Hallway decor ideas to make the best first impression

hallway with patterned tile floor and original staircase with runner
Hallway decor ideas can include this patterned tile floor with stair runner (Image credit: Original Style)

Your hallway decor ideas should most certainly not play second fiddle to the interior design of the other rooms in your home — in fact, this is a space that deserves your full attention when it comes to getting its style and finishing touches spot on.

The hallway is the space that welcomes you home after a long day, as well as being the room into which you receive visitors. It is also a space that sets the tone for what lies beyond the front door — so your hallway ideas need to be well considered.

Visual style aside, hallways also need to be hugely practical spaces. They need to be able to make the transition between inside and out as smooth and fuss free as possible, dealing with the shedding of outerwear and shoes, the enthusiastic return of furry friends after a dog walk, and the dumping down of everyday essential items, such as keys, post and school bags.

The key to getting hallway decor ideas right lies in bringing together this need for practicality with a style that is both welcoming, impactful and personal to you. Our selection of ideas should give you a hefty dose of inspiration.

Hallway decor ideas and prioritising practicality

Before getting stuck into design ideas, do take a moment to mull over the key features in terms of practicality that hallways need to offer, including:

  • Plenty of storage for all the 'bits and pieces' that tend to gather here
  • Easy to clean and maintain flooring
  • Good lighting
  • Space to hang coats and store shoes
  • Effective heating — you want this to be a warm, welcoming room

1. Hint at what lies beyond

hallway with wooden floor and window seat on half landing

In this hallway, you can peak through to the kitchen (Image credit: Weaver Green)

It is a nice idea to use your hallway design to give a small glimpse of the kind of home that extends off this primary space. 

This might mean that the walls and flooring are in shades and materials that have been continued in the rooms beyond, but it could also be used as a method of giving a sense of the kind of household that can be expected — perhaps one that is family orientated or very welcoming to guests, for example.

Here, the muted, pastel shades on the wall sit beautifully with the baby blue kitchen units that sit just beyond the space. A cosy window seat on the half landing, along with the characterful side table and colourful rug, from Weaver Green, add to the warm, welcoming feel. 

2. Treat your hallway as its own room

entrance hall with quarry tiles, orange sofa and split level layout

If you have space, why not add some seating? (Image credit: Hyperion Tiles)

A hallway doesn't just have to be a transitional space between inside and out — it can become part of the home and a room in its own right too.

Adding comfortable seating, personal decorative objects and using great hallway lighting ideas are all good ways to ensure your hallway feels like part of the home, rather than a peripheral space. 

Here, bold orange seating, mirrors, artwork, fresh flowers and a characterful yet practical hallway flooring choice, Ca' Pietra Antique Burgundy Terracotta Tiles from Hyperion Tiles, all come together to create a cosy extra living space. 

3. Embrace a classic contemporary style

large hallway with white staircase with stair runner and patterned tiled floor

Silver metallic touches add a little glamour to this hallway (Image credit: Tile Mountain)

A contemporary twist on classic interior design works really well in hallways thanks to its ability to create an instant fresh and harmonious feeling that is most welcome in a space that has to deal with both the morning rush as well as feeling like a retreat on returning home.

In this bright hallway, 1920s style blue floor tiles, from Tile Mountain, have been combined with a pale grey stair runner and soft grey walls — the silver metallic touches add a little glamour to the space.  

4. Match your decor to your front door

welcoming hallway with oversized wooden front door

An oversized wooden front door can make a stunning feature in a hallway (Image credit: Urban Front)

Front doors form part of the hallway and as such should be reflected in your hallway design. The colour, material and style of the door can all be picked up on in your decor ideas.

The stunning Ridge iroko front door, from Urban Front, here takes centre stage in the hallway, while the rich tones of the flooring, stair treads and furniture choices all work together to create an incredible warmth — the botanical finishes lift the whole look. 

5. Create a hallway where there isn't one

timber internal wall cladding with hanging pegs

This internal wall creates a space to hang coats in a home that doesn't have a hallway (Image credit: Naturewall)

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a dedicated hallway space — sometimes the front door opens directly into a living room. 

In this case it is useful to use decor ideas that help to define one particular area of the living room as the space in which to enter the house. You could choose to use a different hallway flooring choice, mark it out with a paint colour or, as has been done here, use internal timber cladding, such as these reclaimed planks in natural pine from Naturewall

6. Use under stair space as a home office

home office under stairs in hallway

You can put the space under your stairs to good use with this built in office design (Image credit: Sharps)

Think about under stair storage ideas alongside your hallway design. The space beneath staircase is often wasted but it can actually be put to good use. While fitted cupboards and built-in storage make good use of the space, if you are in need of a home office, why not consider using this area as a spot to work from?

Here, the Manhattan range from Sharps has been used to form a smart office space that maximises the hallway without intruding upon it. 

7. Combine hallway and boot room

green boot room hallway

Even the dog has a bespoke fitted area in this hallway (Image credit: Olive & Barr)

After boot room ideas that don't require a whole other room? Then why not create a hallway that's also a boot room instead?

Like hallways, boot rooms are practical spaces that work as a barrier between inside and out so it makes sense to combine the two. Opt for practical, easy-to-clean flooring choices and storage options that fulfil all your needs. 

This boot room from Olive & Barr features bags of storage for shoes and coats, as well as somewhere to store firewood — there is even a cosy spot for tired dogs to retreat to post-walkies. 

8. Go monochrome in a narrow hallway

black and white narrow hallway

Use contrast to create a modern hallway look (Image credit: PaperBoy Interiors Ltd)

When it comes to small hallway ideas, your decor choices can really save the day if the space feels cramped or dark.

While interior design might not be able to physically extend a narrow hallway, it can most certainly visually expand the space. 

Here, a black and white scheme has been used, with Animal Shadow Shape Wallpaper from PaperBoy Wallpaper used above the picture rail to draw the eye upwards and away from the squeezed proportions — fresh white walls and doors, paired with black door furniture complete the look. 

9. Provide a place for everything

hallway with sideboard and half wall panelling

Wall panelling can protect the walls from scuffs in a heavy use area (Image credit: Garden Trading)

Don't let your hallway become a cluttered dumping ground for keys, unread post, shoes and school books. 

Choose hallway storage furniture that can cope with your individual needs. Here, storage from Garden Trading has been used to ensure there is a place for everything. Half wall panelling ideas make perfect sense in hallways, where they not only add visual interest but also protect the walls from every day scruffs and damage. 

10. Make a grand entrance

grand entrance hall with curved metal staircase

A curved staircase can add the wow factor to a hallway (Image credit: Hyperion Tiles)

Designing a new hallway interior scheme presents you with the ideal opportunity to create some wow within the home – what better spot to create an impactful first impression? 

While staircase design will play a huge role in defining the look of a hallway, so too will other choices, such as your furniture and flooring. Here, Ca' Pietra Kensington Porcelain Matt Tiles from Hyperion Tiles, with a striking white and grey-veined finish, are the perfect choice for the grand, yet contemporary space. 

11. Keep a hallway clutter free

hallway living room with storage

Clutter can cramp a space so keeping it clear will ensure the area remains looking fresh (Image credit: Dunelm)

Your hallway should not be a space in which you have to step over mounds of clutter — you need this space to smooth the morning rush and return from work. 

As such, built-in cupboards, hanging racks and rails, hooks and shelving need to be seen as a necessity as opposed to optional extras. Keeping the whole look fresh and clean also helps in creating a sense of tranquility. 

The coat stand and side table here, from Dunelm, are the perfect choices for a hallway. 

12. Be bold with your hallway interior decor

hallway with bold orange wallpaper and orange armchairs

A bold feature wall can give your hallway personality (Image credit: Ohpopsi)

If you have a desire to get a bit creative and explore some bold interior design ideas, but are worried about getting too carried away in your living space, consider the hallway as the perfect alternative location.

A little bravery in the design stakes make a strong first impression in the hallway and means you can unleash your wilder ideas in a room that is less used than your main living spaces. 

Here, Silhouette Amber & Lapis wallpaper from Ohpopsi has been used on the walls, paired with super squashy orange armchairs and a brilliant blue rug.

13. Make practical flooring choices

green and white hallway with vinyl flooring

Carpet might not be the best choice in an entrance hallway if people are going to be walking into the house with muddy boots - vinyl flooring might be a more practical choice (Image credit: Tile Mountain)

Your hallway flooring ideas need to be highly practical, as well making up part of your design scheme.

In this room, flooring needs to be easy to clean and maintain and hardwearing. Hard flooring makes more sense than carpet, with engineered timber, laminate, vinyl, stone and tile all being fantastic choices.

The Londres Valley Luxury Click Vinyl used here, from Tile Mountain, is waterproof and easy to install. 

white staircase in dark red hallway with picture gallery

Pictures can give your hallway personality too (Image credit: Benjamin Moore UK)

To ensure your hallway is an expression of your personality, use the walls as somewhere to show off your treasured photographs or artworks. 

Gallery walls have grown in popularity in recent years and are an easy way to transform a boring wall into something that reflects your interests and day-to-day life. 

To make the look work, choose a wall colour that makes the pictures pop — here, Benjamin Moore paint in Plum Martini provides the perfect backdrop for the white mounts of the photographs as well as the crisp white staircase.

15. Consider a muted scheme in small hallways

narrow hallway

Paler colours can make a hallway feel larger (Image credit: Nedgis)

If your hallway has rather compact proportions, using pale, subtle hallway paint ideas can be a good way to ensure the space doesn't feel oppressive or cramped.  

The calming pastel blue used here works perfectly with the crisp white touches, while the neat, wall-hung drawer shelf does not encroach on floor space. The simple circular mirror not only provides somewhere for a last minute check before leaving the house but also reflects light to make the hallway feel bigger. 

16. Use blue and white for a timeless look

large hallway with marble flooring and blue internal doors

The Calacatta Blue Marble Effect tiles make for a unique entrance (Image credit: Tile Mountain)

Blue and white is a classic colour combination that would work equally as well in both traditional schemes as well as for those after modern hallway ideas

Although using paint is the obvious way of injecting colour, don't discount your flooring and woodwork as a method of introducing different shades. Here, Calacatta Blue Marble Effect tiles from Tile Mountain add an opulent touch to the space, as well as a splash of colour that ties in beautifully with the deep blue of the internal door and upper sections of the wall. 

17. Showcase your personality

large contemporary hallway with oversized wooden front door

Colourful glass figurines really pop in this contemporary hallway (Image credit: Urban Front)

If you want to make a bold statement of the type of household that occupies your home, then the hallway is the perfect place to do it. 

Whether you hint at the likes and passions of your family through art work, colour choices or decorative objects, choose items that you love and give you a real sense of pleasure on seeing them.

Here, the contemporary double height entrance hall features an eclectic selection of objects such as colourful glass figures, a bold choice of lampshade and an antique rocking horse, along with the impressive over-sized door from Urban Front

18. Don't forget hallway heating

bench heating in hallway with herringbone floor

This Ancona bench radiator is a great spot to put shoes on (Image credit: The Radiator Company)

For your hallway to feel warm and welcoming you need to give some careful consideration to how the space will be heated. 

While underfloor heating is a great choice – particularly for those after narrow hallway ideas where radiators can encroach on the space – it can also be useful to think about how your heating could double up to provide other useful functions. 

Vertical radiators with hanging pegs can be handy for drying damp coats on, while the Ancona Bench Seat here, from The Radiator Company, features a traditional cast iron radiator to heat the space along with providing the ideal spot to sit while shoes are taken on and off. 

19. Use interior timber cladding for interest

contemporary vertical interior wood cladding

Vertical interior cladding adds a feature wall to the decor of this hallway (Image credit: The Wood Veneer Hub)

Wall panelling is perfect for hallways, where it adds instant character and interest at the same time as being a finish that can often be fitted on a DIY basis. 

If you are after interesting wall panelling ideas for your hallway, think about how they could tie into the overall scheme of your home — owners of period homes aiming for a classic feel might like to consider wall panelling in a timeless Shaker style, while those after a more modern look should take a look at fluted panelling or designs made up of vertical narrow strips of timber. The Acupanel® Contemporary Oak Wood Wall Panels shown here are available from The Wood Veneer Hub

20. Don't discount wall tiles in the hallway

hallway with green wall tiles and black and white floor tiles

Wall tiles are a practical choice for walls in a busy hallway (Image credit: Walls and Floors)

Have you considered wall tiles in your hallway? If not, then this is an idea well worth giving some thought to. 

Wall tiles are easier to clean than painted walls (although using a wipeable paint can help with this) and are super hardwearing — plus they come in a huge range of colours, shapes, sizes and patterns to create some really interesting effects. 

Here, Soho Marble Effect Tiles in black and white have been laid to give a chequered effect and have been offset with rich green wall tiles running up the stairs. Both are from Walls and Floors

Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.