How your hallway can make a good first impression with savvy design

Optimise the space by considering bold colours, focal points and storage solutions

The hallway is a versatile and hardworking space in any home, serving multiple purposes, from storing shoes and coats to a place for dropping keys, collecting mail and welcoming guests. But it’s more than just a functional area, it’s the gateway to your home and sets the tone for that all-important first impression. Whether your hallway is a formal foyer or a charming porch, here are some simple and effective ways to elevate the space.

Splash of colour

Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colours. Since hallways are spaces people typically pass through rather than spend time in, they’re the perfect place to be daring with your colour choices.

One eye-catching technique is colour drenching, which involves painting your walls, doors, and even the ceiling in a single, vibrant colour. If that sounds too intense, try breaking up the walls by adding a dado rail or some panelling, then paint the lower half or panelled section with a bold shade and a lighter one above.

Don’t forget about your front door. Although natural timber doors are lovely, they can sometimes look a bit plain from the inside. Brighten up your hallway instantly by painting the inside of your front door a bright neutral such as off-white. Another idea is to choose a stronger colour such as dusty blue or sage green for the front door and paint the rest of the woodwork, such as skirtings, architraves and other doors in the same shade. You’ll be amazed at how this simple change can transform your hallway.


Focal points

Think about the view from your front door; if it’s a doorway, consider installing a glass-panelled door to let in more light and offer a glimpse into your home or garden beyond. Jazz up a blank wall with a bold, eye-catching wallpaper or hang a striking piece of art.

Use strategic lighting to spotlight unique features and decorative elements. Wall lights can provide a lovely decorative feature to a hallway. Picture lights are a great way to highlight your favourite artwork while creating a warm, ambient glow. When choosing a pendant light, opt for an unusual or decorative fitting that illuminates the space and serves as a stunning focal point.

Smart storage

Keep your entrance hall tidy and inviting by incorporating smart storage solutions. Built-in options such as storage benches or sleek cabinets can discreetly store everyday items such as shoes and coats, maintaining a clutter-free space. For seating, choose compact options like a tucked-away pouffe instead of bulky chairs that can overwhelm the area.

To maximise your hallway’s potential, consider investing in bespoke storage solutions. Custom-built under-stair units can provide dedicated spaces for bags, shoes and sports equipment, efficiently utilising areas that would otherwise go unused.

Designate a spot by the front door for dropping off belongings and sorting mail upon arrival. A console table with a key bowl, mail tray, coat hooks and a wastebasket helps manage incoming items and keeps your space organised. Use baskets or boxes for shoe storage, and consider adding a “no junk mail” sign to reduce unwanted clutter.


Mirrors are a hallway’s best friend. Beyond their practical use for last-minute outfit checks, mirrors reflect light and make your hallway feel bigger. Strategically position the mirror to optimise natural light and create depth. To amplify the effect, go big with your mirror choice – the bigger, the better.

When choosing accessories aim to layer textures to create interest and atmosphere. A durable rug or runner protects your flooring and adds warmth and style. Select patterns or dark hues that harmonise with your decor while effectively hiding signs of wear.

A console table is a timeless choice for hallway furnishings, offering an ideal surface for chic displays. When styling a console vignette, apply the rule of threes – group objects like a statement lamp, an elegant bowl and a candle or plant. Mix heights and textures for visual interest and balance.


Your home should lift you from the moment you step inside, and adding greenery is the perfect way to bring some joy.

Infuse your hallway with plants that evoke your favourite scents and colours for a personalised and mood-boosting experience. Whether it’s a soothing lavender fragrance or vibrant hues that rejuvenate, the right plants can instantly elevate your spirit as you enter your home.

Group potted plants on either side of your front door, adjusting the arrangement to suit the seasons. Use whatever space is available, and don’t be afraid to swap things around every now and then to keep the space fresh and inviting.