White hallway ideas – make an entrance with pure white and off white shades

This brightest of shades can lift a dark hallway, though it's a timeless choice in any size of entrance
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  • Thinking of adopting a pristine white colour scheme for your hallway? You’ll be looking for white hallway ideas to ensure you do white right, because it can feel like a risky choice for a busy space.

    That said, 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.

    The thing to bare in mind when using white paint in a high traffic area, such as the hallway, is to choose a hard-wearing finish to prevent scuffs and marks. Most reputable paint brands offer a wipeable or durable solution.

    Read more here: The best white paint – how to choose the right shade for your walls

    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. Open up your space with an all-white scheme

    Styling: Gemma Gear Image credit: Jo Henderson

    White on white makes this clever shoe storage unit 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

    2. Paint the stairs in in a bold shade

    White hallway with blue painted stairs

    Image credit: 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. Contrast white walls with a coloured front door

    white hallway with bright yellow front door

    Image credit: 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 for 2020 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’.

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

    hallway with green patterned door curtain

    Image credit: 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.

    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.

    Read more: How to insulate your home against the cold and block those drafts

    7. Use mirrors to make the white bright

    white hallway with mirrors

    Image credit: 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.

    8. Choose a monochrome wallpaper

    monochrome toile wallpaper

    Image credit: 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 are of the wall also helps to limit the chances of overpowering the space.

    9. Pair white walls with dark tiles

    Image credit: 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.

    Related: How to paint a staircase – transform your hallway by painting your steps

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

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