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

Lift your home's entranceway with these brightening white hallway ideas that are perfect for spaces of all sizes

Stunning 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 idea 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 and a black and glass ceiling light

(Image credit: Future PLC)

White is one of the brightest shades that 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 narrow hallway look wider and more mighty.

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

White hallway with wall of elevated storage

(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

A white hallway with black stair runner

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Rachael Smith)

Where you want to keep the hallway 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 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 colour to the hallway.

From pendant hallway lighting ideas, 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

A 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.

White hallway with picture gallery wall and blue bench with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/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

A white hallway with terracotta floor tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/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, as 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

A white hallway with a large mirror, side table and 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 and keep homes warm in winter, as it insulates and keeps 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.

11. Use mirrors to make the white bright

A white hallway with mirrors and stained glass

(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 going up the stairs with a white panel

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

Don't be afraid to incorporate pattern, even if you want a clean look. Adding a patterned wallpaper in monochrome is a great way to add a decorative element without straying too 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

A hallway with white walls, grey floor tiles and a large green plant

(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 hallway flooring idea paired with the white paint also helps 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. In fact, 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 hallway 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?


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.