White hallway ideas – create a pleasingly bright entrance using shades of white

This brightening colour choice is ideal for entranceways of all sizes
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  • White hallway ideas prove timeless for all property types. White provides an ideal blank canvas, and will make the space feel more generous. It can help brighten darker hallway spaces and make even the smallest of areas feel spacious and airy.

    If you’re looking to adopt a pristine white colour scheme for your hallway ideas ensure you choose the best white paint for the job, because there are many tones to this classic decorating colour of choice.

    White hallway ideas

    Try combining subtle variations of white shades on walls, woodwork, cornicing and ceilings to enhance the proportions of the space.

    Here are some ideas on how to use white to full potential in your hallway…

    1. Welcome white to enhance the light

    White hallway with wooden stairs

    Image credit: Future PLC

    This brightest of shades can instantly lift a dark hallway. This narrow hallway idea is kept brilliant white to maximise the reflection of light, ensuring it bounces off the walls to make the small space feel bigger.

    Adding a mirror is a clever way to go one step further when it comes to reflecting light – to make a limited space feel brighter and more mighty.

    2. Open up your space with an all-white scheme

    white hallway with wall storage for shoes

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Henderson

    White on white makes this clever hallway shoe storage idea literally disappear into the background. Prevent it looking cold or stark by adding texture with rugs, lampshades and ceramics. Line the top with family photos or favourite prints, alongside personal memorabilia, to add charm and character.

    Buy now: TRONES white shoe storage cabinet, £22 for two, IKEA

    3. Keep it simple in monochrome

    white hallway with black stair runner

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    Where you want to keep the colour scheme ‘plain’ but still add an accent colour the easiest option for white hallway ideas is to add black for a monochrome effect. This classic decorating scheme is devoid of bold colour but yet remains entirely striking in style.

    This white hallway features a smart black and white striped stair runner and a monochrome hallway wallpaper idea to add interest without overpowering the effortless look.

    4. Introduce an accent colour through furnishings

    White hallway with yellow pendant and matching wallpaper in living room beyond hallway

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Douglas Gibb

    Just because you choose brilliant white walls doesn’t mean the space has to be completely colourless. If painting walls with a more defined colour feels too bold turn to furnishings instead, to add a vibrant accent to the hallway colour scheme.

    From pendant light shades, artwork on walls and rug choices you can add more than enough of a burst of bright contrasting colour.

    5. Contrast the natural warmth of wood

    white hallway with wooden staircase

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith

    For a beautifully crafted wooden staircase left in its original state, i.e unpainted and uncarpeted, striking white walls can go a long way to show off the natural beauty. The bright white surrounding walls draw attention to the warmth of the wooden design.

    Choose neutral shades for carpets or hallway runners to add a softness to floors, without distracting from the natural colour scheme.

    6. Paint the stairs

    White hallway with blue painted stairs

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Claire Lloyd Davies

    The white provides a blank canvas for most of this hallway, and the stair treads provide a pop of colour that leads the eye up. Choose a colour that is incorporated elsewhere in the house to subtly link the rooms, offering a continuous flow throughout the journey from one space to another.

    7. Create a gallery wall against the white

    White hallway with picture gallery wall

    Image credit: David Giles

    White walls are synonymous with galleries and studio spaces, so they are a fitting backdrop for your own gallery wall. Create a personal and warm welcome with a montage of framed family pictures – keep the frames to one colour for simple, sophisticated  unity, or mix them up in a rainbow of colours for a fun look.

    Balance the amount of frames with the size of your hallway – don’t overcrowd the space. A friendly face or two is enough to make a great first impression in any home.

    8. Use a mix of white tones

    white hallway with terracotta floor tiles

    Image credit: Robert Sanderson

    A clever trick is to use the brightest white on the ceiling to give an impression of height, and make the hallway feel instantly bigger. Combining subtle variations of white shades on difference surfaces prevents the space from feeling flat by enhancing the different elements – from walls to woodwork, cornicing to ceilings.

    9. Contrast white walls with a coloured front door

    white hallway with bright yellow front door

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Joanna Henderson

    While the hallway walls may be white, the front door is a welcome surface to add a splash of playful colour. Front and back – why not double up on the opportunity to add colour?

    And may we suggest yellow, it’s trending. ‘Yellow offers the warmest of welcomes for any front door’ says Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux.

    ‘All around the world we recognise the power of this joyful shade to conjure hope, positivity and happiness. It is the smile on the face of your house – which is infectious to all who walk past’.

    10. Add colour and pattern to a white backdrop with a door curtain

    hallway with green patterned door curtain

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    Having chosen an all-white colour scheme doesn’t mean that you can’t invite an accent colour and pattern through fabrics. A door curtain is an easy way to do just that, not to mention a great way to insulate and keep draughts at bay – to keep homes warm in winter.

    Because this style of curtain is only in use typically when the door is not in use, it offers just a slither of colour and pattern for the majority of the time. The decorative element is therefore not overwhelming for an all-white scheme.

    11. Use mirrors to make the white bright

    white hallway with mirrors

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Mirrors are a simple yet effective way to make a space feel brighter. If you’ve chosen white for your hallway it might well be in order to make the space feel bigger and brighter, if you have a narrow hallway for instance.

    Multiple mirrors placed near the source of light, from a front door or window, help to reflect and bounce it around the wider space. White is used for photographic purposes to reflect light, making it an ideal pigment to make this trick work best.

    12. Choose a monochrome wallpaper

    monochrome toile wallpaper

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    Don’t be afraid to incorporate pattern, just because you want a clean look. Adding a patterned wallpaper in monochrome is a great way to add a decorative element, without straying to far from the neutral scheme.

    Adding a design to a select area of the wall also helps to limit the chances of overpowering the space, like the tasteful wallpaper used above the wood panelling in this white and grey hallway idea.

    13. Pair white walls with dark floor tiles

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Hiscock

    A dark floor paired with ivory white walls and ceilings helps to create the illusion of a bigger space. The stark contrast between the two tones helps to set them further apart, like an optical illusion. This flooring and paint pairing also helps you to create an effortlessly modern monochrome feel.

    Is it ok to paint a hallway white?

    It is more than ok to paint a hallway white, it’s a brilliant idea – for all the reasons we’ve explored above. The only thing you have to be sure of when painting hallways white is that you choose a suitable paint finish.

    Look for a durable paint that can withstand possible scuffs and knocks, as a high traffic area with people coming and going it’s likely to be the worst place for this to occur.

    Is white a good colour for hallway?

    White is a good colour for a hallway to keep the space light, bright and welcoming. With so many depths of white, it doesn’t have to feel like a cold soulless space – look for off-white tones to add warmth. Farrow & Ball are the masters of providing a white that’s not ‘white’ – take for example Strong White, that feels more light grey in tone, but does the job of a neutral white.

    How do you brighten a white hallway?

    You can add further brightness to a white hallway with thoughtful hallway lighting ideas, to make sure the space is illuminated to the max. Mix overhead lighting, from pendants to directional spotlights as the main source of lighting – welcoming lamps to add ambient touches.

    Adding mirrors will ensure natural light is bounced around the space during the day, helping to effortlessly make the white walls feel brighter.

    Will you be embracing the brilliance of white for your hallway?

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