The hallway is often the first part of a home that people see and yet it’s a space that’s sometimes overlooked when it comes to interior design.
Although the hallway isn’t somewhere we generally linger, most do see a lot of traffic and provide a connection to other rooms in the home. An unloved hallway can easily become a clutter of coats, shoes and bags, rather than a well thought out space that works brilliantly and looks great.
We want to change this and help you create a perfectly practical, gorgeous-looking entrance to your home.
This quick guide to hallway design will help you turn a perhaps neglected area into a dream space.
Hallway decorating ideas
The hallway might be a relatively small part of your home, but it’s often the epicentre of busy family days. There are plenty of ways you can make the most of it through clever interior design choices.
The hallway sees a lot of traffic – wet coats and shoes, muddy dogs and much more – so it’s important to bear practicality in mind when decorating. Wallpaper can be easily scuffed or torn, so it’s not the best choice for busy areas.
Instead go for wall tiles or a durable, wipeable paint that can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth. If you’re keen to incorporate patterned wallpaper in your hallway, consider papering only the upper half of the walls and using paint or tiles for the bottom half.
As it’s a major thoroughfare, people need to be able to walk through the hallway without obstruction. Don’t crowd the space with large pieces of furniture. Slim console tables or radiator covers offer useful surfaces without taking up too much room.
Utilise walls for space-saving solutions, such as hooks for coats, keys and dog leads, to keep surfaces clear. Instead of cupboards and storage units, hang shelves to free up floor space. If you do choose cupboards, tall shallow units can often offer more storage and a smaller footprint.
Create a sense of space
Hallways can be dark, narrow spaces but a little interior design savvy can bring in more light and create a spacious feeling.
Opt for paler colours on the walls, as they will reflect light and make the space feel more open and airy. You don’t have to stick to whites or creams – pale blues, greens, greys and pinks are great shades to make the hallway feel bigger.
If there are windows, choose frosted panes for privacy instead of curtains to maximise light. Mirrors offer great way to create the illusion of depth and reflect light.
Make the room feel larger by drawing the eye upwards. You could do this with an interesting light fixture or decorative coving or by using a contrasting colour on the ceiling.
Make it your own
The interior design of our homes offers a great way to stamp our personality on a space and the hallway should be no exception. The pictures we hang on the walls offer a way to make the décor more personal. Whether you choose family photographs, a favourite painting or a decorative mirror, these pieces are what makes a space unique. They’re also great focal points to tie the décor together and are easy to switch out for a quick refresh.
Themed ornaments, dried flowers or pottery displayed on window sills or shelves can again add personality, but be careful not to clutter the space. Character is all important, but it pays to ensure your hallway remains practical, clutter free and easy to clean.
As it can cover a large surface area, hallway flooring can really make a difference to the overall look and feel.
The hallway will likely see a lot of activity, so it’s important to choose practical flooring that’s easy to clean and maintain. It’ll save you time and last longer, as well as simply looking nicer and giving a more welcoming experience.
Hallway tiles are extremely popular because they’re durable and can be wiped clean. When choosing tiles for your hallway, larger formats are ideal as they have a bigger surface area which means less grout, which can be harder to clean. Textured tiles will offer better grip to wet and muddy shoes, but they aren’t as easy to wipe down as smooth tiles.
Patterned tiles are perfect for disguising footprints so you don’t feel the need to clean them as frequently, while plain designs and light colours can show stains much more easily.
Create a sense of space
Just like the walls, a lighter floor can trick the eye, making a room feel brighter and larger. Hallway tiles in a light or neutral colour are a great way to open up the room.
If you prefer wooden flooring, a pale wood – such as oak, pine or ash – will look great. Stick with a light stain to protect the wood without making it too dark. If you love the look of wood, but don’t want to have to care for it, then wood-effect porcelain tiles offer the best of both worlds.
You can also use the shape of your flooring to create the illusion of space. Rectangular tiles and planks installed lengthways can make a room feel longer, while positioning them perpendicular to the walls can make narrow spaces feel wider. A long, thin rug is another simple way to draw the eye, adding length to the hallway. Adding a rug is a cheap and easy way to stamp your personality on a space. Rugs are also great for hallways because they are easy to clean and are inexpensive to replace once they become worn.
Match the flooring of your hallway to the rooms that lead off it to create a sense of continuation. This makes the room feel like an extension of the corridor and opens up the space even further.
It’s easy to think of the floor in your home as simply a necessity instead of an intrinsic design element. There are plenty of hallway tile ideas to choose from. Patterned tiles, for example, instantly inject life and personality into a space with very little effort. They can call to mind a particular country, theme or architectural style, creating a foundation for your décor.