Hallway Ideas: Advice & Inspiration

If you've decided to pay some long-overdue attention to your hallway, you've landed in the right place. More often than not, these little corners of our space feel neglected, and they remain untouched and bland for too long. In fact, they take a backseat to less transitional spaces like kitchens, living rooms, and offices. But there's something to be said for investing a little time and energy into a passage makeover. You may not clock long hours in the throughway, but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a little style and visual interest. That's where these hallway ideas come in.

Whether you're a homeowner or renter, with a small space or a large one, we've got you covered. And we're talking everything from storage solutions and wall art to floor space and functionality. Got a narrow hallway where traditional furniture just won't fit? We have a solution for that, too. Just get ready for a good DIY.

Hallway Decorating Ideas

First things first: Whether you have a small hallway or a large one, you need the space to function well. That means the layout is incredibly important, especially if your hall also doubles as an entryway. Keep the area as clear as possible, for example. Don't let shoes pile up by the front door. Don't leave packages unattended for too long. In fact, an unencumbered floor is ideal. Instead of leaving these necessary items out for all to see, corral them in baskets, and if those bins have lids even better.

Now on to the fun part of your hallway interior design. Once the walkway is clear, move on to the walls. They present the ultimate opportunity for a statement-making focal point. Why not install a gallery wall in your passthrough? Every time you walk by, you'll get a glimpse of something fun. Alternatively, you can finally give all of those family photos a home. Mount them in a uniform formation if you crave a slightly more sentimental hallway decor idea.

And you can't forget about texture. Even in a small space, this element is necessary. In a larger area, you could add things like curtains, ottomans, and poufs to create the coveted layered look. But all hope isn't lost for your long hallway; add a runner for optimal coziness. There are so many options to choose from (think: vintage, jute, neutral, and modern). And if you don't want to cover up gorgeous wood floors with a huge textile, go for smaller rug sizes like 2 by 3 feet or 3 by 5.

Hallway Storage Solutions and Organization

Image Credit: Hunker in Partnership With Acme Real Estate

So your hallway can't just be all pretty baskets and unique rugs? We get it, sometimes these spaces also need heavy duty shelving and clever storage solutions. And if that's the case, organization should be one of your main priorities. If you're one of the lucky few with an original built-in in your hallway, pull out your label maker and go to town. We like using metal bins for everything from extra bath towels to scarves and mittens. Just make sure to give every item a designated home. It may even be helpful to sort things by how often they're used. Maybe keep fancy linens on the bottom shelf of your built-in, while the everyday kitchen cloths get stored up top.

No built-in? No problem. Add one or two narrow bookshelves to your hallway, and paint them the same shade as the walls for a custom look. Pro tip: You can even mount floating shelves if you want to up your storage for a fraction of the cost. And while we love the look of actual tomes on a bookcase, try placing a mix of knickknacks and necessities on the shelves, instead. You'll create ample space for files, tools, and more.

Check out these additional guides on storage for more ideas:

Hallway Furniture

No, your hallway isn't a bonafide room, but that doesn't mean you can't have a few pieces of standout furniture to create a little pizazz and functionality while you're at it. The main goal is to look for pieces with slim profiles that pull double duty.

A nice bench with a shelf underneath for books and boots, for example? Count us in. You can stop there to pop your shoes on before heading out the door. Alternatively, a sleek console table in the entrance hall can become the (organized) drop spot for mail, keys, and even a bit of hand sanitizer. Add a favorite candle or reed diffuser on top if you want your hallway to smell as nice as it looks.

If square footage is especially scant, simply incorporate a hallway tree in your design. It'll fit neatly in the corner and make that collection of coats and jackets feel chic. The best part is these functional furniture pieces come in a variety of styles. Whether you prefer a Victorian look or a modern one, there's something for you.

Need more inspo? Check out these furniture guides:

Hallway Paint Colors

There's absolutely nothing wrong with white walls. In fact, we live for a good cream-colored shiplap moment. However, the hallway is the perfect spot to incorporate a little color. Don't be afraid of darker shades either. Embrace the inky hues like navy and charcoal to add a little depth. Or go for green if you want to inject a bit of verdancy into the space. Interested in something a little more fun? Why not add one of the many shades of pink to your passthrough. Whether you want a more muted tone or a lively pastel, you won't regret it.

If painting isn't really your thing, try a wallpaper. We like ones with intricate patterns, and we bet your guests will, too.

We've compiled everything else you might need to know about paint options and wallpaper here:

Hallway Lighting Ideas

Hallways, though small, are usually high traffic. You travel through them frequently, so it's important that you can see where you're going without bumping into anything. And if the space is devoid of windows (which means no natural light), chances are you're going to need some sort of illumination for practical purposes. Additionally, the right fixture can provide an impactful style moment as well.

When floor space is scarce, look up. Mount a statement-making chandelier to up the drama, just be sure to avoid any that hang too low and get professional help if you're confused about electrical wiring. If you're renting, or prefer to keep things simple, flank your hallway console table with one or two lamps. You can also hang a plug-in pendant light that matches the rest of your decor.

Need further guidance when it comes to the perfect light source? Here's everything you'll need to know:

Hallway DIYs

When your hallway needs a revamp but you don't want to spend a ton on products from big box stores, we recommend going the DIY route. Want a creative solution to hang coats, for example? Build your own peg rail (we have a step-by-step guide here), and mount a slim shelf right above for complementary accessories.

Are you in the market for a more decorative approach to hallway accents? Try creating a modern circle shelf using an embroidery hoop (yep we have a DIY guide for that, too) and styling it with greenery (faux or real!) and special pottery. If, instead, you want something with even less heavy lifting, simply mount copper pipe in your hallway for tool and cleaning supply organization.

Here are some other DIY guides that will take your hallway from blah to beautiful:

Where to Shop for Hallway Furniture and Decor

Wayfair

World Market

Target

IKEA

Amazon

H&M Home

Urban Outfitters