Should the entryway be the same color as the living room? One of the world's best paint experts decides once and for all

An expert's advice on whether you should color match the living room and the entryway for a curated look

Should the hallway be the same color as the living room
(Image credit: Marco Ricca)

Should the entryway be the same color as the living room? It's a question that's likely to arise if you're looking to refresh your current home or are carrying out a renovation.

As the first impression your guests will have when you welcome them into your home, entryway ideas are a huge part of any modern interior design scheme. And a color drenching aesthetic is a new trend that is becoming increasingly popular in contemporary spaces.

'An entryway is the busy linking space for every room in the house, whilst a living room is a space in which you should be able to truly relax,' says Dulux Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford. 'They are both spaces in which you can create a great first impression, welcome friends and family into your home and make everyone feel truly comfortable.'

When considering which paint ideas to go for, there are a few things to bear in mind. 'Choose colors that are complemented by the light quality you have and that will work to provide the requirements for both spaces - calming, impactful and practical. Blues and greens are a great option.'

Marianne Shillingford

Award winning color expert Marianne Shillingford knows everything about paint. Having won the Homes and Gardens Design Award for best use of color, it was only natural we turned to her for advice. Her ability to make rooms come alive by choosing the right shade is unparalelled.

Should the entryway be the same color as the living room? 

terracotta hallway and living room by KING Living

(Image credit: KING Living)

'There are no rules about painting the hallway and living room the same color but it is a really interesting new trend that creates a smooth, inviting visual flow from one room to the other and can make both spaces appear larger by association,' says Marianne.

Painting a hallway and living room the same color will also give you a sense of connection and flow. 

'It can be calming, chic and on trend,' continues Marianne. 'But, if you are not careful, it can also be a bit dull so create a distinctive difference between them with accent colors, textures and clever living room lighting ideas.'

Does it still work if the rooms are separate?

a hallway with recessed led lighting

(Image credit: Jeremie Warshafsky. Design: Studio AC)

It's easy to see why painting the enttyway the same color as the living room is a good idea for open plan living, but what about separate spaces?

Marianne advises: 'The light conditions in a separate entryway and living room will generally be different so even if you paint them in exactly the same color, they won’t look exactly the same but it will create a lovely sense of connection, especially if the door between the two spaces is always open.' 

If the entryway is narrow and is the same color as the living room, it can also draw the eye through the space, making it appear longer.

The same idea applies for the living room: painting the entryway and the living room the same color is a great small living room decorating idea, working to open the space and make it appear larger.

Is it part of the color drenching trend?

Purple hallway idea entryway

(Image credit: Ansel Olson photography)

'Painting two rooms in the same color is definitely part of the color drenching living room trend,' says Marianne.

'It’s like committing to a long-term relationship with the colors you love and then using them with confidence.  This may seem like a scary prospect, but once you’ve made the decision all your decorating dilemmas get a whole lot easier.  

'No fiddly cutting in between colors, everything works in multiple spaces and it’s an effortlessly stylish look.'

Would a slightly different shade of the same color work?

70s style retro living room in terracotta by Carpetright

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If you're not feeling confident about using exactly the same color in both spaces, dip a toe in the same-shade paint waters and try a slightly different tone of the same hue.

'Choosing a deeper tone of the same hue for your living room color idea will give it a cozier atmosphere without losing a sense of flow between spaces,' says Marianne.


What color should entryways be?

Accent and feature wall ideas

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki / Indie & Co)

When it comes to entryways, most people would say that it’s space and light that are missing, so choose colors that make the most of both, advises Marianne.

She says: 'Soft blues and greens (like Dulux Heritage Country Sky and Green Oxide) will make small spaces seem larger and pale versions of both colors (like Clear Skies and Fennel White) will make them look larger still.  

'If you really suffer from a cramped space, a good narrow hallway idea is to confine the color to the bottom third of the walls, including the skirting boards, and paint the top two thirds and ceiling in a complementary off white.'

Should all the rooms in your house be the same color?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with painting all the rooms in your house the same color, particularly if you are renting. But don't forget that your home should be an expression of your creativity and personality.

'We believe that every home and person who lives there deserves to have fun with a bit of color, whether it's painted furniture you can take with you when you move on, or a complete wrap-around riot of your favorite shades,' says Marianne, adding: 'Do what makes you happy - whether it's minimalism in interior design or maximalism in interior design - and you will always have a happy home.'

Should entryways be darker or lighter?

white hallway with Crittall style doors by KING Living

(Image credit: KING Living)

Generally entryways are darker places with few or no windows at all so lighter colors often work best in them. 

'Decide at the start whether you want to try to make your entryway look lighter and brighter, or if you want to go for a dark and dramatic scheme,' a The lighter the colour, the more it reflects available light – the darker the colour, the more it will absorb the light. So if you want to make a entryway seem larger you will need to go for lighter shades.’

However, dark-hued hallways can make a dramatic first impression if you have the confidence to experiment with your entryways a little. 

Hallway painted with Farrow & Ball Downpipe

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

It may seem counterintuitive, but dark colors can add depth to a small space, making it feel more expansive by blurring boundaries.

Painting the walls, molding and ceiling the same shade can help the eye travel without any interruptions, allowing the space to feel larger.

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.