is important 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. 

One storage idea that will fit in even the most narrow hallway is a console table, such as this Costway Console Table from Target with oodles of storage.

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 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

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. 

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. 

Nina says, “If space allows, create a cozy seating nook in your hallway where you can sit and relax or catch up on reading.”

She adds, “Add a small bench, upholstered chair, or window seat along with a side table and a few throw pillows to create a comfortable and inviting spot to linger.”

For those with awkwardly-shaped entryways, this Tobin Backless Corner Bench from Target would make a smart addition.

10. Choose checkered flooring

checkered painted hallway stairs in a wide Victorian entranceway

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

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

A striking checkered floor will add character without overpowering how your entryway looks. We like this sophisticated The Tile Life Porcelain Mosaic Tile from Wayfair.

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

A wall with retro orange leaves wallpaper, a rattan wooden console table with a red neon sign that says 'bar' and a dark brown chair with a retro pillow next to it

(Image credit: Lust Home)

Make the ultimate best first impression and ensure visitors ooh and ahh with admiration, with a pattern-packing, color-popping hallway wallpaper idea

Nina says, “Add wallpaper with a fun pattern to create visual interest.” 

Hallways really are the ultimate place to get creative and be brave with design choices. For those looking for a happy medium between boldness and versatileness, this Opalhouse Celestial Wallpaper from Target is a pretty choice.

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. Dress 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 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 and secondhand furniture stores for 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, try Benjamin Moore New London Burgundy HC 61 and search antique or charity stores for lots of gold or brassy frames.

13. Create a warm entrance with a doormat

A blue door with a colorful door mat in front of it and a plant next to it

(Image credit: Ruggable)

If you ask your kids (and guests) to remove their shoes before they walk into your home, using one of the best indoor doormats will help keep your home clean and cozy. 

Nina says, “Consider adding a colorful mat to add visual interest to the space and to welcome in guests in style.” 

Target shoppers love this Room Essentials Good Vibes Only Doormat from Target, saying it's cute and even withstands the rain.

14. Add shelves for keys and accessories

A corner with two walls, one with two wooden shelves with a plant on one and a net white bag hanging from the other and a window on the right wall

(Image credit: WOODENDOT)

One of the best ways to maximize space in an entryway is by utilizing wall space, such as with wall shelves.

“Install floating shelves to store keys, mail, and other essentials out of sight,” Nina suggests. 

There are so many options to choose from to suit your home style, but if you're looking for an all-rounder, these Loon Peak Cerasella Shelves from Wayfair will serve your well.

15. Create a contemporary feel with herringbone

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 has been paired with berry-colored wall paneling design and an elegant table in the entryway.

Achieve a similar look with this ES Stone Marble Herringbone Tile from Wayfair, which can also be used on the walls.

16. Fit a tall cabinet

Clay Mid and Clay Pale paint from Little Greene in a light and bright hallway with a chair and in built shelving and storage

(Image credit: Little Greene)

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

Start with a blank canvas such as this Yaheetech Cabinet from Walmart, and get creative with decorative touches. 

We like how the inserts of this 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.

17. Choose a bold color

original features of a Victorian terrace with carpet runner up staircase and period floor tiles

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Hallways are such great spaces to be a bit bolder with your color choices. You can have have fun with the space and use it to reflect your personal style. 

That being said, you do need to think carefully when picking a scheme, because not all shades are going to work if your space lacks natural light.

If the dark side is appealing to you, we advise to choose a shade with warmer undertones, such as this Benjamin Moore Dark Chocolate Paint.

Before you go all out with the paint, be sure to order swatches and test out your potential colors in your space.

18. 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 low-maintenance plant (such as this Costa Farms Pothos Plant from Walmart) to bring a bit of life to the space.

“Incorporate plants and greenery into your hallway to bring a touch of nature indoors and add a breath of fresh air,” Nina says.

19. Opt for neutral tones

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 and furniture that (almost) blends into the rest of the scheme if you like the idea of a spacious, minimalist-inspired hallway design.

You could also paint your walls and furniture the same shade for a streamlined look, such as in Lick's White 07 Paint.

20. Add depth 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 (such as Lick's Sage Green Paint) or gray hallway ideas are both on-trend options that would work nicely. 

21. Go for pastel hues

Blue hallway 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 (these Merola Tile Monteca Tiles from Wayfair are similar) bring the whole look together, and that pop of yellow? Perfection. 

22. Upcycle furniture to add interest

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

(Image credit: Matt Cant)

We love how in this 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, as might find there is some furniture going unloved in another room that would make for a great bit of hallway storage when upcycled.

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 and the results are so effective.

23. Pick a repeat print for maximalist impact

a hallway 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 in a repeated print 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. Either way, a versatile wallpaper like this Opalhouse Speckled Peel and Stick Wallpaper from Target is a great idea.

24. Introduce wall panels into your space

dark panelling in hallway with painted border rail and plants

(Image credit: Nest)

Wall paneling is back in style and we're totally here for it, especially in the entryway. 

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 go at a DIY board and batten wall and change up your space instantly with a textural dimension. 

25. Paint hallway floorboards

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 entryway, an easy way to add pattern to them is to simply throw down a rug. 

We like the idea of going one step further by painting your floorboards in a pattern in order to up the interest.

Use suitable floor paints and stick to a very muted scheme like this one for the best effect (Benjamin Moore's Metallic Silver Paint would look beautiful) you want the floor to add character, not be the focus. 

26. Display a mix and match gallery wall

Large Victorian staircase with carpet runner and gallery wall

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

You can easily add interest to a white-painted entryway with a gallery wall idea, created with prints, wall art, and treasured mementos. 

“Display your favorite art pieces, photographs, or collectibles along the walls of your entryway to showcase your personal style and interests,” Nina says. 

One of our favorite places to shop for prints is Desenio, thanks to their gorgeous styles and budget-friendly prices.

27. Hang a curtain at the door

A hallway with an open dark green door, yellow curtains hanging to the right hand side of it, a table with a green plant on it to the left and a tall coat stand with hats on it to the right

(Image credit: Hillarys)

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 entryway 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.

Second? A lined door curtain is best because it brings better insulation (these AllModern Laurene Curtains from Wayfair are simple and sleek). If your door is glazed, bear in mind that the lining is what's on show from outside, so make sure you choose a stylish choice.

28. Revamp 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 for more gorgeous ideas) transformed her drab entryway tiles into something amazing using a very easy trick: tile stickers. 

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. These Floorpops Gothic Tiles are highly-rated on Amazon and are versatile enough to work in any home.

29. Use storage solutions that double as seating

hallway storage bench for boots, umbrellas and coats

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

If the priority for your space is maximizing functional entryway 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 entryways feel smaller, narrower, and character-free. 

So, do what's been done above and make the storage into an opportunity to add seating. To achieve a similar look, this Threshold Elden Wood Bench from Target is a perfect choice.

30. Invest in wall-hung solutions

An entryway with a brown door, a wall hanger with vertical hooks, a wooden table, and black boots on the floor

(Image credit: @thistle.harvest)

Wall-hung storage solutions are one of the best ways to make a small entryway look bigger

“To add form and function with a dash of style, consider purchasing a wall-hung storage solution that can accommodate all sorts of useful and attractive trinkets,” suggess Tommy.

If you're on a budget, going for a simple solution like Command Hooks (you can grab a pack of two of Command Hooks from Amazon) will still provide all the practicality.

31. Be imaginative with under stairs storage spaces

New parents Franky Ridgeon and Jack Mayhew turned a dated student house into a colourful family home

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

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, a door beneath the bottom steps for seldom-used items, and use leftover space for a shelved-out niche. 

32. Choose metallic wallpaper to reflect light

gilded mirror and blue walls in a stately home's hallway with stained glass windows on door and surround

(Image credit: Axminster)

Just like a mirror, reflective wallpaper will help bring more light into a entryway and can enhance the size of your space is small. 

Be sure to go for an ultra-chic style like this RoomMates Oxidized Peel and Stick Wallpaper from Target, which is perfect for both renters and owners.

With these hallway ideas, you can transform your space into a stylish and welcoming area that sets the tone for the rest of your home. 

“Whether you prefer bold statement pieces or understated elegance, there are countless ways to personalize your hallway and make it a reflection of your unique style,” Nina finishes by saying.

You may also find entryway ideas useful if you’re decorating a smaller space.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.

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