We've pulled together our favourite hallway ideas to help you make the most of what can often be a neglected space. Despite the fact that the hallway tends to get the most traffic in the home and is often the first space that you, and your guests, see on arrival, they tend to be towards the bottom of many of our decorating to-do lists.
But not for much longer, because our stylish hallway ideas will have you eager to get on with updating the space as soon as possible. From gorgeous but speedy fixes to whole room revamps, keep scrolling to be inspired...
- Don't miss our guide to find out how to design a hallway if you need practical advice
1. Choose neutral tones to make your hallway seem larger and lighter
Creating the illusion of a bright, airy space is best achieved by opting for a neutral colour scheme, especially if you are designing a small hallway.
Maximise natural light with white walls, a large mirror and furniture that (almost) blends into the rest of the scheme if you like the idea of a spacious, minimalist-inspired hallway design.
2. Add depth to your hallway design with contrasting colours
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.
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.
- Browse the best washable paint if you're after a practical solution that won't be damaged by dirty fingers.
3. Consider embracing a darker scheme in your hallway...
As much as we love a neutral scheme, you can't beat a darker, inkier paint shade in a small space. And we can't get enough of this rich, dark green scheme. Not only does this hallway decorating 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.
4. ...but keep hallway woodwork bright white
And if green doesn't appeal, perhaps this gorgeous mauve shade will. Another of our favourite ideas for hallways, it's a colour 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.
Check out more of our hallway paint ideas if you're in need of inspiration.
5. Choose a stylish shade of pink
Does your hallway always feel a bit cold? You can combat that by choosing a paint colour like Mylands Covent Garden Flora. It’s a warm neutral from Mylands’ archives and it was originally created for a residence in Smithfield. To keep it balanced, the floor has been painted white and the scheme broken up with natural material accessories like the cork topped bench, pale blond wood coat hook and basket. Add a runner with a subtle pattern for decoration and practicality.
For more pink room ideas head over to our dedicated feature (yes we love pink that much).
6. Make open-plan hallways feel cohesive
If your hallway opens straight into your kitchen or living space or you have a really small home that's tight on space all round, 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.
7. Give an all-white hallway personality with colourful furniture
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 colour you love and paint your hallway furniture to co-ordinate).
8. Inject colour with an accent feature
If you like the idea of experimenting with bright colours but can't commit to an entire hallway, consider copying this fab hallway decorating idea and incorporate colour 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.
9. Pick a repeat print for maximalist hallway designs
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. Check out some of our favourite hallway wallpaper ideas.
10. Decorate stairs to complement hallway decor
We love this idea – these painted stairs have been given instant character with stickers by Purlfrost. 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.
11. Paint stairs for an easy, pretty hallway update
This cute idea will just take a few hours but is so effective, plus a great way to add a touch of colour. We love the blues that have been used here (very spring-like) but of course you can use any colour you like.
12. Paint hallway floorboards for a quick, cheap update
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 best effect – you want the floor to add character not be the focus.
Find out about painting floorboards in our step-by-step guide.
13. Make hallway lighting a centrepiece
If natural light is limited, it's important that you invest in quality hallway lighting that illuminates your space and make 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.
14. Choose vintage wallpaper for a period feel
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.
See more of our favourite traditional hallway ideas.
15. Maximise space with a stylish sliding door
Sliding doors, or barn doors as they also know, 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 colour. Plus, we think they look pretty stylish.
This stylish grey hallway idea is a great example of just how well sliding doors can work. Check out our guide if you're looking for more ways to style a grey scheme.
16. Hang a curtain at the door
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).
Find out how to mix pattern and prints – and get it right – in our design feature.
17. Revamp hallway floors with tile stickers
Interiors Instagrammer Marieke (follow her account @whisperingbold 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 colours 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, B&Q and Wayfair for plenty of stylish options. If you after the exact same tiles used by Marieke, they are from Moon Wall Stickers. You can also pick up baskets similar to these from Amazon really cheaply, pop in some house plants and you're done!
Find more inspiration in our guide to the best hallway flooring.
18. Or strip back original floors for a contemporary look
Stripped back floorboards are a popular feature that looks super stylish in a variety of homes and can even add value to your property. Here, the original floorboards have been sanded and bleached to achieve a really calming, Scandi-inspired finish.
Find out how to recreate this hallway decorating idea in your own home with our guide to how to sand floors. Our guide to painting floorboards is also a handy read if you decide stripped wood isn't for you.
19. Picking a hallway carpet? Do it carefully
Picking a hallway carpet is a tricky job: you might not love 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 pattern, and 2) wear and tear is also less evident on a patterned carpet. Can't handle the graphics of this one? Look for a hallway carpet with a speckled design which is subtler but will do the job. Don't miss our best hallway flooring buyer's guide for more advice.
20. Or split the difference with solid floors and runners
The bonus of runners on hallway stairs: they add colour 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...
21. Prioritise storage solutions that double up as seating
If the priority for your space is maximising 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.
22. Invest in wall-hung solutions to save floor space
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 light that reflects off it: that keeps the space feeling roomy.
23. Find a slimline solution for a small hallway
If you're looking for small hallway ideas, this storage solution is for you. Not only does it provide plenty of space to store the shoes you wear on a daily basis, it also creates a pretty focal point when teamed with a gorgeous round mirror.
24. Go floor to ceiling with slim storage
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.
25. Be imaginative with under stairs storage spaces
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, like the one below.
26. Hang a gallery wall for hall decorations
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 mementoes.
Or, you could go for a slightly more cohesive gallery wall if that's slightly more your style. Use our guide for creating a gallery wall to find out how to do it and find more inspiration for displaying photos and pictures.
27. Create a feature wall in a hallway with wallpaper
A feature wallpaper for a hallway is tricky: if your hallway is long and narrow, a stand-out print will only make it feel narrower still. So, if you want to add character, you really only want to put it on one wall. The upside? That's quicker and cheaper to DIY. Our advice is to put it on the focal wall – perhaps the one that sits behind a mirror or console table, or the one at the end of the hallway. That's the best way to make it pop.
28. Maximise natural light where possible
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.
29. Choose reflective wallpaper to maximise light
Just like a mirror, reflective wallpaper will help bring more light into a hallway and can enhance the size if 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, which has a very slight almost aged looking shimmer.
30. Be inventive with hallway lighting
Alternatively, you could take inspiration from this gorgeous hallway, where a simple table lamp is styled on a shelf to illuminate the small entryway while taking up minimal space.
Find more of the best hallway lights in our guide.
31. Choose a classic monochrome hallway decorating scheme
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.
For an effective hallway decorating idea try painting the bannisters and using accessories to add in the darker hues but keep walls and floors light.
32. Style a console table to draw the eye
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.
33. Open your hallway up to natural light – but keep it private
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. For part-glazed contemporary front doors try Urban Front.
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. Check out our window film ideas for more inspiration. 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.
To bring a sunny aspect to a gloomy upstairs landing, fit a skylight or try Solatube, a small dome set into the ceiling that brings in a shaft of daylight via a tube from the roof.
Find this Frostbite Window Film at The Window Film Company.
34. Design an open plan space
Taking down a wall is drastic but very effective. In a cramped terraced house, removing the corridor wall creates an open-plan space with an expansive feel – if that’s taking things a step too far and you still want a degree of separation and protection from draughts, consider using a glazed partition in place of the wall.
Alternatively, you could punctuate the wall with several large slots, allowing light to stream through. Before removing any wall, check whether it is load-bearing – if it’s a supporting wall an RSJ may be needed to support the floor above. Seek advice from your builder and a structural engineer.
If your door opens directly into living room and you want to create a divide without compromising on the open-plan feel of your space, we love this Crittall InnerVision interior glazing partition from Yes Glazing Solutions.
35. Go for blue hues for a calming entrance
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.
36. Introduce wall panels into your space
Wall panelling is back in vogue and we're totally here for it, especially in the hallway. Not only does panelling add a slightly more sophisticated feel to a space, it also offers a unique opportunity to add colour without having to commit to using it from floor to ceiling.
Here wall panels are painted a rich oaky red, but you could choose anything from an inky blue to a light grey depending on your preferences.
37. Or experiment with colour blocking
Alternatively, if wall panels aren't an option, you could think about trying colour blocking in your hallway. This requires that you use one colour to paint up to paint from the floor up to a certain height, then choose another colour for use up to the ceiling.
Here white and a pretty millennial pink have been used, but you could choose whatever combination of colours you'd prefer.
38. Work a mirror into your hallway to make it feel larger
One of the oldest interiors tricks around, working a mirror into a space is an easy way to make it feel larger and lighter. Since that's what most of us want for our hallways, you may wish to consider working one into your space.
Here a stunning round mirror is positioned above a console table to create a stylish set-up that not only draws the eye but also enhances the size of the space.
Browse the best hallway mirrors to find something that works for your home.
39. Contrast colours in your hallway to add interest
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 to give it a go, just head to our guide to how to paint furniture, it's actually a really easy DIY.