6 narrow entryway ideas design experts love using in awkward spaces

Our designers say these narrow entryway ideas will disguise and distract from your strangely shaped hall

Narrow entryway ideas can look stylish too. Here are three of these - one with a brown door and shelving, one white one, and one with a black console table
(Image credit: @thistle.harvest / @mycityapartment / @thatsophiahome)

Tight hallways can be a pain to decorate but narrow entryway ideas with a little know-how from our design experts will nail trendy chic, no problem.

We've spoken with design experts well-versed in styling rooms of all different shapes to find out what works in narrow entryways and how you can bring expert styling into your awkward space. 

If you're searching for small entryway ideas but want to it crunch down to ones specific for this narrow spaces, our interior designers have given us all the inspo you'll need, with bold-patterned runners, mirrors with metallic touches and tiles with intrigue.

Narrow entryway ideas

If you're planning on decorating your small entryway and your entryway's narrow shape is stressing you out, we've got you covered. 

As well as seeking out advice from designers, where possible we've also found some stylish buys to match their expertise.

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

1. Bring in lighter colors

A white kitchen looking onto a narrow entryway with a white door, with a brown cabinet with flowers on at the front

(Image credit: @mycityapartment)

Narrow entryways can look very dark, thanks to there not being much room for light to reflect. This is why it’s important to give them as much chance to shine as possible.

“I always recommend painting walls with colors like white and beige to make a small entryway look bigger,” says Daniella Menachemson, interior designer and CEO of StyleNations.

A picture of Daniella Menachemson in a white t-shirt, jeans, and a hat, sitting in a wicker chair
Daniella Menachemson

Daniella Menachemson is a interior designer, supplier, and manufacturer of custom furniture at StyleNations. She specializes in designing, sourcing and manufacturing furniture for hospitality venues.

She continues, “By reflecting natural light, light-colored walls and floors give the impression it’s bigger than it is.”

Light hues are some of the best colors for small entryways, as they’re great for making it look fresh and provide a versatile base to decorate on. We love a win-win.

2. Stash away clutter

An entryway with a black console table with wicker baskets underneath it, and white walls

(Image credit: @thatsophiahome)

When moving through your hallway, it can be easy to throw off your shoes and get yourself settled In the living room or kitchen without second thought. In narrow entryways, it’s best not to do dump your things and run, though.

“In my experience, many homeowners clutter this area and, as a result, it makes the hallway look even smaller,” says Karen Parziale, interior designer at The Staging Studio.

A black and white picture of Karen Parziale, a woman wearing a black shirt
Karen Parziale

Karen Parziale has been a professional stager and interior designer for nearly 20 years. With artistic sensibilities and an exceptional eye for composition, she treats every space as a unique canvas.

She adds, “A narrow hallway must be as clutter free as possible, so store away shoes and umbrellas elsewhere.”

If you really need to have some items in yours, use small entryway storage like a wicker basket, as this is a stylish way to keep them neatly squared way.

3. Hang up a mirror

An entryway with a circular mirror, a wooden shelf with candles on, and gold hooks

(Image credit: @simplysanfordco)

When looking for small entryway mirror ideas, going for a mirror you can hang on the wall is a brilliant way to utilize the little space you have in a narrow entryway.

Karen says, “I am a big fan of mirrors, as this décor item can work magic by making a small entryway look bigger.”

Whether you go for a full-length mirror so you can once-over your whole outfit, or just go for a circular one for a face check, it’s as functional as it is fab.

4. Throw down a runner rug

A white entryway with a wooden floor with a white and rainbow rug, a brown door, and a wooden bench

(Image credit: Ruggable)

We love a cozy, large rug in other parts of the home, but in a narrow entryway you have to work with the shape you have.

“I love using a bold and vibrant runner rug in a narrow entryway to add personality and warmth with a pop of color,” says Jonathan Faccone, design expert and founder of HALO Homebuyers.

A picture of Jonathan Faccone in a black shirt
Jonathan Faccone

Jonathan Faccone is a design expert, real estate investor and developer. He is the managing member of Halo Homebuyers, a real estate home-buying company based in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

He continues, “This way, the eyes are drawn to the floor and distracted from the narrowness of the space.”

Jonathan suggests playing with patterns, colors, and textures to create visual interest in an otherwise small area. Make sure the rug is not too thick or it might create a tripping hazard — nobody wants an accident on their hands.

5. Lay down characterful tiles

An entryway with a wooden door and blue and white striped tiles

(Image credit: Hyperion Tiles)

Changing up the flooring in your small entryway is a smart way to completely zhuzh up its vibe.

Jonathan says, “I have seen great success with graphic floor tiles in a narrow entryway to create the illusion of depth and add character.”

He says this works particularly well for smaller spaces, as it visually expands the area. Jonathan continues, “I recommend choosing tiles with bold patterns or geometric shapes and keeping the rest of the space more neutral to avoid overwhelming the eye.”

By keeping the walls light and airy, you can then balance out the boldness of the floor tiles for a cohesive finish. 

6. Distract with vertical lines

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)

This has to be one of our favorite tricks to use for narrow entryway ideas. Daniella explains, “Emphasize verticality with wall hooks, slim shelves or artwork to draw attention upward and elongate the space visually.”

If you don’t have enough square footage to place down pieces like small space bookshelves, you can always mount one on the wall. We like doing this with Command strips like these on Amazon to keep our walls damage-free. 


How do you style a narrow entryway?

You can use narrow entryway ideas that decorate with tiles, mirrors, vertical storage, lighter colors, runner rugs, and stashing away clutter.

When decorating a narrow entryway, making sure it's as usable as possible is just as important as it being sleek. You could also hang over-the-door organizers on your entryway door, to further free up space in it.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.