How To: Design Your Hallway

Discover how to create a beautiful, inviting hallway that creates a stylish first impression with the Houseology how to interior guide.


How To Guides

Put your best foot forward and think of your hallway as the first opportunity to show off your unique sense of style; it should feel spacious and welcoming and set the tone for what is to come.

This space should also be practical as the hallway is where you put down those easy to misplace items like your keys, wallet and phone when you return at the end of a busy day. The key to success, then, is to create a space that’s functional enough to keep all your important belongings to hand while still creating a sense of atmosphere as people enter your home.

hallway design

01.The basics

Before you can begin adding your own unique touches to your hallway, take some time to consider the essential basic elements that will have an impact on the space.

Make it practical
Creating a space that is as functional as it is decorative will help make sure you get to enjoy and show off your hallway. Take the time in the early stages to consider practicality; are shoes often found littered around the hallway? Does mail tend to pile up on a table by the door? Look at your lifestyle and design a space that works with your habits. By building solutions to common problems into the design, your hallway will be a welcoming space when you walk through the door rather than one that reminds you of a list of unfinished household chores.

Consider the shape
Depending on the size and shape of your home, your hallway can be a simple entryway or a transitional space that connects the rest of the rooms. Colour, lighting and texture will create the illusion of a more symmetrical space, so use clever tricks like feature walls and statement furniture to make a large space feel more intimate or a narrow hallway more open and inviting.

Maximise natural light
Natural light has a huge impact on space; it can make it feel dark and gloomy or bright and airy. Narrow hallways sometimes struggle for natural light, but there are simple strategies you can use to maximise light if this is an issue in your space. Hard flooring will amplify light, while a stylish mirror opposite a window or door will help to bounce light around the space.

Colour palette
The hallway is a great place to add drama and experiment with bolder, richer paint colours and wallpapers. As a transitional space, you’ll walk through a hallway several times a day but rarely sit in it – making it the perfect space to use colours you enjoy but wouldn’t necessarily choose for your bedroom or living room.

Choose your style
Your style will have an impact on every other design decision so take some time to consider the look you’re going for. Natural timber and neutral walls will create the perfect backdrop for an effortless Chic look. For a more Urban look, choose a crisp white backdrop and bring it to life with architectural lines, bright pops of colour and striking pieces of furniture. Experimenting with deeper cool colours, statement pieces and metallic accessories will add glamour and sophistication to your space and achieve an opulent Luxe look.

hallway styles

02.The layout

Next it’s time to think about the furniture in your hallway and how you will arrange it. Because the hallway is a transitional space, you may only require one or two pieces of furniture at most. Choose each piece carefully to ensure that it embodies your own personal style.

Console table
The style of the hall table is key to the overall effect and should be both practical and beautiful. Storage is a priority so decide whether you need drawers or if a simple console table works better to provide space for the few items you always need close to hand. Measure your space carefully to make sure your console table doesn’t stick out too far from the wall and disrupt the flow of traffic through the house.

Chair or bench
A small chair or bench makes it easier for guests to take off or put on their shoes and can also double as additional storage for items you want to keep tucked away. Place a bench beside the doorway or a chair in the opposite corner for easy seating. Make sure the seating your choose is proportional to the space; a large chair can help make a spacious entryway feel more intimate, while a simple streamlined choice will stop a narrower entrance from feeling cluttered.


03.Finishing touches

Your accessories and finishing touches are what really brings your interior design scheme together and adds character to a space. Choose pieces that emphasise your personal style and create depth and interest as part of the finished look.

Mirrors are one of the trade secrets in an interior designer’s arsenal. A mirror is an incredibly versatile accessory; reflecting light around the hallway and opening up rooms. The space you have will determine the style of mirror you select - for small or narrow spaces, keep fuss to a minimum with simple frames, or alternatively, in a more generous space, create more drama with an oversized or ornate piece.

A quick and simple way to brighten your hallway and personalise your room is the introduction of a stylish rug. Rugs will act as a focal point to a room, drawing your eye to the centre of the space or lengthening it with a runner. If your space is feeling flat, choose a bold statement room to add dimension and texture.

Accent lighting is a great way to create a sense of atmosphere as you enter the home. Create symmetry in your design by adding two matching lamps on the ends of your sideboard or console table. If your hallway tends to be dark and have shadows throughout the day, look for ambient overhead lighting that will radiate light around the space – instead of one overhead light fixture, use a few smaller fixtures or install recessed lighting instead.

Feature walls
The hallway is a great place to create a striking feature wall, and there’s a few different ways to achieve this look. Stylish shelving will create a chic focal point and more storage space where you can put some of your favourite items on display. On the other hand, a cluster of wall art is a wonderful way to bring personality to the space – choose frames of different sizes and finishes for an eclectic vibe or create a uniform display for a more glamorous look.

Accessorising the hall gives you a great opportunity to bring more character to the space. You can showcase a few favourite items or help make otherwise functional items more practical. Keep your look consistent by adding subtle repetition through colours, finishes, shapes, styles or time periods.