Hallway rugs: 10 ideas to add style to your space

Hallway rugs work hard in our homes, so picking the right one can be tricky, but we've got you covered with these practical (and pretty) ideas...

Hallway rugs: runner by Roger Oates
(Image credit: Roger Oates)

We ask a lot of a hallway rug. They are the first thing people see when they walk into your home so they obviously have to look really nice, but they are also probably the most walked over piece of flooring in your entire house so they have got to wear well and be practical too. Then you add on the fact that hallways are usually small and dark and your choice of rug could counteract both these drawbacks. 

See? Hallway rugs have to work hard. So picking the right one is important. We've rounded up some gorgeous hallway rug ideas to get you inspired...

1. Narrow hallway? Go for stripes

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Without sounding too much like a segment from What Not to Wear, stripes do elongate. If your hallway is on the narrower side then using a striped runner is going to draw the eye towards the end of the space, giving the illusion of a longer room. Isn't that right Trinny?

Find more ways to supersize your small hallway with these ideas.

2. Combine patterned tiles with a simple hallway rug

If you've got gorgeous patterned tiles in your hallway, don't cover them up with an expansive of rug. Choose something that's simple and practical that won't distract from the tiles. Jute is great for this. It wears really well, won't clash with any colours going on in your hallway, plus they are super stylish at the moment.

For more patterned floor tile inspiration head over to our feature.  

Blue hallway with natural jute rug

(Image credit: Dunelm)

3. Or combine a patterned hallway rug with simple flooring

If you have got plain hallway flooring then use a rug to add the pattern. Actually switching between different patterned rugs is a really quick and inexpensive way to give your hallway a whole new feel, so get a few going on rotation. 

Crown Almost Sage and Blank Canvas

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

4. Match your hallway rug to other furnishings

Well obviously you want your hallway rug to match, but why not use it as a key part of your hallway colour scheme? A hallway rug can quickly go unnoticed, but choose one that adds to the overall vibe of your space. We love how in this hallway the stripes in the rug perfectly match the blues and greys in the curtains and cushions. 

If you want any tips on choosing you hallway paint ideas, head over to our guide. 

Hallway curtain by Vanessa Arbuthnott

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

5. Or you could create a clash with your hallway rug 

We aren't talking zebra print on the floor and leopard print on the walls (although that actually sounds quite cool) but using your hallway rug to create a subtle contrast is a great way to add some interest. See here how the floral wallpaper works with the striped rug? It's nothing too crazy, the colours are still quite similar, but it just gives a bit more than say, a cream runner. 

If you want some great tips on how to really master mixing prints and patterns, we have a whole feature on it to help you out. 

floral wallpaper in hallway with seating area

(Image credit: Engblad & Co)

6. Pick a hallway in a dark colour for minimal mess

Choosing a hallway rug in a darker colour is definitely the most practical choice, simply because it won't show the dirt as quickly. Hallway rugs are susceptible to muddy shoes, paws, bikes and whatever else you drag through your home on the daily, so make the sensible call to prevent getting the carpet cleaner out every two minutes.

Sounds like an obvious point, but if you have fallen for a rug that perhaps isn't the most practical for all the foot fall it could face (Cream? Expensive? Beautiful?) just make sure you throw down a door mat directly in front of the door. That way even if shoes don't come off straight away, your lovely rug has got more of a chance of staying cleanish. Alternatively just invest in the best carpet cleaner

ikea storage solution with coat hooks, storage benches

(Image credit: Ikea)

7. Choose a 'worn in' hallway rug design to solve all these problems

You've got to have seen this style of rug, they are literally everywhere at the moment. Everyone wants that rug that looks like it's been walked over every day since it was thrown down in the 19th century (but really you just picked it up at Made.com). Great thing about these rugs? They already look used, making them perfect for busy hallways. 

Monochrome hallway with white wooden staircase and a high ceiling

(Image credit: Future/Malcolm Menzies)

8. Use a hallway rug to lighten the space

Paint the walls white, add plenty of lighting, hang up mirrors on every vertical surface, and you've covered all the usual tips on how to lighten a hallway, but make sure you look to the floor too. Throwing down a lighter rug could make all the difference. 

'But you just said...'. Yes, we know that about two points ago we said choose a darker colour, but if you pick a really textured, hardy fabric that can handle the dirt you will be fine. Jute is your friend again here. 

Light hallway with natural jute rug

(Image credit: Nest)

9. Use a hallway rug to protect hardwood floors

Hardwood floors look gorgeous in a hallway, they would probably be our go-to for hallway flooring, but they do start to show dust and dirt around doorways quite quickly. So using a hallway rug to protect your floors from too much wear and tear makes sense.

Find our how to choose the best wood flooring in our guide. And if you're thinking about restoring your existing flooring, find out how to repair wooden floorboards.

Bright and light hallway with jute runner

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

10. Like the traditional style? Go for a Persian hallway rug  

If you live in a period home or like period style you can't go wrong with a Persian rug in your hallway. As well as looking gorgeous and setting the perfect tone for the rest of your house, they are also a really practical option since they wear well (see point 7) and the detailed patterns means they won't show dirt too quickly.  

Hallway of Elizabethan townhouse

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

More hallway inspiration: 

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.