Mission Impossible's Hayley Atwell uses this color trick to accentuate the size of her narrow entryway

The actress has mastered the art of small-space styling in her London home – but her lesson translates to both sides of the Atlantic

Hayley Atwell
(Image credit: GettyImages)

London-born, LA-adopted actress Hayley Atwell is among the most talked-about figures in Hollywood – and considering her role in the upcoming Mission Impossible 7 – her prestige isn't set to waver. 

The actress, who is best known for starring in Agent Carter and Captain America: First Avenger, may not be a stranger to California's hills – but she has retained a London base, and it is there where her small entryway ideas come into play. 

While the space, seen below, is by no means tiny –it is quintessentially narrow – a trait of the city's historic homes. Its more compact nature, however, allows Hayley Atwell to play with size-enhancing room color ideas (among other decorating ideas) that make the space appear instantly larger. The result is a room that's fit for Hayley's pre-award ceremony shoots, and of course, Instagram fans can't get enough.  

Hayley's entryway is primarily cream, but she has incorporated a beige hue beneath the chair rail – creating a look that has full support from designers in the know.

'Anytime you're aiming to maximize the look of a narrow space – and ensure that it doesn't feel closed in or claustrophobic – warm neutrals are always a wise choice,' says Kathy Kuo, designer and founder of Kathy Kuo Home.

Kathy Kuo
Kathy Kuo

Interior design expert Kathy Kuo founded her eponymous home store in 2012 – and it has since gone on to be an e-commerce destination for luxury furniture and decor essentials from a variety of beloved home vendors. Kathy and her store specialize in styles like French Country, Coastal Beach, and Modern Classic while offering interior design services to their clients. 

'Neutral tones like beige and ecru help bring lightness into a narrow space, like an entryway, and serve as lovely and versatile backdrops for your wall art, as well as for entryway essentials like console tables,' Kathy says.

And Kathy is not alone in her observations. New York-based designer Artem Kropovinsky emphasizes their power, adding that you should decorate with neutrals in a narrow entryway – to create a first impression that is anything but boring.

'Cream and beige are not dull colors. They are smart choices for a narrow entryway because they create a sense of spaciousness and harmony,' Artem says. 'These neutral colors can make your entryway look more open and airy, as they blend well with the natural light and do not create harsh contrasts. They also reflect natural light and make the space feel brighter and warmer.'

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Designer Artem Kropovinsky has a decade of global design experience, including founding Arsight – a residential and commercial interior design studio based in New York. He manages a team of passionate professionals working on projects in the US and worldwide. 

Beyond Hayley's clever paint ideas, Artem highlights another feature used to emphasize space – her use of mirrors.

'Mirrors are another way to transform a small space,' he says. 'They can make it seem larger, more elegant, and more interesting by reflecting light and perspectives.' 

According to the designer, decorating with mirrors can create an optical illusion of more space that doubles the view of your entryway. 'They can also bounce natural light around the room and make it look brighter and more spacious,' he says. 

'They can also be used as focal points or statement pieces to add personality and style to your entryway. You can choose a unique shape, frame, or design that reflects your taste and complements your decor.'

You can recreate the look with these picks below. 

With the right colors and accessories, a narrow entryway can offer the welcome your home deserves – and with Hayley Atwell's as the perfect source of inspiration – we eagerly await the next awards season.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.