Hallway storage ideas for clutter-free entryways

Designers share their best hallway storage ideas so you start your home off as you mean to go on

hallway storage ideas
Design by Michelle Gerson
(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

No matter how large a residence is, there’s always a need for hallway storage ideas. From where to leave your coats to your bags to extra things that otherwise lie around the house, the hallway is a perfect place to implement strategic storage, and the possibilities are endless. Below are six designer solutions and expert hallway ideas for inspirational entry spaces in your home. 

Hallway storage ideas can be bright and bold

hallway storage ideas with colorful cupboards

Design by Betsy Wentz

(Image credit: Besty Wentz)

For a rear entry that serves as a mudroom, interior designer Betsy Wentz envisioned fun lockers outfitted with hanging space, drawers, and even charging stations. Additional storage cabinets near the ceiling—which can be accessed with a  library ladder—are perfect for accommodating items that aren’t used on a daily basis. Opposite the lockers is a built-in bench with additional drawers for smaller items such as dog leashes.  

Pair bright colored cupboard with white walls for a space that still feels somewhat calm and collected to come home to.

Create a curated vignette that is cleverly also hallway storage

hallway storage ideas

Design by Kati Curtis

(Image credit: Kati Curtis)

In an entry with limited space, interior designer Kati Curtis's hallway storage ideas involved selecting a chest of drawers to store odds and ends, pairing it with a mirror and personal objects. The trick is make them look artfully mis-matched, so they seem thrown together, full of personality, disguising their functionality. “I love individual pieces of furniture in an entry,” says Curtis. “It’s the perfect place to create a beautiful focal point.”

Secret storage is the best kind of storage

hallway storage ideas hidden storage

Design by Michelle Gerson

(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

If you want to make a good first impression to your home, filling your hallway with shelves and cabinets and chests can sometime feel like it does the opposite. But the best kind of storage can be hidden - you'd never know how much was really featured in this picture, above. Designer Michelle Gerson created concealed floor-to-ceiling storage in her client’s foyer. “We constructed cubbies and hanging space behind hidden doors,” she explains. “We even installed baseboard on the doors to make it look like wall paneling.”

Or make a feature with open shelving

hallway storage ideas open shelving

Design by Marika Meyer

(Image credit: Marika Meyer)

According to interior designer Marika Meyer, built-ins are a great way to maximize utility, and work well as part of your narrow hallway ideas when you can't add a whole cabinet. “In a small space, you can lose valuable inches with freestanding furniture,” says Meyer, who flanked the doorway in a client’s home with matching built-in shelving units. “If you have enough width, a base cabinet with concealed storage is game changer for anything from seasonal items to extra linens." If you don't have the space, take the same approach with shelves fixed to the wall, but just remember  to keep them orderly. The effect is one of everything being in its right place, rather than of cramping the small space.

Create a sleek drop space

Christina Nielsen hallway storage ideas

Design by Christina Nielsen

(Image credit: Genevieve Garruppo)

Even a small apartment entry deserves a dedicated space for storage. In a recent project for minimalist-minded clients, who had gone pale with their hallway paint ideas and wanted to keep the space feeling open, designer Christina Nielsen created a chic vignette featuring an acrylic waterfall table and a mirror.

In addition to a surface to set everyday items such as keys and a bag, a basket tucked underneath can hold everything from shoes to dog leashes. “I wanted to keep things really clean, and this console doesn’t take up much space,” says Nielsen. 

The cubby system translates well to hallway storage ideas

hallway storage ideas with cubby holes

Design by Kati Curtis

(Image credit: Kati Curtis)

Designer Kati Curtis created a built-in storage system with cubbies to accommodate the family’s belongings. Knowing how to organize a hallway closet helps here - baskets corral loose items, hooks accommodate coats and bags, a bench doubles as seating and shoe storage, and upper cabinets are the perfect place to store sports equipment and other seasonal items.The dividers between each space help to stop everyone flinging their coat at one bit, which then feels messy and un-curated.

How do you build storage in a hallway?

When installing storage, designers suggest having a minimum of 36 inches of clearance for people to walk through. And if you’re planning on constructing a system that includes hanging storage, figure a minimum depth of 24 inches to accommodate hangers. Built-in storage should extend to the ceiling to avoid dust bunnies. Furthermore, interior designer Marika Meyer suggests wrapping the base molding and crown molding around built-ins for a more cohesive look. “Those less-accessible top cabinets can be used for items that aren’t necessary for daily use,” explains designer Betsy Wentz. “This is the perfect place for that lobster pot that you don’t use every day.” Lastly, if there isn’t room for a closet or a large built-in, Melanie Roy recommends creating a “mudroom look” with a built-in bench, baskets underneath, and hooks above.     

How do you build storage in a narrow hallway?

Designer Kevin Isbell’s top choice would be to build recessed storage into the wall. “It’s less distracting and reads more like architecture,” he explains. Alternatively—if there isn’t enough width to build out the sides of the hall—a built-in at the end of the hall might be an option, according to Melissa Warner Rothblum of the firm Massucco Warner. Andrea Schumacher also suggests trying to incorporate shallow bookcases of about 12 inches. According to Meyer, there are also chest of drawers intended for tight spaces that measure between 10 and 12 inches. However, Michele Gerson warns against trying to fit too much in a narrow area. “I’d opt for an upholstered storage bench instead,” she says. And when in doubt, fun hooks take up the least amount of space, says Betsy Wentz. “I would place hooks for hats, scarves, and coats on one side of the hallway, and on the opposite wall, I’d hang framed photos.”   

Where should I hang my coat?

If there’s space, concealed hanging space is the go-to for many designers. But while a standard coat closet is ideal, sometimes it’s just not possible. In this case, an armoire is another option that designers often turn to in order to accommodate hanging space. “I might paint it a fun color, use interesting hardware, and flank it with sconces,” says designer Andrea Schumacher. Alternatively, Kevin Isbell suggests finding a cool, sculptural coat rack “that can hold its own without any coats.”

Alyssa Bird
Alyssa Bird

Alyssa Bird is a New York−based freelance writer and editor with experience covering architecture, interior design, travel, hospitality, and real estate. She has held editorial positions at Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, and New York Cottages &Gardens. When she’s not writing about dreamy spaces, you can find her tweaking the decor in her own Brooklyn home, honing her green thumb, testing out a new recipe, or scouring for antiques.