Home Decor Hallway – Pictures

18 really useful hallway decorating ideas from interior designers and industry experts

They say you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression…


We’re all familiar with the saying ‘first impressions count’, but why is it that when it comes to our homes, the hallway is the most neglected area of the house?

‘Hallways are the most important transitional spaces within our homes so whatever we choose to do decoration-wise has to work perfectly with the other rooms that lead off it,’ says Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux. ‘This decorating dilemma often results in us being super cautious with colour and using neutral pale shades which can flatten the atmosphere creating a space that is simply a functional corridor that no-one really lingers in or remembers.

‘You need to break down the visual boxiness of the space and add focal points of interest that make it a more dynamic part of your home to be in.’

Bearing this in mind, we’ve taken the stress out of decorating your hallway by speaking to interior designers and colour experts on exactly how to make the most of this space – whether you’re battling with a dark entryway, or your hallway is turning into a cluttered dumping ground, these expert tips and tricks will solve your hallway decorating dilemmas.

Style inspiration: Sunshines shades - yellow. Styled by Lorraine Dawkins.

You don’t know what colour scheme to choose

1. ‘If you are craving more colour in your home, then hallways and stairwells are the perfect spots to do so. Hallways are typically smaller spaces, so we can afford to add more colour as we are merely passing through to our main living spaces. Are you looking for a more subtle and welcoming hallway in which to enter? You may want to consider the colours of the sun or candlelight. Who wouldn’t welcome being surrounded by the warmth of a golden glow? It conjures up the feeling of home and contentment. Whether or not you are near a garden, you may want to consider bringing one in by using soft lettuce leaf shades. I would recommend a dull flat finish as this creates gentler shadows and softer reflections. However, if you wish to create a more dramatic environment, then by all means select colours that conjure up strong immediate emotional responses – deep aubergines and plums will do just that.’ – Gillian C. Rose, colour scientist, interior designer and founder of The Science of Colour

2. ‘Focus on the fun in the function of a hallway and use colour and painted details to draw the eye through the space and towards the places you want people to go. Paint a subtle harlequin design on a wooden floor and let the diamonds guide you towards the most interesting bits of your home. Strong blocks of colour used on doors will add personality without overwhelming a space plus you can make the choice of colours personal to the people who live behind them.’ – Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux

3. ‘Hallways, by nature, are typically dark. Brown, green, grey, telephone box red, and any of the primary colours in full hue, are all ones I would avoid. These are dark and very strong colours. Primary colours in small spaces give off to much vibration and stimulation for us to absorb, causing unwanted headaches, loss of attention span and in some cases, even feelings of nausea. When deciding on a palette, if you are seeking drama, consider the level of sheen as well as the colour. You may also want to consider what colours the other adjacent rooms your hallways are coming of off as well as leading towards.’ – Gillian C. Rose

4. ‘A horizontal band of colour at ground level which includes painting the same colour on the skirting board will look great and help to reduce the appearance of scuffs and wear.’ – Marianne Shillingford

Ancona Galvanised Antique Copper, 3 column vertical, 1800 high, 10 sections with welded feet £2820 inc VAT
Ancona Galvanised Antique Copper, 3 column vertical, 1800 high, 10 sections with welded feet, £2820 inc VAT, The Radiator Company – www.theradiatorcompany.co.uk


You’re unsure about what wallpaper design will work

5. ‘Hallways normally lack natural light and therefore light reflective colours work a treat to make the space feel bigger and more welcoming. White or light grey are great options, or light patterned wallpaper.’ – Danielle Parisi, wallpaper designer, The Room Alive

6. ‘Often hallway space is limited, leaving little room for lots of accessories or other decorative items. Adding wallpaper is an ideal way to add a design feature and personality to the area without taking up valuable space or over cluttering. Stripes are a classic choice for homes and can be used to create the illusion of space in a hallway. Horizontal stripes will lead the eye upwards and vertical stripes will elongate the area. Choosing light and neutral colours or the ever-popular shades of grey will also add to the feeling of air and space.’ – Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper

7. Make a feature of period wood panelling by adding patterned wallpaper inside the panels. This is a great option for maintaining and updating period features or if you’re worried that wallpapering the entire wall could feel overbearing. Alternatively, add wallpaper to an alcove or underneath the stairs to draw attention to the space.’ – Alex Whitecroft

Jaspe Stripe wallpaper - hallway/front entrance
Jaspe Stripe 110/4025 Wallpaper, Cole & Son

Sirius Feather Pattern Metallic Textured Wallpaper in Gunmetal, price £15.99
Sirius Feather Pattern Metallic Textured Wallpaper in Gunmetal, price £15.99, iwantwallpaper.co.uk

READ MORE > 16 hallway decoration ideas using wallpaper

Your hallway is narrow and you want to make it look bigger

8. ‘Clever painting techniques can help make a narrow corridor or hallway seem bigger. Use a lighter colour at the top of the wall, and halfway down – where a traditional dado rail might have gone – change to another colour. But always with small rooms, use light coloured paints and furniture, to help give an illusion of more space.’ – Cato Cooper, co-owner of The Emporium Somerset

9. ‘Zoning the areas works a treat to make hallways look bigger. Having a seating area, an organising corner and a welcome home area filled with things that you love, be it one of your favourite pictures, your favourite candle, perhaps some plants – whatever it is that makes you instantly feel at home.’ – Danielle Parisi

10. ‘If the entrance to your home is quite compact, in terms of flooring, avoid using intricate patterns and look at large format tiles in a highly polished, light neutral shade. This will create the illusion of a larger space and make the most of the natural light available. In larger, more open-plan spaces, you have the freedom to experiment with both pattern and print. Play around with designs that draw the eye from the door and into the heart of the home. A beautiful parquet herringbone pattern is perfect for fooling the eye into seeing never-ending depth, while still keeping a traditional, warm and homely feel to the overall look.’ – Sian O’Neill, head of marketing at Topps Tiles

11. ‘It is important to consider the size and length of your hallway when selecting a colour palette. If the ceiling is low, you can make it appear taller by selecting colours that will create an optical illusion. In this case, avoid making the ceiling the same colour as the walls.’ – Gillian C. Rose

Winter berries style inspiration: Bring together a glorious medley of raspberry, mulberry and blackcurrant shades for a chic and cosy scheme

Your hallway doesn’t feel warm or welcoming

12. ‘Think about how you wish to feel in your home. This will inform you of the colour and the direction you will go towards. For example, for a warm glow, the skirting could be a clotted cream colour high (gloss finish); the walls could be in a soft butter yellow (flat finish), and the ceiling could be in a hint of peaches and cream (flat finish). For a fresh, cool bask, the skirting could be a crisp light grey (high gloss finish); the walls in a pale minty colour (flat finish), and the ceiling the palest of azure (flat finish).’ – Gillian C. Rose

kaleidoscope Framed Print £89 and Console Table £250 both available from www.kaleidoscope.co.uk
kaleidoscope Framed Print, £89; Console Table, £250, both available from www.kaleidoscope.co.uk


‘Imagine entering a bordeaux red high gloss hallway? You are certainly going to remember that. Mostly what you will remember is how it made you feel walking through it. You will remember your experience more than the actual colours in many cases.’– Gillian C. Rose

Your hallway is dark and lacking light

13. ‘Lighting plays just as important role as colour does when creating a mood. After all there is no colour without light. If your hallways are simply designated points from A to B, then you want to make sure that your walkway is clearly lit. If you are interested in creating a specific mood, than you may want lights that will wash over your wall colours. Alternatively, you could illuminate your ceilings with uplights that bounce light off of the ceiling and then reflect down into the entire hallway.’ – Gillian C. Rose

14. ‘There are various lighting tricks in order to make the space appear more exciting and feel far more spacious. Layering of light is key when it comes to creating the impression of space in your hallway. LED step lights can help by creating drama. A useful trick is to use 1W LED uplights to light a feature at the end of the hallway. This will draw ones eye down the hallway, creating the impression of space. Combine this with directional recessed downlights, to wash light down the walls, illuminating every inch of your hallway.’ – Sally Storey, creative director of John Cullen Lighting

Dash & Albert Europe - Herringbone Indigo Cotton Rug (as Stair Runner)
Herringbone Indigo Cotton Rug (as Stair Runner), from £40, Dash & Albert Europe at www.amara.com


Your hallway looks like a bit of a dumping ground

15. ‘If you’ve got a corridor, hallway or narrow space you want to make better use of then it is worth spending an hour or so getting it organised, and suddenly that poorly utilised space will become a dream area. By running lengths of peg rails along the walls you can create clever storage solutions and can hang not just coats and hats but bags and gardening equipment such as watering cans, brushes and trowels. Add a run of overhead shelving above or around head height to store boxes and baskets and keep shoes and bits and bobs off the floor. Keep the clutter under control as all too often a corridor or hallway can become a dumping ground. Make sure there’s a home for everything and everything has a home.’ – Cato Cooper

Titchmarsh & Goodwin English Oak Box Settle, £995
English Oak Box Settle, £995, Titchmarsh & Goodwin – www.titchmarsh-goodwin.co.uk


You’re not sure what flooring is best for such a high traffic area

16. ‘Seeing some of the highest footfall in the entire house, the entrance to a home will always suffer from wear and tear. Make sure you opt for a smart choice of flooring and something that’s hardwearing. A porcelain tile will help to minimise any deterioration while still allowing homeowners to maintain something stylish and design-led, thanks to the choice in prints and patterns that they come in. Porcelain or ceramic tiles offer practical solutions and are available in a range of styles and colours to suit any design scheme. Wood-effect porcelain tiles are an excellent alternative to real wood, visually identical but unaffected by everyday use and much easier to maintain.’ – Sian O’Neill

17. ‘Normally a hallway tile is an extension of any tiling on the ground floor. For instance, a tile used in a kitchen/dining area is followed through into the hallway to give a consistent feel to the flooring and will make the area feel larger. This can be a variety of aesthetics to suit the property. Alternatively, the hallway can be made a feature, such as encaustic or a traditional Victorian chequerboard. Wood is often used in living areas and by using wood effect porcelain tiles throughout areas including hallways, you can achieve the warmth and depth of wood with the practicality of porcelain.’ – James Arkell, founder of tile specialists Techtile

Amtico Decor - Corona Mono. Prices from around £165 per sq m, Amtico – www.amtico.com
Amtico Decor – Corona Mono. Prices from around £165 per sq m, Amtico – www.amtico.com


You want your window dressing to tie in with the scheme

18. ‘Blinds can be used to add a pop of colour and visual interest in the hallway where there is less wall space for other decorative elements. Introduce a window blind with an on-trend botanical design to bring the scheme right up to date. You can introduce texture to a neutral hallway with digitally printed window blinds. The result is a simply stunning showpiece for windows.’ – Mike Stephen of Apollo Blinds

Digitalis Bluebell Roller Blind, English Blinds
Foxglove Roller blind by Apollo Blinds – www.apollo-blinds.co.uk