Hallway paint ideas – the 10 best colors to use in an entrance hall

Try your hand at these simple, yet effective ways of decorating with paint in the hallway

Hallway paint ideas with stone floor and grey wall
(Image credit: Jody Stewart / Future )

When painting our homes, it’s all too easy to forget the hallway; after all, it’s not as if we spend much time in this particular room. 

From the first space any guest sees to the circulation zones between rooms, all the hallways in your home demand serious design attention, especially when it comes to clever color choices. Besides often being overlooked, they’re also cursed with limited light and no natural focal point, so you need some solid color know-how to transform them into artful spaces. 

As well as looking inviting in its own right, a hallway color scheme should set the tone for the rest of your home. Move it up on your decorating agenda: it’s a place to be bold and show your personality. Winning hallway paint ideas pay attention to the mood, size and natural light, so whether you go for something playful or serene, here are some hallway paint ideas to get you started.

Hallway paint ideas – 10 clever color ideas for your home's entrance

Paint is a remarkable decorating medium. What could be easier – or more impactful than paint? Use these pretty paint color schemes to update your hallway ideas

1. Create a harmonious color scheme 

Hallway with white and grey color scheme and stone floor

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

When there are clear views from a hallway into neighboring rooms, think carefully about your choice of paint ideas to ensure that the eye is drawn naturally from one space to the next. Don’t think you have to stick to one hue: instead create a palette out of complementary hues, such as taupe, greige and off-white. One way of linking rooms is through common flooring, while using different papers or paint colors to create separation. Vice versa works too.

2. Paint your hallway in a single color palette

Hallway paint ideas with neutral wall and grey stone floor

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

The design possibilities with paint are endless. And, thankfully, there is much to be said for decorating in a single color palette, especially when considering small hallway ideas.

'If introducing color in a hall, monogamy serves well and the bold choice of one hue for floor and wall treatments can be very powerful,' says interior designer Tara Bernerd.

Keeping the floor within the same color palette as the walls also helps to blend the room together – if nothing stands out, then your eye will flow around a space and in a narrow hallway this can be key to making it feel larger.

3. Be brave when it comes to color in the hall

Hallway with orange and white color scheme

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

Over the last few years, we have been led to believe that white walls are the only way to go. A plain and neutral base can indeed be a good starting point from which to build a decorating scheme, but if you ignore the spectrum of colors available in paint, you could be missing out. Many brands now produce paint, so tricky decisions are often already made for you when it comes to creating perfectly coordinated combinations. Be brave and find a color scheme that work for you.

Paint doesn't have to be pedestrian. Look for uplifting shades that make you feel good. Color should be able having fun, and the hallway is the perfect place to experiment with paint ideas that spark joy. 

4. Go for an all-grey hallway color scheme

Grey painted small hallway

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

Grey hallways offer infinite possibilities for making spaces feel airy and relaxing, refined, and timeless, or elegantly sophisticated, but its most redeeming quality is the feeling of calm it creates in any space,' says Farrow & Ball's color curator Joa Studholme.

Dark greys can work superbly in light starved halls to create drama on arrival and make all adjacent rooms look spacious and unapologetically bright.

Pale greys provide a softer alternative to whites, while deep dark greys are packed with drama allowing contrasting shades to pop against their bold backdrop. While the darker shades usually have the strongest appeal, when push comes to shove, having such a deep color on the walls may be too much of a commitment for some.

The key is to choose the right undertone for your space. 'With almost as many grey paint colors to choose from as off-whites, finding the perfect grey can be a minefield,' says Benjamin Moore director, Helen Shaw. 

5. Use paint to add interest to architectural features

Hallway with white walls and blue painted door frame

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

Shun the default white for doors in favor of a more dramatic approach. Architectural details such as panelling, rails and coving provide a framework in which to explore color. 

Mouldings and architraves are easy to add to plain walls and can then be customised in a favorite color scheme. A bold shade always looks very smart – and works wonderfully when contrasted with brilliant white. 

6. Reach for the green paint

Green hallway with wood flooring and bench

(Image credit: Simon Brown / Future)

Green room ideas promise to renew your connection to nature and is said to evoke feelings of balance and vibrancy. It comes to life with plenty of natural light but can also work in a dark or small hallway. 

'Green is incredibly versatile, and the breadth in shade and tone is huge,' says Megan Holloway, marketing manager at Sofa Workshop. 

You shouldn't be afraid to pair greens along the color spectrum – all colors complement green. However, choosing accent colors – whether that is the green or another color – needs to be done carefully to ensure there's harmony, which is what green is all about.

7. Paint wall panelling 

Hallway paint ideas with blue painted wall panelling

(Image credit: Brent Darby / Future)

Fitting wall panelling vertically will make a room feel taller, making it a great trick for small rooms, such as the hallway. Painting it in a pale color will further emphasize the room's proportions, and introduce architectural interest and intrigue. 

8. Decorate in an all-white color scheme

White hallway with flagstone flooring

(Image credit: Alicia Taylor / Future)

Nothing surprising about this, but brilliant white paint has a transformative effect on interiors – use it on walls and ceilings and it will make a star of every non-white piece of furniture – or soft furnishings – in your hallway. 

White is a wholly selfless paint shade, providing all the light and energy while reflecting the attention elsewhere – and white decorating ideas are incredibly easy to switch up.

9. Paint your hallway in a tranquil shade of blue

Blue hallway with white ceiling and stone floor

(Image credit: Future)

Calm, cool and collected, decorating with blue is win-win: not only does it make a beautiful base for a hallway color scheme but it’s scientifically proven to be a subconsciously serene shade, making it the perfect choice for an entrance or foyer.

Most colors go well with blue, although introducing warmer shades, such as yellow, orange and red will add warmth to the scheme where it might otherwise be lacking. If in doubt, revisit the color wheel for inspiration. 

10. Embrace a bold color scheme 

Dark wallpaper ideas in a sitting room with coral accents.

(Image credit: Future / Jake Curtis)

Being imaginative with color, a specialist finish or decorative effect is the perfect way to give your hallway individual style.

‘Current trends show a real shift towards brighter colors with a clean-cut finish,’ says Sue Kim, senior color designer at Valspar. ‘When choosing a paint color for an entrance, don’t forget to look beyond the walls – consider the ceiling, skirting, window frames and mouldings and how they can be brought into the scheme.’

If you really want to go bold, then consider embracing this year's biggest paint trend – color drenching. This trend involves choosing one color and painting it across multiple surfaces in one space. The result is bold and thoroughly modern, though its appeal extends beyond its daring aesthetic.

How do you pick a hallway color?

When picking a paint for your hallway it is worth noting that lighter colors will give the appearance of more space, while darker tones will bring the room in, although this can be good if it results in a cozier, more intimate feeling.

The same applies to wallpaper – a large motif will introduce a sense of drama, while a smaller design will be subtle and make the hallway appear more spacious.

Be sure to view the hallway as an integral part of your home, and as such try to make sure it’s in harmony with any rooms leading off it, as well as with the stairway, balustrades and landing (when visible). Don’t treat it as a one-off room: ensure any paint colors or wallpaper designs, even if they are different from those in the surrounding rooms, are in keeping.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. 

Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.