Decorating a Hallway
Painting bare plaster walls
Allow at least 4 weeks for new plaster to dry. Lightly wash the walls to remove any dust prior to application. All plaster walls require a mist primer coat by thinning Intelligent Matt Emulsion paint with a 5 to 25% addition of clean water.
Stir the paint thoroughly before use. Two full coats of Intelligent Matt Emulsion are recommended to achieve full depth of colour.
Recoat after 4 hours by applying a second coat of Intelligent Matt Emulsion. The substrate will be surface dry within 1 hour.
Painting previously painted walls
Ensure the surface is clean, dry and grease-free. Use sugar soap to remove all loose and flaking paintwork and rinse with clean water.
For a significant colour change, apply Little Greene Intelligent ASP to the matching colour to ensure the depth of colour is retained.
Stir the paint thoroughly before use. Two full coats of Intelligent Matt Emulsion are recommended to achieve full depth of colour. Apply the first coat of paint evenly.
Recoat after 4 hours by applying a second coat of Intelligent Matt Emulsion. The substrate will be surface dry within 1 hour.
As the connection zones between all the spaces in the home, hallways are much more important than we usually give them credit for. That is why picking out a paint colour is a choice that should not be taken lightly.
When choosing paint, consider not only the wall colour, but also the colour for the trim. To ensure that a narrow hallway does not feel claustrophobic, choose colours for the door trim that recede, rather than stand out against the wall colours. The idea is to visually create a more spacious walkway.
And when it comes to a darker hallway with no windows, consider using lighter hues to reflect light and keep the area from looking dimly lit.
Let’s delve into hallway painting!
1. The best colours if you have windows
If you’re fortunate enough to have a window or two in your hallway, use the light to create width. With the natural light, your choice of colours can expand to lighter tans or yellows.
Consider placing mirrors on the opposite wall to increase the feeling of spaciousness. Hang mirrors across from the windows, but half a window width to the right or left.
Avoid using curtains. If you need to cover the windows, use small sash rods inside the window frames, and choose a fabric that allows for plenty of light.
2. Which colours create space?
Any light shade of colour will increase the feeling of spaciousness. White is standard, but not the best choice, as it shows all scuffs and handprints.
Light greens and blues have proven to have the most calming effect on people. From a natural green to a sky blue, these colours are associated with outdoors and, in addition to tricking the eye, will ease people down the narrow hallway.
homify hint: When choosing the trim colour, go two shades lighter than the wall. This will also add a perspective of width.
3. What if there are no doors or windows?
Light blues or greens are, again, the best choices for hallways with no doors or windows. Instead of using just one colour for the walls, choose a deeper shade for the base of the wall and a lighter shade for the top.
To do this, simply paint the bottom of the wall to about 3 feet up from the floor. After the paint has dried, tape a straight line along the walls, then paint the top the lighter colour.
4. What about something other than green or blue?
The best colour choices are light beige, creams and light greys. Choose colours that are more on the cool side of the colour wheel.
Avoid the deeper shades of these colours to keep the hallway feeling open.
For the finish, we recommend that you go with a satin, eggshell or gloss finish. These reflect light well and are easier to clean.
6. Picking the right paint supplies for your project
Ensure you go with the right paint supplies to achieve a professional look (and finish your painting project quickly with less hassle).
• Paint brushes
• Paint roller
• Paint roller tray
You may also need:
• Caulking and caulking gun
• Sanding paper
• Drop cloths
• Putty knife
• Masking tape
• Wiping rags
• Step ladders
7. Taking the right steps
Prepare the room—Remove pictures and cover all switch- and outlet plates. Arrange drop cloths to protect flooring and any areas not to be painted.
Fix and clean the surface—Fill holes, imperfections and cracks with caulk or spackle. Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust on walls and baseboards. For high-use hallways, you may need to use a mild detergent to remove any stains.
Tape off areas—Tape off woodwork and other areas not to be included in your painting project.
Prime the surface—Be sure to prime any new or bare surfaces and problem areas. If you have chosen a colour that is substantially lighter, you should definitely prime.
8. Start painting your hallway
Start painting from the top down, working from unpainted areas into wet, painted areas.
Oil paints take longer to dry and allow you to brush across the surface several times for a smooth, even finish. Latex paints dry faster, requiring only one or two strokes.
9. Paint the ceiling first
Tackle the ceiling first. Using a brush, paint a 5 cm wide strip on the ceiling where it meets the wall. Then, start in a corner and begin rolling across the short length of the ceiling, continuing to where it ends.
10. Painting your hallway walls
Tape off any woodwork, window frames, and door trim first. Paint a 5 cm wide strip along the areas near the trim with a brush.
Then, using a roller, create the letter on your wall. Fill in the area, rolling from left to right until the surface is completely painted. Remember to roll on the paint with even strokes to ensure a uniform coverage.
For more painting tips, take a look at these: 14 mistakes we know you make when painting walls.
Unique hallway paint ideas
The best way to make your corridor or hallway stand out is to pick out-of-the-ordinary colour schemes. However, the colour combination should enhance the look of the area, making it spacious and stylish instead of cluttered and clumsy. That’s why it’s best to consult an architect or interior designer for help in picking the ideal colour schemes for hallways.
How to pick the perfect hallway colours
As with other paint projects, you should look at shade cards (Dulux hallway colours or any other paint brand), bring them home and hold it against the area, furniture and under different types of light – natural and artificial – to get a sense of which shade would work well. If you aren’t convinced whether a specific shade or colour scheme will work, paint a test patch before choosing the best colour for hallways. Make sure that the colour scheme complements that in the adjoining living room or dining room.
External house cladding: What are your options?
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Discover home inspiration!
It happens far too often that a home’s hallway gets overlooked, which is quite surprising, considering the important role it plays. After all, isn’t a hallway the perfect opportunity to add to a house’s style in terms of colour, pattern, texture, furnishings and décor? And to tease visitors about the design and look they may expect from the rest of your house? Of course!
However, due to hallways being the connecting points between rooms, a lot of people deem them insignificant, instead choosing to focus their creativity on said rooms. But here on homify, of course, we are always up for playing with different ideas, especially when it comes to undervalues rooms and spaces. And at the end of the day, your hallway colours will affect the look of your interiors considerably, regardless of which décor and furnishings you pick for it.
That is why we’ve picked out these hallway colour ideas to help ensure that yours is anything but dull or overlooked. Let’s be inspired by these premium designs by some of London’s finest professionals, including Architects.
1. Ideas for hallway colours: Dark or narrow spaces
A lot of hallways lack natural light, which makes the installation of artificial lighting sources a bright idea (pun intended). However, neutral paint colours can also be a stunning idea.
When it comes to hallway paint ideas, we especially love playing with various shades of greens or blues, seeing as they have such calming effects on spaces and also help to reflect light better. As a bonus, these types of cool colours also have the added benefit of fitting well with a variety of other shades and styles.
But what if your hallway’s ceilings are low? Then we recommend limiting your hallway colour ideas to a white glossy or lacquer paint that will add height to the ceiling and width to the floor area. To further create the illusion of space, use a deeper shade of paint on the base of the wall and apply a lighter shade at the top.
When picking out trim colours, choose a paint that is two shades lighter than the wall to maximize the sense of spaciousness. And of course we are always down for colourful rugs and tables to help make hallways feel larger.
2. Ideas for hallway colours: Wide spaces
If you have a wide hallway at home, consider yourself blessed. Not only because you have more room for furniture and décor (and walking), but also because you have more colour options. For instance, you can choose a warm colour for the walls and a more neutral tint for any doors that break into the space.
Another fantastic idea is to create a feature wall by painting it a cool tone or adding colourful wallpaper with a beautiful pattern. Other ideas to add interest and break up solid-looking walls include crown moulding, wall trim, and wainscoting.
homify hint: Add a focal point to your hallway walls using horizontal stripes, which easily draw the eye through any awkward space. Play around with the width of your stripes for a contemporary effect and keep your colour palette muted; soothing greens are great for a fresh and calm feel, while neutral hues (maybe dove grey or pecan-nut brown) can add to the feeling of visual spaciousness.
3. Ideas for hallway colours: High ceilings
A lot of entryways and hallways possess extremely high ceilings, which can pose quite a challenge for painting. But by opting for a dark colour, you can make the ceiling appear lower than it actually is, especially if you continue using the ceiling paint onto the adjacent wall.
Adding a wall moulding can also further break up the colour and allow you to paint the lower part of the wall a lighter tone.
homify hint: Want to make your hallway feel smaller and more intimate? Hang some pendant lights and wall sconces.
4. Ideas for hallway colours: Hallways with windows
If your hallway has windows, make the most if that incoming natural light! Combine soft shades of yellow and tan.
Additionally, strategically placed mirrors can also help create a feeling of spaciousness.
But try to avoid curtains, as that can make the hallway feel closed in. If you require some kind of window covering, stick to curtains that welcome in a lot of natural light.
homify hint: One of the easiest ways to add personality to a simple hallway is through a two-tone look. Opt for the darker hue on the bottom, then heighten the look of your ceiling by adding the lighter colour on the top half.
5. Ideas for hallway colours: Creative painting options
You can get most imaginative when it comes to colours for hallways. To achieve a more unique look with hallway colours, you have to have a good idea of the tone you want to create. And of the various ‘feelings’ produced by colours. For instance, yellow gives a feeling of warmth, while stone grey is a better choice if you want to create a neutral backdrop for your artwork and photographs hanging on the walls. And remember that white or neutral semi-gloss paint mouldings create a sense of crispness.
Don’t overlook the importance of textures either. For example, applying paint to the walls via a sponge allows you to create a marble-like effect. And while we are always up for wallpapers, they can be quite costly; thus, first consider if this option falls within your budget.
Hallway paint or wallpaper: Which takes the longest?
Obviously, hallway colour ideas can also include the wonderful world of wallpaper – but which method takes the most time? According to designers, both pretty much take the same amount of time, even if your walls are perfectly smooth. However, masking the walls pre-paint is where most of the work comes in. Thus, if you’ve prepped your walls beforehand, wallpapering can be the quicker choice.
Hallway paint or wallpaper: Which requires the most preparation?
In similar conditions, both require equal amounts of prepping. But for hall colour ideas, wallpaper might be more lenient than paint with small nail holes and marks in the spackle.
Hallway paint or wallpaper: How much time is spent on prepping?
The key to brilliant results is properly prepping your walls, and according to rule of thumb 75% of the entire job is devoted to wall prepping, while the remaining 25% is for painting or wallpapering. Rest assured that there are NO shortcuts to high-quality results, no matter which option you choose!
Style tips for narrow hallways: Take the chicken test
Choosing colours for hallways is one thing, but art? You should really figure out first if art is an option for you with the “Chicken Test”. Stand in your hallway and form chicken wings by spreading your arms out (placing your thumbs under your armpits). If you have lots of space to do the chicken dance, choose all the wall pieces you want. But if your wings come close to touching the wall, best stick with hallway colour ideas.
Style tips for narrow hallways: Design a focal point
How about using what you’ve learned about hallway colours and designing a focal point for your hallway’s end? Since your eyes naturally go towards the end of a hall, especially narrow ones, it becomes a prime spot to flaunt something impressive. So how about trying out creative hallway paint ideas and painting contrasting colours, or interesting shapes, or a mural…
Next up for your inspiration: House improving extensions—18 affordable ideas.
Stunning Transformation of a 1930s Semi
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Simple and creative ideas to create the wow factor in your hallway entrance.
We all want to make a good impression, and your home should be no different. First impressions matter and the first thing visitors see when entering your home is the hallway.
Choosing your hallway colour scheme is an important first step in creating a warm and homely feel as it sets the tone for the rest of the house. With a wide range of palette colours to choose from, the colour scheme should reflect your personality all whilst taking into account lighting and your desired ‘feel’.
1. Naughty Step
Adding a modern look to any hallway, shades similar to our Naughty Step really come to life with a source of light. Be creative with paint and extend across your woodwork adding a wow factor to the entrance to your home.
Top tip: Add a mirror to the hallway can create the perception of a bigger space.
To see our beautiful blue shades click here.
2. Mellow Green
Adding a touch of the outdoors, the gentle olive colour will create a positive energy the moment visitors enter your home. The vibrant earthy tones work really well in both open and smaller spaces as it will really open the space up to appear visually larger.
Top tip: Add a plant or two to really bring the outdoors into your home!
To see our beautiful green shades click here.
3. Another Day
Using shades of light grey can feel like the boring option, but it doesn’t need to be. By keeping it fresh and simple, Another Day creates an airy space with the focus being driven towards your home accessories.
Top tip: A room with light walls provides versatility with your home interiors.
To see our beautiful muted shades click here.
4. Half & Half
If bold colours aren’t your thing but you still want to experiment, opting to create a two-tone wall provides an elegant layered look without being too bold. The slight change in neutral tones invites a contemporary feel and still provides an airy space to welcome guests.
Top tip: Pastel shades are a subtle way to introduce new colours into your home without opting for powerful bold colours.
5. No More Monday Blues
If your hallway is too small for any home furnishings, adding colour is a brilliant way to blast away those Monday blues, especially on a dark workday morning. Adding a colourful pastel tone will liven up the hallway without worrying about it clashing with your furniture.
Top tip: Paint the doors, radiator and skirting board for a more contemporary and edgy feel.
Useful Takeaway Tips
Always Refresh Your Ceiling Paint When Redecorating
This should be the first thing you do before working on your walls. Not sure how to start? The video below will explain how.
Feeling inspired? Check out our huge range of sample pots to help you decide which colour you would like to bring into your home.
Colour ideas hallway
Warm and Welcoming Hallway Color Ideas
When decorating a home, people typically focus on the main spaces like bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. However, you also need to consider how your hallways fit into the overall look and feel of your home. Hallways are transitional spaces, so you want to make sure they create a seamless flow between rooms.
Beautiful Hallway Color Ideas
When you’re painting a hallway, you want to consider the type of space it is. For example, an entryway will probably have a different look and feel than a long hallway between rooms. Some other things to consider: is your hallway dark or does it have natural light? Is it very wide, or is it narrow? The color you choose can help to balance out these factors and create the look you want.
What color to paint a hallway with no windows
Lighter shades of blue or green are ideal for hallways with no windows or doors. Because there is limited natural light, these colors will help to create some brightness in the space. To really create the illusion of light, you can go for a two-toned approach using a slightly darker shade on the bottom of the wall (about 3 feet up from the floor), and a lighter shade on top.
What color to paint a dark hallway
Contrary to what you might think, bright white is not the best color for a dark space. The reason it’s so bright is that it reflects natural light. When that natural light isn’t present, your room can end up seeming darker and duller. Instead, you want to look for more saturated colors with lower levels of black in the base. Warm toned neutrals are always a great choice for dark hallways. Think soft grays, powder blues, and warm blush tones.
Paint colors for small/narrow hallways
If you have a narrow hallway, look for colors that will open up the space. This means lighter tones, which will help to make the space feel bigger. You’re not limited to white; in fact, shades of white might not be ideal for hallways, since any scuffs or marks will show up easily in these high traffic areas. Instead of white, consider blush tones, soft gray, or a warmer beige. Your trim color should be two shades lighter than your main wall color to create some width in the hallway.
Paint color ideas for entryways
A great example of the importance of hallway colors is with entryways. Your entryway is the first space people step into when they enter your home. It’s important to create a space that feels warm and welcoming. The color you choose plays a big role in creating the feel of the space.
Most entryways tend to have a bit more open space than typical hallways, so you have a bit more freedom when it comes to colors. If you’ve got windows that flood the space with natural light, you can play with darker, bolder colors. Dark colors are also great from a practical standpoint—they are much better at hiding the dirt and marks that often pop up in entryways. If your door opens up to the outside, take inspiration from the environment around you. Whether it’s a lush green forest, tropical flowers, desert sands, or city concrete.
Looking for hallway decor ideas? You've come to the right place Kate Watson-Smyth, Red's columnist and interiors expert Mad About The House, has plenty of inspiration and advice to help you transform your hallway in next to no time...
You must ask and answer these six questions before you start decorating any room if it is to reflect the style and suit the needs of those who use it. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
We all know about the importance of first impressions. The entrance hall is the first thing you see when you step into a house but conversely, this is the last place you should actually decorate because everything comes in and out this way. Many is the beautifully, and expensively, painted hall I have seen that has been battered and scuffed by incoming furniture and outgoing builders. Not to mention the trashing of the stair carpet.
This is the space that announces the people who live there. But both residents and visitors will only be passing through, so dare to go dramatic. Halls are often dark windowless spaces, so you can embrace that and go big on colour.
HALLWAY IDEAS: HALLWAY PAINT AND COLOUR IDEAS
If there are lots of doors then it’s a good idea to paint the doors and all the woodwork the same colour as the walls, which will make the area look calmer and more spacious. It’s also less distracting to the eye than outlining all the exits in white.
Similarly, if you have coloured walls and coloured carpet then don’t paint the woodwork white. Match it to either the walls or the carpet for a more seamless look. This will also make the room look bigger, as you won’t be outlining the edges.
Best hallway paint colours
Dulux White Cotton Matt Emulsion Paint 5L
'Use on walls, ceilings and woodwork.'
Portland Stone Pale (155) Absolute Matt Emulsion
'A washable matt finish.'
'Looks great with pink, green and chocolate accents.'
'A hint of pink to add a warm tone.'
'Try with oak flooring and furniture.'
If you prefer a light and airy space (as far as is possible in a windowless corridor), think about wallpapering the ceiling or using a strong colour up there and leaving the walls pale.
HALLWAY IDEAS: SMALL HALLWAY IDEAS
If your hall is narrow, bring the colour down over the top 30cm (12in) of the walls to create the illusion that the space is wider. Mirrors hung opposite doors will grab the light and throw it back out. A small narrow corridor also won’t have room for furniture, so pick a gorgeous radiator and consider putting a shelf over it for flowers and mail.
If you don’t have a hall but walk straight into a room, then you need to create a spot for putting down your keys and hanging up your coat so you don’t end up chucking it on the sofa for the evening. In fact, whatever the size and shape of your space, storage really is key. There will be bikes. And coats. And shoes. And bags. Make a plan and then make a house rule about returning things to their rightful place. Enforce it.
For a more practical yet contemporary finish, try painting the lower half of the wall in gloss and the top in the same colour in matt. If you don’t have a dado rail, another trick is to tile the bottom half of the wall and put a narrow finishing tile along the top. This will allow you to bring in the pattern of a wallpaper in a tougher, scuff-proof material that can be wiped clean.
HALLWAY IDEAS: HALLWAY RUGS, RUNNERS, TILES AND CARPET
Paint & Paper Library
Underfoot, floorboards or tiles are the best (and easiest to clean) option for the hall. Patterned tiles will add the all-important wow factor when you open the door. Large grey tiles will look like pavement and who wants to come home to that? If you live in a first floor flat, try patterned carpet – it will hide the dirt and still bring the wow.
However, if you’ve made the decision to carpet your hall, or any room come to that, the choices don’t end there. Let’s assume you have an idea of the colour you would like, the big question remains: what sort of carpet do you need? After all, the requirements for a hard-working hallway are very different from the luxurious, soft feel you might want under your bare feet in the bedroom.
Work out what you need before you go anywhere near the shop and the smooth sales talk. So, it’s back to those six questions. Who is using that space the most? Child or teenager? Or professionals who leave after getting dressed in the morning and don’t return until bedtime. What are they doing in there? Will they be in shoes or slippers? When will they be in there? Are they passing through or staying put? Where are you carpeting? That one’s easy. But why are you looking for a carpet? Does the existing one not go with the décor? Your answers will determine the wear and tear to factor in so you can choose the right sort of carpet and work out how you need to budget for it.
HALLWAY IDEAS: HALLWAY CARPET BUYING GUIDE
Here’s a quick guide to hallway carpet types, textures and colours:
- A twist, or cut pile, is the most hard wearing of them all. A twist is made, no surprises here, by twisting the strands of yarn tightly together to make it tougher. It’s more resistant to crushing than a loop, which is why it is good for stairs and places where there is no furniture.
- A Berber, or loop, carpet is perfect for high traffic or busy areas. Take care if you have pets though – if they pull a loop the whole thing can start to unravel.
- Velvet, or plush, is, as the name suggests, softer and more luxurious underfoot and is made from a cut pile. This is perfect for a bedroom or dressing room.
- Once you have worked out the type of carpet you need, you get to the fun bit – choosing the colour and design. Now, patterned carpets have had a bad rap over the years, but whether it’s a discreet fleck or a full-on flower explosion, a pattern will cover dirty marks better than plain. However, a pattern might mean you need to buy more to match it across joins or on curving staircases.
- Plain is always classic, so you have to decide if you are going to play it safe with a traditional neutral or if you are going to push your design boat out and go for something more dramatic. After all, you can always change the walls to suit.
- Perhaps you can have a dramatic patterned carpet and keep the walls and window dressings plain (as a change from the more traditional patterned walls and plain carpet).
HALLWAY IDEAS: THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE DECORATING
Before you begin, remember to make a note of how you feel when you step through the front door. Now make a note of how you actually want to feel when you step through the front door. In other words: welcome, calm and relaxed. As if you could take off the working day like your coat and just hang it up. And then you need to think about the colours and accessories that make you feel that way.
What is the first thing you see? If it’s a staircase then paint or carpet it in a colour that makes you happy when you see it – and that probably isn’t an oatmeal twist. Pattern hides dirt, but if it makes you nervous, paint the bannisters instead as a way of introducing some colour.
If you have a view through to another room, think about that view and hang a gorgeous painting there. Or paint that wall or room a joyous colour.
'Still one of the best, largest and striking mirrors around.'
Quirky Waterlake Black Runner by Ella Doran
'This pattern will disguise the mud.'
'It can be hard to fit pendant lights in halls – wall lights are the answer.'
'Still the most beautiful coat hook I've ever seen, a work of art even when empty.'
'Neat and useful, this mirror will make a statement.'
Storage is crucial. There probably isn’t room for everyone to have all their coats and shoes in the hall. Give everyone two hooks – one for coats and one with a basket for shoes. Put a shelf over the top for a box of hats and gloves.
Painting an entrance hall white won’t make it lighter, but a pale colour will help it to feel airy – remember to paint all the woodwork and doors the same colour as the walls to create a calm sense of space.
Consider making the ceiling the fifth wall – paint it a bold colour or hang dramatic wallpaper that will draw attention away from the narrow space.
Add texture with tough textured or embossed wallpaper on the lower half of the wall, or gloss paint. You can use a contrasting or matching colour as the different finishes will add interest.
If the ceiling is too low for a pendant light, hang wall lights. Or look at decorative bathroom lighting, which is often flatter and more interesting than downlights.
Mirrors are vital – not just for the last-minute ‘spinach in teeth’ check, but to bounce any available light around.
Hallway ideas: The best hallway furniture to buy now
'A place to sit, space for shoe storage with a built-in coat hook and a tray for keys and travel cards, this is the perfect all-rounder for your hall. It comes in brass with green, grey or navy upholstery.'
Camille Console Table - Grey
'At only 26.5cm deep this should fit in the narrowest of halls and has extra storage underneath for shoes or bags.'
vintage folding cinema seats
'A good vintage piece for your hall, these seats fold up when not in use but are great for lining up small children and shoes on the way to school.'
Farringdon Letter Holder
‘Provide one basket per family member to sort out the post, the homework and reminders for each person. Just remember to clear them out on a weekly basis.'
Hallway Storage Mirror
'This provides hidden storage for smaller items such as keys and post that tend to clutter up kitchen worktops if they don’t have a dedicated place to live.'
Mustard Made Lockers - The Skinny Tall Locker - Mustard Yellow
'A tall locker with a removable rail, hooks and adjustable shelves. Line up a row of them in contrasting or matching colours, one for each person, and never lose a set of gloves or piece of homework again.’
Blenheim Console Table, Large, Darkened Oak
'A narrow console table is perfect for a hall and this one is only 38cm deep, so won't intrude too much.'
Industrial-Style Black Metal Hallway Storage Coat Rack
'This industrial style rack has a space for shoes, a drawer for gloves, hooks for your bags and coats, and a seat for your bottom. The sleek black metal will fit with any style of decor without dominating the space.'
Extract taken from Mad About The House Planner: Your Home, Your Story (Pavilion) by KateWatson-Smyth, out now.
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