Well, it all depends on the shade. While painting your hallway black will only really work in homes with lofty ceilings, a strong, deep shade of grey can lend hallways in even modern, more compact homes a classy, manor house-style look. Accent with colourful paintings and decorative pieces for an eclectic feel, and keep the ceiling white to bounce light around.
Shades of Black
Who says door frames, woodwork and doors for that matter have to be white? You can give a contemporary hallway a modern feel and a traditional home a period feel by using the same neat paint trick: painting woodwork in a darker, contrasting shade. A quick way to freshen up an already neutral space, it's a practical move, too, especially if you have kids or pets who leave their grimy marks as they pass.
Use our guide to painting a door to ensure your paintwork is up to scratch. If your hallway is a higgledy piggledy warren of doors, stairs and corners, then a great hallway paint colour idea is to pick a pale pastel shade to make it look light, bright — and restful. For a country-style look, match it with delicate whitewashed furniture and delicate accessories; for a contemporary appeal, match it with blonde wood.
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Love pastels? We've got plenty more pastel decorating ideas. There is nothing quite like a creamy paint colour for an instantly inviting effect. But, more than that, it's so easy to update — simply swap out accessories, such as table lamps or rugs to update your colour scheme, without picking up a paintbrush. Green is the most relaxing of colours, making it perfect for a busy family hallway. Lighter shades also work wonders at visually expanding small spaces, especially when paired with a bright white shade.
In this hallway, a gentle sage colour opposite white walls creates depth and an impression of space, plus it links neatly to the colour scheme of the room beyond.
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Using darker and lighter tones of the same colour creates focus in a space. So, just as you might highlight a fireplace wall in a living room by painting it a different colour to those of the rest of the room, you can achieve a similar effect in a hallway. Why not start by painting the wall behind a console table to draw attention to that, or the one at the far end of the hallway on which you've hung a gallery of pictures?
The contrasting accent in this hallway makes the space feel contemporary and lifts the pale scheme into a sunnier one.
Walls here are in Woad and Grey Stone , with skirting and door frame painted in Sunlight. All from Little Greene. If you are feeling really adventurous, and your home's generous proportions can accommodate a bold, contrasting scheme, why not use the hallway to really explore the potential of unusual colour combinations? If you are confident in your understanding of colour, go for it, but perhaps keep the bold clashes to upstairs, and ground the scheme with a deep, neutral shade for woodwork and doors.
Red is a bold choice for a hallway paint colour, but it can work really well if you choose a sophisticated, mid-tone shade, and match it with more muted colours for doors, floors and woodwork. An off-white shade is a failsafe option for hallways, guaranteed to make the space look fresh, light and spacious.
Off-whites come in an almost endless variety of subtle undertones, so there is still plenty of room for creating individual style and variation if you use more than one tone. If your hallway has attractive woodwork, you might like to make a feature of it rather than concentrating on the walls. Pick your colour carefully — woodwork tends to look good in natural shades rather than anything too bright. Bear in mind, too, that a dark shade on woodwork only will still make a big impact on the natural light in the space.
A great hallway paint idea, and one that adds a ton of character is to paint the staircase. It's a look that can suit both contemporary and period properties, particularly country-style spaces, plus it's a good budget alternative to carpet. Find out how to paint a staircase and get inspiration in our dedicated feature. If you're a parent to young kids who like to doodle on the walls anyway we've all been there , or if you've got teens who need a little help with organisation, a wall painted with blackboard paint is a clever idea.
Use our guide to painting a chalkboard wall for how tos and ideas. Wall panelling is a practical choice for a hallway because it'll take all the knocks and scuffs that a plain painted wall or wallpaper won't. Choose a deeper shade of paint for a low-maintenance look, and be sure to pick a paint with a wipeable finish. For wall panel know how and design ideas , see our guide. If you're building in hallway storage , however large or small, painting it the same colour as the wall it sits on will help it visually recede, giving you a smarter finish.
Pick a light, neutral shade for a space-enhancing finish. We are all very focused on the colour of our front doors, but don't neglect what it looks like on the inside! Painting the inside of your front door could be all you need to add a subtle splash of colour to your hallway — and you are really easily DIY it on the cheap.
Use our guide to painting a door to get your finish spot on. You can't go wrong with a black and white hallway design — it's simple and elegant. With a monochrome scheme in a hallway, we say, the more white the better and just add touches of black here and there, as hallways tend to be darker spaces anyway and you don't want to enhance that by getting too happy with the black paint. Unless you like dark and atmospheric interiors , then by all means go ahead.
Try painting the banisters and using accessories to add in the darker hues but keep walls and floors light. This monochrome look is made even more striking by the red floor tiles by Ca'Pietra. When choosing the best paint for your hallway consider the colours of the rooms that lead off the space, especially if you want to go bold. In this hallway, below the dado rail has been painted in a dark navy blue, to contrast with the pink room beyond.
Love it. You could of course always paint your hallway in the same colour as the rest of your downstairs rooms if you want a more cohesive look. In this hallway, going for the same all over colour, draws you to the end room, making the space seem longer. Painting the door in a darker colour adds just enough contrast and breaks up the lighter blue. We love how the Ca'Pietra patterned floor tiles in this hallway tie together the whole colour scheme.
Fifty Shades Of Black: Yes, Fifty Shades Of Grey's got its own parody now
You knew it was coming. We can't get through a paint article without telling you to paint something in a lovely shade of mid-grey. Clearly, we love grey so much we dedicated a whole article to grey hallway design ideas , so make sure you go and check that out annnnd we have a feature dedicated to the best grey paint if you need help picking the right shade. For this lovely cool-toned look, we would recommend something like Dulux Deep Fossil.
Pair it will some striking dark lines — here they've gone with lighting to create the contrast but you could paint your bannisters for a similar effect. Don't just focus on painting the walls of your hallway, painting the floor can have just as much of an impact. If you keep the rest of the room white you can actually go for something pretty brave on your floorboards and it still won't overwhelm the space. For a gorgeous vibrant blue similar to this one try Farrow and Ball's Lulworth Blue and pair it with a really bright white.
If you fancy giving it a go yourself, it's a pretty simple DIY job — just check out our guide to how to paint floorboards. It's hard to ignore a to do list when you are faced with it every time you come in or out of the house.
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So pinch this hallway paint colour idea and paint the back of your front door in chalkboard paint. Of course, if you are more artistic you could draw a funky design instead of just writing 'Jack, walk the dog'. The black with the yellow walls and tiled flooring works perfectly here, but you can get chalkboard paints in loads of on-trend colours so you can pick something to suit your space. Terracotta shades are super popular throughout Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean countries, and with their warm, earthy tones it's easy to see why.
But just because we're back in dreary old Britain, rather than sunning ourselves on the coast, it doesn't mean we should miss out on the feel good factor that terracotta has to offer.