​How to pick hallway colours

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
House on St.George Hill, EVGENY BELYAEV DESIGN EVGENY BELYAEV DESIGN Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs
Loading admin actions …

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

Private Villa, Surrey, Keir Townsend Ltd. Keir Townsend Ltd. Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
Keir Townsend Ltd.

Private Villa, Surrey

Keir Townsend Ltd.

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

House on St.George Hill, EVGENY BELYAEV DESIGN EVGENY BELYAEV DESIGN Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs

House on St.George Hill


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

Flush ceiling lights with white milk glass and Swarovski crystal, made of brass with nickel finishes Luxury Chandelier LTD Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs Copper/Bronze/Brass Metallic/Silver brass lighting,flush ceiling light,lighting,hallway lighting
Luxury Chandelier LTD

Flush ceiling lights with white milk glass and Swarovski crystal, made of brass with nickel finishes

Luxury Chandelier LTD

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

Templewood Avenue, NW3, XUL Architecture XUL Architecture Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
XUL Architecture

Templewood Avenue, NW3

XUL Architecture

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.  

Did any of our hallway colour ideas stand out for you?

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!