House Tour: Hallway

So far, I’ve finished the entryway and the hallway of my house.  Seriously sad. Oh well.

Most of the other rooms are getting closer, but these stupid baseboards are sucking my will to live.

Anyway, let’s talk about the hallway.

This is the hallway that runs from the dining room to the bathroom and to my bedroom.  When we first moved in it was painted some generic cream color, which I didn’t hate, but there was something very weird about the paint, and after we’d lived here awhile I noticed that the paint was bubbling and peeling off and there was white powder underneath.  I’m still not sure what happened there.  My best guess is that the plaster walls in the house were SO screwed up that the flippers replaced some of them with drywall, and some of them they just patched with massive amounts of joint compound and then painted over them, but the paint job didn’t really adhere to the joint compound and it started to peel off.

Regardless, I had to scrape and wash and sand and patch this wall.  It took a long time.  It was really messy.  This is a shot of that process.  And look at those ugly orange floors.

I have to repaint all the baseboards because when the laminate floor went in, the flippers stapled a wicked ugly piece of laminate quarter round to the baseboards.  When we ripped it off, it took off the paint behind it.  So I have to scrape and patch and repaint all the baseboards.  Except!

Beacause the laminate quarter round was so ugly, I have been violently opposed to using any kind of quarter round around the bottom edge of the baseboards.  In the living room, we have no choice, because the flippers put new baseboards on after they installed the laminate flooring and since we took out the laminate flooring there is a giant gap between the bottom of the baseboard and the refinished floor.

I compromised and we chose some white shoe base (a little skinner than quarter round) and we started putting it in the living room this weekend, and I really really like it. It would be so much easier to paint the baseboards with pre painted shoe base in place! And I wouldn’t have to scrape!  And it gives that nice clean line against the dark floors which I have not been able to get no matter how carefully I paint and tape.  It will run about $20 a room, and I think it’s worth it.

See? Doesn’t it look nice?  (Chatter Phone is just there for ambiance.)

Anyway, that project is down the road, but for now the baseboards in the hallway are painted.

This hallway is where I put my “gallery wall” and I wish I had some fancy way of telling you how I did it, but this is one of those rare instances in this house where things just worked out.  Believe me when I say that almost nothing in this house has “just worked out” so I think karma owed me one or something.

Anyway, I just spray painted some frames black and stuck them up there randomly and then eyeballed the next one and pretty soon I had a gallery wall.

The frames are from various places – garage sales, IKEA, Walmart, Target.  I always have my eye out for a good frame.

Oh, I do have a secret!  The secret to success when it comes to a gallery wall (and making pictures look good in general) is to always buy a frame WITH A MAT.   A picture framed with a mat is going to look a thousand times better than one without.

Most of the pictures are prints from Etsy or are pictures I took myself.  I’d like to get more family members up there but we’re running out of wall space.

I painted the wall Martha Stewart “Siamese Cat”, one of the old colors from Lowe’s.  It was leftover from our bedroom, but I think it’s the perfect color.

Here’s the linen closet. It’s small but it holds all our sheets, towels, and pillowcases.  I would not advise purchasing a house without a linen closet.

You can sort of see my cheap lighting DIY in that first picture.  I have long coveted a fancy flush mount fixture from Rejuvenation but I simply do not have $200 some dollars to spend on a single light fixture.  This is a brass collar from Home Depot spray painted black, and fitted with a schoolhouse shade. I think the whole thing cost about $7. I’m pretty happy with it.  It beats the pants off the boob fixture that was there before.

One of the first things I did when we moved in was to replace all the plastic light switch plates with white wood ones.  It makes a huge difference for almost no money.

I am not normally a huge silhouette person but that is me and my brother at Disneyland when we were kids, so it has some serious sentimental value.

I also replaced all the brass doorknobs with these oil rubbed bronze ones.  Some of them I spray painted, and then the spray paint made me mad and I gave up and shelled out the $12 for a new doorknob. I think this door (to the bathroom) has one of the spray painted ones.

That’s about it! Oh, except to say that I really love this space.  It worked out in reality just how I wanted it in my head, and it’s always so satisfying when that happens.



13 Responses

  1. Oh, it is LOVELY! You did such great work! A small hallway can be such a forgotten space and you made yours incredibly eye-catching. Beautiful!

  2. As you know, I am very Pro Linen Closet. (Did you know that Maggie bought a house without one?! SHE DID. I am not sure how that is working out for her.)

    Why did the spray paint make you mad? I was thinking about using that stuff on our light fixtures outside, in the front of the house. They are brass and really ugly.

  3. I love, love, love, love the frame around the thermostat! I’m not sure why, but it makes me really happy.

  4. Just lovely!!! And you can see all your hard work everyday when you walk through that hallway…serious validation.

    Also, I second the importance of a linen closet. We do NOT have one in our house and it kills me a little everyday. NEVER AGAIN will I have a house without a linen closet.

  5. So pretty! Halls are hard, I think, and you’ve done it perfectly!

  6. Get out of my head! I just framed my thermostat this weekend!

    The gallery wall looks fabulous. Love the wedding picture and the little glittery “dream” thingamabob. What is the story behind the bowls of beans?

    • Ha ha, those are blueberries. I just thought they looked pretty and took a picture and loved the way it turned out, so I ordered a print of it and there you go!

  7. Oh my… I love how you think. And your floors look amazing, I’m still in awe of all the hard work you guys put into them.

  8. The frame around the thermostat is an idea I will be stealing. Brilliant.

  9. p.s. I love seeing pictures of your house. Again, someday you will come back to Nebraska and I will have you come de-uglify my house.

  10. Love it.

    You have spawned numerous framed thermostats around the country, I think.

  11. Your hallway is just lovely. Also, I’m pretty sure my mom has one of those Disneyland silhouettes of my sister and me from a jillion years ago. Cool.

  12. Looks great. I love the dark floor light wall combo. makes it look big.

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