Hallway Makeover

The hallway, right off my kitchen, leads both to my back door/porch and down to my unfinished but functional basement. It has been creepy and ugly in that hallway forever.

I used to just shut that door and pretend the hallway didn’t exist. But, my washer and dryer are downstairs! I had to open that door. Heidi and I have referred to it as “the murder’s hallway” since I moved into my house many years ago.

I also realized I was missing out on the beautiful natural light that streams into my kitchen when I leave that door open. So, I called in the girls and we made a plan!

The challenge: Improve it easily and inexpensively and use only what I already had on hand? Steep requirements, but we were up for the challenge.

Our 4-Part Plan:

  1. Add baseboards using plywood I had left over from another project. It was only my hallway. It didn’t need to be super fancy or require refined carpenter work. Just needed to be a bit more finished and a lot less creepy.
  2. Spray paint the hardware black. I didn’t want to buy new hardware and flat black paint seems to make anything look better.
  3. Paint the walls, newly installed trim and stairs. I had some blue paint left over from my kitchen. I like the color and extending that color into the hallway could visually extend or enlarge my small kitchen space when the door is left open. Summer is coming and I want to leave that door open without the creepy factor.
  4. Replace the bare bulb with a light fixture. Forever it has been a bare bulb up there. It was like entering an interrogation room minus the smoking interrogator. I’ve seen that on TV. I’ve never been in an interrogation room. A trip to Home Depot landed us an inexpensive fixture.

Measure, cut, and sand the plywood smooth.

Is my old house out of square or is measuring not our strong suit?

Caulk, caulk, caulk, prime, paint. Did I mention caulking?

Spray paint the pipe railing and doorknob flat black.

Read the fixture install directions 12 times and reference often. It’s not rocket science.

The most challenging part of this project was the waiting. Due to drying time between caulking, lunch, priming, lunch and final painting it took a couple of weeks. What’s a couple of weeks when I’ve been freaking myself out every time I open that door.

No more murderer! Yeah!

Check out our Project Gallery if you have more time to poke around :) Let us know what you think.

12 thoughts on “Hallway Makeover

  1. That’s my favorite project yet, it’s so simple yet made such a big difference. Everytime I see pics of your kitchen, I think what a perfect blue it is. I’d love to know the brand/color.

    • I’m glad you notice a difference. I do too and still love it. I’m happy to share colors with you.

      Blue – Martha Stewart/Rainwater/MSL 120
      Green – Martha Stewart/Sultana/MSL 101
      White Trim – Glidden/Muslin/GLC24

      I do encourage you to do testing if you plan to paint in a room. Lighting will change any color appearance. Light changes through out the day and based on the conditions outside, angle of light and time of day. Get tester paint samples and paint large pieces of boards. At least a 12×12. If you can go even larger that is better. The little paint swatches are just too small to evaluate a color. The sample paint jars will definitely cover an area much bigger than 12×12. Once painted you can move the board around in the room you are intending to paint. Turn different lights on and off and look at the color in the evening with no natural light at all. Good luck, have fun and definitely invite a friend to join you so you can have lunch together :).

  2. I love how you un-murdered that space! I’m wondering if you’d create even more light if you hung a mirror (in a wooden window frame?) in that space, on the wall that’s at a right angle to the door. If the frame was hefty enough, you could add hooks for hanging lightweight stuff like dog leashes and reusable fabric grocery bags, etc. :-)

    • Awesome idea! I am working on a shelf and another cool thing to hold a broom, but a mirror???? And I’ll need to get that dog I’ve been thinking about so I can hang our dog leash there. Love the mirror idea and thanks for offering it up. More light and the illusion of even more space, too. Keep those great ideas coming. Cheers! :)

  3. This is inspiring and great work! Nice job!

    Just pull my bricks from backyard! Come by if you have a project use for them!

  4. Now THAT deserves a comment…….. AMAZING!!!! Like many other things you three have done this inspires me :) I look forward to every post. In awe in North Dakota.

    • I lived with that hallway for soooooo long. It was one of those places that I ignored and kinda got used to until someone was going to visit. Then it seemed that the Murderer started screaming! :) I’m happy with the results and grateful to Heidi and Monica for making it a enjoyable project.

  5. That’s both entertaining and enlightning. Item four made me laugh..as did the calking bit (been there done that). Looks spit-spot. I like the view past the green kitchen wall with glass tile thru to the blue…very co-hesive and yes “much less murder’y” (if that’s a word).

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