The hallway is one of the most important areas of your home. It’s the first thing visitors see after they step in. It creates an impression of the rest of the house. Unfortunately, the hallway is often neglected when it comes to interior design. It can become a dumping ground for residents to place the things they’re carrying when they enter the house.

This is a pity. Hallway interior design ideas offer tremendous opportunities for creative flair. They can combine practical and aesthetic elements to wow guests. Hallway interior design may or may not reflect the interiors of the rest of the house. It can be seen as a fascinating first chapter, leading to the rest of the interior décor narrative.

Hallway Interior Designs

Hallways can be dramatic, subdued, neutral or warm. There is no fixed rule. However, all modern hallway interior design ideas revolve around common elements. These are:

  • Colour schemes
  • Storage
  • Flooring
  • Furniture and objects
  • Lighting

The above combine to create great interior design ideas for a small hallway. Let’s explore them one by one.

Hallway Colour Schemes

Hallway Colour Schemes

There are two approaches that you can take when it comes to choosing colours for hallway walls and other surfaces. You can complement, or you can contrast. By that, we mean that the colours can match the rest of your house, or they can diverge from it.

Many want the hallway to look bright and cheerful, to provide a welcoming ambience. In this case, you can look at pastel shades of yellow, green, pink and blue, for example. Light grey and off-white are more neutral, and can be very soothing.

You can even consider going all-white. This will be like a blank canvas which is a refreshing way to introduce the rest of the house. It need not be stark, as other objects can be chosen to create warmth.

The other way is to create dramatic contrasts. Reds, dark blues and greens make bold statements. They create intrigue and a sense of drama.

Hallways with patterned wallpaper allow you to play with patterns and motifs in different shades. For small hallways, consider horizontal patterns, as they will create the illusion of space. Larger hallways can have florals and large patterns.

Whatever colour or wallpaper you go for in hallway interior design ideas, remember that the material should be durable.

Hallway Storage

Hallway Storage

The best hallway interior design ideas pay attention to storage solutions. This prevents them from looking disorganised and messy. It also makes use of house space in an optimal way.

When it comes to hallway interior design ideas, here are two types of storage spaces to keep in mind. The first is to do with visitors who enter your house. The second is to do with the family that lives there.

For guests, a hallway should provide accessible solutions for the things that they need to put down. Many people remove shoes and slippers when they enter. A shoe rack placed next to the door is a convenient gesture. It prevents footwear from being kept in a heap in the corner.

Different seasons also mean different items of clothing and accessories that need to be taken off. During the monsoon, an umbrella rack in a waterproof area prevents water from trailing into your house. Racks and coat hangers are handy during cold months, when people need to take them off before coming indoors.

A hallway should also accommodate the needs of the people who live in the house. For example, a small table or shelf can be designed to hold car and house keys. There can also be a separate table or corner for mail and other deliveries.

Hallway Flooring

Hallway Flooring

As we have pointed out, a hallway is the one place in your house that sees a lot of coming and going. That’s why flooring is a crucial element.

As with wall colour, flooring can match or contrast the flooring of the rest of the house. Many people choose a different flooring option for their hallways. This creates a separate zone.

Among the most durable materials for hallway flooring are tiles, laminates and types of hardwood. As you know, all of them come in a variety of styles. The important thing is to ensure that they are long-lasting and require comparatively little maintenance.

When it comes to tiles, you have a huge selection to choose from. They can be contemporary, traditional, neutral, or bold. Sleek white or pastel tiles are a popular choice. There are also distinctive patterns, florals, and wood-finish tiles available. These are fashionable and easy to clean, too.

Wood creates warmth and character. It is an ideal material to set off the hallway flooring from the rest of the house. Look for types of wood that are waterproof and need little to no maintenance.

You can also opt for vinyl or laminates. Both are cost-effective and can be customised in many ways. You can get finishes that look like wood or stone, and a variety of pleasing patterns. In such cases, make sure that the type of flooring you decide on does not warp or tear.

Finally, hallway floors are not the place for thick-pile carpets, precious rugs or any other material that carries stains or needs special care.

 Hallway Furniture and Objects

Hallway Furniture and Objects

We’ve already mentioned hallway storage ideas. Hallway furniture and objects are clearly a part of this. They also function as ways of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of an entryway.

Hallways can be furnished in many ways — from elegant tables that also serve as a storage space, to a wooden wall system for displaying items. It is best to think of how to combine form and function. Since space is generally at a premium in such areas, the furniture should not only look good but also have the ability to store clothes, books, and other objects.

If space permits, placing a small bench or chairs in the hallway is always a good idea. These and other objects can serve as focal points that break up the length and breadth of the space for a pleasing effect.

With small hallways, you can use mirrors that are placed to create the illusion of space. This will make the hallway look wider and brighter, especially if the mirror reflects natural light. An added advantage is that you can use them to check how you look when leaving home. They’re among the better interior design ideas for a small hall.

Long shelves in a hallway are useful ways to store boxes and other items that should be kept off the floor. They help to keep the clutter under control. If your walls are in a neutral shade, brightly painted shelves are a way of adding a pop of colour.

The interior design of an entrance hall can also incorporate photographs and art. A table with framed photographs, an exquisite wall hanging or a painting will add touches of sophistication and personal style.

Hallway Lighting

Hallway Lighting

Proper hallway lighting can greatly enhance the décor of a hallway. In fact, all your interior design choices can go to waste if there isn’t suitable lighting to match.

Hallway lighting can be grouped into three main zones.

  • There is ambient lighting, which should be more than enough to illuminate the space.
  • Then, there is task lighting, which gives you enough light to perform specific actions such as taking off shoes or looking for car keys.
  • Finally, there is accent lighting, which draws attention to areas that you want to highlight, such as a painting.

A lot depends on the dimensions. If you have high ceilings, try a pendant or lantern-style hanging. These will make the hallway look cosy and inviting.

Sconces in the corners of hallways can also double up as decorative pieces. They can shed light on works of art that you have placed in the hallway.

Table lamps can serve the same purpose. They can brighten darker areas and make it easier for people to place and retrieve objects. In general, look for different styles of light fittings that can match the overall aesthetics and are proportioned to match your hallway.

When you artfully combine all three types of hallway lighting, you will be able to create a space that is immediately inviting and appealing to anyone who walks in.

types of hallway lighting

At HomeLane, we would be delighted to talk to you about many more hallway interior design ideas. It doesn’t stop there: we have several suggestions for the rest of your house, too. For a start, check out these great living room interior design ideas.


How do you design a hallway?

Hallways should be both practical and appealing. The first consideration is the amount of space available. Use colour and lighting to make small spaces appear larger.

Storage is an important aspect of hallway design. You should make adequate provisions for shoes, papers, keys, umbrellas, and anything else that guests and residents need to put down when they enter.

The wall and floor colours of the hallway can complement or contrast with the rest of the house. Many people find it suitable to keep the hallway colours separate, as this marks it off from the rest of the house. It becomes a separate zone.

 How do you make a hallway look welcoming?

You can take many steps to create a welcoming first impression. Among them are:

  • Place a statement piece that sets the tone from the start. This could be a carved cabinet, a work of art or a distinctive light fitting.
  • Colour has a large role to play. Welcoming hallways are often in pastels, neutrals and similar soothing shades.
  • Similarly, the hallway should not look dark and dingy. Look for lighting that is warm and welcoming. Accent lights can also emphasise specific areas.
  • Plants and greenery go a long way in making a hallway look fresh and inviting.
  • A welcoming hallway is one that is neat and uncluttered. Provide storage space and wall hooks and racks for clothing and items such as car keys.

How do you make a hallway look modern?

For a contemporary hallway, think of sleek, straight lines and a minimalist approach. Use light colours and bright lighting. Contemporary mirror frames and console tables will create a sense of style. Other storage and sitting spaces such as umbrella stands and benches should be simple and practical. Large white tiles on the floor matched with neutral shades complement the modern effect.

How do you style a small hallway?

Here are some decorating tips and tricks you can try to make a small hallway look larger and more welcoming.

  • Think of practical ways to conceal clutter. That means built-in storage options that blend with the walls.
  • Mirrors add more light and create the illusion of space.
  • Wall lights matched with overhead fittings will prevent the hallway from looking gloomy.
  • Creating small patterns on the wall by using wallpaper will also serve to open up the space.
  • Utilise every inch by making sure corners and other ignored areas serve a specific function. This could be storage, seating or aesthetic emphasis.

What kind of wallpaper is best for a hallway?

In a hallway, the wallpaper can serve many functions. It all depends on the size of the hallway and the look and feel that you are aiming for.

Darker wallpapers with finished textures on them create a sense of class and vintage sophistication. These can be used when there is adequate space so that the hallway does not feel cramped.

For smaller hallways, think of wallpapers with small geometric motifs. Wallpapers with patterns that follow a parallel form make small hallways appear larger.

For a softer approach, consider wallpaper in pastel hues. The more flamboyant can even try larger abstract patterns or black-and-white repeat prints.

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