Hallway wallpaper - The Guide
First impressions are important, especially in the entrance area of a house or apartment. The design chosen for the hallway or stairway reflects the owner's preferences and offers a glimpse of their character. Hallway wallpaper comes in a large array of decorative styles and provides enormous potential to visually change unfavourable room parameters. Design your hallway and cloakroom to create a sneak preview of the entire home. Stairways benefit particularly from striking designer wallpaper models which give them character and create atmosphere.
Table of Contents
- What are the best design options for narrow hallways?
- How can a small hallway be made to look more spacious?
- What are the best options for a dark hallway with no natural light?
- How do I choose the best wallpaper for my hallway?
- How can I decorate my cloakroom?
- Which wallpapers are suitable for stairways?
- How do I wallpaper a high stairway?
- Tips: Fabulous ideas for hallways and stairways
What are the best design options for narrow hallways?
Geometric patterns suggesting infinity, or a stunning feature wall, can add a sense of space to short, narrow hallways. In long, narrow hallways, large-scale patterns, material imitations and light colours decrease the "hose effect".
Short, narrow hallway
Small-scale, delicate patterns, in fresh, bright colours are the best choice for short, narrow hallways. Geometric designs which seem to lose themselves in infinitude are particularly interesting. Patterns with depth or a three-dimensional effect are another great option. A side wall can be turned into a beautiful feature wall with an unusual pattern wallpaper.
Long, narrow hallway
A long, oppressive hallway can be beautified with a fabulous pattern wallpaper. Imaginative designs cleverly distract the eye. Typographic patterns or stone/leather imitation designs are great examples. As a feature wall, the front wall of a long hallway can have a widening effect.
How can a small hallway be made to look more spacious?
The ceiling height determines how we perceive a room in terms of space. Small hallways with particularly high or low ceilings can be made to look wider and larger with some handy interior decoration tricks.
High ceilings often make the walls appear too large and seemingly endless, whilst not having a visually enlarging effect. A good solution is to create separate areas. For instance, applying a single-colour wallpaper with an interesting surface to the bottom third of the wall and a pattern wallpaper in matching colours to the rest of the wall can create the desired effect.
Low ceilings require cunning methods to look higher. This can be achieved with wallpaper patterns that are arranged vertically, e.g. longitudinal stripes which become less defined in the top area, towards the ceiling.
What are the best options for a dark hallway with no natural light?
Light wallpaper colours introduce additional light into a dark hallway. If there are no windows, intelligent lighting with daylight lamps and suitable wallpaper types can make a huge difference.
Light colours for wall décor
Wallpapers with light base and pattern colours are the be-all and end-all for hallways with little or no natural light. Variations of cream and yellow are particularly "illuminating". Ideally, the base and pattern colours should match and/or merge. Strong contrasts or clashing colours are to be avoided. Wallpaper types with iridescent, shiny surfaces or 3D foils and glass bead wallpaper models reflect or scatter light, adding interest.
Lighting in hallways without windows
Sometimes, even light wallpaper colours aren't sufficient to give a hallway without windows a cosy character. An intelligent lighting concept which works with the individual layout and the functional aspects of the space is the answer. This might be, for instance, a row of theatre-type bulbs around the mirror by the coat rack or a modern light strip along the walls. Spot lamps set into the ceiling are also a great idea to add light to dark hallways. A lighting specialist can provide individual advice.
How do I choose the best wallpaper for my hallway?
Without a doubt, the entrance is an important area which draws direct attention. In order to provide visitors and guests with a positive impression, the chosen wallpaper design should reflect the authentic and unique individuality, taste, and mentality of the residents.
Modern wallpaper patterns are exceedingly varied and not tied to any particular specifications. Whimsical ornaments, black-and-white figures, or elegant geometric shapes are all fabulous pattern ideas for hallways. The design should give a glimpse of the rest of the home and pique the curiosity.
Cool concrete adds an urban, stylish effect to a room. It is an expression of modern styles combined with a sense of permanence and durability. Concrete can be smooth or rough, brand new or weathered. There are many more than just 50 shades of grey, and they form lasting relationships with hues like corn yellow or fir-tree green.
Stone looks can be cool, luxurious, or rustic, and the choices of stone imitation wallpaper models are just as multi-faceted. A sophisticated marble design fills a hall or stairway with an elegant aura. Brick looks are a great match for the country house style, but work equally well with urban loft styles.
Stripe wallpaper models come in many different styles. Block stripes are amongst the classic patterns for hallways and stairways. Mediterranean stripe designs add movement and a sense of lightness to the walls.
Floral wallpaper creates green oases. There is no nicer welcome than one which incorporates floral elements reminiscent of nature. Flowers, branches, or trees - floral wallpaper models provide a warm reception.
Show your style credentials! Glamorous shiny or silky flock wallpaper models, for instance in silver-black or beige-gold, demonstrate a penchant for luxurious interior design concepts and are predestined for hallways and stairways. Striped wallpaper models are perfect combination partners for flock models.
Beautify the entrance area with glamorous wallpaper. Glossy patterns in gold and silver, sparkly pearls, and enchanting shimmer are all great examples for this style. As a welcome side-effect, they increase the effects of (day) light in dark hallways.
How can I decorate my cloakroom?
Washable design wallpaper models are a fabulous choice for unique cloakroom walls. Another highly creative solution is wallpapering furniture and creating fantastically unique specimens in the process.
Wallpaper types with a robust and washable surface are the basis for striking cloakroom walls. This way, wet jackets and coats or dirty shoes will not leave irreversible marks. In terms of cleaning characteristics, super-washable or even scrubbable models are best.
There is a large array of cloakroom furniture and accessories available on the market for hanging and storing jackets, coats, bags, scarves and hats. From stylish stainless steel hooks to romantic Shabby Chic metal coat racks. The wallpaper design should match furniture and accessories. Branches or driftwood are also a stunning addition - and can even be practical elements for the cloakroom.
Simple, inexpensive furniture with clear lines and smooth surfaces is suitable for decorating with wallpaper. Create your unique cloakroom in line with your personal taste! Our guide How to decorate furniture with wallpaper will help you achieve splendid results with your DIY project. And it is a great activity for children, too: they will love beautifying their own cloakroom furniture with kids' wallpaper.
Special tip: Choose closed furniture and storage elements (i.e. not shelves or the like). This creates a sense of clarity in the hallway and prevents messiness.
Which wallpapers are suitable for stairways?
Stairways are prone to stains and damages and often exposed to direct sunlight. As a consequence, wallpaper for this busy passage area should be washable, robust and light-resistant.
Washable wallpaper models are available in four categories: washable, super-washable, scrubbable and highly scrubbable. The denser the surface sealing, the better its cleaning properties. Super-washable or scrubbable wallpaper types are particularity suitable in hand rail areas as water-soluble (and some fat-soluble) stains can be removed from them. Water-resistant wallpaper types can (with a few exceptions) be treated with a transparent protective coating, making them suitable for cleaning with a damp cloth.
Stairways are busy areas - pieces of furniture are being carried up and down them, children move along them with toys and in pushchairs, not to mention pets running around. Therefore, the best options are robust, relatively tear-resistant wallpaper models with higher grammage. Premium-quality bamboo and grasscloth models are durable and even have a slightly insulating effect. Thin paper-based types or delicate foil models are unsuitable for busy stairways.
In order to ensure that stairways appear light and welcoming, they often have large glass/window fronts or, alternatively, clever lighting systems. The type and amount of light has a significant impact on the colours and visual effect of the wallpaper. Constant light irradiation, especially UV light, can lead to unwanted material changes, e.g. discolouration, yellowing, or tears and cracks. The higher the level of light resistance, the less negative impact the light will have on the wallpaper. In terms of wallpaper, the standard scale mainly refers to the light-fastness of colours and is divided into exceptional, very good, good, satisfactory, and adequate.
How do I wallpaper a high stairway?
To avoid accidents, stairways with high ceilings should be left to professionals with appropriate equipment (ladders, scaffolding). Only professional painters and decorators can ensure that this task is done safely and that the results are perfect.
Wallpapering in staircases usually requires some form of scaffolding. The same is true for removing old wallpaper and preparing the surface. Ladders alone are usually unsuitable for high walls, tricky corners, and narrow steps. Wobbly home-made ladder constructions should absolutely be avoided as they are far too unsafe and can lead to serious accidents. The appropriate scaffolding has to be chosen, built, and secured by professionals. Laypeople are usually overtaxed with these tasks, which is why they should be left to professional painters/decorators.
Wallpapering projects in stairways should always be carried out by professionals. They will provide a detailed quote with itemised costs for each element of the stairway renovation project. Amongst those are preparation, wallpapering, materials, scaffolding, time, and number of team members. It's always a good idea to get a number of quotes and some information about the various companies. The cheapest offer might not be the best one. First impressions and references as well as customer reviews are also important factors.
Tips: Fabulous ideas for hallways and stairways
- Black and White combos: Black-and-white patterns are currently extremely popular for stairways. In more spacious stairways, a black-and-white stripe wallpaper can be combined with a black-and-white lily pattern, to name but one example.
- Animals are also a fab choice for stairways: funny fishes, sleek seagulls, or cute koalas can all be found on popular modern wallpaper models. In order to emphasise the pattern motif, the base colour should be on the darker side.
- Adorning the risers with a striking pattern wallpaper will make you enjoy every step up and down your stairs. Our guide How to beautify stairs with wallpaper will provide you with detailed instructions on how to achieve this.
- A picture gallery in the stairway is still as popular as ever. However, it doesn't have to be a collection of ancestral portraits. Design wallpaper models with framed likenesses of the residents, or carefully chosen pictures of the flora and fauna of forests and fields can be an even better choice and provide real interest.