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Easy Hallway Panelling Ideas to Transform your Home

How much does it cost to panel a hallway?

The cost to install hallway panelling in the UK can vary depending on the size of your hallway, the materials you choose, and whether you DIY or hire a professional. Basic MDF or plywood panels can cost from £10-£30 per panel, while solid wood options like oak or pine typically cost £30-£70 per panel. Allow an additional £50-£100 for adhesive, trim, caulk and paint.

If your are installing the panelling yourself, you will need to budget around £300-£600 for materials for an average sized hallway. Hiring a carpenter or handyman to install will cost around £200-£400 per day. For a professionally installed hallway panelling project, expect to pay £800-£1,500 in total.

Can I install hallway panelling myself?

Yes, with the right planning, materials and tools this is definitely a project you can take on yourself. The installation process involves preparing the walls, measuring accurately, cutting panels to fit, adhering panels, filling seams, caulking, priming and painting. While it does involve a fair amount of work, it should be pretty doable for the average DIYer. Watch some video tutorials to familiarise yourself with the process first and make sure you have all the materials you need on hand. Take your time measuring and cutting and just tackle one wall at a time. If you do make any small mistakes, wood filler and paint can cover a lot!

Does panelling make a hallway look smaller?

It might seem like panelling would make a hallway feel more closed in or cramped, but with some thoughtful design choices, it can actually make it appear bigger. The vertical lines of many panel styles work to draw the eye upwards, creating the illusion of higher ceilings. Opting for panelling that covers just the bottom half of walls also keeps things looking more open. Avoid busy patterns in narrow hallways as this can feel overpowering. Instead, choose lighter, natural wood panelling or painted panels in subtle textures. Factor in plenty of lighting to make the space feel bright and airy and hang mirrors to add depth. 

What are the best colours for hallway panelling?

When picking paint colours for hallway panelling, you’ll want to consider the mood you want to create as well as factors like the amount of natural light. Light, neutral colours like white, beige or light grey will open up smaller, darker hallways and keep the space feeling airy and bright. Bolder shades like navy blue, emerald green or darker greys will make a dramatic impact in larger hallways, while warm tones like browns, reds and oranges will create a cosy welcoming feel. 

What is the best height for hallway panelling?

A common rule of thumb is to install panelling somewhere between chair rail height (around 75-90cm) and traditional wainscoting height (120-135cm). This range hits the sweet spot for maximising visual impact in the space. Lower heights like chair rail help draw the eye upwards, which can make hallways feel more spacious. Full wainscoting height lends a more polished, finished look. For wider hallways, going with full wainscoting height balances out the proportions, while in narrow spaces, a shorter height prevents the panels from feeling too overwhelming. The height of your ceilings and existing trim details in the space will also impact the ideal panel height.