There’s nothing like the impending arrival of guests to get you thinking about how to style your hallway. After all, the hallway is the first area of your home that visitors see, so it pays to make a good first impression.
Hallway styling can often get forgotten as decorating budgets get assigned to the main rooms of the house leaving little money left in the budget yet a tired or tatty hallway can bring the whole look and feel of your house down, a fact you are reminded of every time you pass through the space.
While understandable, neglecting your hallway is not the best approach especially ahead of Christmas guests arriving. But fear not, a few simple Christmas decorating ideas and styling tricks to declutter can make all the difference to make a stylish first impression this Christmas.
12 easy ways to style a hallway ready for Christmas
It’s worth employing a few styling tricks to get your hallway looking its best and I have just the techniques you need to get your hallway looking fab without spending a fortune. Myself and some of the best interior experts in the industry are here to share advice on how to style your hallway.
1. Start by decluttering
The first tip for how to style your hallway is to have a good declutter and remove anything that shouldn’t be there. Getting your hallway sorted is the first step to decluttering your home.
Hallways are prone to attract clutter in the form of shoes, bags and coats and those with kids or grandkids will know only too well how quickly a hallway can become a dumping ground.
It can be tempting to leave items by the front door that you plan to take somewhere, but aside from being a trip hazard, piles of hallway clutter are not going to get your hallway looking its best. Decluttering your hallway like the beautiful hallway shown belonging to @becshomestyle will make it feel larger, more spacious and easier to clean.
2. Style the staircase
If you are lucky enough to have a staircase with a bannister and spindles in your hallway then be sure to make a feature of it with your festive styling. Even some simple, understated touches will make a stylish focal point and draw your guests’ eyes around the space as they enter.
A stair garland is an iconic way to style your staircase, and Emma Morton-Turner, Interior Stylist and founder of InsideStylists.com has some excellent tips on how to do it, “If you want a long fresh garland to run along your staircase tie bundles of greenery to a long length of rope,” she shares, “start at the bottom and keep adding till the whole rope is covered. Tie the garland along the staircase and add battery fairy lights and decorations. The key is to stick to a simple shimmering colour scheme.”
If you don’t fancy creating a whole garland, Emma has some great alternatives, “Make sure you have plenty of ribbons – or better yet, keep lengths throughout the year from birthdays so you can hang decorations between the rungs on your bannisters. The ribbons add colour and the baubles add to the festive look from the moment you open the door.” This works well as you can see from the photo above by Garden Trading.
6ft Frosted Garland at Marks & Spencer
£29.50 | We love this snow-dusted garland for making a good first impression when adorning a hallway staircase. The generous 6ft artificial garland also features clusters of mistletoe berries, pine leaves and pine cones to add extra decoration.
Maddox Snowflake Garland at Garden Trading
Was £30, now £18 | This delicate, snowflake garland will add a tasteful, wintry touch to your festive hallway decor. The paper garland in Warm White is an understated way to elevate any traditional Christmas scheme, welcoming a sophisticated finishing touch.
Emma used to be W&H’s home editor before becoming the founder of InsideStylists.com. She is a talented interior stylist, writer, and podcaster who knows everything there is to know about the world of interior styling.
3. Add an inviting scent
Adding your favourite home fragrance to a hallway is a brilliant trick because if the space smells amazing it will feel instantly set the scene and make the space feel inviting, while also distracting from any elements that you don’t have the time or budget to deal with before Christmas.
Adding some festive fragrance in the form of diffusers, room sprays or even essential oils will draw your guests in and make a great first impression. We high recommend any of the best-selling scents at The White Company because many are winter specific, with one that founder Chrissie Rucker even calls ‘the scent of Christmas’. Our new personal obsession is The White Company’s Nordic Woods signature scent.
Once you witness the impact of a perfectly fragranced hallway, you’ll be tempted to start scent-scaping your home for every season.
4. Curate seasonal displays
Christmas can be an expensive time, so the last thing you need are extra costs mounting up from decorative items and home styling accessories. That’s where the idea of ‘shopping your home’ comes into play to curate seasonal displays – it’s one of my favourite things to do to make your home look expensive on a budget.
Shopping your home simply means using items you already have; perhaps they are stored away in a cupboard or on display in a different room and cycling them from room to room to save on buying new.
I like to customise vases and ornaments by painting and adding texture so they look unique and fit in with the colour palette for the space they are being styled to suit.
A super simple idea is to fill a glass cloche with painted pinecones (as shown) and style it with a few foraged twigs or sticks. If you don’t fancy getting crafty, then simply swap some books, ornaments and vases from room to room to create a fresh-feeling display.
5.Introduce a console table
I love using a console table in a hallway because it offers a way to display decorative items, provides useful storage and helps to organise a small space.
Console tables are usually shallow in depth, which is great for narrow hallways where you don’t want bulky furniture. If you have an unsightly radiator, positioning a console table around it or in front of it is a great styling trick. A console is a great place to display your Christmas decorations as you can see from the beautiful console pictured by Sarah aka @mydreamhome_usplus6 on Instagram.
Emma Morton-Turner has some great styling tips, “Place a candle in a hurricane lantern to instantly greet your guests with a warm glow and a festive scent. St Eval’s Winter Thyme is beautiful, or go for an old fave Winter by The White Company.”
“If you’re tight on space, a long line or two of ivy along a hall table is a great way to add festive foliage and it can be foraged from the garden. Add a few baubles and battery-operated fairy lights for extra twinkle,” she adds.
Styling safely is always in fashion; here’s Emma’s advice, “Worried about naked flames and small ones? Get your hands on remote-controlled, battery-operated, flickering tea lights. Place them in glass holders along your console table and switch them all on at once at the press of a button. They look so real! Lights4fun have some of the best flameless candles around.”
St Eval Christmas Winter Thyme Tealights
£13.99 | Embrace Emma’s much-loved ‘Winter Thyme’ scent with the help of this pack of 9 tealights. The scent is a heady blend of rosemary and thyme with notes of winter wood tones.
Best scented candle
Winter Signature Candle at The White Company
£22 | “The whole family knows Christmas is coming as soon as I start to burn a Winter candle in the hall,” says Chrissie. “The perfect combination of cinnamon, clove, and orange has made it our most-loved candle of all.” This 140g jar candle offers approximately 33 hours of burn time.
Best flameless candle
TruGlow LED 3 Wick Winter Candle at Lights4Fun
£29.99 | We have the autumn version of this candle with the dried leaves and can confirm that it looks just like the real deal in terms of a candle aesthetic. The unique TruGlow® candles combine real wax and innovative technology to perfectly mimic the look of real candles. The dried fruit adds an artisan vibe to this wintery design.
6. Add a bench for style and substance
Benches are another great way to add some practical furniture to a narrow space and they come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to spend a fortune; even cost-effective flatpacks can work here with a bit of customisation. I recently hacked an IKEA bench to make it look old and distressed to add character.
Benches are handy because they provide somewhere for people to perch while they take off their shoes. Because they can be quite minimal and not too bulky a handy bench still provides plenty of opportunity for styling.
Lucy Gough, Interior Stylist and author shares a great tip for festive bench styling in a hallway, “To add a festive twist to your bench in your hallway, you could buy a small faux tree and sit it in a decorative plant pot pot and place it on one side of the bench. Decorate it with some small decorations and microlights to mimic your larger tree. Then, drape a garland of foliage along the top of the bench along the wall and attach using cable ties. Thread fairy lights through, too, of course”
7. Celebrate the season in your styling
One of my favourite things about interior styling is that whatever time of year it is, there’s always something beautiful happening in nature to celebrate.
Some seasonal styling is obvious like fresh cut flowers in spring but my absolute favourites are the unusual and unexpected products of nature, the dried seed pods, and the stark, gnarled branches strewn on the ground after a storm.
Incorporate these kinds of things when you’re planning how to style your hallway and you’ll be telling the story of the seasons. Best of all, they’re totally free. Use fresh festive foliage to create a stunning wreath as Victoria Austin did in her beautiful hallway.
Christmas is the season of plenty, so it really feels like an easy way to welcome decorative touches to the decor with simple Christmas decorating ideas – think pine cones, fir branches, winter berries and more.
8. Use art to elevate your hallway styling
Adding art has to be on the list of how to style your hallway because it’s such a great way of adding style and character.
The style of art you choose should suit the space and be a reflection of your personality, it’s a great way to express yourself. The right artwork can set the mood for the space you are styling and if the budget is tight why not have a go at making your own abstract piece?
Lucy has a great idea for those who don’t have a lot of spare room for Xmas decorations, “If you’re short on space in a smaller home you can buy a large canvas wall hanging with an image of a Christmas tree on it and hang it on the wall in your hallway. It’ll sit flat against your wall and give off a festive vibe even if it’s not 3D.” we suggest the Christmas Workshop Pre-Lit Wall Hanging Xmas Tree, £33.99 at Robert Dyas.
9. Highlight a hallway mirror
Hallways are often narrow and can be dark. Adding a mirror is a great way to bounce some light around the space while making it feel more light, spacious and welcoming.
Interior designer Alix Stoney advises, “Mirrors work on many different levels in a hallway from adding the illusion of more space, creating a focal point and the practicality of checking your appearance before you walk out of the door.”
Think about where best to place to locate the mirror for maximum effect. Here are Alix’s tips, “To add width to a narrow hall, add a large mirror on a side wall, and to make a hallway feel longer, add a mirror on the end wall. Use a decorative mirror above a console or sideboard which either reflects or contrasts with the architecture of your home. I find round mirrors always add a soft, welcoming feel.”
Mirrors are a great place to add a festive touch to your hallway styling, Lucy Gough has a top stylist tip for festive mirror decor, “When I style my hallway for Christmas, I wrap foliage around the frame of my hall mirror and feed micro fairy lights into the greenery for added twinkle. I also weave some small decorations in to layer it up, just like you would to your Christmas tree.”
Balancing style and function to create a home that suits your lifestyle and personality. Having studied Interior Design and Design Crafts, whilst gathering a decade of experience working at a Construction Company, my interiors blend the beautiful with the practical. I believe your home should be your sanctuary, a comfortable space that works.
10. Use peg hooks to hang decorative items
If you’re wondering how to style your hallway, peghooks are always a good idea. They are super practical for hanging coats on and they double up as pegs to have decorations from over the festive period. There are peg hooks available to suit all interior styles, from industrial to farmhouse and they are easy to put up with a quick bit of DIY.
At Christmas, hang festive decorations like wreaths, bells and ribbons from your hallway peg hooks, like the examples shown in the images from Lisa’s beautiful hallway aka @herrneutralcottage.
11. Roll out a welcoming rug
A rug is a great way to make a style statement by introducing a bold colour or pattern in a non-committal way. Borrowing a rug from another room is a good way to test the water and style up your hallway. If neutral interiors are your thing, add a natural rug for another layer of texture to add interest and depth.
Alix Stoney has some great points to add about how to style your hallway with a rug, “A rug is a great addition to any hallway with a hard floor. It can add warmth underfoot, but it is also a great way to add some pattern and colour. Go with the shape of your hallway: if you have a square space then fill most of the space with a rug leaving a border of the hard flooring around the edge, if you have a long narrow hallway then opt for a runner to draw your eye along the hall. Don’t go too small and have a little floating rug island!”
Runner rugs are ideal for narrow hallways and bear in mind that the rug you choose will need to be fairly hardwearing as hallways see a lot of traffic, Alix suggests, “Go for something practical and hard-wearing in such a high-traffic area. There are some great washable options on the market now.”
12. Ensure there’s a focal point
Adding a focal point gives a hallway personality and purpose; a focal point is a great way of making a hallway feel important in its own right rather than simply a corridor between rooms. Taking the time to style your hallway and add a focal point, such as the feature wall in Katie Bowen aka @theverestplace‘s hallway, will pay dividends and make you smile every time you pass through.
Alix Stoney had this to add on why a focal point is so important, “This is the first space you see when you come home at the end of a busy day and it is the first space your visitors see too. As you don’t spend too much time in the hall you can afford to have some fun, but always make sure it links in terms of colour and texture to the spaces that open off it.”
How do you dress up a boring hallway for Christmas?
Emma Morton-Turner says, “When it comes to hallways at Christmas it’s all about the first impression whether that’s sight sight, scent or sensory.” Here are four ways Emma suggests to dress up a boring hallway for Christmas.
- “Wreaths aren’t just for the outside. Place one on the inside of your front door too.”
- “A mini potted Christmas tree is a fab way to instantly add a festive feel to your entrance. You don’t need lights, just loads of mini baubles.”
- “Light-up faux Christmas trees are a great addition to a dark corner. Cox and Cox and Next have some great ones this year.”
- “Top any mirrors or picture frames with hanging garlands. Thread a selection of long decorations with round baubles onto coloured ribbon and tie in clusters. Hang from the picture hook – at the back or in front, and poke greenery through to finish.”
- Illuminate walls with fairy lights. To make a bold style statement you could try covering one wall completely in fair lights, so the sparkle is seen before your guests even enter. You can
How do you make a hallway look welcoming at Christmas?
The key to making a hallway look welcoming is to fill it with warmth, light and interesting features. Ensure your hallway is clean, clear from clutter, in a good state of repair and styled with interesting furniture or decorative items and smelling great.
Festive touches will ensure your hallway is extra welcoming this Christmas; wreaths, garlands, candles, and a festive home fragrance will make your hallway a stylish sanctuary from the cold for your guests. Alix Stoney’s advice is, “Add some personality with a collection of artwork, a beautiful bench, a row of bookshelves filled with colourful books or a fabulous light fitting. If you have space, at this time of year you could add a twinkling Christmas tree or have greenery running up the balustrades. Be brave and have fun!”
Don’t forget to think about the front door itself as a stylish front door is a great way to make your house look expensive from the outside.