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Creating a stylish, welcoming hallway

When someone enters your home, the first space they see is your hallway. So, it’s important to get the décor right to give it the wow factor that will attract buyers.

De-clutter & clean

Hallways are often narrow areas where space is at a premium. But they can become a dumping ground for unopened post, piles of shoes, the kids’ school bags and even bikes. Start by having a major de-clutter. Move any unopened letters that need actioning to your desk or wherever else you deal with them. Over-loaded coat hooks can also make a hall look cluttered. Keep out the coats that you’re wearing and find a dedicated drawer for out-of-season hats, gloves and scarves. Bikes should never block the passageway or front door. A lockable shed, garage or bike shelter are better options. Cutting down on the clutter, will also make your hall easier to clean.


A stark overhead light in a faded lampshade can make a hallway look dingy. Well-lit, your home will appear a more stylish, inviting space. Flush or semi-flush fittings help make the most of hallways with lower ceilings. They come in a variety of styles and materials, including crystal glass, copper and chrome. Alternatively, update your lighting with recessed downlights for a modern, streamline look. For homes with tall ceiling, be bold and opt for a big, eye-catching pendant design or cluster of small fittings with varied drop.   Choose lighting that suits your hallway’s proportions and doesn’t overwhelm it.

Pay attention to your hallway when selling your home
Pay attention to your hallway when selling your home


There’s nothing worse than a threadbare, stained hallway carpet. Rip it out and you may be surprised to find there’s original parquet, tiles or wooden boards underneath that can be restored. Wood can be a handsome hall floor especially teamed with a richly-coloured stair runner or patterned rug. Encaustic tiles are back in fashion and work well in hallways. Whether you go for Moroccan style or British clay types, they are incredibly durable and long-lasting because the pigments are mixed in with the clay, so the pattern never wears off. High-quality laminate and vinyl can create the look of parquet, timber boards or patterned tiles but at a more affordable price.  Whichever hallway flooring you choose, it needs to be hardwearing for a high-traffic space. Stay away from the cheap options that won’t look good for long.  


Whether you have a small space or a large vestibule, less is always more when it comes to hallway furniture. Before buying furniture, cut out the footprint and lay it out on the floor to check it doesn’t obstruct the passageway. If you have the space, a freestanding console table with a vase of fresh flowers or jewel-coloured lamps can create a warm, welcoming feel. Think creatively about how you can use every bit of space, such as combining coat hooks with a bench to sit while putting on shoes and pull-out drawers beneath. A wooden chest or wicker baskets are not just containers to store outdoor wear. They can be a great way to complement your hallway’s décor.

Fresh coat of paint

The hallway can be a busy place with people brushing up against walls with coats, bags and baby buggies so you may need to refresh the paintwork. Choose a tough, washable matt wall paint to protect against dirty fingerprints and scuffs. If the space is small, it may be better to go brighter to ensure your hallway feels light and airy. Alternatively, beautiful, rich colours, such as berry red, can make a hallway look cosy and won’t show dirt and marks as much as white paint. But also consider bold statement hues and sunny pastel colours as well as grey paint for a timeless shade.

Mirrors & artwork

Adding a large wall mirror to a small or narrow hallway bounces light around and creates the illusion of more space. From oak to industrial metals and on-trend copper, there’s a mirror to suit every style. A mirror teamed with a console table is a popular hallway design. Colourful artwork on a hallway wall can also look great and become an attractive focal point. Framed pictures or photos on both sides of the hallway will make the walls appear closer together. Instead, stick to one side. A group of pictures works best if there is an overall theme, for instance frame colour. See how to hang a picture