Hallway colour schemes – the combinations that make an ideal first impression

First impressions count, so choosing the right hallway colour scheme is more important than you might think

Looking for hallway colour schemes that will create an inviting entrance?

A beautifully decorated hallway sets the tone for the rest of the house and introduces your own interior style for all to see 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 for inspiration.

With literally every variation in the spectrum to choose from, deciding between potential hallway colour schemes is daunting for even for the most daring decorator.

Hallway colour schemes to inspire

When it comes to paint colour, you can either go for bold statement hues or choose a soothing palette. Neutrals will ensure your hallway feels light and airy. Consider light and mid-tone shades of yellow, green, pink and blue pastel colours to inject subtle colour that feels cheery and uplifting. And, of course, there's always the perfect grey paint for a timeless shade.

Be inspired by our pick of the best hallway ideas when it comes to colour schemes.

1. Be bold with colour combinations

hallway with black and white floor tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Georgia Burns)

To make that 'wow' first impression the key is to be brave with colour combinations and even pattern. As this stunning hallway proves, an accent pop of sunshine yellow looks striking when paired with black.

To keep the look focused try using the accent colours purely on woodwork within the hallway, keeping the main mains in a neutral shade.

A patterned floor works well for combining a paint colour scheme, plus a patterned hallway flooring idea is ideal as it shows up less dirt than a block colour solution.

2. Take a bold accent colour to waist height

hallway with blue and white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb)

An ideal way to use colour in a hallway, especially good as a small hallway idea, is to use a heavier accent colour on the lower portion of the wall leaving the top in a bright white. Balancing the use of colours helps to prevent the space from feeling overwhelmed by the stronger of the two colours.

Painting along the hallway but only to waist level frames the space, breaking up a solid corridor of wall. By doing so you're creating a Trompe-l'œil effect that can give a different perspective, making the space feel bigger and the ceilings higher.

3.  Liven up a white hallway with colour on the stairs

white hallway with painted stairs

(Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies/Style at Home)

An imaginative staircase idea can do wonders to transform a hallway in an instant. Liven up a white hallway with the addition of an accent colour painted on the stairs.

Less is so much more with this modern approach to a hallway colour scheme. Go for any colour you love, painting it on staircase risers and drawing attention to them with brilliant white treads and backdrop.

4. Pick out the woodwork in contrasting colour

hallway with stairs and painted bench

(Image credit: Dulux)

There are those that say never paint the original woodwork on a stairway but we say when it looks this good, why not?

Picking out the woodwork on a staircase in a bold contrast colour is a great way to modernise your hallway scheme. In this stylish hallway a black wood stain makes the banisters and spindles stand out for all the right reasons.

Going one step further, the design team at Dulux have introduced softer accent colours on the stairs, which works beautifully in the space.

5. Mix and match complimentary colours

pink wall with complementary color table idea

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

Use your hallway as a place to experiment with complimentary colours. This colourful hallway scheme has boldly mixed coral pink with a teal blue – opposite colours on the colour wheel – and it works so well.

The pink tone of the paper is matched with a runner to add an element of coordination, allowing the blue painted sideboard to really stand out. Proving how well opposites attract, as far as colour is concerned.

6. Create a refreshing blue entrance

hallway with blue door

(Image credit: Dulux)

Traditionally homes have small and narrow hallways, often lacking space and light. So select a shade such as Dulux's White Mist to open it up. With a clean slate to work with, you’re then free to add a unique flourish, which is where painting the ceiling, the door, its surrounds and a stripe down one wall comes in.

Dulux's soft blue Mineral Mist keeps things fresh and conjures up a subtle coastal theme in the process. Both of these shades are taken from Dulux's Easycare Washable & Tough range. This paint is more likely to withstand scuffs and marks, which in a high-traffic area like a hallway, is a huge advantage.

7. Welcome ambience with dark colours

ideal home grey painted hallway

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

Brooding dark walls are becoming more and more popular in the modern home. It's often a misconception that dark can make a room feel smaller, which can be the case. But more often than not it creates a sense of space by almost pushing the walls out.

It also depends on the light. If your hallway has a great source of natural light it can totally take a dark wall colour.

To prevent the dark walls feeling too overwhelming pair with white painted woodwork, bleached wood furniture and light accessories such as this simple hallway lighting idea.

8. Opt for on-trend shades of calming grey

grey wall hallway and table

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Tim Young)

Make a great first impression in your hallway with a calming, soft grey shade. Create a restful feel with dove grey hallway ideas by using two shades on the wall for contrast. This soft mid-tone grey makes a great neutral base. Create a subtle contrast by using a darker tone for under the dado rail and a paler shade above.

Lighten the look with white or cream furniture and glass accessories. It’s incredibly versatile, too. Look for shades that have subtle hints of blue or pink, and dress them using luxe metallics or natural textures.

9. Make an impact with purple

purple wall hallway

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Mark Scott)

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.

10. Introduce fun and friendly accents

hallway with vibrant color ideas

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

Create a hallway that can change with you, using a versatile mix of colour, pattern and hard-working furniture that’s easy to live with, and reflects your personality.

This vibrant look uses a clever hallway shoe storage idea and is all about mixing up colour. Use fabrics featuring multicoloured prints as a starting point and you’ll have more flexibility when you want to update the accent tones in the future.

If you want to up the glamour, add more jewel tones, such as turquoise blue, hot fuchsia pink and deep emerald green, to your palette for a more luxurious feel.

11. Decorate with duck egg blue

blue hallway with chair and key holder

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

This new modern rustic style takes elements of traditional country looks, but gives them a smarter edge that suits any home. Think chic without the shabby! Swap the floral-patterned wallpapers of classic country style for crisp, painted walls and matching woodwork for a simple streamlined backdrop.

Duck egg is a great colour choice for a feature wall. Perfect for clutter-lovers, duck egg's calming effect will offset busyness if you like to have a lot of stuff on show.

12. Opt for sun-bleached simplicity

wooden flooring off white hallway theme

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Bring the beach home by mixing weathered coastal colours, unfussy reclaimed-wood furniture and characterful seaside motifs for a look that will relax you as soon as you walk through the front door. Lighten the look by mixing in painted furniture in a classic country style. Avoid bold blues in favour of soft stone, sand, pebble-grey and shell pink.

13. Hang captivating artwork

hallway with table and bench

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Tim Young)

Choose a large-scale artwork and hang it in your hallway for an easy way to add character to your hallway colour 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 brilliant white walls here look fantastic, and really show off the blue details.

14. Welcome hints of natural green

hallway with green storage ideas

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Dominic Blackmore)

Get back to nature with beautiful botanical shades and motifs in your hallway. Even a soft hint of green on the walls adds impact when looking to create a serene and welcoming space.

If you have period features, put them centre stage with pared-back hallway colour schemes. Or you could use a different paint colour to highlight features such as dado-height panelling or skirting boards.

Try using a richly patterned hallway wallpaper idea or paint in recesses, nooks, just above the dado rail or even on stair risers. Add an assortment of green furniture artworks and accessories to enhance the accent colour.

15. Live au naturel

grey wall with wooden staircase and carpet

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

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.

16. Make a hallway happy with daffodil yellow

yellow and white printed hallway ideas

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain)

Let the sunshine in with corn-field yellows and rustic woods – all inspired by nature’s best. Light up a gloomy under stairs space with a butter-yellow wall covering featuring super-sized foliage – the perfect spot for a clever hallway storage idea like the one shown above.

17. Introduce colour through accessories

grey and white hallway with frames

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Georgia Burns)

This hallway was the first opportunity for this home owner to take in her chosen jungle theme. She took inspiration from natural textures and raw materials and slowly but surely, this neutral colour split wall became a stylish gallery wall full of memories and treasures.

Do you feel inspired by these hallway colour schemes? Happy decorating!