First impressions count. Yet so many entrances and hallways are bland and unloved spaces. Admittedly, it can be a tricky balance, managing an often-small space with people moving through it at speed. It’s not the place to add interest with lots of furniture and clutter, but there is much you can do to create a hallway design to remember. Enter the perfect way to deliver bold colour, seamless flow and radiate your design identity: hallway wallpapers that announce to your guests that they have arrived at a home worthy of their attention.
Wallpaper the stairs
Stairways and hallways stand alone as the place that, even in the neatest of homes, tend to have a greater sense of scale. This makes them an ideal place to totally transform with your chosen wall art. A smart idea to add extra impact is to paint doors, door frames and skirting boards in colours pulled from your chosen wallpaper. Pick wallpaper that weaves bold colour and hues throughout a design that is unexpected in scale or print. Stair carpets can also be used to accentuate colours in the wallpaper or door frames. Over a large space, wall art can break up an overwhelming expanse. To refine the look, choosing a theme to unite your images can create a more seamless flow. Or vintage frames in various shapes and styles all sprayed in the same colour, will make your hallway art feel cohesive. Or choose a paper with a more pictorial theme. This Aesop wallpaper in Green was produced from a hand painted design created by the Linwood design studio. It creates a memorable tableau of tigers, horsemen and peacocks against an exotic scene, and the kind of magical expression that people remember for years to come.
Turn storage into a feature wall
Under the stairs storage or cupboards are a great place to bring some unexpected interest. Wall coverings make a robust and witty alternative to the standard paint finish. Wallpaper ranges from delicate to hardwearing, so check how it’s made and what from when choosing a wallpaper that might go on a door that is frequently opened. A patterned paper, such as this Wonderland wallpaper in Sky is good for hiding finger-marks that can come from frequent touch. The ethereal quality of the painterly marks and soft blends are reminiscent of clouds and wildflowers and can be used to soften a modern interior or add to the pretty feel of a cottage core design.
Add interest with texture
There has been a huge resurgence in wallpaper ideas based on classical paper, with a special fondness for 1930s-feeling small prints in slightly muddy hues. With this nostalgia for wallpaper from other eras, vintage texture adds to the authentic feeling of a wallpaper pattern. This Miyagi design can totally transform the average small space with its pretty repeat. The delicate repetition and family of greens, makes it the perfect choice as a hallway wallpaper for a snug entrance hall, as the proportions of the design won’t overwhelm. The matt feel of this wallpaper comes from the parchment paper it's printed on. Pairing with an eggshell paint on door frames and skirting boards will add to a delightful sense of previous eras. Add in some wall art of long distant relatives and archival botanical prints to your wallpaper and the evocative mood is complete.
Enhance character with bold print
As on-trend as small pattern might be, another instant hit is bold print wallpaper in large and unusual repeats and patterns. This Kahanu wallpaper in Emerald combines the angular shapes of Bird of Paradise flowers with softer indigenous British blooms, such a roses and ferns. The result is both strong and feminine, with much to look at as you pass through your hallway. It is ideal to pick wallpapers that are busy when there is very little room to add other types of interest, such as wall lamps or wall art.
Bring the outside in
A wallpaper that connects the outside and the inside is the perfect solution for a hallway, as the special transition is literally written on the walls. Nature has always been a popular choice for wallpaper design, as the calming subjects of flora and fauna can create a restful mood. This English Oak wallpaper in Blue has a fairly large repeat and can bring the drama of a forest to even the blandest space. Pick a wallpaper that works with your varying light, as a pretty spring blossom wallpaper design may seem fun in glorious summer but with cold British light in December, might seem slightly out of place. This paper works well for the verdant summer or cosy on a cold winter’s day, so use that as a guide when you are looking for a year-round wallpaper.
Wow with a statement wallpaper
Hallway wallpapers will often be the first experience of your homes interior design; do you want something welcoming or standout, soft or loud? A bright hallway wallpaper will inject fun and personality but can be very intense as a solid. A statement wallpaper can still feel elegant if it employs sophisticated tones and colourways. Linwood’s Kimono Dreams wallpaper in Blaze is based on a stylised version of rolling clouds. This Japanese inspired wallpaper design delivers a bright hallway wallpaper without looking gaudy. This is because despite the colours being bold, they are tonally in the same family. If you want your wallpaper to stand out, you may feel that adding in a hallway stand or bench will detract from its impact, but it can stop it feeling too harsh. This will result in the wallpaper feeling part of a cohesive, sophisticated scheme.
DIY vs professional hall wallpaper installation
A bright hallway wallpaper can totally transform you entrance hall, creating a seamless flow from one room into another. However, if you want this space to truly impress, it needs to have a polished finish. Hanging wallpaper correctly takes patience and attention to detail, which needs to be considered when deciding whether to go for DIY or professional installation. If you do opt for hanging the wallpaper yourself, there are some important steps to follow. Walls need to be free of lumps and holes will need filling and sanding. For an even better finish, it’s a good idea to line the walls, hanging the wallpaper horizontally to stop the lines coming through. When you are ready to hang, start at a corner or window and then notch out your paper width (check the roll for this) so you can plan how many rolls will be needed. Few walls are straight, so use a plumbline marked on the wall rather than say a door or window frame as your guide to hang paper correctly. For more detail advice, see our wallpaper hanging guide. Alternatively, many good professional services can step in and simply take the process over so you can focus on selecting the rest of your decor.
Maintenance and cleaning of hall wallpaper
Modern wallpaper is durable and easier to maintain that its historical counterparts. Many having a protective coating or are made with some vinyl components. If you feel it needs refreshing, sweep over it gently with a Microfibre cloth or use a mix of dish soap and water as spot cleanser on stubborn marks. For wallpaper finger marks, try using an artist putty rubber to gently lift grubby prints. If you have lots of busy corners consider adding a brass or wooden trim on the edges, or even some wall panelling on the lowest section for very high traffic areas. Practical and stylish, wallpapers are the ultimate design solution and deserve your full attention.
For more ideas on using wallpaper look at our essential wallpaper guide for choosing your perfect paper.