Hallway ideas – 20 ways to make a great first impression with decor

1. Introduce Parisian Elegance

Hallway mirrors have long been used to extend the feeling of space but when paired with tall, glazed doors, high ceilings and elegant architecture the result is light and chic.

2. Lay Down An Interesting Floor

Very large entrance halls and grand staircases can err on the side of too formal for some – one way to counter this is by using an unexpected color on the walls and a modern encaustic tile on the floor. This project by the interior design duo Natalie Forbes and Louisa Rix of Forbes Rix required a total refurbishment of a large historic property in London.

3. Put Art In Focus

When there is room to store the usual hallway detritus somewhere out of sight of the entrance, take the opportunity to place a favorite piece of furniture, art or sculpture as a way of setting the stage for the rest of the decorative scheme in a house.

4. Create A Link To Adjoining Rooms

One way to maximize the feeling of space in a hallway is to replace solid doors into the adjoining rooms with glazed alternatives – a tried-and-tested method to allow light to travel between rooms. But there is another advantage to taking this route: making a feature of any pictures, paintings or sculptures that are in the hallway.

5. Build In Storage

Nowhere is hallway storage handier than in a hallway and yet so often there’s little space to squeeze any in. If standard furniture runs the risk of getting in the way, the best option is to invest in bespoke joinery.

6. Embrace Rounded Shapes And Curvaceous Design

Victorian hallways sometimes feature a curved archway, a decorative ploy to soften the repeat of boxy right angles that hallways typically feature. When these details have been lost, or in the case of a new build, use rounded shapes to make a more welcoming entrance, recommends Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co, who created this scheme for a house in London.

7. Showcase Art And Decorative Elements

Keeping the palette of a hallway neutral creates a gallery-style space that is perfect for showing off art, as demonstrated in this scheme by Fiona Barratt-Campbell.  ‘I particularly love the Moroccan tapestry by LRNCE on the left-hand wall,’ she says. Curating a decorative and delightful gallery wall is also a trick the experts use when staging a hallway for potential buyers.

8. Make A Design Statement With A Console Or Buffet

A hallway can be too small a space to be filled with pieces – so make what you do include really count in the design stakes. A console table can not only work as a landing pad for keys, wallets and post, but as a stylish piece to set the tone for the house’s decor – and will fit in with narrow hallway ideas too. Or, opt for a buffet, which will be visually bulkier but take up no more floor space, and provides plenty of storage, too.

9. Bring Pattern To An All-White Scheme

Add decorative detail to an all-white hallway with patterned flooring. It’s a tactic that doesn’t require a space this grand.

10. Take A Modern Approach To Checkered Flooring

Checkered flooring has an interior design history that stretches back not hundreds, but thousands of years. Its place in foyers and hallways is particularly storied – if planning on using it to help your home make a grand entrance, think about how you can make it modern.

11. Create A Warm Rustic Welcome

A hallway can feel like a hug with snug and smart fittings and furnishings. In this space, plank paneling and brick flooring is softened with cushions and seasonal flowers. Seek out an antique bench and team with soft textures, such as natural rug. Accents of color come from the Dirty Orange velvet cushion from Oka.

12. Introduce A Smart Runner

Opt for hallway runner ideas to add color and pattern to the hall and lead the eye up and down the space. It can reduce noise, too. Note the books and pictures in this space – even tiny hallways can be furnished to feel like a room, not a thoroughfare, to make them feel far more welcoming.

13. Be Creative With Wallpaper

Generally, we recommend using a darker wallpaper below the dado rail, and a lighter one above. This hallway is the opposite.

14. Use White To Make A Low Ceiling Feel Taller

Hallways come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on the era of the property, can have low ceilings. White hallway ideas are generally the go-to in this situation as it will brighten the space, but if you prefer more subtle yet still uplifting color, then consider gray hallway ideas, such as using Dimpse by Farrow & Ball, seen here.

15. Lift The Look With Pink

Think pink to elevate the look of a hallway. We love the way this shade follows through from the flowers, runner and up to the curtains at the top. As a side note, the glass on the top of the console also works to add reflection and life.

16. Add A Pop Of Color For A Quick Fix

This farmhouse hallway has been given a pop of brightening color with a coral bench and multicolored cushions, a elegant example of red hallway ideas.

'Your entryway serves as the introduction to your home and the wonderful characters that reside within,' says Mary Maloney, owner and designer at Bees Knees Interior Design Studio.

17. Light The Way

Apartment living means hallways don’t lead to stairs, so you can often end up with long narrow spaces that have a tendency to be gloomy. We asked Betsy Kasha, co-founder of Paris based interior design studio Kasha Paris for her top tips for lightening up hallways.

18. Make Space For Art

In a narrow hallway with very little space for furniture or bulky decor, make an impact with without straying more than an inch from the wall. In this Lake Michigan home by M. Lavender Interiors, a small arched hall is turned into a space inspired by the owners’ travels in Africa. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball's Sudbury Yellow to echo the color of the grasses in the Serengeti, while one is bedecked by framed photographs they took on a trip there to create a stunning gallery wall.

19. Introduce Two Shades Of A Color

Using two shades of one color can add subtle interest to a hallway, but keep the look restful. Go for green hallway ideas, as in this space, to maximize the calmness of the atmosphere. The top part of this wall features Acorn from Little Greene, while Hopper below the dado rail adds depth and is what your eye sees first. The tiles act as the perfect foil to the flat wall color and create a lighter feel.

20. Enhance A Sense Of Length With Horizontal Lines

It’s not unusual to want to make a small hallway space feel bigger. This corridor, in a house with interiors designed by Marlaina Teich, shows not only how lighter colors are a great way to help make the space feel brighter, but that a little optical illusion goes a long way.

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