Hallway paint colors: 27 inspiring decorating ideas for enhancing your hallway | Real Homes

Hallway paint colors: 27 inspiring decorating ideas for enhancing your hallway

Find inspiration for hallway paint colors that are fresh, inviting and create a great first impression of your home...

hallway paint color
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(Image credit: Garden Trading)

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...

Head over to our hallway ideas hub page for more design advice and information. We'd recommend you read our comprehensive guide to how to design a hallway, if you're starting from scratch, too. 

1. Use hallway paint colors to change proportions

Dulux ColourFutures™ 2018_Heart Wood Home_Heart Wood, Wooded Solace, Blackberry Bush


(Image credit: Dulux)

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

Dulux Golden Sands and Heart Wood

(Image credit: Dulux)

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

Midnight Navy and Scottish Pine

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

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 

Warm Welcome and Step Inside

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

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

Monday Blues

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

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. 

Two of our favorite aqua blues: Boca Raton Blue by Benjamin Moore and Nairobi Blue by Clare Paints.

6. Keep it classic with greige

greige paint

Beiging by Clare Paints

(Image credit: Clare paints)

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

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

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

Strong White and Down Pipe

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

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. 

This hallway is painted in Strong White, while the door frame is accented with Down Pipe, both from Farrow & Ball. 

Use our guide to painting a door to ensure your paintwork is up to scratch.

9. Pick pastels for a busy hallway

Little Greene Bone China Blue Mid

(Image credit: Little Greene)

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

Clay Mid and Clay Pale, Little Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

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

Crown Almost Sage and Blank Canvas

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

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

Woad, Grey Stone, Sunlight by iIttle Greene

(Image credit: Little Greene)

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.

hallway paint colors

(Image credit: Sherwin Williams)

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.

To get the look, try Sherwin Williams Wild Currant or Bravado Red.

14. Go for the modern farmhouse look

hallway paint colors

(Image credit: PPG)

White paired with dark, charcoal grey and espresso-brown railings creates
an on-trend, but still timeless, modern farmhouse look. To get this style, try PPG's Black Widow with Delicate White.

15. Don’t underestimate versatile off-whites

Hallway with red carpet painted in Farrow & Ball Ammonite

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

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. 

We like Farrow & Ball's Ammonite for a slightly grey-toned off-white, or Benjamin Moore's Simply White for a warmed up true white tone. 

16. Choose a contrasting tone for the woodwork

hallway with grey scheme by carpetright

(Image credit: Carpetright)

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

Hallway with painted floor and staircse and gallery wall in Vanessa Arbuthnott's converted cow barn

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

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

Hallway with blackboard paint, by Kreis Design

(Image credit: Kreis Design)

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

Hallway with natural flooring

(Image credit: Kersaint Cobb)

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

bespoke painted bootroom with fitted cupboards, storage bench and coat hooks by artichoke

(Image credit: Artichoke)

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

Sage painted door in a hallway with bold geometric tiles

(Image credit: Modern Harlequin )

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

Black and white hallway with red floor tiles


(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

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.

Blue hallways with geometric tiles and yellow statement chair

We love how the Ca'Pietra patterned floor tiles in this hallway tie together the whole colour scheme 

(Image credit: Ca Pietra)

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

Grey hallway by Neptune (light fitting)

(Image credit: Neptune)

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

Hallway floor boards painted in Farrow & Ball Lulworth Blue

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

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 

Hallway door painted with chalk board paint by Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

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 

hallway paint colours: B&Q paint inspiration

(Image credit: B&Q)

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.

For more tips on styling with our favorite colors, check out The Real Homes Show

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

Find more decorating advice and inspiration