First impressions count for a lot, so choosing the right hallway colour scheme is more important than you might think
A beautifully decorated hallway sets the tone for the rest of the house and introduces your own interior style for guests and loved ones as soon as they step through the door. From a palette of bright colours to dark navy hallways with an edge of grown-up glamour, check out these decorating ideas and be inspired.
With literally every variation in the spectrum to choose from, deciding between potential hallway colour schemes has got to be fairly nerve-racking even for the most daring decorator.
When it comes to paint colour, you can either go for bold statement hues or choose a welcoming and soothing palette. Neutrals will obviously ensure that your hallway feels light and airy, but also consider light and mid-tone shades of yellow, green, pink and blue – pastel colours will feel cheery and uplifting. And, of course, there’s always the perfect grey paint for a timeless shade.
Turn the unfinished look into the embodiment of chic. This hallway quite possibly required more planning than one that looks ‘complete’. It’s a fine decorative line, but unvarnished wood, wallpaper that mimics bare plaster (complete with cracks) and unframed pictures all combine to create a well-planned entrance hall that is absolutely stunning.
Another way of instantly brightening up a hallway is by creating an interesting arrangement of your favourite photos, prints and postcards, or putting brightly coloured pot plants on a console table to transform the hallway into a vibrant space.
Similar bare-plaster wallpaper
Create a comforting cosy vibe with beautiful rich tones, such as the berry colour on this panelled wall. This look is super snug and wintery, with a draft-excluding curtain that will keep your home wonderfully warm – but the blue and white leaf-print curtain makes it more than suitable for the sunniest of seasons, too.
Lend a little drama to your hallway colour scheme with a creatively designed stair runner that flows down beyond the staircase into a pool at the bottom. A bold runner is an easy way to add interest to a hallway staircase and will draw the eye up the stairs, which is a good idea if you have a small or low-ceilinged entrance hall.
Blue and white are a striking combination, and the painted white floors do a great job of letting the stair runner be centre of attention, while also highlighting the depth of the colour at the same time. A row of plates take the blue hues up to the walls, too.
Roger Oates Design
Choose a large-scale artwork and hang it in your hallway for an easy way to add character to your scheme. Pick something you love, as you will inevitably see it a lot while moving throughout your home. Black and white designs are good choices, but you could also go for something super colourful if you prefer a lively look. Consider your wall paint and how it will best show off your picture – the dark grey walls here look fantastic.
The Rug Company
Use your hallway as a place to experiment with your decorating ideas. This pastel-hued hallway scheme has quite a few exciting elements, from marble-effect papers to the adventurous use of several colours. If having more than one colour is too much for you, why not try just one marble-effect paper in your hallway for a more neutral scheme. Striped wallpaper designs are also perfect for visual trickery.
Let nature take centre stage, the way it definitely does in this hallway, which is packed with natural elements, from the colour palette to the natural materials in the wooden floor and stone wall. The large window is a big bonus for nature lovers, too, offering views far beyond the confines of the hallway and letting the light flood in. We love the sea-life-inspired artwork, too.
Get back to nature with beautiful botanical motifs in your hallway. Having two similar plant prints on the walls and sofa adds to the impact, showing a deliberate move away from exact matches. Elsewhere the look is more low-key with the grey woodwork and stone floor.
If you have period features, put them centre stage with a pared-back colour scheme, or you could use a different paint colour to highlight features such as dado-height panelling or skirting boards. Try using a richly patterned wallpaper or paint in recesses, nooks, just above the dado rail or even on stair risers.
Designers Guild at John Lewis
Pack a punch with a well-chosen stair runner that reflects your personality. Everything else in this hallway scheme has been left neutral so that the carpet is the focus as you walk into the house. This is a look that’s effective, but simple to achieve, as it doesn’t involve elaborate decorating everywhere else. It’s worth noting that the stairs have been painted white, compared with the dark-wood floors, to let the pattern stand out.
Similar stair runner
Animal Print Carpets
Go oversized when you want to make an impression in a hallway. This extra-long curtain has plenty of fabric to play with, giving it a much grand feel. One huge curtain that can cover the entire window is also a much more modern way to dress your window. Go for a large-scale floral print to tie in with the oversized theme and add to the contemporary look.
Add personality to your hallway colour scheme with geometric patterns. If you’re feeling bold, team black and white designs with mint green walls so they have a strong backdrop that makes them stand out. Green is Pantone’s colour of the year, so this is a great way to get in on the trend, too.
Farrow & Ball
Update a wide, traditional country-house hallway with a simple but striking neutral scheme, including powder-blue walls, limestone flooring and elegant soft furnishings. If you favour a traditional look, give grand wooden banisters a coat of varnish, rather than painting over them.
Let the original features of a period hallway take centre stage by off-setting elegant encaustic tiles and a stained glass front door panel with simple white painted walls and banisters. Tiling like this works a treat in an entrance hall, as it will hide dirty marks and is also super easy to clean.
Add some flower power to your hallway by creating a feature wall. This elegant understairs space teams a modern floral wallpaper with a classic Louis Ghost chair, making the most of an often overlooked area. Rather than having a cupboard for bits and bobs, this hall benefits from a cool little reading nook.
I Want Wallpaper
While using a block colour is a sure-fire way to create a sense of calm in a room, you can add a splash of colour in other creative ways to easily jazz up your entrance hall or landing.
Give your hallway some wow factor by opting for smart panelling to create a classic Georgian style. Update the look by painting in a modern chalky pastel. Here the walls and ceiling have been painted the same colour, creating the feel of an art gallery and making the sculptures on display the main focus. Mirrors help to reflect light around the space so it doesn’t feel too dark.
Opt for a natural look with a botantical hallway theme, combining neutral walls with a rustic console table, plenty of fresh foliage, botanical prints and a patterned rug. Plants are a great way to add colour and interest to any scheme – choose one that’s as big and sculptural as you dare. Or go for brightly coloured flowers if you want the look without the maintenance.
Create a coastal feel in your hallway with tongue-and-groove panelling, wicker storage baskets and crisp white walls. Blue and white is all you need to create the look – aim for a half in half mix and you’ll be on the right track. The coastal look is all about tranquillity and blue is well known for its relaxing properties. Flowers in a country-style jug keep the scheme fresh.
Similar storage chest
The Dormy House
Make a statement in your hallway with large floral prints, fuchsia lamps and a striped carpet. Keep the wallpaper neutral – but feel free to experiment with patterns. This desk in a botanical pink print shows that it’s more than okay to break the style rules.
Bored of your hallway? Brighten up the staircase by painting the handrail in different shades of green. With its resemblance to a colour chart, it’s noteworthy once again that green is Pantone’s chosen colour of the year. To recreate the look, you might like to buy tester pots so that you don’t have much wastage or lots of cans sitting around in your cupboard afterwards.
Update your hallway by creating a feature staircase with bold graphic shapes. Choose bright colours on a white background to reflect the natural light and focus on the stair treads, rather than covering your entire step. Wallpaper is a good way to get the look, but make sure to use some clear varnish to protect it from rips and scuff marks.
Orla Kiely at Wallpaper Direct
Experiment with statement furniture in a spacious hallway. This retro chair creates a sculptural effect, while also providing a comfy spot to put your feet up. Add circular rugs in matching colours to create a dramatic entrance hall that visitors are sure to remember. Pair bright red like this with a super-clean white scheme so that it can stand out to the best of its capabilities.
Pick grey if you want a perennial favourite that looks at home in a traditional or a contemporary scheme. In this elegant entrance hall, pale grey walls help to unify classic pieces of furniture (such as the French-style display table and wingback armchair) with more modern elements, such as the glass pendant light.
Make a striking statement with an all-white hallway scheme. Be sure to include plenty of interesting forms and textures to prevent the look from feeling austere. Here, the clean lines of the painted wooden wall cladding provide a geometric contrast with the square floor tiles. Painted drawers help to break up the lines and provide useful storage space.
Similar wall panelling
The Wall Panelling Company
Similar floor tiles
Paint walls green to create a beautiful backdrop for a traditional scheme. Here, it also adds a slight maritime edge, setting off the ship-shaped chandelier. A tonal scheme is a fitting choice for an entrance hall as it creates a sense of harmony the second you step through the front door, whether you opt for soothing shades such as the ones shown here or brighter colours such as pinks or yellows.
If you have a glass wall separating your entrance hall from the rest of your living space you will need to choose colours that will work across both rooms. A neutral or monochrome palette is generally the easiest way to achieve this. Add odd hits of colour in accessories or works of art, making sure to choose matching or complementary tones so the entire space works together as one.
This traditional entrance hall has been given a cutting-edge twist by papering two walls with the same wallpaper design but in subtly different tones. The rich gold acts as a feature wall, creating a bold backdrop for the sunburst mirror and display table, while the paler bronze shade exudes a calmer feel, drawing you to the restful spaces upstairs.
Warm wooden tones create a welcoming feel that is perfect for an entrance hall. Add interest by combining wood in similar hues but with different textures, such as the smooth bannister and rough lamp base shown here. Bring the chalet look up to date by incorporating a smattering of more contemporary materials, like the steel legs on this console table, for example.
As it’s usually a fairly small space compared to the rest of the house – it’s not a huge risk of your time or money if you decide to be slightly more adventurous with your decor. After all, the hallway gets so much use it won’t be long before you need to redecorate anyway! Will you be adding some colour to your hall?