Hallway shoe storage ideas - organize your entryway with these clever decor tricks

Design experts reveal the smartest hallway shoe storage ideas, making a big difference to how your entrance looks and feels

Hallway shoe storage ideas shoe storage on a low cabinet in a white hallway
(Image credit: Future / Simon Brown)

Hallway shoe storage ideas are the savior of modern living. Having a place to kick off your footwear the moment you get home means you can start relaxing immediately. And making sure that footwear is stored correctly means you're not greeted by a mess of random sneakers.  

Taking the time to include this easily forgotten element in your hallway ideas will pay dividends. Not just in the way your scheme looks but in how it works too - which in turn, will improve your life. 

Yes, that's a bold claim but hear us out. In fact, don't take our word for it. 'It’s transformed the way we leave and enter the house,' says Emily Murray, founder of The Pink House about her super-slick hallway shoe storage. 'There’s now much less shouting and stress because the kids know exactly where to find and stow their shoes - and it’s super easy for them to do so. Plus because the hallway is now shoe-clutter free, it feels and looks like a much nicer place to be.'


1. Build a banquette with drawers

hallway shoe storage ideas with pink banquette and grey cushioned seating

(Image credit: Mylands / Pink House)

Emily Murray needed shoe storage for her family of four, which includes two boys aged 12 and 9, and didn't want all of their shoes to be on display. 

'I was after a clean, uncluttered hallway but I also needed the storage to be super easy to use so the kids would actually put their shoes away when they came home,' says Emily. 'At first I planned the storage to be cupboards, but in the end they were so wide that the doors would have been obstructive when open. So drawers seemed the obvious solution. 

Her hallway storage ideas also needed to double as a bench. 'So we had somewhere to sit and take them off or put them on,' Emily continues. 'A bonus is that our shoes are nice and warm when we put them on, because we extended the underfloor heating underneath the shoe drawers.'

2. Angle shelving in shallow spaces

hallway shoe storage ideas with patterned hall floor

(Image credit: Zulufish)

If you don't have the depth of space for drawers, shelves can work well. A perfect solution to add into narrow hallway ideas, as in this project by Caroline Milns, interior designer, at Zulufish. 

'Make it as easy as possible to put your shoes away – the easier it is, the more likely they are to be tidied away rather than in a pile next to the front door,' says Caroline. 'Work out how much shoe storage each person needs and their requirements for other related objects like umbrellas, scarves, hats and so on.'

Caroline cautions that we should think about heights. 'For example, putting the adults shoe shelves above the kids. Angled shoe shelves take up less depth so can often fit in shallow spaces where drawers won’t.' 

3. Blend in with the walls

hallway shoe storage ideas with white cubby holes up high

(Image credit: Zulufish)

Disguising your hallway shoe storage ideas so they're discreet is an elegant option, if you'd prefer to not have (even neatly stacked) shoes out on display. 

'Spray or hand paint the joinery in the same color as the walls so it blends into the architecture of the building,' says Caroline Milns, interior designer at Zulufish. 'Panelling is another good way to disguise joinery, either matching other panelling in the hallway or creating a feature panelled wall with hidden cupboards behind.' Add this to our folder of hallway paint ideas.

4. Opt for freestanding furniture

hallway shoe storage ideas

(Image credit: Project: Imperfect Interiors / Photography: Chris Snook)

It isn't always necessary to have expensive bespoke joinery for your shoe storage. As anyone who has thought about how to organize a hallway closet knows, the simplest ideas are often the best. Although it looks smart and discreet, there are some attractive free-standing options too. A vintage style bench with a coat hook above will keep shoes and jackets where you need them and bring character to a neutral space. 

'If you don't have the space for built-in storage, source a low bench unit with cubby holes and put a seat cushion on top,' says Beth Dadswell, founder, Imperfect Interiors. 'Doors will hide mess, but pigeon holes can be great for storing shoes and slippers. In smaller households a couple of nice baskets underneath a narrow console can be a good solution too.'

5. Distract with bold colors

Hallway shoe storage ideas with a yellow bench in a blue hallway

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

In this project by Studio Hopwood, the designer was tasked with turning 'a boring white box' into a home with soul. Part of the process was to create a warm welcome in the hallway, by introducing an uplifting golden hue. The sunny wall color and bold floor tiles are accented perfectly with the long slimline bespoke shoe bench. And although this is a sizeable space, the solution is easy to add into your small hallway ideas.

With its beautiful bright yellow buttoned leather seat your eye is immediately drawn past the footwear below, which is easily accessed by the family who live here. 

6. Install slide out drawers

Hallway shoe storage ideas with slide out drawers in wood stairs

(Image credit: Paul Massey / Future)

The architecture of your home will obviously impact what you're able to do - unless you're completely gutting it. 

If you have it, space under the stairs - or in a section of a stud wall - can be a nifty spot to play with hallway shoe storage ideas. The owners of this cool Copenhagen home have done have found space to hide some drawers.

'Pull-out shallow shoe drawers are much easier to access than an awkward cupboard under the stairs,' says Caroline Milns, interior designer, Zulufish. 'Ideally, allow each family member to have a section for their own shoes be it a drawer, basket or cubby hole. If there’s space, make an area for guests’ shoes too.'

7. Integrate it into the architecture

Hallway storage

(Image credit: Zulufish)

This smart slimline console cupboard is far roomier than it appears, as its depth extends into an alcove in the wall, which also houses the utilities. You can build this into your hallway floor ideas, taking the pattern around the storage.

'We created an extended services cupboard that included hidden shoe storage at the front of it,' says Caroline Milns, interior designer, Zulufish. 'Above the cupboard we clad the wall with antique mirror to create a stylish piece of bespoke furniture.'

8. Refashion a sideboard

hallway shoe storage ideas

(Image credit: Future / James Merrell)

Not all properties have hallways anymore. Some homeowners have chosen to sacrifice the traditional entranceway for an open-plan way of living, like the owners of this stylishly renovated modern home. 

If that's the case for you, there is no need to rule out hallway shoe storage ideas or put up with a pile of sneakers by the front door. A low sideboard like this beautiful bold blue number can provide a discreet and stylish place for footwear, while easily blending into the living space.

9. Jazz up a postal cabinet

Hallway shoe storage ideas

(Image credit: Paul Massey / Future)

Vintage post office sorting cabinets, or those that are similar can make a great place for storing shoes, as they tend to be shallow in depth with plenty of pigeon holes. 

Just make sure the compartments are big enough to be practical all year round. It won't work if all you can store are flip flops or kids' shoes, so check the dimensions of the cubby holes against ankle boots and larger items of winter footwear. 

Painting the outside and leaving the insides timber can look effective, like this one in a project by Jo Berryman Studio.

Where do you store shoes in a narrow hallway?

A console or bench with built-in cupboard storage underneath, that can be accessed from the front rather than the top is often the best solution for where to store shoes in narrow hallway. You can then sit on the bench whilst accessing the storage below. 

'When working with narrow hallways, you have to carefully think about storage in the planning stages and make sure to use every nook and cranny,' says Katie Glaister, co-founder, K&H Design.

'Shoes can also be stored on pegs inside narrow cupboards which works well for kids shoes and wellies,' says Caroline Milns, interior designer, Zulufish.

What is the best way to store shoes in a small place?

'When hallway space is minimal, it's crucial to be clever when it comes to choosing storage. Under-stair pull-out shoe racks that disappear back into the wall are a brilliant and easy way of solving the problem,' says Arlene McIntyre, creative director at Ventura Design. 'Most of our clients request storage that enables shoes to be entirely removed from sight. Especially when space is limited, the last thing anyone wants is to trip over them or have shoes scattered everywhere as guests enter their home.'  

How do I organize my family's shoes?

'Organize your family's shoes in such a way that it becomes an integral part of your life and home design, and ensures the storage is actually used by the family,' says Emily Murray, founder, The Pink House. 'Location is key - too far from the where the shoes are removed and they’re unlikely to be stored. And don’t underestimate the amount of storage space you’ll need, especially if you have kids; my sons now have feet as big as mine! 

Ideally, the storage should perform more than one function - a bench is ideal as it offers a place to sit while removing shoes. We also have a separate ‘mud cupboard’ in the utility room for muddy shoes and football boots, so we don’t worry about them dirtying the clean shoes.' Another thing to put on our list of mudroom ideas.

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.