Welcoming hallway ideas - 10 fundamentals for guests | homify

Welcoming hallway ideas—10 fundamentals for guests

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Kerim Çarmıklı İç Mimarlık Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs
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You know what they say about first impressions. Well, if you want to wow your visitors (and yourself), then surely you can’t resort to a dull-looking entry hall with mismatched furniture, horrendous wallpaper, and lighting that may have been in style 15 years ago. 

Whether you choose to call it the entry hall or foyer, the fact remains that it needs to be a beautiful and practical space, unless you want people to turn around and flee upon the sight of it. 

So, let’s get smart and stylish with these simple tips to ensure your guests are greeted in style.

1. Catch the light

It’s simple, yet very effective – hang a mirror. Position it so that it catches the light (artificial or natural, or both) and brings some shine into that dark hallway. 

A mirror also works a fantastic treat to create the illusion of extra space by visually expanding a contained area. But make sure it’s not too big or small – it needs to be in proportion to the dimensions of the entry space.

2. Bring in some vibrance

Family Home in Winchester's Sleepers Hill Martin Gardner Photography Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs
Martin Gardner Photography

Family Home in Winchester's Sleepers Hill

Martin Gardner Photography

Nobody is forcing neutrals down your throat and into your home – if a vibrant colour, such as a warm red or funky orange does it for you, then so be it. Add a splash of that friendly tone into that entryway (either with paint or wallpaper, a rug, décor, etc.) to exude a warm welcome to friends.

3. Draw them in

A runner is a clever way to draw your guests in, but then you need to keep it clear of furniture so that the entry hall exudes a feeling of openness. And don’t let it extend the entire hallway length: that front door needs to be able to open freely. 

homify hint: Want to cancel out the need to wash that runner? Paint one onto your floor instead, which is a smart way to mask wear and tear as well.

4. Let your walls do the wowing

E2 PAVILION ECO HOUSE, BLACKHEATH E2 Architecture + Interiors Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
E2 Architecture + Interiors


E2 Architecture + Interiors

Grab your guest’s attention immediately via an eye-catching wall display. Framed photos of families and friends, elegant wall art, cheerful wall decals – these, and more, can all make the kind of statement you want to make, from charming and low key to decadent lavishness. 

Just take your hallway into account, and stop before you reach clutterville.

5. Room for furniture

If your foyer has a little nook, then feel free to tuck in a table and chair (or perhaps just the chair) to make that entry space feel cosy. And treat the chair to a bit of style with some colourful fabric in a lively pattern, or even a simple scatter cushion.

6. The light’s height

Family Home in Winchester's Sleepers Hill Martin Gardner Photography Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs
Martin Gardner Photography

Family Home in Winchester's Sleepers Hill

Martin Gardner Photography

For overhead lighting, bring in a pendant or chandelier that is about two metres above the floor. Hang it higher, and you risk losing its visual effect. Hang it lower, and you’ll truncate your entry space.

7. Simple lighting

But don’t resort to only ceiling lights; a table lamp can also cast an inviting glow. But keep its base slim so that the lamp doesn’t feel overwhelming, especially when placed on a slender console table. 

Safety first! Remember to resort to a qualified electrician to help with the more complicated lighting issues.

8. Keep the floors spotless

Mish-Mesh storage Loaf Corridor, hallway & stairsStorage Metal Grey

Mish-Mesh storage


Life happens, which means muddy footprints do too. Stow those dirty and wet shoes and boots on plastic trays or in a basket in the foyer (neatly stowed under a bench or inside a closet), severely limiting the chances of discovering dirty footprints inside your entire house. 

This will also prevent puddles from damaging your gorgeous hardwood floors.

9. Keep the clutter in check

You are going to need to keep a handle on those belongings that seem to accumulate in the hallway. Hooks, racks, and bins can effectively take care of scarves, gloves, toys, and what not.

Assign each family member his/her own bin or drawer for elements such as post or school papers.

10. Make sense with some scent

Lastly, add a charming touch to say both “hello” and “goodbye” to your guests – a pleasing scent. Candles, incense, potpourri, and plug-ins work wonders, yet nothing beats a beautiful vase with fresh flowers or a potted plant. 

You can even make a hobby out of finding new scents to add to your entryway, and alternate them on a weekly basis, for example.  

Want some more inspiration for your foyer? These should do it: Entryway Design Ideas.

What other hints can you add for a practical, stylish hallway? We’d love to know your thoughts...

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