Hallway revamp: 4 ways to design an entrance that makes a statement

By Aoife Valentine Secor 08-08-2019

Updating your hallway is a great way to create a great first impression.

After all, it's likely the first space guests see when they arrive at your house, so you want it to make a statement. Don't let it become a forgotten space used for temporary storage of shoes, coats and bags on your way through the door - give it some thought, don't be afraid to be bold, and make it a space that gives people an idea of the thought and consideration that has gone into your interiors house-wide.



This stunning paper is a showstopper and needs little else to offset it. Harlequin Atelier wallpaper in Parapet, €101 per roll, Mrcb.ie

You’re only passing through, so don’t be afraid to make a bold statement in this space.

Mix prints

Don’t be afraid to clash patterns for a pleasing result. Florals and stripes, abstract geometrics with linear patterns all work well. Keep one common thread, such as a colour, to tie your prints together and a neutral rug or runner unifies the scheme perfectly.



Take a leaf from this hallway and create an entryway that’s all about variations on one shade. The easiest way to do it? Grab a paint colour chart – they’re designed specifically to make it really easy - and go with three grades of the same colour on walls, paintwork and even ceiling for a dramatic finish.


Freshen paint

Halls suffer more injuries in the way of scuffs and marks than any other room in the house thanks to the traffic they see, so hard-wearing finishes are ideal. Think gloss for paintwork and wipeable matt or satin emulsion.




This Chilson Hallway Bench, €192, Gardentrading.co.uk, can take a kicking from little feet thanks to a hardy acacia wood frame and a sturdy concrete top. A decent storage rack means mucky wellies are off the floor, too.

With kids and pets about, a hall needs to do double and even triple duty to accommodate all their paraphernalia.

Double duty

A bench that can be used to sit on for welly-wrangling and which can also be utilised for storage shouldn’t be sniffed at. In active homes, a hallway has to work really hard, so look for compact pieces that can perform more than one function.


Easy clean

In busy areas, washable, wipeable surfaces rule. Choose scrubbable matt or a low-sheen vinyl that’s easy to clean for walls and flooring that can withstand knocks and scratches and which can be quickly mopped free of dirt and marks.


Light right

Don’t neglect lamps and lights in this space. It’s one room where a central pendant is more than purely decorative and if you have a console table, a statement lamp can be a focal point. In a narrow space, think about small wall lights – new angled versions look great and work really well.



A standout hallway acessory piece is the sputnik-styled Gubi Matégot Coat Rack, €163, Eameslighting.com. Fun and functional, this sturdy enough to hold bags, sports gear and coats - plus it looks great. Winner!

Depending on the demands of your home, your hall might have to work just a little bit harder.

Scale up

When floor space is at a premium, go up. Walls are under-utilised resources when it comes to storage – particularly in narrow hallways. Source pretty, directional hooks and racks, which can act as design elements when not in use.


Decorative touches

Panelling is super on-trend – and it can be as simple or decorative as you like. From shiplap, wainscoting, Arts and Crafts-stye and more, the only limit is your imagination. Try this decorative approach, which you can ask a carpenter to create from MDF.


Go green

Plants are an addition to any space and are particularly welcoming in a hall, literally taking the bare look off an entrance. Try hardy varieties that don’t mind drafts and lower light, such as Sansevierias and Kentia palms.



Halls don't have to feel bare and austere. Wallpaper, like this Brook Street pattern in Etruscan, €101 per roll from Little Greene's London Wallpaper V collection, combines the warmth of on-trend coral with a beautiful heritage print for visual interest.

Inject a little glamour for a sigh of relief when you open the front door after a hard day at work

Print and pattern

Wallpaper is back and the hall is a great place to use it because transitional spaces are an easier sell than rooms you tend to spend a lot of time in, such as the sitting room or your bedroom. Give yourself license to punch up the pattern power here – and don’t forget the celling: after all, it’s the fifth wall, eh?


Create contrast

While walls and trim painted the same shades looks great, offering a dramatic contrast is an exciting option too. Try for drama with a dramatically different staircase colour and to either lengthen or shorten your hall, paint the back wall a lighter or darker colour.


Add some cosy

Just because it’s a hall doesn’t mean you can’t add warming touches like a thick pile rug. Instantly welcoming, anchor it firmly using grippers and make sure muddy feet are well wiped with a more utilitarian option placed at the door.


Related to hallway revamps: The number one thing guests notice when they first enter your home

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