Make an entrance: how to make crossing the threshold to your home warm, inviting and beautiful.

The hallway can easily become an overlooked dumping ground for quickly shed layers. And yet when it comes to lifting the spirits, it is an important room to get right. It sets the tone for the rest of the home, must work hard in practical storage terms and is the first thing that greets you when you come home. And yet it can be surprisingly difficult when it comes to its decoration. The proportions are often tricky, whilst striking a note between statement-making and warmth is sometimes a hard balance to pull off. Pinterest, as ever, has plenty of inspiration, and here we’ve mined the best of the best for ideas.

Dark And Sultry

Not much natural light in your hallway? No problem. If you are lucky enough to have a characterful old flagstoned entrance to your house, taking things in a moody direction is no stretch and will always look appealing. If not, you can create the character yourself by choosing your colour palette well and keeping lighting levels flatteringly low. Dark greys and greens are well-trodden territories when it comes to interiors, but we love this lesser seen aubergine brown room; while we might not paint a sitting room in this colour, a smaller space such as the hallway can set the tone for an interesting and inviting interior beyond. If you can contrast it by leading into a much lighter room, all the better: the name of the decorative game is, after all, all about framing beautiful and surprising vistas wherever possible.

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Cream Lampshade, from £40

Farrow & Ball

No 35 Mahogany, from £52

State Street Salvage

Vintage French Iron Garden Table With Marble Top, £1,301.52

Don’t Keep It Minimal

For many of us, designing the perfect hallway is all about having a place for everything and everything in its place. The goal? To clear away the accoutrements – the speedily shed shoes, bags, shoppers and wellies – from sight and create an uncluttered pathway to the house. That rule is, for the most part, a good one to follow. Unless, that is, you so happen to have ‘clutter’ that is on the right side of beautiful. We love this French scene, dotted with plants and baskets. The picturesquely placed moggy is, of course, optional.

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Straw London

Helen, £95

The Little Botanical

Scindapsus (Moss Pole), £33

Wolf & Badger

Camilla Rattan Bag - Nantucket Navy Stripe, £122

Use A Stair Runner

If your instinct is to keep your hallway fresh and minimal, one way to add an instant pop of interest is by using a stair runner. They are practical, protecting your hardwood staircase, and always make the whole room look instantly sharp. Whilst we will always be fans of an understated natural jute example, no one does a colourful runner like Sophie Cooney, whose extraordinarily lovely patterns are welcoming, warm, arresting and joyful.

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Walnut Coffee Table, £320

Sophie Cooney

Via Duo Designs, from £385

The Victorian Emporium

Victorian Path Tiles - Black And White 10cm X 10cm Squares, £70.80 per sqm

Create A Spectacular Effect With Patterned Tiles

We loved a tiled floor – from classic black and white to homely lived-in flagstone to Victorian patterned tiles. We love how this hallway lets the floor sing by not overcrowding the rest of the space and keeping to natural hues and materials.

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Highgrove Gardens

Blackbird Decoration, £14.95

Ca Pietra

Victorian Heritage York Terracotta Tile, £32.99 per sqm

Urté Paula

Townshend Coffee Table Teal, NOW £93.95

By Nancy Alsop
September 2022

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.