Modern hallway ideas – 16 ways to make your entryway cool and contemporary

In the mood for a modern hallway? These ideas will help you to create a cohesive interior that is bound to wow guests

Hallway with wooden plank flooring, gold table and pink armchair
(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin poole)

A hallway is the first part of your home that you see, so it's important to set the tone. If a contemporary interior is your style, then creating a modern hallway that reflects the rest of your home is key to creating the perfect first impression. 

Well-thought-out hallway ideas combine both style and function. After all, an entryway is a busy thoroughfare that sees coats, bags, and shoes tossed aside in a relatively small space. 

‘So many of us decorate one room at a time,’ says Paloma Harrington, founding director, Home Staging Association  ‘and it is easy to lose sight of how a room works with the rest of the house. Instead of focusing on each room separately, try and see the big picture by thinking holistically, considering how you can carry unifying features from one space to the other, such as styling, colours and textures.’

There’s no need to play it safe either, as interior designer and founder of COR London, Camila de Oliveira Rodrigues explains, ‘This room will welcome you daily, so it needs to be aligned with what makes you feel good. I'd personally go wow and statement-making, especially since it is a passage room you can play with it a lot more.’

Modern hallway ideas to inspire

Be inspired by our pick of the best ideas for hallways  when it comes to making yours a room rather than a corridor to the front door. From storage to colour, wallpaper to flooring, there are so many tricks and tips that can transform your space – and the best thing is, hallways are often small enough to be the perfect weekend project. 

1. Add a pop of art

Hallway with black wall panelling with pink neon sign

(Image credit: Future)

Art is a fast way to spruce up any space, but modern options such as prints or neon signs will further enhance a contemporary feel. Mixing bold colours through block prints or bright lights works well in contrast to sophisticated decor like wall panelling, adding a trendy touch. 

It's also easy to swap out if you find that your style changes over time, so whether you want to update your hallway colour scheme or it just simply needs a refresh, it's affordable to change. 

2. Create a place to perch

Hallway with limewashed wall under stairs, bench and rattan features

(Image credit: Future)

Adding decor to a hallway is a simple way to create a modern look, but many narrow hallways won't have the space for furniture. A bench is a perfect balance as it provides under stairs storage, without taking over the area. 

'Should you be lucky enough to have free space beneath your staircase, you'll be wise to optimise it with clever under-stairs storage,' says Tom Revill, Co-Founder of Plank Hardware. So whether it's with accessories or well-needed storage, make the most of every inch of space to optimise your modern hallway. 

3. Reduce visual distraction

Hallway with wooden farmhouse inspired sliding doors

(Image credit: Future)

The best modern hallway ideas are space-saving and innovative, just like this door idea. A hallway often has adjoining doors to other rooms in your home, and opening these can create a cluttered, distracting look. 

By choosing sliding doors, an entryway will look perfectly pared-back and contemporary, so that you can have more space to focus on additional design features rather than logistical elements. It's also a great way to make a narrow hallway look wider, as it's easy to open up the entrances to other rooms for more light. 

4. Focus on the ceiling

Hallway with painted red ceiling and open door looking into a cloakroom.

(Image credit: Future)

A modern hallway doesn't have to mean minimal. Adding in colour is an easy way to make a space feel on-trend, especially by focusing on unique areas such as a ceiling. 

It can feel counterproductive to paint a ceiling in an already enclosed space but it's actually a simple way to create an expertly-designed look and draws the room inwards for a cosy, welcoming feel. Paint ideas offer plenty of opportunity to be creative, and it's also an easy update you can accomplish in a weekend to make your hallway feel brand new. 

5. Decorate with gold

Hallway with wooden plank flooring, gold table and pink armchair

(Image credit: Future)

For those wanting to achieve a luxe, contemporary aesthetic, then gold is the way to go. Mixing statement metals into an interior can feel like a large commitment, but accessorising with the shade is a low-investment option that will still have a big impact. 

If your hallway has the space, then a boutique-inspired bistro table will make for a glamourous coffee spot, whereas adding shiny plant pots up your stairs will act as a great modern stairway idea.

6. Focus on floor direction

Hallway with sage green walls and chevron wood flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Flooring forms the foundation of your home, so if your hallway isn't feeling as modern as you would like, consider updating it. While the material of the floor has a big impact, so does the direction you lay planks in. Chevron flooring is ultra on-trend and helps to make a hallway feel more spacious. 

'The direction of the flooring makes an immense impact on the flow and spatial feel of a room. It’s recommended to place the planks parallel to the widest wall. This will create an elongated look by drawing attention to the longest portion of the space,' says Natalie Mudd, Creative Director at The Wood Flooring Co.

7. Add a section of statement wallpaper

White hallway with coastal statement wallpaper on one wall and a white front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

A modern hallway is the perfect place to hang wallpaper – you can use that hero design you’ve fallen for on a small return without blowing the budget. Try wallpapering the return wall by your staircase, below your banister area or around the front door – there are plenty of creative – often overlooked areas – that can benefit from hallway wallpaper ideas

Choose a wallpaper that tells a story – the hallway is the first room visitors walk into, so if you love the sea, are a fan of texture or a certain colour, then go for it. ‘Wallpaper in a hallway can be used to create lines and mind-trick effects when needed, such as making it feel cosier, more prominent, or even to distract from the storage items,’ says interior designer and founder of COR London, Camila de Oliveira Rodrigues.

8. Keep it stylishly simple

White hallway and front door with round mirror above a narrow black console table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Robert Sanderson)

Go large in your modern hallway with a big round mirror. Hang above a sleek console table with a simple-yet-so-effective display of a trio of vases. Such a calm, display will hint at the mood of your home. 

Paint the walls in your hallway white – choose a tough, washable paint to keep the space looking pristine. Monochome is a great choice for a smart hallway, but if you are looking for something bolder, then check out these hallway colour schemes.

9. Make your door the star

White hallway with period style front door painted pink

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Often we think of the colour of our front doors and the message they give those passing by on the outside, but the back of your door can be a great place to experiment with colour too. Try introducing an accent colour that you can pick up throughout the rest of your décor. There are plenty of ideas you can be creative with your hallway paint ideas.

If you are using colour on your door, then choose a neutral floor to avoid introducing too many colours – look for interestingly patterned tiles. The floor area of a hallway tends to be fairly small, allowing you to choose perhaps a more expensive tile design as you won’t need so many tiles as in a kitchen for example.

10. Experiment with flooring

Detail shot of hallway showing wooden wall panelling and a mix of hexagon floor tiles and wood flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Even in a small hallway idea, you can still be creative. Try mixing vinyl flooring – this visual divide acts almost as a large doormat (or more practical area), where guests can take their shoes off. 

Bring in plenty of texture – modern doesn’t mean cold. Try a plant in a rattan or wicker basket, a panelled section of wall, which will also withstand knocks and scrapes that seem unavoidable in a small hallway, and even accessories from your wardrobe to soften the space.

11. Make it fun

Grey hallway with geo style floor tiles and a stork statue on a wooden cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC/Fiona Walker-Arnott)

A hallway is a great place to make ‘you’ shine. Why not add a fun piece, like this flamenco, or a slogan piece of artwork? Make sure any addition stands out: try painting the walls a contrasting colour. 

Hide clutter in a modern hallway with a large chest, which can double as a spot to sit and pop shoes on. Keep coats and shoes behind closed doors if you can – this is about creating a statement space.

12. Let your porch flow into your hallway

Open plan hallway with contemporary front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

If you’re lucky enough to have a large modern porch area to welcome guests in first, make sure it doesn’t feel too separate to the hallway that it ends up looking confined, or at worst, an add-on. Link the two spaces with colour; try painting the porch a rich teal, which can then be picked up in artwork hung in the hallway section. Glazing can also help make the space feel light and airy.

Pay attention to the details – choose the same finishes for furniture, such as black and natural wood, which can echo the choice of hallway flooring ideas used in the porch and hallway sections.

13. Go all out with colour

Hallway with stairs and walls painted a matching mid blue shade

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Paint a small hallway in shades of one colour for a vibrant, modern space. Here a map wall mural was the starting point for the scheme, which then takes the blue palette up the walls and onto the wooden staircase. Murals are a great choice for hallway wallpaper ideas as they can often be printed to size. 

By choosing shades of one colour for your hallway – like this blue, which is darker on skirting and architrave – you’ll give definition to the edges of the space.

14. Make it multipurpose

Workspace tucked under the stairs in a hallway

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

Modern hallways are hardworking, with desk spaces a great addition if you have the room. Fit a desk under the stairs creating a dedicated WFH area. Make sure you decorate the wall above your desk space – it will make it feel less ‘hallway’ and more ‘office’. 

Choose a cosy rug underfoot, which will trap dirt at the front door, helping to keep your office space clean, while still being warm and inviting when sat at the desk.

15. Mix and match for an eclectic look

Hallway with eclectic details

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

A modern hallway doesn’t need to look clinical; try mixing styles for an eclectic vibe. Team a large overmantel mirror above a clever built-in solution for shoes and day-to-day clutter. Look for closed and open storage in such a piece, so you can leave the shoes you use most out, with bits and pieces – such as hats and gloves neatly stashed.

A modern print blind and door curtain add pattern to a hallway, making this nook feel like a room rather than a space you just ‘pass through.’

‘Try to use your space cleverly, there are many slim storages out there, but you can always try and make use of wall cabinets and corner units. Finally, keep your coats in closed-off storage when possible but if not, have them in a hidden corner or at least behind the door,’ says as interior designer and founder of COR London, Camila de Oliveira Rodrigues.

16. Go for glam

Large hallway with tiled floor and wooden front door with full length windows either side

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

If you’ve a lovely wide hallway, then create a luxe look using a shimmering wallpaper and rich woods. A console table provides space for keys and mobile phones, while a shapely bench under a statement hallway mirror idea is the perfect perch for popping on shoes. With a neutral scheme, add highlights, such as brass or silver candlesticks, lamp bases and lanterns, adding warmth. 

Large format square porcelain tiles are a great choice for busy hallways, being easy to clean, while a black bordered rug looks smart.


What flooring should you use in a modern hallway?

Flooring forms one of the largest surface areas in your home, so it has a huge impact on the overall aesthetic. Not only should you consider design, but you should also think about durability - a hallway is a high-traffic area with lots of footfall that will wear flooring down over time. 

'The hallway plays a huge role in setting the tone for your home and should have a well thought out décor which complements the rest of your house,' says Alex Heslop, Trend Expert at Flooring Superstore.' And as the highest traffic area, a durable flooring choice on your staircase such as carpet is a must, to ensure your hallway retains the wow factor for years to come.'

'Geometrics also work particularly well in smaller spaces like bathrooms and hallways to really create a sense of space.'

What colours work for a modern hallway?

Modern hallways can be bold and daring or sophisticated and neutral – it’s about being cohesive with the rest of your home’s style. ‘You want your hallway to be welcoming and memorable, but not overpowering,’ says Paloma. ‘Choose a palette that flows with the rest of your home.’

‘Any colour works in a modern hallway, but go for a higher saturation for that bold, ‘wow’ space,’ says Camila 

What furniture should you put in a modern hallway?

‘This depends on space, but every hallway should have space for letters, keys, and your daily coats and jackets,’ says Camila. If you have space, then a statement console table instantly looks boutique chic, while a modern chair, stool or bench for sitting down to take off shoes can set the modern vibe. Don’t forget hallway lighting – it’s a great way of expressing your modern look in a tight hallway space, with a statement pendant or chandelier a big modern win.

Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan is an award-winning editor, writer and stylist, with over 25 years’ experience writing, styling and editing home interest magazines. Jennifer was the deputy editor of Ideal Home from 2008-2010, before launching Ideal Home’s sister title, Style at Home in 2010. Jennifer went on to launch several craft magazines and websites, before going freelance in 2016, with a client list that includes John Lewis, Dunlem and Nordic House. Today, she writes for Ideal Home, Real Homes, Waitrose, Woman & Home, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Homes & Gardens. But it was during lockdown that Jennifer realised her dream of publishing her own magazine – Simply Scandi.

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