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.
There are a range of hallway ideas out there, but painting the hallway is a great way to transform the space.
The hallway is the first space any guest sees in the home, as well as being an important connecting point between rooms. The hallway deserves some 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 – 15 clever color and paint ideas for your home's entrance
Paint is a remarkable decorating medium. What could be easier – or more impactful than paint? Explore our top hallway paint ideas below for some beautiful inspiration for updating your hallway space.
1. Create a striking feature wall
Using paint to create a striking feature wall is a great way to add drama and impact to your hallway space. No matter the size of your hallway, adding a splash of bright color to a wall adds personality and charm. In this hallway, the warming red-orange paint creates a cheerful, inviting atmosphere, with the rug perfectly coordinating with the paint color to elevate the scheme, a great example of red hallway ideas.
2. Embrace neutrals
For a calming, relaxed style, opt for a muted, neutral color palette, with shades of cream, grey and brown working well for neutral room ideas. These colors can coordinate with an array of accent colors, so are great if you would rather use brighter colors through accessories and furniture, allowing a subtle introduction to other colors used throughout the rest of the home.
3. Pick a pale pink
Pink room ideas and decorating a pink room will always be guaranteed to lift spirits and create an inviting, welcoming space - perfect for hallway paint ideas. If your hallway is on the smaller side or lacks natural light, picking a light shade like pale pink will make the space feel bigger and brighter.
4. Paint the front door
If you would rather your hallway were painted a more neutral color but still want to inject a pop of color, painting your front door is a great way to add character and charm to the space. Pick a contrasting color to the rest of your scheme for an impact, or opt for a tonal color for a more coordinated look.
5. Use a warm yellow
In color theory, yellow is known for creating feelings of happiness and creativity, with yellow room ideas becoming increasingly popular for the modern home. When decorating with yellow, the color is the perfect choice for the hallway, as being greeted by this stimulating color creates a positive and welcoming mood, ideal for that first entry point into the home.
Psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers states, ‘entering a yellow hallway is likely to make you feel happy and vibrant…yellow is perfect in a hallway for creating a sunny welcome – and a creative burst as you leave’. See our yellow hallway ideas for more inspiration.
6. Create a harmonious color scheme
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.
7. Paint your hallway in a single color palette
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 (opens in new tab).
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.
8. Be brave when it comes to color in the hall
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.
9. Go for an all-grey hallway color scheme
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.
10. Use paint to add interest to architectural features
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.
11. Reach for the green paint
Green hallway 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.
12. Paint wall panelling
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.
13. Decorate in an all-white color scheme
Nothing surprising about this, but brilliant white paint has a transformative effect on interiors. For white hallway ideas, use it on walls and ceilings and it will make a star of every non-white piece of furniture – or soft furnishings.
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.
14. Paint your hallway in a tranquil shade of blue
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 for your blue hallway ideas.
15. Embrace a bold color scheme
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 (opens in new tab). ‘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.
Should hallways be painted light or dark?
Whether your hallway should be painted a light or dark color can depend on factors such as the size of the space and how much natural light the room receives. If your hallway is on the smaller size or quite dark, opting for a light paint color will make the room feel bigger and brighter.
Simon Morris, Marketing Manager at The Radiator Company (opens in new tab) states, 'hallways often have limited proportions but are some of the busiest places in our homes. We need the space to look great, but also ask a lot from them. A bit of thoughtful planning can help the space feel more elegant from a decorating standpoint'.
Ultimately, it is completely up to you what color you choose. The hallway is a great place to get creative and use colors and paint ideas that reflect the rest of the decorating scheme in your home, whether you opt for a light or dark color, the space should reflect your personality and thoughtfully welcome you into the home.
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.
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