35 Bright Ideas for Decorating Your Hallway or Entryway

updated May 4, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Nothing says, “welcome to my home” like a gorgeous entryway and hallway. While it may be easy to overlook this space, in reality it sets the tone for your entire home when visitors arrive. What’s more, a well-styled hallway can draw a visitor’s eye into your abode, leaving them eager to share your space with you. 

Most hallways aren’t large enough for a full scheme of furniture and accessories, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a well-placed console table, eye-catching wallpaper, or even some clever storage options. We’ve rounded up the smartest hallway decorating ideas, so you’re bound to find an idea here that can zhuzh up your space.

1. Get inspired by nature.

We don’t know which we love more about this gorgeous New Jersey entryway — the pink ombre stairs or the leafy wallpaper. All around, the color scheme is reminiscent of lovely spring flowers, ideal for improving visitor’s moods even in the dead of winter.

2. Deliver high contrast.

White and black rule in this Brooklyn apartment, starting with this strikingly striped entryway. In fact, the cool circular art piece was the inspiration for the entire apartment’s color scheme.

3. Go green.

Hallways with pale paint are a dime a dozen — but when they terminate in a striking accent wall, it offers the allure of exciting things to come. The green floral wallpaper in this Los Angeles home encourages visitors to explore the secret garden just out of sight. Paired with a pale pink paint, green lamps, and glowing hardwood floors, the hallway incorporates the same color scheme without distracting from the vivid wallpaper at the end.

4. Employ unexpected patterns.

Sure, you want to impress visitors when they first enter your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with bold colors or patterns. This tiny UK home does just that, with a dramatic tropical wallpaper that offsets a very different striped pattern on the stair carpeting. 

Credit: Erin Derby

5. Introduce colorful furniture.

A dark-hued hallway in this Brooklyn rental — painted Benjamin Moore’s Deep Space 2125-20 — still feels fresh and inviting with the addition of a vintage green shelf. Not only does this piece increase the contrast for a less monochromatic feel, but it also doubles as a storage unit for a record player and vinyl collection. The surrounding mirror and ornate pendant help draw light into this compact area, too.

6. Use shades of blue.

I love hallway decor ideas that incorporate clever pops of color. This one, from a modern Dutch home, comes together expertly with coordinating shades of grey and blue. The quirky blue-and-white wallpaper from Barcelona brand Tres Tintas matches Farrow & Ball’s blue-leaning Parma Gray paint. A wall-mounted full-length mirror tops off the look for a functional, small-space-friendly touch-up spot near the door.

7. Incorporate unexpected seating.

A designated spot to sit down and remove your shoes upon entering your home is a great idea, which is why a low-profile place to sit like the one shown here makes sense in a hallway. This neutral-colored bench blends perfectly with this beige and black space. 

Credit: Minette Hand

8. Install some bold tiles.

As part of a gut reno, the owners of this 119-year-old Brooklyn home made a beautiful, grand entryway by incorporating geometric black, gray, and white tiling, plus a dramatic light fixture from One King’s Lane. 

9. Tile beyond the floor.

Or, get inspired by French artist and ceramist Laetitia Rouget’s home in Portgual, complete with yellow-and-blue ceramic tiling that scales a portion of the hallway wall. She filled out the remaining white space with colorful decorative plates, including some of her own designs. Although this feature came with the house, you can use peel-and-stick patterned panels to pull off a similar style.

10. Make a statement with mirrors.

Want to fake your way to a more spacious hallway? All you need is a reflective surface. Take a cue from this California suburban retreat by adding a small, circular mirror to your mix. This option makes a pretty, sculptural statement without overwhelming the rest of the space.

11. Style with shiplap.

Recreate the look of this apartment in The Netherlands by covering your hall walls in shiplap. “Not only does shiplap make a space look more important and special, but it also adds durability,” says designer Michelle Gerson. “Adding shiplap to the walls is a cool way to make the hallway feel like an extension of the design of the house.”

Credit: Melanie Rieders

12. Repeat your light fixtures.

If you want to give a slim entry some pizazz, choose your light fixtures with care. “The addition of sconces provide repetition and visual interest while also setting the tone upon entering,” says designer Lauren Nelson. “Sconces offer ambient lighting, which is much more inviting than recessed cans (much like the effect of candles in the old days).”

In this New York City rental, the stacked geometric fixture oozes of old school, Art Deco glamor and gives guests a hint of what decor is to come in the rest of the home.

13. Pick out a pendant.

If you’re looking for hallway decor ideas, play around with lighting. You can always wow visitors by adding a single statement pendant to your foyer. In this charming English home, a rattan pendant lends the formal-looking hallway a cool, coastal edge.

14. Add accessories.

If you have extra woven hats and bags on hand, borrow some “style” from your closet and hang a few design-forward accessories on knobs or hooks in your hallway, as seen in this colorful Argentina apartment. Not only will this option add some texture to your walls, but you’ll also be less likely to leave without any key pieces as you head out the door!

Credit: Lula Poggi

15. Create storage with a console.

Just because entries are notoriously small doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some furniture. “I always use the hallway as a landing place,” says designer Sarah Wilson, owner of Chansaerae Designs. “Set up a table where you can unload as you come in.” A console table, like the one seen in this Barcelona home, offers some extra storage and keeps the space from feeling too sterile — that’s a win-win in my book.

Credit: Minette Hand

16. Keep your console clear.

While a slim console table can amp up an entry, there’s always the risk that it’ll make your small space feel cluttered. Get the best of both worlds with a transparent table. This Brooklyn Heights home takes this clear storage to the max by slipping a woven basket underneath.

17. Get a gallery wall.

One of the best hallway decor ideas I’ve come across? Turning your unassuming hall or entry into a museum-worthy masterpiece through a gallery wall. With art as far as the eye can see, Kate Beebe’s maximalist hall proves this point — and is an anything but boring way to set the tone when you enter her home.

18. Round up some rugs.

Fun, eye-catching rugs can make great hallway decor ideas. While a single runner will pack a punch, this New Orleans home utilizes two different vintage styles for a unique look. The varying patterns offer visual interest, but the similar color palettes keep the look cohesive. Even if you don’t have a lot of room for furniture, you can certainly pull off a small rug.

Credit: Lula Poggi

19. Prioritize pops of color.

Sometimes a little bit of color is just what the design doctor ordered. “Painting the ceiling is a fun way to add dimension into a hallway,” says designer Ginny Macdonald. “It will draw the eye up and elongate the space.” Instead of using one shade, consider creating a cool, ombré effect with multiple hues, as seen in this Barcelona space above. The result? A hallway you’ll actually want to stay in and look around.

20. Go to the dark side.

Turns out painting with dark colors does have its perks — especially when decorating your entry or hall. “You could also paint the ceiling and the walls in a moody color and play with the fact that the hallway is dark,” Macdonald says. “Painting it white, especially if it has no natural light, could actually make it feel more gloomy, as the white has nothing to bounce off. Playing into the darkness will make it feel cozy.”

In Lori LaMont and Monte Weiss’s Long Beach apartment, you can see this principle at play, where they embraced a deep blue wall color for their windowless hallway, but punctuated that darkness with orange pendant lights and crisp, white trim.

Credit: Erin Derby

21. Finish it off with floating shelves.

Looking for hallway decor ideas for stowing your mail or apartment keys? Add some wall storage. “Floating shelves can be a good option if you have a wider hallway that could use some much-needed depth and pizazz,” says designer Breegan Jane. “They can be functional without taking up any floor space.”

Not only is this trick space-efficient, but this is one DIY project that can be done in an hour. Use home editor Caroline Mullen’s Jersey City rental above as your inspiration.

Credit: Lula Poggi

22. Layer in a storage ladder.

If the mere thought of drilling holes into your wall makes you nervous that you’ll lose your security deposit, lean a ladder-like shelving unit against your wall instead. The ladder in this Barcelona house tour is equal parts pretty and practical.

23. Style out a shelfie.

Have a hallway with charming nooks or niches? Put those built-ins to good use by creating a shelfie brimming with personality. With a cactus, colorful books, and a seriously impressive matchbook collection, I can’t help but smile whenever I look at this Scandi-inspired space.

Credit: Liz Calka

24. Fill it with foliage.

Aspiring plant parents will find a lot to love about “Plant Doctor” Hilton Carter’s Baltimore abode. His 1,000-square-foot home features over 200 plants — including a hallway with a propagation wall. Go ahead and embrace your green thumb by copying this look.

Credit: Aivi Nguyen

25. Try a tapestry.

If you want to give your walls some love but aren’t ready to commit to a full gallery wall, add a few tapestries. I love the simple pair hanging in this Philadelphia condo. Not only can this trick give your walls some much-needed texture and visual interest, tapestries can also strike a balance between subtleness and statement if you select them carefully.

Credit: Nadja Endler

26. Layer your ledge.

The key to a design-savvy entry or hallway is making the most of the architecture you have. This Swedish space doesn’t have statement light fixtures or whimsical wallpaper, but the addition of a few plants and pottery pieces to the windowsill turns up the charm in an otherwise fairly quiet room.

Credit: Lula Poggi

27. Embrace an accent wall.

Adding an accent wall might be one of the oldest tricks in the design book; however, it’s still a solid way to spruce up your hallway or entryway. Convinced accent walls are played out? Check out the cool alternative from this Spanish home above: The stark contrast between the pink and black hues makes a big statement without the need for excess ornamentation.

28. Make a makeup nook.

If you’re looking for hallway decor ideas that make the end of a slim hall feel less, well, abrupt, add a compact vanity table or full-length mirror. In this pretty Philadelphia home, a small table and faux fur stool give this otherwise unused space a fun, cozy feel. Plus, this kind of setup can double as a desk if you work from home.

Credit: Tamara Gavin

29. Bring on the books.

Looking for the best hallway decor ideas for bookworms? Add some square shelves to your entryway. The low-slung cubbies seen in this North Carolina home can hold a lot without making the space appear cluttered. You can always sub in some baskets and bins, too, if you want some covered storage.

30. Dress up your door.

The quickest and easiest way to spruce up your entry? Paint the inside of your front door (and any surrounding closets!) a bold hue. When one couple used this trick in their Chicago apartment with Behr’s Dark Everglade shade, they ended up with an unapologetically stylish moment — whether they’re coming or going.

31. Try a super unexpected paint color.

If you want your hallway to feel like more of a focal point than just a pass-through space, take a cue from this vintage collector’s”Barbiecore” Austin bungalow. The primarily pink-hued home gets punctuated by Behr’s Magic Wand in the hallway, as well as on the bedroom doors and trim. This area feels distinct and unique compared to the rest of the space, yet still matches the overall maximalist aesthetic.

32. Design a mural.

A long, expansive wall makes the perfect canvas for a colorful mural, which Charlotte Violet (@happyenchantedhome on TikTok) demonstrates in her 800-square-foot UK home above. Get creative with the design, and if you have a dead-end corridor, you can even extend the mural across multiple walls a la actress, podcaster, and writer Julie Klausner’s New York apartment.

33. Mix up your frames.

Take your hallway gallery wall to the next level with a series of multi-hued frames. In this eclectic London townhouse, bright yellow, green, and orange frames not only play up the color scheme of three individual pieces of art, but they also add an extra vibrant touch to the space that you wouldn’t get with a plain black or white finish. You can easily DIY your own versions using cheap IKEA frames and paint.

34. Maximize compact storage.

The owners of this 525-square-foot London flat styled a vintage wicker shelving unit at one end of the hallway. Theirs functions as a plant stand, but if you have a small pocket of space in your own home, consider adding a tall, narrow storage piece for books, extra linens, baskets, and more.

Credit: Emma Wells

35. Hang a neon light.

This renter implemented two smart hallway decorating ideas into her 550-square-foot Portland apartment: a rust-colored half wall that establishes the illusion of more height, plus a cute rainbow-shaped light fixture. Urban Outfitters currently carries a few fun neon sign designs — just make sure you have a hallway outlet close enough to reach the cord.