The perfect hallway paint color should be fresh, inviting and provide the perfect introduction to your home for visitors. Whether your taste is for classic neutrals, dark and moody interiors or something that makes even more of a statement, opt for a hallway scheme that reflects your personality – as well as they style of the rest of your home.
This is particularly important as the hallway tends to be the first space that people encounter when entering your home, so it should be a space that feels fresh and inviting. With a little careful planning, all of our hallway design ideas will leave your hallway feeling all of this, and more. So, keep reading for inspiration...
1. Use hallway paint colors to change proportions
Putting a dark color on a wall makes it advance visually; lighter ones make it recede. So, the trick in this hallway, with the darker wall at the far end and lighter walls around it, has been to make it feel squarer. Other clever hallway painting tricks? The use of the same paler color on the ceilings and woodwork, including the door, makes the hallway feel less busy, and therefore more spacious, too.
As for the color, mauves and purples are distinctive, yet welcoming. Perfect for a hallway, in other words.
Try Clare Paints' Prince for a similar shade to the dark purple one above.
Not sure what color to pick? Use our guide to choosing the right colors for every room in your home for expert advice.
2. Use warm sunny hallway paint colors
One thing is certain about hallways, and it is that they almost always get very little natural daylight. Neutral shades are a tried and true way to combat this problem, but why not go a step further and cheer up your hallway with a sunny shade? Keep it contemporary with no fuss accessories and neutral color accents.
The glorious Lemon Curd by Valspar will give you a similar look to the one shown below, and it has a warm tone that will remind you of summery days, even in the depth of winter.
3. Experiment with bold contrasts with this colorful hallway paint idea
A pairing of intense shades is guaranteed to elevate your hallway from the most forgettable space in the house to statement interior. Don’t be afraid of bold shades – it’s all about making sure that they harmonize, which you can ensure by picking tones that can compete equally. Use the darker color on the lower half of the wall to keep the hallway feeling as spacious as possible.
Take inspiration from this example. Midnight Navy and Kelly Green by Benjamin Moore will achieve a similar look. Check out our guide to using a color wheel for interior design and color scheming if you want more advice on how to use bolder paint colors in your hallway.
4. Create a warm welcome with peachy pastels
If going for a bold clash isn’t your thing, you can still experiment with contrasting shades and color blocking, all the while keeping things safely neutral with an off-white scheme and nearly matching tones. Want a contemporary feel? Introduce warm, peachy pinks into your hallway; they look great matched with white paintwork and richly-grained mid-tone wood.
In this hallway, delicate blush shades break up the walls nicely without screaming for attention. For a similar hue, we love Clare Paints' Wing It.
5. Get maximum effect from your favorite hallway paint color
Since hallways tend to be, for the most part, pretty much unfurnished spaces, there is little to worry about in terms of paint colors clashing with furniture. So, this is the place to really indulge in a color you love, by putting it on walls, woodwork and even radiators. Perfect for making a small space feel larger, this trick will work in both contemporary and traditional homes.
6. Keep it classic with greige
If you're looking for a simple, yet stylish scheme guaranteed to last more than one season, greige is a perfect option. It's a look that's more interesting that an all-white space, but just as timeless.
We currently love Clare paints Beigeing shade. It's not too grey, not too beige, and dark enough to make a statement, but light enough for a small space.
7. Add character to a hallway with a deep grey shade
Hallways should not be painted dark colors, right? Well, it all depends on the shade. While painting your hallway black will only really work in homes with lofty ceilings, a strong, deep shade of grey can lend hallways in even modern, more compact homes a classy, manor house-style look. Accent with colorful paintings and decorative pieces for an eclectic feel, and keep the ceiling white to bounce light around.
This hallway (and the one at the top of the page) is in Farrow & Ball’s bestselling lead grey shade Down Pipe.
8. Paint a door frame in a contrasting shade
Who says door frames, woodwork and doors (for that matter) have to be white? You can give a contemporary hallway a modern feel and a traditional home a period feel by using the same neat paint trick: painting woodwork in a darker, contrasting shade. A quick way to freshen up an already neutral space, it's a practical move, too, especially if you have kids or pets who leave their grimy marks as they pass.
Use our guide to painting a door to ensure your paintwork is up to scratch.
9. Pick pastels for a busy hallway
If your hallway is a collection of doors, stairs and corners, then a great hallway paint color idea is to pick a pale pastel shade to make it look light, bright – and restful. For a country-style look, match it with delicate whitewashed furniture and delicate accessories; for a contemporary appeal, match it with blonde wood.
For a similar look to the one below, try PPG's Iceberg.
Love pastels? We've got plenty more pastel decorating ideas.
10. Go easy with a rich cream hallway paint color
There is nothing quite like a creamy paint color for an instantly inviting effect. But, more than that, it's so easy to update – simply swap out accessories, such as table lamps or rugs to update your color scheme, without picking up a paintbrush.
11. Discover the optical effects of green in a hallway
Green is the most relaxing of colors, making it perfect for a busy family hallway. Lighter shades also work wonders at visually expanding small spaces, especially when paired with a bright white shade. In this hallway, a gentle sage color opposite white walls creates depth and an impression of space, plus it links neatly to the color scheme of the room beyond.
Try Behr's Queen Anne's Lace for a similar sage shade.
12. Explore multiple shades of the same color
Using darker and lighter tones of the same color creates focus in a space. So, just as you might highlight a fireplace wall in a living room by painting it a different color to those of the rest of the room, you can achieve a similar effect in a hallway. Why not start by painting the wall behind a console table to draw attention to that, or the one at the far end of the hallway on which you've hung a gallery of pictures? The contrasting accent in this hallway makes the space feel contemporary and lifts the pale scheme into a sunnier one.
13. Looking for bright hallway paint colors? Try a berry shade.
If you are feeling really adventurous, and your home's (generous) proportions can accommodate a bold scheme, why not use the hallway to really explore the potential of unusual color combinations? We love this strawberry hue paired with a berry-toned entryway table.
14. Go for the modern farmhouse look
15. Don’t underestimate versatile off-whites
An off-white shade is a failsafe option for hallways, guaranteed to make the space look fresh, light and spacious. Off-whites come in an almost endless variety of subtle undertones, so there is still plenty of room for creating individual style and variation if you use more than one tone.
16. Choose a contrasting tone for the woodwork
If your hallway has attractive woodwork, you might like to make a feature of it rather than concentrating on the walls. Pick your color carefully – woodwork tends to look good in natural shades rather than anything too bright. Bear in mind, too, that a dark shade on woodwork only will still make a big impact on the natural light in the space.
17. Paint the staircase
A great hallway paint idea, and one that adds a ton of character is to paint the staircase. It's a look that can suit both contemporary and period properties, particularly country-style spaces, plus it's a good budget alternative to carpet.
Find out how to paint a staircase and get inspiration in our dedicated feature.
18. Create a family command center with blackboard paint
If you're a parent to young kids who like to doodle on the walls anyway (we've all been there), or if you've got teens who need a little help with organization, a wall painted with blackboard paint is a clever idea. Use our guide to painting a chalkboard wall for how tos and ideas.
19. Paint wall paneling for loads of character
Wall paneling is a practical choice for a hallway because it'll take all the knocks and scuffs that a plain painted wall or wallpaper won't. Choose a deeper shade of paint for a low-maintenance look, and be sure to pick a paint with a wipeable finish.
For wall panel know how and design ideas, see our guide.
20. Paint hallway storage to blend away
If you're building in hallway storage, however large or small, painting it the same color as the wall it sits on will help it visually recede, giving you a smarter finish. Pick a light, neutral shade for a space-enhancing finish.
21. Paint the inside of the front door
We are all very focused on the color of our front doors, but don't neglect what it looks like on the inside! Painting the inside of your front door could be all you need to add a subtle splash of color to your hallway – and it's really easy to DIY it on the cheap. Use our guide to painting a door to get your finish spot on.
We love how this sage green looks. For something similar try Farrow & Ball Breakfast Room Green.
22. Choose a classic monochrome 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 anyway and you don't want to enhance that by getting too happy with the black paint.
Try painting the banisters and using accessories to add in the darker hues but keep walls and floors light.
23. Contrast your hallway paint colors with other rooms
When choosing the best paint for your hallway consider the colors of the rooms that lead off the space, especially if you want to go bold. In this hallway, below the chair rail has been painted in a dark navy blue, to contrast with the pink room beyond. Love it.
You could of course always paint your hallway in the same color as the rest of your downstairs rooms if you want a more cohesive look. In this hallway, going for the same all over colr, draws you to the end room, making the space seem longer. Painting the door in a darker color adds just enough contrast and breaks up the lighter blue.
24. Go for a classic grey hallway paint
You knew it was coming. We can't get through a paint article without telling you to paint something in a lovely shade of mid-grey. Clearly, we love grey so much we dedicated a whole article to grey hallway design ideas, so make sure you go and check that out annnnd we have a feature dedicated to the best grey paint if you need help picking the right shade.
25. Paint your hallway floorboards
Don't just focus on painting the walls of your hallway, painting the floor can have just as much of an impact. If you keep the rest of the room white you can actually go for something pretty brave on your floorboards and it still won't overwhelm the space. For a gorgeous vibrant blue similar to this one try Farrow and Ball's Lulworth Blue and pair it with a really bright white.
If you fancy giving it a go yourself, it's a pretty simple DIY job – just check out our guide to how to paint floorboards.
26. Turn your front door into a to do list
It's hard to ignore a to do list when you are faced with it every time you come in or out of the house. So borrow this hallway paint color idea and paint the back of your front door in chalkboard paint. Of course, if you are more artistic you could draw a funky design instead of just writing 'Jack, walk the dog'.
The black with the yellow walls and tiled flooring works perfectly here, but you can get chalkboard paints in all sort of on-trend colors so you can pick something to suit your space.
27. Choose terracotta shades for that Mediterranean feel
Terracotta shades are super popular throughout Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean countries, and with their warm, earthy tones it's easy to see why. But just because we're back in dreary old Britain, rather than sunning ourselves on the coast, it doesn't mean we should miss out on the feel good factor that terracotta has to offer.
For best effect, pair this rich tone with something lighter and brighter to ensure your space isn't left feeling overwhelmed. Then just add plenty of house plants and woven baskets for a touch of texture and plenty of boho vibes.
Every fortnight our in-house stylist, Anna Morley explains the best ways to style with a signature colour, be it mustard, forest green or blush pink