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How to decorate your Hall or Stairway

How to decorate your Hall or Stairway

Every home has a hallway in some form, otherwise, we’d be going through each other's bedrooms to get to the bathroom. As such, decorating a hallway can be a fickle process as too much decoration makes it a nightmare to walk through, but not enough and it could seem devoid of character. Thus, in this blog post, we’ll cover the dos and don’ts of making sure your hallway brings some charisma to your home.

Consider your space

Different homes bring different layouts, some hallways act as a central spine to all the rooms of the house, while others are instead more “hubs” leading to a nest of bedrooms, as common in some two-story houses. So take note of where your hallway “starts” and “ends” and plan accordingly.

Also, note the width of the hallway and how it’s used! While it may be nice to place furniture within your hallway if everyone’s gonna stub their toe on their way through then what’s the point? Furthermore, you should consider the traffic of the area, is the hall connecting two lounges? What possible routes could people take when going through? If the hall table you’re considering is going to be placed at a possible chokepoint, we would definitely consider other more “discrete” options.

With these things laid out, let’s give some decorating ideas!

Pictures, Portraits and Paintings

hallway pictures - mainland furniture nz

Regardless of the type of hallway, the bare minimum you can do to decorate one is to at least put up some art! Whether it’s family portraits, a knock-off mona lisa or a drawing your child made years ago, it all looks great when displayed proudly in a hallway.

We would recommend avoiding placing anything around any space where a door may open, especially glass picture frames. But otherwise decorate the hallway to your heart's content! Our main piece of advice would be to avoid placing anything in direct sunlight, especially precious family photos, as this causes the photos to bleach in the sun making the image wash out over time.

Hall Table

hall table - mainland furniture nz

Now that we’ve got the easiest type out of the way, let's get talking about furniture. If your hallway starts from the front door, then a hall table is a must!

Hall Tables are great companions for your comings and goings throughout the day, whether it’s holding a bowl of keys to being a temporary home for the parcel you just received, a well-placed hall table will definitely make its worth in the headache saved.

As for placement, this obviously depends on where it’s being placed and what its purpose is for. If it’s being placed near a doorway, then we’d recommend a smaller table for filling the small gap in between where the door opens.

Otherwise, if the door opens to a T-intersection in the hallway, then we’d recommend purchasing a larger hall table. This way you can utilize the table as not only a parcel/key hub, but hall tables also often come with lower trays perfect for hosting shoes.

Either way, the hall table should either be discrete or make a statement when placed in a hallway. So whether it’s a shrine for family photos or just a small nook for holding miscellaneous documents, the table's purpose is up to you!


Similar to the Hall table, a buffet is great if you have the space. This option is more intended for larger more spacious hallways, common in newer homes with more open floor plans.

As such, the purpose of the buffet is similar once again to the hall table but with more storage. This extra storage is then great for items that don’t really have a place in any room of the home, such as board games or photo albums.

However, depending on how your house is laid out, it can also act as additional storage for a room. Such as a towel cupboard for outside the bathroom, or as a linen cupboard near the bedrooms for that seasonal change of sheets.


mirror - mainland furniture nz

If your front door opens to a T-intersection in your hallway, then a large mirror can enhance the appearance of your space!

By placing the mirror in front of the door, you can make the illusion that your house opens to more than what is there, while also providing a great spot to quickly check your head for any stray alfalfa spikes or bits of food on your face!

As for the choice of mirror, we would choose something with a bold border, such as a thick oak frame or something with an accented appearance to really make a statement when someone opens that door.

Bench Seat

If you’ve got a wide hallway with a view on one side, then definitely consider a bench seat so you can sit and appreciate the imagery.

Even if your hallway has a bit of a landing area, then try to place one in there so you can have a seat to put on or remove your shoes. The great thing about bench seats is there’s always one at any length!

However, if you’ve only got a very small gap at hand, a bar stool can act as a great alternative! The only thing separating a bench from a stool is width.


To round off this article, it’s always great to add any form of storage appropriate in your hallway depending on the space and location.

Whether it’s a shoe rack by the door, or a stand to hold your umbrellas, if it doesn’t really fit in a main room, then place it in the area that connects all of them.

Even if you’ve got a particularly narrow space in which you can’t place any furniture, a well-placed key rack on the wall can clear a lot of headaches in your home. Even just some regular command hooks can never go amiss for holding any coats and hats.


By now you should have your hallway succinctly decorated, either with furniture to maximise its utility or decorations to give it some personality. As such, we would also definitely recommend remembering that the main purpose of the hallway is for people to walk through, so test-run different places for things if people keep stubbing their toes on them.

No matter your end result, your hallway should now be a bit less barren. So whether it’s a bench seat to tie your shoes, a shelf filled with documents to peruse or a family portrait when you all went on that cruise, ooze in the fact that you now have a hallway utilised to its full use!


How Do I Make My Hallway Look Bigger?

If your hallway makes you feel as if you’re descending down a claustrophobic corridor, then here are some quick tips on how to make your space seem wider.

If you’re wanting to do a full hallway overhaul, we would definitely recommend repainting the walls into brighter/neutral colours, adding vertical stripes onto the floor can also help to maximise the effect. If the hallway leads to the front door, you can try painting it into a feature colour to create a focal point.

If you’re looking for furniture to make the same effect, then something such as a hallway or blanket box can help create sightlines open while also creating a sense of depth. Once again, we’d also recommend placing a mirror within your hallway to really create a sense of space

Otherwise, we’d recommend against over-decorating your hallway, as the idea is to create a sense of depth and having items obscure that view can ruin that effect.

How Do I Make My Hallway Look More Expensive?

If you’re wanting to transform your hallway into upper-class royalty, then our main advice is to follow our advice but really focus on style. This means adding a statement piece such as a decorative rug or the aforementioned hall table to turn your hallway into a room in itself.

We would also recommend updating your lighting fixtures, such as a series of downlights or a centre-stage chandelier to add some drama to your space. Some decorative plants/flowers also can’t go amiss, especially if you’re able to take care of them or at least ensure they stay “fresh”.

But again, the best way to transform your hallway is to keep things sparse, a cluttered hallway can seem claustrophobic so keeping things minimal is always recommended.

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