The 5 small entryway color mistakes design experts say are big bloopers

Our interior design experts say five small entryway color mistakes will lead your space into disarray

Small entryway color mistakes are a pain. Here is a pink wall with a gallery wall of colorful artwork and a brown console table and a lamp in front of it
(Image credit: Desenio)

Knowing the top small entryway color mistakes will make decorating so much easier as you won't waste precious energy or dollars working with the wrong shades.

We've spoken with design experts to find out the common color mistakes people make with their small entryways, and their top five tips for choosing, or changing to other colors that'll work better for this space.

If you've spied a small entryway idea you want to replicate, or have eyed up a gorgeous tin of paint at Home Depot, first soak up what our designers have to say about it. It might just change your choice, and the success of your entryway aesthetic altogether.

Small entryway color mistakes

Bloopers when choosing fabric and paint colors for small entryways are easily remedied with our expert's advice. We've also included helpful buys to help set you on the path to sort out any existing small entryway color mistakes.

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

1. Missing the undertone

A white drawer set with a white vase with flowers, in front of a blue wall

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

We’ve all been there. You’ve opened up a gorgeous tin of paint color, splashed it on, then taken a step back and realized it looks very different on your walls. What a nightmare.

“This might seem like a small mistake, but the undertones in a color are what give it warmth or coolness,” says Seymen Usta, interior design specialist and founder of Seus Lighting.

A picture of Seymen Usta, a man wearing a white shirt and blue trousers, sitting on a green couch
Seymen Usta

Seymen Usta is an interior design specialist and the founder of Seus Lighting — one of the largest home decor lighting retailers in Northern America.

He continues, “For instance, a blue with purple undertones will look different than a blue with green undertones.”

Seymen explains when people overlook this detail, and it happens a lot, they end up with an entryway color not in line with the rest of their aesthetic.

Be sure to pick up a paint sample of any shade you’re thinking of trying, put a small amount on the wall, and then leave it for at least 24 hours to see how it looks at different times of the day, in all different lighting, and if it looks how you intended.

2. Overdoing color schemes

An entryway with a colorful gallery wall, a brown console table, and a white rug

(Image credit: Desenio)

You may have seen maximalism pop up all over your social feeds, as it’s a super hot small space interior design trend.  However, in entryways, going over the top doesn’t always work.

“An excess of colors can induce a feeling of clutter and disarray,” says Ricky Allen, interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper.

A picture of Ricky Allen in a suit
Ricky Allen

Ricky Allen is the interior designer and director of Ever Wallpaper, experts in high-quality wallpapers and murals, using non-toxic, odorless, and environmentally friendly materials.

He advises streamlining your palette to one or two main colors, introducing patterns and accents only sparingly to maintain a harmonious and balanced appearance.

Ricky adds, “If you wish to incorporate color, choose subdued tones or pastel, as these won't be overly dominant.”

Pastels especially look really sweet and play into the popular Danish pastel aesthetic which is all about sugary shades and quirky patterns. They're also a top small space color trend.

3. Choosing a color in isolation

Color swatches on a gray wall, with one being placed on wearing a white shirt

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s so easy to walk into a store, fall head over heels for a paint color or furniture piece, and immediately snap it up without picturing your own home.

“It's important to choose a color complementary of the other colors in your home,” says Seymen. "A shade can look great in the store or on a sample card, but when it's placed next to your existing furniture and decor, it may clash.”

This is why he recommends picking up color and fabric swatches in-store and comparing them with your existing entryway before buying anything or putting energy into redoing the whole space.

4. Choosing the wrong neutrals

A small entryway with cream walls and a wooden entryway with decor on it

(Image credit: West Elm)

We always recommend neutrals when looking for the best small entryway colors, but you can go wrong even with these. Yes — we’re surprised, too.

“Neutral colors offer a variety of rich combinations to light up any room,” explains Ivo Iv, design expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas.

A black and white picture of Ivo Iv, a man wearing a black shirt against a black background
Ivo Iv

Ivo Iv is a home improvement expert and founder of Decor Home Ideas. He loves inspiring people with interior design ideas and showing them the practical steps to make these happen. 

However, choosing the wrong neutrals for your entryway may end up causing a clash with your furniture, accessories, and decor. 

Ricky says to make sure to stick to classic ones. “Neutral hues such as white, beige, or light gray are excellent choices for small entryways, as they reflect light.”

This can in turn make a small entryway appear bigger. This is always useful when you don’t have a lot of square footage.

5. Opting for matte shades

A pink entryway with a green door and radiator, a painting of a countryside scene, and pink flowers to the left

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Over the past few years, matte finishes both in terms of paint color and decor have become majorly trendy, thanks to the quiet luxury movement.

“They are unique and bring a sense of sophistication to your space, but they just won’t do for your entryway,” says Ivo.

In a small entryway, matte finishes, especially in dark colors, absorb all the light and make the space feel cramped. 

Ivo recommends opting for satin paint and fabrics instead, which have the same cool, muted look, but with a little gloss to reflect light.


What small entryway color mistakes should I avoid?

The small entryway color mistakes you should avoid are picking the wrong neutral colors, choosing matte shades, not paying attention to undertones, and overdoing the color scheme.

What's the worst small entryway color mistake?

The worst small entryway color mistake is painting walls a color without thinking of the impact on the space. By doing this, you risk not matching your decor or making your entryway look smaller.

Avoid these key mistakes now, and you’re sure to thank yourself later on. 

“An entryway is the first part of your house visitors and guests interact with, so choosing the right color for it will greatly determine how people perceive your space,” Ivo adds.

Carry on sprucing up your hallway and now you're on the right track, avoid entryway decor mistakes.

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.