Your hallway can really set the style for your home. It’s the first room visitors walk into, and a modern, well-thought hallway ideas can allude to your decorating style to come. ‘So many of us decorate one room at a time,’ says Paloma Harrington, founding director, Home Staging Association (opens in new tab) ‘and it is easy tolose sight of how a room works with the rest of the house. Insteadof focusing on each room separately, try and see thebig picture by thinking holistically, considering how you can carry unifying features from one space to the other, such as styling, colours and textures.’
There’s no need to play it safe either, as interior designer and founder of COR London (opens in new tab), Camila de Oliveira Rodrigues explains, ‘This room will welcome you daily, so it needs to be aligned with what makes you feel good. I'd personally go wow and statement-making, especially since it is a passage room you can play with it a lot more.’
Modern hallway ideas to inspire
Be inspired by our pick of the best ideas for hallways when it comes to making yours a room rather than a corridor to the front door. From storage to colour, wallpaper to flooring, there are so many tricks and tips that can transform your space – and the best thing is, hallways are often small enough to be the perfect weekend project.
1. Add a section of statement wallpaper
A modern hallway is the perfect place to hang wallpaper – you can use that hero design you’ve fallen for on a small return without blowing the budget. Try wallpapering the return wall by your staircase, below your banister area or around the front door – there are plenty of creative – often overlooked areas – that can benefit from hallway wallpaper ideas.
Choose a wallpaper that tells a story – the hallway is the first room visitors walk into, so if you love the sea, are a fan of texture or a certain colour, then go for it. ‘Wallpaper in a hallway can be used to create lines and mind-trick effects when needed, such as making it feel cosier, more prominent, or even to distract from the storage items,’ says interior designer and founder of COR London, Camila de Oliveira Rodrigues.
2. Keep it stylishly simple
Go large in your modern hallway with a big round mirror. Hang above a sleek console table with a simple-yet-so-effective display of a trio of vases. Such a calm, display will hint at the mood of your home.
Paint the walls in your hallway white –choose a tough, washable paint to keep the space looking pristine. Monochome is a great choice for a smart hallway, but if you are looking for something bolder, then check out these hallway colour schemes.
3. Make your door the star
Often we think of the colour of our front doors and the message they give those passing by on the outside, but the back of your door can be a great place to experiment with colour too. Try introducing an accent colour that you can pick up throughout the rest of your décor. There are plenty of ideas you can be creative with your hallway paint ideas.
If you are using colour on your door, then choose a neutral floor to avoid introducing too many colours – look for interestingly patterned tiles. The floor area of a hallway tends to be fairly small, allowing you to choose perhaps a more expensive tile design as you won’t need so many tiles as in a kitchen for example.
4. Experiment with flooring
Even in a small hallway idea, you can still be creative. Try mixing vinyl flooring –this visual divide acts almost as a large doormat (or more practical area), where guests can take their shoes off.
Bring in plenty of texture – modern doesn’t mean cold. Try a plant in a rattan or wicker basket, a panelled section of wall, which will also withstand knocks and scrapes that seem unavoidable in a small hallway, and even accessories from your wardrobe to soften the space.
5. Make it fun
A hallway is a great place to make ‘you’ shine. Why not add a fun piece, like this flamenco, or a slogan piece of artwork? Make sure any addition stands out: try painting the walls a contrasting colour.
Hide clutter in a modern hallway with a large chest, which can double as a spot to sit and pop shoes on. Keep coats and shoes behind closed doors if you can – this is about creating a statement space.
6. Let your porch flow into your hallway
If you’re lucky enough to have a large modern porch area to welcome guests in first, make sure it doesn’t feel too separate to the hallway that it ends up looking confined, or at worst, an add-on. Link the two spaces with colour; try painting the porch a rich teal, which can then be picked up in artwork hung in the hallway section. Glazing can also help make the space feel light and airy.
Pay attention to the details – choose the same finishes for furniture, such as black and natural wood, which can echo the choice of hallway flooring ideas used in the porch and hallway sections.
7. Go all out with colour
Paint a small hallway in shades of one colour for a vibrant, modern space. Here a map wall mural was the starting point for the scheme, which then takes the blue palette up the walls and onto the wooden staircase. Murals are a great choice for hallway wallpaper ideas as they can often be printed to size.
By choosing shades of one colour for your hallway – like this blue, which is darker on skirting and architrave –you’ll give definition to the edges of the space.
8. Make it multipurpose
Modern hallways are hardworking, with desk spaces a great addition if you have the room. Fit a desk under the stairs creating a dedicated WFH area. Make sure you decorate the wall above your desk space – it will make it feel less ‘hallway’ and more ‘office’.
Choose a cosy rug underfoot, which will trap dirt at the front door, helping to keep your office space clean, while still being warm and inviting when sat at the desk.
9 Mix and match for an eclectic look
A modern hallway doesn’t need to look clinical; try mixing styles for an eclectic vibe. Team a large overmantel mirror above a clever built-in solution for shoes and day-to-day clutter. Look for closed and open storage in such a piece, so you can leave the shoes you use most out, with bits and pieces – such as hats and gloves neatly stashed.
A modern print blind and door curtain add pattern to a hallway, making this nook feel like a room rather than a space you just ‘pass through.’
‘Try to use your space cleverly, there are many slim storages out there, but you can always try and make use of wall cabinets and corner units. Finally, keep your coats in closed-off storage when possible but if not, have them in a hidden corner or at least behind the door,’ says as interior designer and founder of COR London, Camila de Oliveira Rodrigues.
10. Go for glam
If you’ve a lovely wide hallway, then create a luxe look using a shimmering wallpaper and rich woods. A console table provides space for keys and mobile phones, while a shapely bench under a statement hallway mirror idea is the perfect perch for popping on shoes. With a neutral scheme, add highlights, such as brass or silver candlesticks, lamp bases and lanterns, adding warmth.
Large format square porcelain tiles are a great choice for busy hallways, being easy to clean, while a black bordered rug looks smart.
What colours work for a modern hallway?
Modern hallways can be bold and daring or sophisticated and neutral – it’s about being cohesive with the rest of your home’s style. ‘You want your hallway to be welcoming and memorable, but not overpowering,’ says Paloma. ‘Choose a palette that flows with the rest of your home.’
‘Any colour works in a modern hallway, but go for a higher saturation for that bold, ‘wow’ space,’ says Camila
What furniture should you put in a modern hallway?
‘This depends on space, but every hallway should have space for letters, keys, and your daily coats and jackets,’ says Camila. If you have space, then a statement console table instantly looks boutique chic, while a modern chair, stool or bench for sitting down to take off shoes can set the modern vibe. Don’t forget hallway lighting –it’s a great way of expressing your modern look in a tight hallway space, with a statement pendant or chandelier a big modern win.