Hallway wall decor ideas – 10 ways to make that first impression memorable

Our expert hallway wall decor ideas will give this key space a wonderful update

hallway wall decor ideas, blue hallway with handprinted paneling, navy painted console with lamp, vase, ornaments, wooden floor, rug, open door
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Whether your hallway is large or small there are ways to give it a fabulous personal touch that's both decorative and welcoming. We've sourced our favourite hallway wall decor ideas that will utilise your hallway ideas perfectly – we tend to use console tables and hall storage pieces, but forget that our walls can be given a purpose too.

'A hallway is the first part of your home that anyone will see when they enter, so it's important to make sure it's a true reflection of your personality and style,' says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director at Kelling Designs. To keep a brighter feel, opt for neutral tones on the walls as they'll keep the hall fresh and use a hall mirror to help reflect light whilst giving the illusion of space.'

Hallway wall decor ideas 

A transitional room at best, the hallway can become a bit of dumping ground for shoes, school bags and general 'stuff' that doesn't seem to have a home. Not to mention the fact that they are often small, narrow and dark. 

This key area is the first part of the house we all step into, including guests, so it's important to create a welcoming feel that makes the most of every inch. This is where hallway wall decor ideas come in – from cute storage ideas to paint finishes, wallpaper to gallery walls, we have some wonderful expert tips and tricks to help you give your hallway a new lease of life. 

1. Pop up a gallery wall

hallway wall decor, green hallway with artwork/gallery wall

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

Perhaps one of the most popular hallway wall decor ideas, the good old gallery wall works whatever size your hallway is, even if it's an apartment space or large and wide in a Victorian terrace. 

'If you have a completely blank wall, why not bring this to life by hanging your favourite art and prints,' suggests Emma Deterding. 'You could opt for one, larger statement artwork to be the focal point of the hallway, or hang multiple smaller pieces in groups (odd numbers are always best) to create interest and help create a journey from the hallway into your home.'

Emma Deterding, founder, Kelling Designs
Emma Deterding

Recently named among the Top 100 Interior Designers in the World, Emma's ability to offer a well-thought-out scheme for private clients has been honed over 25+ years in the market. She has worked on numerous projects across the length and breadth of the country and abroad, from France to India. She enthusiastically embraces colour and uses it to maximum effect, while always careful to be guided by her clients.

2. Hang a colourful pinboard

hallway wall decor ideas, coral hallway with bright blue console table, baskets, table lamp, vases, baskets, pinboard on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Pinboards are such a useful element to have, generally, we have them in the kitchen, but they can work equally as well in a hallway. They can hold useful dates and reminders or simply pin inspirational quotes, photographs from favourite places or postcards from family and friends. 

You can customise it to fit your hallway colour scheme – paint the edges if they're wood, use fabric in the middle section that ties in with your look and pin with metallic pins if you are using it elsewhere.

3. Change up your paint finishes

hallway wall decor ideas, blue hallway with gloss and matt walls, black and white floor tiles, black woodwork, carpet runner

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'Hallways are always high-traffic areas in the home, so practicality plays a big role as much as aesthetic beauty,' says Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador at Farrow & Ball. 'But these two needs can sit happily side by side without compromise, and to great effect too. One easy trick with its simplistic but striking style is using one colour in two finishes. Paint the lower half of wall (to chair rail height) in Full Gloss and carry this over your skirting too for even more drama and accentuated height, then paint above in a matt, durable finish such as our new Dead Flat.

'If your hall feels proportionally high, split your wall colour using a darker colour on the lower half to ‘ground’ the space and a complementary or tonal colour above to help soften the scale, especially where the wall can feel vertiginous on the stair.'

headshot of Patrick O'Donnell
Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell has been bringing his impeccable eye for colour to Farrow & Ball since 2012. Over that time, he has been a Showroom Manager, Global Colour Consultancy Manager and now Brand Ambassador. 

4. Display plants on a shelf

hallway wall decor ideas, wide modern hallway with shelf with plants, grey herringbone flooring, one wooden panelled wall, one white, wooden coat rack, stool

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Love a minimalist scheme but have no idea how to use the right hallway wall decor ideas in case they look cluttered. 

The key is to go up – hang a contemporary-style wall shelf or two that have invisible fixtures for a seamless look. Then choose an odd number of plants to pop on the top (odd numbers always work best), a couple of trailing plants will be effective too. 

5. Add wood moulding and get creative!

hallway wall decor ideas, blue hallway with handprinted paneling, navy painted console with lamp, vase, ornaments, wooden floor, rug, open door

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

If you love a bit of DIY then this hallway panelling idea is for you. If you already have a panelled hallway then you're halfway there, if you don't, then invest in lengths of moulding that you can attach along your hallway wall. Paint them the same colour as your wall if you want them to blend in. 

One option is to hang artwork within the frame, or, if you're feeling creative then have fun by painting them in harmonious or complementary shades with simple designs within each. You can also paint your chair rail too, for some fabulous colour combinations check out our expert colour wheel advice for more ideas. 

6. Choose a practical tile finish

hallway wall decor ideas, hallway with stone coloured metro tiles, aubergine wall colour, grey tiled floor, basket, bike

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

High traffic areas such as hallways do need practical consideration especially for families. Marks from bikes, shoes and school bags can make walls look tired quickly and if your hallway is narrow it's even more likely to suffer from damage over time. 

A great solution is to tile the bottom half of your hallway wall, not only is it decorative, it will protect the wall. 

'The tiles can simply be wiped clean of hand prints and scuffing, while the painted upper walls remain pristine,' advises James Sirett, head of product at Fired Earth. 'Combining paint and tiles in this way allows plenty of scope for creativity too.'

7. Consider a sumptuous wall hanging

hallway wall decor ideas, wall hanging, rug on wall in hall, glass vases on console table, textured wall

(Image credit: Graham & Greene)

For a purely textured and colourful hallway source a textured rug to hang on the wall. Very effective and oh-so-tactile, this idea is striking and will create a statement in your hall whatever its size.

'Traditionally Berber rugs were one off pieces of art, spontaneously woven from their makers imaginations,' explains Lou Graham, founder of Graham & Greene. 'Nowadays we take inspiration from these ancient techniques and create rugs that look just as good hung on the wall as works of art as they do on the floor. They add character, texture and colour to an otherwise plain hallway.'

8. Keep it simple with a bold colour

hallway wall decor ideas, bright blue hallway, with antique chest of drawers, terracotta floor tiles, artwork, pot with flowers, wooden side table and lamp

(Image credit: Francesca's Paints/Ana Engelhorn/Paul Massey)

Once of the most simple hallway wall decor ideas is to paint your space in a bold colour. Because they are usually small in size you can be as bold and striking as you like! Choose a colour that resonates and brings you joy every time you walk in. 

'The entrance is the first place that we see when we get home, and the last place when we leave,' says Francesca Wezel, founder and director of Francesca’s Paint.

'It is also a passing point, so it is important to create an environment that makes us feel happy. I always advise people to choose their favourite colours – shades and tones that make them feel comfortable. I don't believe in colour rules, I believe in choosing whatever colours make you feel good. For some this might be an acid yellow, whereas for others it’s a gentle pink.'

9. Use hallway wall space for pretty storage

hallway wall decor ideas, bright and colourful hallway with bench seating, wall hung storage unit with vases, postcards, string, cushions, wellies, white floor boards, wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Hallway storage can be a big issue – but there are ways to make it easy on the eye and stylish. This is where wall space can be used especially if your hall is narrow. 

Source a hanging wall unit that's narrow with at least three shelves on it. You can use it for small vases, postcards, string, post and keepsakes. It will add a decorative element as well as being uber useful. 

10. Add a patterned wallpaper

hallway decor wall ideas, retro print wallpaper, scandi style bench and peg rail, wood floor, shoes, basket, cardigan hanging from peg rail and dustpan and brush

(Image credit: Miss Print)

Hallway wallpaper ideas are perhaps one of the best ways to add wall decor to your hallway. Depending on the design and colours you choose it can certainly create a wow factor and it can set the scene for the rest of your home.

'A patterned or statement wallpaper can enliven your hallway and change a dull, enclosed space into one that is bursting with a bit more joy and brightness,' says Rebecca Drury, co-founder of Miss Print. 'Opt for colours that work well with the connecting rooms to ensure there is a continuity of style, but most of all, embrace your own personality and favourite colours and turn your hallway into one of the most stylish spaces of the house!'

What do you put on a hallway wall?

The world really is your oyster in terms of what to put on your hallway wall, there's artwork, family portraits, shelving, peg rails and of course a bold wallpaper. Our home decor discount codes cover decorating pretty much this entire space and help to keep costs low.

Mirrors are an obvious choice as they're useful for checking one's appearance on the way out. You can't beat a cheery wall colour either, one that makes you happy on your return, and, that lights up the hallway well if it's on the dark side. 

'Hallways are the perfect place to experiment with colour or paint effects that you love but that you're worried might be a bit 'too much' to use elsewhere in the home,' says James Sirett. 'You'll probably be completely won over by the time you've walked through the hallway several times a day and you may well find yourself taking the plunge with bolder colour elsewhere!'

How do you decorate a blank hallway wall?

Believe it or not, a blank wall is a fabulous starting point because you can use it to add several hallway decor wall ideas – and remember you can use more than one idea together. 

'A typically narrow and gloomy room, it's easy to overlook your hallway when it comes to decorating,' says Dee Fontenot, resident style adviser at Wayfair. 'Style and function are essential for this space, as the hallway is not only one of the most frequently used areas of the home, but it's also your first opportunity to impress with your interiors.'

Hallways often have a generous amount of wall space even if it's narrow. A slimline shelving unit will look great on a wallpaper, likewise, a monochromatic selection of portraits will stand out on a bold-coloured wall. 

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events.