16 modern hallway ideas – contemporary designs for spaces big and small

These modern hallway ideas are a cut above the rest, with contemporary design accents that are sure to impress.

Modern hallway design in red, yellow and blue primary color design
(Image credit: Wayfair)

If your entryway is looking a little on the dated side, we've got some beautiful modern hallway ideas for you. But before you think we're being judgmental of your style, we know it's not necessarily your fault.

Perhaps you've inherited old-fashioned hallway ideas from a fixer-upper house you've just bought, or you think your landlord won't let you do anything too drastic.

However you've come to the predicament you're in now, these ideas will leave you feeling proud, every time you step through the front door.

Modern hallway ideas using innovative interior design

1. Coordinate your floor tiles with your banister

Green hallway design with geometric floor and wall tiling

(Image credit: Bert & May)

'The humble hallway is so often overlooked in the style stakes, but we think it’s one of the most important areas in the house. Not only are these flexible spaces incredibly useful, they’re also the first part of a home that you see, so it’s worth maximizing potential from both a practical and interior design perspective.', says Lee Thornley, founder of Bert & May.

Get the look by using bold geometric tiles that will leave a first and lasting impression on your guests. Our favorites include Bert and May's Alalpardo and Majadas designs.

2. Build a curated space by collecting art souvenirs

Ethnic inspired modern hallway design by interior design studio Marguerite Rodgers

(Image credit: Halkin Mason Photography)

'Art leans with a mix of personal photographs and art in varying sizes is always interesting. I like to collect art while traveling and am always adding to my collection. Leans allows for quick and fresh rearrangement whenever!', says Kaitlyn Murphy, designer for Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design.

3. Add framed wall art to create a chic hallway vibe

Black and white framed wall art above console in hallway area by Desenio

(Image credit: Desenio)

'For households with hectic schedules, entryways are often used as a dumping ground for coats, shoes, and bags.', says Annica Wallin, executive creative director of Desenio.

'Returning home after a long day to a pile of your kids’ sneakers is not the best start to what should be a relaxing evening. Moreover, visitors entering a cluttered hallway will get the feeling that they are intruders in a chaotic home, not welcome guests.

'Instead create a storage solution that hides away clutter, such as a bench that conceals shoes underneath. In a rush, you can quickly hide away stray clutter before guests arrive. To draw the eye upwards, add frames above the bench featuring prints to set the vibe you’re going for. For example, quotation prints in family homes set a fun, casual, and welcoming tone.'

4. Create a clean, clutter-free Mediterranean scheme 

Balmy med inspired hallway with framed wall art by Desenio

(Image credit: Desenio)

Your entryway should not be the place to feature kitschy ornaments or artworks that were demoted from other, more frequently used rooms. Filling the walls with cluttered collectibles creates an overwhelming and messy impression.', says Wallin.

'While vacation souvenirs may feel cute to you, overly personalized items can make guests feel more like an outsider, since they are unable to relate to the decor themselves.'

'Instead express your tastes, but in an uplifting and welcoming way. A perfect way to do this is to get back to basics. Remove the clutter and feature two or three framed prints that you love.'

'Botanical or abstract prints are a particularly good choice to create a homely feel in the entryway. Position them on the wall adjacent to the door so they’ll make the first impression when guests arrive.'

5. Use primary colors for a new approach to Bauhaus

Red, yellow and blue colorful modern hallway idea by Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

We've said it once, and we'll say it again: It's a wonder what a colorful scheme can do. And your front door color says a lot about your personal style. Sure, a classic grey hallway idea or black scheme never hurt, but the more bold may consider something more statement-making.

Think firetruck red for a hot hallway look, royal blue for regal palace and bright yellow for a city row house. You'll want to select a semi-gloss paint that will provide contrast with your home's matte interiors.

6. Be daring with an all-black finish

Black hallway with monochrome flooring, orange lamp shade and dog

(Image credit: Bert and May)

'I think it was Rockett St George and Bettle and Wilde who first inspired me to take the plunge with black paint, and I don't think I'll ever fall out of love for dark interiors', says Georgie, who owns Instagram interiors account, @pippinandthetealdoor.

'We are often scared of losing light and sense of space that we paint everything magnolia, but it's important to break that mold. Dark is not a modern trend, dark paints were at their most popular during the Victorian times, which is one reason we found it fitting to paint the entrance of our Victorian apartment in Mylands Sinner.'

'Another important tip — don't forget ceilings! I know it's much easier to leave a ceiling white, but it's focusing on ceilings, floors and hardware that really styles a space. Here, we used Cole and Son wallpapers in Nuvolette'.

7. Paint over your framed art prints (no, really)

Yellow hallway idea by Dulux with painted over wall art

(Image credit: Dulux)

OK, hear us out before you stare in absolute horror. If you want to incorporate a hallway design is a little different, and that'll grab the attention of guests, painting over your framed prints is a quirky idea that creates cohesion between your walls and artwork on display.

While we don't recommend dousing your finest artwork or family portraits in a thick layer of emulsion, you may want to scan thrift shops and garage sales for less-loved pieces that don't cost much, and that you won't have an emotional connection with.

8. Consider a cohesive hallway-to-living-room scheme

Hallway ideas by Dulux with living room in shot

(Image credit: Dulux)

Rather than thinking about our homes as places that contain different rooms, each designed in silo, one way to make your hallway look modern, is to consider the adjacent rooms surrounding it — including the living room.

Here, a modern take on a seventies scheme, using rusty oranges and earthy browns pour from the entryway to the lounge. Just as a patterned hallway flooring idea is used in the entryway, a bohemian Berber-style rug, and wooden light fixture are used to create a relaxed and free-spirited scheme.

9. Introduce modular shelves for a pop-up playroom

Modern hallway idea by Dulux with black banister, red bench and modular shelves

(Image credit: Dulux)

Gone are the days when children should be seen and not heard. Whether we're juggling WFH tasks or school's out for summer — there's no need to shun them to their rooms.

Instead, encourage play by creating a modern hallway idea with modular hallway storage ideas and a colorful bench design. When it's time to head out, you've also got a safe space for them to put on their shoes, and you'll also know that their favorite book or plush toy is where it should be.

If your kids are away for the weekend, toys and other bits-and-bobs can be replaced with potted plants and books instead. This is multi-functional and modern living at its best.

10. Create a focal point for hanging up coats and scarves

Coral and white modern hallway with coat stand

(Image credit: Dulux)

Modern life can often mean busy schedules with back-to-back extra curricular activities while sneaking in big food shops, a trip to the movies and a weekend walk around the mall. But that shouldn't mean that coats, boots and scarves should be left on the floor, or stacked like a Jenga tower on the end of a banister.

Using a bright coral paint, this hallway paint idea will encourage little ones to hang their outer garments as soon as they wall through the door after a day of excitement. As part of your modern hallway design considerations, source a coat stand that is a little creative, like this white wooden tree design.

11. Opt for a minimalist monochrome hallway

Black and white monochrome modern hallway by Wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Classy and contemporary, monochrome modern hallway ideas will never fall out of fashion. This simple but ingenious setup can be emulated using a black framed mirror, dark stools of differing heights, a clean, black wood slatted shoe rack, sleek storage bench and striped runner rug. 

Made for fashionistas, this modern entryway design is the perfect space to strut your stuff. Depending on the size of your furniture, this'll suit both large and small hallway ideas.

12. Can't make up your mind? Go modern traditional

Modern traditional hallway ideas by IKEA

(Image credit: IKEA)

Part modern, part traditional, who says you can't have it all. The magic in this modern hallway idea lies in the volumes of wall-mounted storage for easy organization. Suiting a large family, there's an abundance of hooks, coat stands and shoe storage ideas for trendy teens, and their ever-growing sneaker selection.

Having three ceiling lights means that a warm glow permeates the space and provides ample opportunity to get on with the task in hand. Whether that's getting ready in front of the floor-length mirror or tying your shoelaces.

13. Optimize a small floor plan with smart storage

Hallway storage idea by Habitat

(Image credit: Habitat)

With a premium price tag for rental and home ownership, sometimes our modern entryway ideas are a little on the small side. One expert explains how to deal with this issue.

'Avoid an overcrowded hallway by only keeping the everyday essentials on display. Off-season items such as winter coats, scarves and gloves can be packed away in a storage trunk or lidded basket to keep mess to a minimum.', says Kate Gibson, Home Buying Manager for Habitat.

'Functional storage does not have to compromise your interior style. On-trend rattan and wicker pieces offer practicality as well as a stylish, handcrafted appeal.'

'Matching storage boxes are a great way to carve up open shelving into separate zones where items can be organised and stored away. Assigning a box to each member of the household will ensure the space is kept tidy and encourage kids to take ownership of their belongings.'

'More and more customers have embraced ladder-style shelving. This style provides valuable shelf space with a minimal footprint.'

'In compact entrances, opt for multi-functional storage pieces complete with hooks, drawers and shelving to maximize space. Slim vertical designs work in narrow areas and are ideal for renters, unable to hang shelves.'

14. Add a statement radiator in your modern hallway

White ceramic radiator in blue hallway by The Radiator Company

(Image credit: The Radiator Company)

When looking for the best radiators for your modern hallway, you'll want something that stands out... In the right way.

No longer are you tied to a bulky off-white or greige fixture that sits there with its 'like it or lump it' looks. Today's radiators, available with textured, mirrored or colored panels add style (and comfort) to your entryway.

15. Soften an exposed brick wall with chic accessories

Milo sideboard with eye shaped mirror pampas grass and exposed brick ceiling

(Image credit: Tikamoon)

'Exposed brick is a great way to add texture to a room, but can feel a bit rough and cold in the wrong setting. Here we've softened the effect of the brick with the warm wood of our Milo sideboard, an off-white wall, and some fluffy pampas grass.', says Anna-Charlotte Watorek, PR Manager, Tikamoon.

We also love the eye-shaped mirror idea which adds interest to this minimalist scheme. 

16. Zone an open-plan hallway space with a light fixture

Hallway idea by Decorilla with chandelier bench and wall art

(Image credit: Decorilla)

'Go bold with lighting by selecting a sculptural-like chandelier. Placement is key and traditional standards no longer have to be followed.,' says Devin Shaffer, Lead Interior Designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design.

How do you decorate a modern hallway?

Peter Erlandsson, co-owner of Scandinavian brand string furniture knows a thing or two about modern hallway design. He explains why you should treat your hallway shelf like a canvas, and 'create a work of art on top of it with artfully styled ‘clutter.’'

He says: 'Not only is it fun to create your own, organic and changing art work from your own nick-nacks, but it is a great way to save space. When you lift things off the floor and use shelving as a storage solution, you create the illusion of a larger space.'

Garth McAlpin, architecture, designer & director and national fulfillment manager of Classic Architectural Group adds: 'That area underneath the staircase is ideal for storing, but don't allow it to become a dumping ground for shoes and clothes; instead, incorporate it into the decor.'

'Choose a built-in enclosed cabinet that blends smoothly into the room if you need to utilize it for unsightly goods. You can also add wallpaper and other items to complete the design. You may also experiment with color or create an accent wall to bring life to your hallway. I would recommend that you make an aesthetically pleasing bookshelf that complements your style.'

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.