Hallway ideas: All the trends for any type of welcome
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Looking for unique hallway ideas? It helps if you consider your hallway a transitional space – a people-traffic through-way meant to guide you and your guests through your home with ease.
Unfortunately, many hallways have become dumping grounds for shoes, coats, and other miscellaneous items, meaning their design potential is being missed.
As a result, now is the perfect time to claim back your hallway and create a beautiful space full of life and light, no matter what layout or square footage you’re working with.
Small and narrow hallway ideas
If your home is on the more compact side, there’s a good chance your hallway is too. As a result, you might feel like there’s nothing you can do to improve your lot, but we’re here to show you the opposite. The following small and narrow hallway ideas are going to show you how to transform a neglected space into a proud welcome.
Let the sunshine expand your square footage
Implementing some light trickery is one of the best ways to open up your hallway. Sunshine colours such as powder yellows, pinks, oranges, and neutrals will equip your home with the power of positivity.
Furthermore, as small or narrow hallways don’t always let much natural light enter the space, choosing the right fittings is important. Parallel inset lights, strip lights, or wall scones will all help your hallway appear brighter and wider. The key is to lead the eye lengthways by creating a runway effect.
Light and bright hallway ideas add depth and height
Painting your walls and ceiling the same light colour will make even the smallest hallways look more spacious. Adding mirrors also reflects light and adds depth, so placing some along the walls and at the bottom end of the L-shape will greatly enhance the illusion of spaciousness.
If you don’t want to paint the walls yourself, our guide on painter and decorator prices will help you find vetted tradespeople who will be happy to help.
Cream hallway ideas keep your welcome light and cosy
Bright hallways aren’t always easy to achieve, especially in small homes with few windows. However, there are ways to infuse light into a darker hallway with a few design tricks.
For example, use cream for an inviting, traditional vibe. Pair it with natural wooden floors and doors to create a rustic finish, then complete it with soft accents such as a matching mirror to extend the area, a tall plant offset to the door, and inset ceiling lights that stand in for the sun.
Flat hallway ideas for form and function
Larger flats and apartments often have hallways connecting the rooms together. Some are simple and can only house decorative pictures or light sconces, while others have more interesting layouts and features to work with.
For example, this flat has a long corridor that doubles up as a storage area. Sliding cupboards have made use of an otherwise awkward space, and pops of colour have been added in the form of a velvet teal bench and potted window ferns, which helps enhance an otherwise sterile flat hallway.
Modern hallway ideas to update your decor
With the rise of social media interior design trends, people are striving to stay ahead of the curve with contemporary and timeless decor. However, keeping up to date with modern hallway ideas is tricky. The best way to avoid changing your interiors like the wind is to pick styles that are interchangeable and enduring.
Keep it sophisticated with moody and dark hallway ideas
Dramatic and luxurious, a dark hallway can be a great feature in larger homes. For example, some trending dark hallway ideas include monochromatic colour schemes, metal and glass accents, and smart storage solutions. (Think silver picture frames or glass stair balustrades!)
Your floors and walls offer the perfect opportunity to add darker shades to your hallway. There are many wallpaper and paint options to add texture and intrigue, while flooring styles such as polished concrete, Amtico, or LVT will have darker options that complement the aesthetic.
Grey and white hallway ideas are always on trend
Grey and white hallways aren’t only modern and trendy, but they also create a soothing ‘welcome home vibe,’ which is perfect after a long day at work. This modern and modular hallway design incorporates a grey wall with open storage and a hanging shelf.
Completing the ‘nonchalant’ decor aesthetic is a leaning mirror on the shoe shelf, allowing for a final outfit check before heading out for the day. Gloss white flooring and a black and white patterned rug complement the grey walls and tie in the space for an effortless finish.
Tiled hallway ideas to add depth and intrigue
Tiles bring a host of benefits to a hallway, despite often being overlooked in favour of carpets and wooden floors. However, not only do they wipe clean and therefore work well for busy families, but they come in a range of colours, styles and designs.
In this home, a chequered tile hallway creates a stylish feature. It turns this clean, open space into something that exudes personality. Finished with a turquoise cabinet, which perfectly offsets the whites and blacks, it’s a good example of how a simple design can have a big impact.
Raw materials = modern ideas for long and large hallways
If you’re lucky enough to have a long and large hallway, you’re sitting on a huge amount of potential just waiting to be unlocked. To make the best of a long and large hallway, consider ideas such as broken plan decor and transitional design.
This might look like a monochromatic theme with a dark feature wall and seating area adjacent to an open brick storage space using a console table and decorative boxes. Similarly, storage options include sideboards, cupboards, and ottomans also work.
Modern hallway ideas with minimalist accents keep it classy
This contemporary hallway is sophisticated, modern, and sleek. This is mostly due to the glass and black metal accents complementing the white walls by creating a monochromatic contrast. Finally, the beautiful, polished concrete flooring is a clean choice that boasts a range of maintenance benefits.
To learn why polished concrete flooring is a great choice for any contemporary home, read our polished concrete flooring guide.
Embrace storage opportunities in your modern narrow hallway ideas
If you have a narrow hallway but want to use the space for storage, an easy way to do that is to add a tall and narrow sideboard. A neutral unit (pictured) works well in a smaller space, especially when you match the colour of the wood flooring to seamlessly integrate the two materials.
Limit your desired colours and textures (if any) to accessories; for example, books, lamps and plants. That way, your hallway doesn’t look cluttered or crowded and offers a warm and attractive welcome to guests.
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Inspiring narrow hallway ideas: Design trends and tips
Elegant decor creates a luxurious finish
This elegant and luxurious hallway is a beautiful example of how to dress a narrow space. The neutral diamond-shaped floor tiles stand out against the white paint and frames, while the shabby-chic desk fits snugly in the window’s alcove.
We love the dried flowers that add character, the vintage mirror that lengthens the corridor, and the light shades that add a touch of opulence. Want to recreate the look? Why not hire one of our professionals to help you?
It’s all about the walls for small and narrow hallway ideas
Building close to the wall and upwards, not outwards, is the best way to make the most of a hallway. Both these designs make the most of the space by incorporating storage and accessories that work well in the layout.
The left-hand design has a layered storage solution with a horizontal diamond coat rack at the top, a row of post cubbies in the middle, and a narrow shoe rack at the bottom.
On the contrary, the right-hand hallway incorporates neutral walls and skirting boards to lead the eye lengthways. The small overhead light creates height while the large framed artwork on one wall adds interest and breaks up the monotony. Finally, the medium wood laminate floor adds depth and spaciousness while the topcoat brightens the aesthetic.
Narrow hallway artwork ideas: pictures and accessories lift any space
If you’re short on architectural features, create some with your own art installation. Whether you opt for a feature wall or handpick matching accessories and design elements to create cohesion and style, pick a theme and stick to it.
This contemporary-meets-industrial hallway uses black frames, botanical imagery, potted plants, and a monochromatic base layer to create a timeless and elegant entrance.
Vintage decorating ideas for a narrow hallway
This hallway uses the ‘horizontal floorboard trick’ alongside neutral walls and large mirrors to create depth and widen the space. Other areas of interest include the black mini-chandeliers and silver console table that sits under the white framed mirror.
The storage cabinet on the right-hand side takes up the entire wall. However, there’s a bench set back in the alcove where you can sit and take off your shoes before storing them in the unit (along with your other coats and accessories!)
Windowless narrow hallway decorating ideas
This shabby-chic hallway design uses Crittal-style mirrors that act as makeshift windows, while the white-painted wooden panels keep it bright and airy.
Create separation with these narrow hallway and stairs ideas
If you have a narrow hallway next to your stairs, creating separation is key. Breaking up the space makes it feel bigger and adds intrigue.
For example, this homeowner has used an animal print stair runner to create depth and contrast. They’ve continued the trend in their hallway (which has vertical floor panels) with another carpet runner.
Except, this one is decorated with flowers and doesn’t match the stairs. Why? Because it creates separation and therefore the illusion of more space.
Include vintage accents in your narrow hallway and stairs ideas
This vintage hallway design is a lovely example of how to make even the smallest spaces as charming as possible.
For example, the duck egg walls are classic and clean, while the floral carpet runner pulls the whole space together.
These homeowners have opted to keep their coats and shoes in cupboards to the left, while a quaint key rack hangs on the right for ergonomic ease.
Finally, the pictures and frames that adorn the walls add a friendly and homely feel the minute you step over the threshold.
Clever hallway and stairs storage ideas to declutter your entrance
Homeowners, especially those in terraced houses, often have staircases next to their hallways. Sometimes, the gap is extremely small. And if that’s the case, your only option is to incorporate some sort of smart storage.
Enter: this magnificent staircase solution! Not only does it offer a whole new storage area, but it keeps everything compact and tidy when folded away, saving you room and precious square footage.
Why not get the look by hiring one of our professionals to build you your own bespoke design?
Consider art nouveau-style hallway ideas for an opulent aesthetic
We adore the plush nature of this art nouveau hallway. The violet console table and matching bench create a pop of colour and depth, making this space stand out in the best ways.
The white bookshelves and wall panels add texture, while the light wood floors are polished and bright for an extra lift. It’s a space that introduces you to the house straight away. You already know what awaits you beyond the doors, and that’s exactly what a well-decorated hallway should do.
For muted elegance, choose boho style narrow hallway decor
This lovely and cosy entrance is a gorgeous example of how to make a great first impression. The raw and rustic materials give a sense of farmhouse warmth, such as the open storage bench with wicker baskets, the clay pots with verdant plants, and the multifunctional floating shelf with base-hanging coat hooks.
To finish the look, ceramic ‘broken shard’ patterned floor tiles and distressed sage walls tie each element together. Get the look by hiring one of our decorating professionals today.
Wall accent advice from uFurnish
‘The style of your entrance hall will of course make a first impression, telling your guests a bit about you. Creating an accent wall that runs the entire length of your hallway, either in the form of a photo or artwork gallery, will both add personality whilst accessorising the wall space.
This will also lead guests nicely to the end of the hallway. A mirror at the end of the space will enable the area to feel larger, whilst bringing in ample light from the surrounding rooms. Using feature wall lighting or a vibrant runner which both run the entire length of the hallway, are great additions for brightening any narrow entrance area.’ — Deirdre McGettrick
Hallway runners are a nice finishing touch
If you’re looking for a way to elevate your hallway decor, consider adding a runner. It’s a nice finishing touch that lets you add colour and texture for a homely vibe.
“The hallway is one of the most used spaces in the home,” says Deirdre McGettrick, founder of furniture search and comparison engine ufurnish.com, and co-host of The DnA of Home Interiors podcast. “In essence, the hallway is like the palette cleanser – the space between different rooms within your home that allows guests to reset their expectations, ready for the next room.”
How to dress your narrow hallway
We love this gorgeous hexagon-shaped black framed mirror. It sits above an elegant glass console table adorned with green marble accessories, adding a touch of elegance and decadence to the space.
For many, the hallway can be a narrow space, so dressing this area well with smart accessories and a clever colour palette is key to accentuating it. Do not feel put off by this awkward, in-between space – embrace it, and direct the interest to the end of the hallway, not just the sides. — Deirdre McGettrick
Practical hallway floor ideas for longevity and style
Unlike the other areas of your home interior, which will be largely dictated by your personal style and preferences, selecting hallway flooring will often be governed by practicality. Your hallway creates the first impression. As the launch pad of your home, it had to deal with heavy foot traffic, muddy shoes, and dirty paws, and it’s also a constant dumping ground for bags, coats, deliveries, and items with wheels. As a result, your hallway floor needs to be hardwearing and durable.
Hardwood flooring is timeless and durable
Solid hardwood flooring is a fan favourite because of its beauty and durability, which is why people often assume it’s a great option for creating a welcoming entrance. However, it’s worth noting that real wood can dent and scratch easily, giving you a shabby chic look you may not want.
Even so, if you’re adamant that you still want the look in your busy hallway, choose a more durable wood-effect flooring, such as luxury vinyl flooring (LVT) or even wood-effect tiles. They look the same but don’t react like real wood. Just opt for rich textures and colours to disguise the dirt!
Alternatively, why not tile a section directly in front of the door or throw down a rug for added protection? Read our wooden flooring cost guide for more helpful information.
Vintage area rugs are effortlessly chic
There’s nothing more welcoming than a dreamy vintage home. Choose upholstery and furniture in classic Regency styles and don’t spare yourself any opulence when finding accessories to match.
Painted floorboards match any kind of decor
Paint your floorboards any colour you choose, but neutrals such as black, white, and grey are popular options.
Not sure how to do it? Read our expert guide to learn how to paint floorboards like a pro.
Smooth, sanded floorboards are naturally elegant
A paired back, Scandi look creates much-needed calm in what can sometimes be a busy thoroughfare. Matching walls with classic shaker panelling adds a touch of whimsy, while a simple bench, coat rack, olive tree, and area rug are minimalist accessories that give the look an understated elegance.
Parquet flooring is fit for royalty
Timeless, elegant, and available in a range of different materials with varying tones, what’s not to love about classic parquet flooring? Regal and effortlessly chic, you might even be able to restore your original parquet to its former glory, saving you precious time and money.
Traditional tiles make you right at home
Tiling a hallway is both practical and bold, creating a super-stylish first impression. Whether you’re lucky enough to have original hallway floor tiles that you’ve lovingly restored, or you want to reinstate this period look with a retro finish, you won’t regret adding an eye-catching design to a minimalist hallway.
Not only will you create an elegant feel that retains that character of your period property, but patterned tiles help to disguise dirt and marks and can withstand heavy wear and tear.
Original Victorian or Edwardian tiles are great for a period home. Create a more contemporary vibe by choosing more colourful hues or make it more vibrant with patterned Moroccan-inspired designs to bring buckets of charm and unique character to your home.
Geometric tiles are contemporary and stylish
Geometric floor tiles are eye-catching and fun. You can be as playful as you like with a style and colour that suits your taste and current interior decor. Play with textures and shapes, such as these white hexagon examples that ‘bleed’ into dark wood floorboards. These are perfect for transitional designs.
Mosaic ‘rugs’ never change, regardless of wear and tear
Mix and match your tiles to create a mosaic ‘rug’ effect (as pictured). If you have your eye on more expensive floor tiling designs, creating a feature like this is a clever way to incorporate a more affordable aesthetic.
Tiled ‘rugs’ work best in wider hallways where there’s more depth for the pattern. White and grey tiles create a smokey effect that is stylish and also hides dust and dirt during busier periods.
Natural stone is sophisticated and warm
Marble-effect porcelain tiles will create a modern, luxe look. On the contrary, slate or flagstone flooring is perfectly suited to more traditional cottages and farmhouses. That’s not to say they won’t also complement a contemporary scheme; they’re super versatile. They’re also easy to maintain, hardwearing, and timeless. Learn more about the cost of floor tiling here.
Polished concrete is effortlessly cool
Polished concrete flooring is best suited to a contemporary scheme, especially if it flows through the downstairs and into an open-plan kitchen/diner. It also suits more eclectic styles, such as this deer and silver birch theme. Just imagine walking through a snowy forest and seeing those antlers!
Learn more about the cost of polished concrete in our handy guide.
Carpet is homely and hard-wearing
Cut pile woven carpet is the most hardwearing carpet, which makes it a good choice when you want it to withstand the demands of a busy hallway.
If you’re unsure about a fully carpeted floor, consider a coir or sisal matt to take the brunt of any mud or dirt.
Rugs/runners are versatile accent pieces
While a runner in your entrance hall will help to protect your floor from constant footfall, a rug can be used to bring warmth and colour to the space. In a square hallway, a square rug helps to make the area feel more open, whereas a striped runner will draw the eye down a narrow hallway to create a greater feeling of depth.
Laminate flooring is budget-friendly and stylish
If budget is a factor, a low-cost yet practical option is laminate or vinyl flooring. This solution can still provide a durable surface in hallways. However, it can be prone to scratching and tearing. As a result, it may be worth adding washable floor rugs in the most used spots for extra protection.
Find out how to lay laminate flooring yourself or hire a professional to lay your laminate flooring for you.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) are all-class and no extortion
Luxury vinyl floor tiles, also known as LVTs, are an excellent and affordable solution for hallway floors. Not only are they extremely robust and easy to maintain and clean, but they’re also often resistant to scratching and denting, which is ideal for busy hallways that see lots of action.
Eco-friendly hallway flooring is kind and durable
When weighing up your ideal hallway flooring ideas, take a moment to consider the environmental impact of the materials you choose. For example, bamboo flooring and reclaimed wood are good examples of sustainable flooring options.
Hallway flooring ideas to create the illusion of space
With a few clever design tricks through your choice of flooring, you can help to make your hallway feel more spacious. For example, in a small hallway, choosing a monochrome design scheme and letting the white blend the floors and walls, no one will know where the room starts or ends.
When it comes to small hallway flooring ideas, avoid dark colours. Lighter tones are better suited, as are wide floorboards and large-format tiles. You can also increase the sense of depth by drawing the eye with a herringbone layout.
Patterns extend narrow hallway flooring ideas
Another secret to creating a sense of more space in a narrow hallway is to elongate the floor area with horizontal tiles and heighten the walls with vertical painted lines.
Similarly, choose a patterned floor such as herringbone to make the eye travel the length of the hallway, rather than bringing attention to the width, and the hall will feel double the size. And if you want to go further to divert the eye from the narrow space, try adding charming pendants and wall lights, mirrors, and pictures for interest.
Now we’ve explored the various options available, here is a summary of the tips and tricks discussed:
- Painting walls and floors in a bright or light colour can transform a dull hallway and create a happy space
- Brightly coloured artwork and pictures can bring an influx of character and joy into your hallway
- Strategic lighting such as strip lights, inset lights, and wall sconces will brighten a dark hallway, especially if no natural light penetrates that area of your home
- Keep clutter in your hallway to a minimum by utilising smart storage solutions
- Create seamless transitions between your rooms and hallway by using the same flooring and wall colours throughout your home
- Patterned wallpaper can add depth and intensity to a wide hallway
- If you want to stick with light or neutral walls and flooring in your hallway, adding dark furniture or pictures can create a striking contrast
- Use similar styles of art and decorations throughout the hallway to enhance the flow of your home
- Slimline storage solutions can give long hallways a purpose, even if you don’t have a wide hallway. You can also use mirrors and lighting to open up narrow spaces
Like what you see? There’s more where this came from. Check out Checkatrade’s blog for more tips, ideas, how-tos, and inspiration.