By Kelly O’Roark
If walking down the hallway in your home feels like walking into a time machine that has transported you to 1995, I’m here to help. While the '90s no doubt brought us some one-of-a-kind fashion statements and great music (Alanis Morissette, anyone?), the colors and patterns of the décor and furniture leave something to be desired. If you’re looking for hallway décor ideas that will transform your space into a cool contemporary cove, look no further.
Below we'll break down how a simple table and proper furnishings can create a sleek look that speaks to the sophistication of classic contemporary interior design.
Photos by Kelly O'Roarke
Before you get started, you’ll need the following:
- One entryway table or side table
- One wide urn vase with faux foliage or flowers
- One framed print
- Two pillar candles – one medium, one small
- One sculpture (small to medium-sized)
Now let’s get started.
1. Place an Entryway Table in the Hallway Against One Wall (and Update the Paint Color First, If Needed)
Before you purchase your décor items, it’s a good idea to establish your color scheme. If your hallway is a neutral color like this one, you can stick with earth tones or choose some bolder hues to give it an artistic vibe. However, if your hallway is a burgundy, hunter green, or navy blue (typical 90s go-to colors), it might be a good idea to lighten up the walls before implementing décor.
This doesn’t mean that they have to be white or beige – a light mauve or pale robin egg blue, for example, can give you the lighter, more modern version of your once-beloved burgundies and navy blues. The reason it’s best to use light colors in your hallway is that most hallways don’t have huge windows or a lot of natural light, so a lighter paint color really opens up the space and makes it look and feel wider (a good rule of thumb when it comes to hallway decorating tips is that it’s always best to not only have lighter colors on the walls but also add proper lighting fixtures to make up for the lack of natural light).
Now, onto the decorative part.
If you already have an entryway table, great. While a lot of decorative items can project an obvious “outdated” vibe, wooden tables are classic pieces, so unless your table is extremely ornate, it should work with this modern design. In this particular hallway, the table is actually quite attractive, but the décor above it looks fairly dated. Since the table has clean lines and simple curves, it will work well with the updated décor.
If you don’t have an entryway table, there are multiple styles from which to choose online and in your local stores. You may be thinking, “Doesn’t an entryway table belong in an entryway?” It sure does, but it can also double as a hallway table too. As long as it’s long, and fairly slim (i.e., doesn’t take up half of the hallway), it’ll work. When it comes to finding the best hallway furniture, the slimmer it is, the better.
Now that we got that cleared up, it’s time to move onto the fun part by adding an artistic touch.
2. Place Your Large Vase and Print Art on the Table
The “back row” of the table will consist of two items: the wide vase and the framed art. Take your large, round vase and place it on the left side of the table. Since this home’s design style consists of earth tone colors, a white vase adds some brightness and brings a nice contrast to the dried tree branches inside of it. There are so many ways to use decorative vases in your home, and these classic vessels still play an important role in today’s modern home.
Your framed artwork makes up the other part of the “back row,” and should lean against the wall to the right of the center. This piece of art is simple, yet elegant with its clean lines, white space, and eye-catching black frame. To avoid clashing with the intricate design of the sculpture (which will be placed next), this piece of artwork provides a clean backdrop without competing.
When it comes to hallway art décor, you can go with simple or bold, just make sure that the other décor pieces provide balance.
3. Place Your Sculpture in Front of the Print
The ‘second row’ on the table will consist of the sculpture and a couple of pillar candles. Take your sculpture and position it so that it’s in front of the right side of the artwork print. You don’t want it to be completely to the side, but also don’t want it be covering the entire right side of the print.
When it comes to choosing a modern sculpture or figurine, almost anything goes – from gold-plated elephant silhouettes to more classical silhouettes (like the one pictured above). Again, just be sure that it provides a proper balance with the other surrounding décor items.
4. Place the Candles in Front of the Right Side of the Vase and the Left Side of the Print
When choosing candles, be sure to choose a burst of color to add some visual interest to your design and prevent it from being too monotone. This medium-height pillar candle has various shades of green and yellow, and the design adds some excitement as opposed to a completely solid-colored candle. The other candle is a rich orange with a slightly textured pattern and brings warmth and vibrancy to the décor design.
The cylindrical shape, textured pattern, and bright hues complement the neutral, toned-down colors of the dried branches in the vase and the plants in the picture frame, adding the perfect finishing touch.
When it comes to modern hallway décor, the combinations are endless, and with the right colors and art pieces, you can take your home’s hallways and rooms out of the time capsule and bring them into the 21st century.