Hallway Ideas: 5 Styles to Try When Renovating a Hallway

a hallway with taupe walls, cream banister, macrame wall hangings and an oak console table
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Your hallway is the first thing that guests see when they arrive, and it sets the tone for the rest of your home. Whether your hallway is narrow or spacious, there are numerous ways to transform it into a welcoming and beautifully designed space.

A well-designed hallway can create a sense of welcome, intrigue, or calm, guiding visitors and inhabitants through the narrative of the home.

Just as a book’s introduction sets the stage for the chapters that follow, a hallway can be the prologue to the stories each room tells, making it indispensable in shaping the overall character and feel of a dwelling.

Let’s explore five hallway decorating ideas you should consider when starting a hallway renovation to create a lasting impression on anyone who visits your home.

Hallway Ideas

Hallway design, while undeniably functional in nature, harbors a wealth of untapped potential that goes far beyond their traditional role of connecting rooms. When given thought and attention, these spaces can metamorphose into design showcases, art galleries, intimate reading nooks, or even serene retreats.

But what about the design style or color theme? Here are 5 hallway ideas to get you started. 

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1. Modern Minimalism

a monochrome and minimalist hallway with checkerboard flooring, panelling, stair runner with curved banister and vintage artwork
A classic monochrome hallway design

Simplicity can often make the boldest statement, so embrace the elegance of modern minimalism in your hallway design.

Rooted in the belief that simplicity can usher in tranquility and clarity, this design philosophy champions pared-down aesthetics, functional forms, and a conscious reduction of superfluous elements.

Streamlined Designs

One of the most distinctive features of modern minimalism is the emphasis on clean lines and unembellished surfaces. Furniture often sports geometric shapes, and there’s a distinct absence of ornate detailing. Everything in this hallway design has a clear purpose, ensuring that the area remains uncluttered and breathable.

a monochrome hallway with checkerboard tiles, black stair runner and vintage slim console table

Muted Color Palette

Instead of bright, overpowering hues, the minimalist palette gravitates towards subdued and neutral tones like whites, grays, beiges, and blacks. To add a touch of warmth and sophistication, opt for sleek wooden flooring or tiles with clean lines.

These colors don’t just enlarge the feel of a space; they also provide a serene backdrop, allowing the few chosen decorative pieces to stand out.

Functional Over Frivolous

Every item in a minimalist hallway design usually serves a purpose. There’s a deliberate move away from decorative clutter, leading to spaces that are both efficient and elegant.

The minimalistic hallway design focuses on decluttering, so ensure your hallway has ample storage options to keep shoes, coats, and bags out of sight. There are plenty of ways to utilize your hallway without it becoming too cluttered such as: 

under the stairs bench and bookcases

Under-stairs storage: Convert each step into a drawer to store shoes, umbrellas, or other hallway essentials. The space beneath the staircase can also be turned into a combination of cabinets, drawers, and shelves.

Built-in Bench Seating: A hallway bench is not just a place to sit. With a lift-up seat or pull-out drawers underneath, it can offer ample storage for shoes, bags, or winter accessories.

Recessed Wall Cabinets Use the depth of the wall to create shallow cabinets or cubbies. These can be hidden behind artwork or mirrors, making them practically invisible.

Slender, Vertical Cabinets: Tall, thin cabinets can seamlessly blend with the wall if painted the same color. They’re great for storing brooms, mops, or even rolled-up yoga mats.

Floating Console Tables: These can be installed at waist height and feature a slim profile. Apart from providing a surface to display decor, they can contain a hidden drawer.

Finally, a simple yet stylish console table with a mirror above it can serve as both a decorative item and somewhere you can hide things like keys and letters. For an extra touch of luxury, consider adding ambient lighting fixtures that cast a soft, inviting glow.

2. Rustic Charm

a farmhouse hallway with wooden flooring, stone walls, wooden front doors and wooden ceiling joists

Rustic hallway design has long been cherished for its timeless appeal, echoing sentiments of warmth, comfort, and a profound connection to nature.

Translating these characteristics into the hallway, an area of the home often overlooked in terms of design, can create an inviting space that feels both grounded and cozy.

Raw Elements

For those who prefer a cozier and more traditional atmosphere, rustic charm is an excellent choice for hallway renovation. To achieve this style, use natural materials like reclaimed wood for your flooring and natural stone veneers or rustic brick for the walls.

If you’re working with a smaller space, you can achieve a similar effect with wood-look laminate or textured wallpaper.

Introduce a sliding barn door as an entrance to a room or closet off the hallway. The raw, weathered wood immediately sets a rustic tone.

Exposed wooden beams also help towards the rustic look, either as a structural element or purely decorative, and can add a touch of authenticity.

Warm, Earthy Tones

Ideas for decorating hallways – Paint the walls in warm neutrals or beiges which form the perfect backdrop for rustic decor. Warm grays can also be used and are more muted than stark industrial grays, blending seamlessly in a rustic palette.

Off-whites and creams, resembling old lace or milk, can brighten up the hallway without making it feel too modern or stark. These are paired well with olive and sage greens which evoke the shades of quiet forests and moss-covered stones, creating a tranquil rustic ambiance. 

Finally, add wood tones such as honey, golden browns, terracotta, and clay which provide a grounded feeling often associated with rustic interiors. While warm, earthy tones are comforting, ensure there’s balance. Avoid making the space feel too dark or heavy by mixing lighter shades with deeper ones.

A rustic hallway with wood flooring, rattan runner, rustic ornaments and an old vintage table
A rustic hallway design with wood flooring, rattan runner, rustic ornaments, and an old vintage table

Handcrafted Decor

Incorporate vintage furniture pieces like an antique bench or a weathered coat rack to enhance the rustic vibe. Decorate your hallway with woven baskets, potted plants, and country-style wall art like paintings of landscapes, farm scenes, or wildlife to complete the look. This style is perfect for creating a warm and welcoming entrance to your home.

Vintage or Antique Lighting

Lantern-style sconces or pendant lights with a patina finish can evoke a sense of history in the hallway. Wrought iron light fittings complement rustic design beautifully with its rugged appeal.

3. Bohemian Bliss

a bohemian style hallway with persian rug, rattan wallpaper and lots of plants

Boho style is known for its carefree, eclectic, and expressive aesthetic. Rooted in a spirit of freedom and non-conformity, the boho style shirks rigid design rules in favor of individuality.

Here’s how to channel bohemian bliss in your hallway renovation, combining colors, patterns, textures, and a touch of wanderlust:

Colorful Palette

Begin with neutral base colors like soft whites, beiges, or light grays. This creates a canvas to layer vibrant colors without overwhelming the space. Accent colors should be jewel tones like rich purples, deep blues, emerald greens, and mustard yellows. Incorporate these shades through textiles, art, and decor.

Eclectic Patterns

Eclectic patterns are a hallmark of the boho style. Opt for Persian or Moroccan rugs with intricate patterns. Layering smaller rugs can also add depth and interest.

On the wall, add tapestries, dream catchers, or framed fabric swatches, and select pieces that evoke a global or free-spirited vibe. Finally, add curtains, or wall hangings with diverse patterns, from tribal to paisley to geometric.

a bohemian hallway with taupe painted walls, cream banister and macrame wall hangings and plants

Mix of Textures

Consider using a mix of materials like metal, glass, and wood for a diverse yet harmonious aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through by displaying your favorite collectibles or souvenirs. 

Other textures to include in your hallway design are: 

  • Macrame and weaving – wall hangings and artwork
  • Wicker and rattan – storage baskets or mirror frames
  • Velvet and silk – velvet occasional chair or curtains

Plants and Greenery

Bohemian style often embraces nature. Add potted plants, hanging planters, or even dried botanicals. Plants like ferns, pothos, or spider plants are both aesthetic and easy to care for in a hallway design setting.

4. Classic Elegance

a hallway with checkerboard tiling, wooden staircase and flowers on a vintage console table

Classic elegance never goes out of style, making it a timeless choice for your hallway renovation. It draws inspiration from eras where attention to detail, craftsmanship, and proportion were paramount.

Color Palette

Soft whites, creams, grays, and beiges form the primary color scheme, exuding understated luxury. Add touches of rich, deep hues like navy, burgundy, or emerald green and gold to offer hints of opulence without being overwhelming.

You can mix the colors on the walls by panelling the bottom half and painting them a deep blue, but keeping the top half white. 

Architectural Details

Crown molding, wainscoting, and dado rails can add a touch of sophistication to the walls, while hardwood floors laid in intricate patterns like parquet or herringbone are both traditional and elegant.

Soft, rounded archways or even stately columns can be reminiscent of classic architecture and impart an age-old charm.

classic elegant hallway with parquet flooring, double doors out onto a balcony and statement glass chandeliers

Lighting

Invest in a statement chandelier such as crystal chandeliers or brass sconces. They can either be vintage or contemporary interpretations and will illuminate the hallway with grace with their intricate designs.

Add small table lamps with floral lamp shades on console tables to give your hallway an intimate setting. 

Decorative Accents

Grand, oversized mirrors help to create a focal point in your hallway. Place them over hallway tables or at the end of the hallway to help bounce light around the area.

Classic artwork such as framed classical paintings or prints, portraying landscapes, portraits, or historical scenes, enhances elegance. Add porcelain or crystal items, whether used traditionally or as statement pieces, to add a touch of refined decor.

Furniture 

Antique furniture pieces, like a gilded console table, can enhance the overall elegance of the space. A slender console table, perhaps with ornate carvings or brass handles, can serve both functional and aesthetic purposes.

With classic elegance, your hallway will exude a sense of grace and sophistication that will impress anyone who walks through your door.

5. Scandinavian Simplicity

a small hallway with forest wall mural and pine bench
Hallway ideas – use wallpapers and wall murals to give it an individual touch

At its core, Scandinavian design shies away from the ornate and the superfluous. It’s about creating a sense of tranquility and simplicity in spaces.

Interiors often feature clean lines and simple forms, devoid of unnecessary clutter. This simplicity is not about a lack of detail but rather a purity of design where every element serves a purpose.

Flooring and Walls

Choose light-colored woods such as ash, beech, or pine for your flooring, and consider a statement wall with a forest-themed mural or faux stone wall. Minimalist tiles for the floor are always a good idea in a high-traffic area like the hallway. These are often in muted colors, with occasional geometric patterns echoing Nordic aesthetics.

Color Palette

The color palette in Scandinavian interiors is deeply rooted in the region’s natural landscape and cultural philosophy, emphasizing calmness, simplicity, and connection to nature. These colors reflect the Nordic environment, from the snowy winters to the brief, vibrant summers, and the muted tones of the forests and coasts.

Whites and Off-Whites: Evoking the imagery of crisp Scandinavian winters, white is a predominant color in these interiors. It helps to maximize light in the long, dark winter months and offers a clean, airy feel. Creams and other off-white shades offer a warmer alternative to pure white without compromising the light, and open feeling and are perfect for a hallway design.

Grays: From soft dove grays to deeper charcoal, gray tones are often used either as primary wall colors or as accents. They provide depth and sophistication to the neutral palette.

Cool Blues: Think of the color of icy waters or the subtle blue of winter skies. These blues, often muted, add a touch of calm serenity and are reminiscent of the region’s lakes and coastal areas. Use this color in artwork, rugs, and runners. 

Earthy Tans and Browns: Inspired by the vast Nordic forests, earthy browns, tans, and beige play a crucial role in grounding the interiors and bringing warmth. These can be used in artwork, and decorative items such as vases, ornaments, and rugs. 

Muted Greens: Whether it’s a sage green or soft moss, muted greens reflect the Scandinavian landscape and its dense forests. It brings a touch of nature indoors, adding vitality without overwhelming the space. Look at painting a wall this color, or using it in artwork. 

Black Accents: Don’t forget the black! Used sparingly, black or deep dark blues create striking contrasts, especially in fixtures, frames, or furniture. It adds definition and anchors the space.

a scandinavian inspired hallway with painted brick wall and oak flooring

Furniture

A Scandinavian hallway design exudes simplicity, functionality, and a sense of welcoming warmth. To achieve this, selecting the right furniture pieces is essential. Examples include: 

  • A simple, clean-lined wooden bench.
  • A slim, minimalist console table, preferably in light-toned wood
  • Simple wooden or metal hooks mounted on the wall provide practical storage for coats, hats, and bags.
  • A slender coat stand made of wood or metal, characterized by clean lines
  • A low-profile wooden shoe rack helps keep footwear organized without overpowering the space.
  • Narrow cabinets or drawers can offer additional storage without consuming too much space.
  • Floating shelves can be used for displaying decorative items

Decorative Items

Decorative items in a Scandinavian-inspired hallway should echo the design’s foundational principles: simplicity, functionality, and a connection to nature.

Black and white prints or simple line drawings in slender frames complement the clean aesthetic. Think photographs or paintings of forests, seas, or Nordic landscapes. A mirror, especially with a sleek wooden or metal frame, not only makes the space feel larger but also serves a functional purpose.

Greenery like ferns, succulents, or snake plants can infuse a touch of nature. Opt for simple pots in neutral colors or materials like terracotta. If you are tight on space in your hallway, hanging planters can add vertical interest without consuming floor space.

Tips for a Scandi Hallway Design

  • Less is More: Avoid overcrowding the space. Each item should be chosen with intention.
  • Stick to the Palette: Keep decorative items within the Scandinavian color scheme of whites, grays, and muted tones, with occasional splashes of color.
  • Natural Materials: Opt for items made of wood, stone, wool, or other natural materials to maintain the Nordic connection to nature.
  • Personalize: While following the design principles, don’t forget to add personal touches that make the space uniquely yours.
a small hallway with white brick wall, grey stairs and plants
Scandinavian hallway design

Your hallway renovation can be as toned down or as turned up as you want it to be. Whether you prefer modern minimalism, rustic charm, bohemian bliss, classic elegance, or Scandinavian simplicity, there’s a style that will suit your preferences.

For a wide range of flooring and wall options to bring your hallway renovation vision to life, be sure to visit The Surface Shop. With the right hallway design choices and a little creativity, you can make your hallway a true highlight of your home.

FAQs

Q. What is the best color for a hallway?

A. The best color for a hallway largely depends on its size and lighting. Light and neutral colors like whites, beiges, and light grays can make a hallway feel larger and more open, while darker tones can add drama and intimacy to spacious corridors.

Q. How can I maximize the light in a narrow hallway?

A. Use mirrors to reflect light, opt for light-colored walls, ensure your hallway fixtures give off bright but diffused light, and if possible, incorporate skylights or translucent doors to let in natural light.

Q. How can I make my hallway look wider?

A. Vertical lines or patterns can elongate the space. Using light colors, placing a large mirror on one end, and ensuring clutter-free surfaces can also give the illusion of a wider hallway.

Q. Is it advisable to use rugs or runners in hallway design?

A. Yes, rugs or runners can add warmth, texture, and color to hallways. They also protect the floor in high-traffic areas. Ensure they are secured properly to prevent slips.

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