Entryway Hallway Living Room Music Room

A Few (Tentative) Decisions — Music Room, Hallway & Studio Walls

Last Updated on October 6, 2017 by Kristi Linauer

I have about a 150 different wall treatment ideas saved up that I want to try out in my house. Unfortunately, I only have five (soon to be eight, and eventually twelve) more rooms where I can try out some fun ideas. Most of the ideas I’ve saved up are a kind of crazy, perhaps a bit busy, a little loud, and very colorful. And my challenge has been deciding how to make each room unique, how to inject color and pattern, while also keeping the rooms complementary with each other, at least in the “public” areas of the house.

So this weekend, I took some time to go through all of my saved ideas from the last three years, and pull out a few that would complement what I’ve already done in the breakfast room and kitchen, and will also go with what I have planned for the entryway. To help you visualize where all of the spaces are, here’s another look at our current floor plan. Starting next month, the garage will be transformed into my studio, and the storage room at the back of the garage will become a mud room on one side and a half bath on the other side…

floor plan - current - 2-2017

To refresh your memory, in the breakfast room my walls are painted Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore.

breakfast room after - 27

In the kitchen (which I’ll finish today, photograph tomorrow, and blog about on Wednesday, barring any unforeseen circumstances), the walls from floor to ceiling are tiled with creamy white subway tiles…

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 32 - install cabinet door to cover the opening

In the living room, on the one wall by the front door (what I call the entryway wall, even though technically, I don’t have an entryway), I’ll be using the Phillip Jeffries Juicy teal grasscloth that looks like this…

I’m not going to do the entire wall. I intend to do more of an accent panel, and I bought enough grasscloth to do one really large panel that’s six feet high and twelve feet wide. The wall is 8 feet high and 14 feet wide, and to do all of it would have cost me an additional $250, so a large panel is just fine with me. 🙂

And unfortunately, I will have to repaint the living room, which is currently painted Benjamin Moore Silver Gray.

new woven shades from Blindsgalore - living room - whole room

Now before any of you scoff at me for repainting this room…again…I’d like to just point out two things. 🙂 First, I chose this color for the living room walls back when I was still planning on painting my kitchen cabinets dark navy blue (Gentleman’s Gray) on bottom and very light gray (Revere Pewter) on top. This Silver Gray color looked beautiful with those colors in the kitchen. But it clashes terribly with the teal color that I finally went with in the kitchen. If it had just a tiny bit of green in it, it would probably look fine. But it’s way too icy blue to work with the teal.

But before I start getting comments about how I redo everything and can’t make up my mind, let me also point out that this is June, and so far this year I haven’t redone one single project that I’ve done this year. Anything that has been redone this year has been holdovers from last year, a.k.a., my awful, indecisive year. This year, I’ve had nothing but forward momentum with no do-overs. 🙂

But I know I’ll still catch some flak for repainting this room again. That’s fine. It must be done. I’ll probably end up using a similarly light color, but just less icy blue and more blue-green to complement both the kitchen cabinets and the entryway grasscloth.

So that takes us to the music room, with its current black walls.


I’ve had about a thousand ideas for the music room — everything from colorful stripes to an ombre effect to the trees and birds pattern, and so much more. But none of those felt right for this room. It’s right next to my teal kitchen, so a ton of color on the walls might feel too busy and crazy. And it’s also right next to the entryway wall that will be covered in teal grasscloth, so I want something that will complement the grasscloth and add interest to the room without completely overpowering the grasscloth and stealing all of the focus. And then I also have to take those doors into consideration. Those doors are one of my favorite DIY projects of all time, and they’re pretty attention-grabbing.

So after going through my folder of ideas, as well as some of my old blog posts, I came across this idea that I think will work beautifully with the kitchen and the teal grasscloth in the entryway.

Since the first time I saw that in 2014, I have loved that combination of the wainscoting with the Thibault Etosha wallpaper. When I first posted about that wallpaper in December 2014, I planned to use it in my breakfast room. That didn’t happen, obviously, but I love the idea of it in the music room, especially since that room is the only room remaining that has wainscoting.

So that brings us to the hallway, which is right off of the music room. For a very long time, I wanted to do (ready yourselves)…shiplap…in the hallway. But now that I’m three years into this house (and four years into Fixer Upper), I can barely get the word out of my mouth, much less put it on my walls. I’m so sick of hearing about shiplap, and even more tired of seeing it. And I’m also a little bitter, to be honest, that Home Depot has discontinued the entire section of primed MDF boards that I love and used all the time, and has replaced them with an entire section of shiplap — unfinished shiplap, white shiplap, stained shiplap, burned wood shiplap, narrow shiplap, wide shiplap. My gosh, ENOUGH with the shiplap!!!

*deep calming breaths* 😀


I still love the texture that something like that brings to a wall. So I’ve been trying to come up with a way that I can get that same textured look without the farmhouse style that (generally white) shiplap is associated with, while also putting my own spin on it. And here’s what I’ve come up with. Remember how I did the ceiling in my hallway bathroom?

hallway bathroom ceiling

Well, I love that dark stained wood and bright white trim combo, so I think I’m going use that same combo on my hallway walls. I haven’t decided for sure if I want to do horizontal or vertical on the walls, but I’m leaning towards vertical so that I won’t have any end-to-end joints in the wood, which is also how I planned the bathroom ceiling. I think eliminating any end-to-end joints in the wood strips gives the finished ceiling (or walls) a much cleaner and more modern look (i.e., not farmhouse), which I prefer. So picture dark vertical stained slats with bright white trim and white built-in cabinets on one wall.

And that leaves us with the studio walls. (I haven’t given any thought at all to the mudroom or half bath walls yet.) In my studio, I’m leaning towards something like this…

lavender walls, via Better Homes and Gardensvia Better Homes and Gardens

I see that picture quite often on Pinterest, and every single time I stop and look and admire that wall color. It’s such a soft, soothing lavender. It’s colorful without being overwhelming or overpowering. I’ve read many times over the years in various “psychology of colors” articles that lavender fosters creativity, which is perfect for my studio. And of course, it’ll be used in a room with loads of white cabinetry.

And on a random note, someone emailed me a link to this Asher Teal Chair with peacock fabric on the back from Pier 1 the other day, and I just love it. I’ve been trying to find a place for it, and I think my studio might be the perfect room for it (or a pair of them).

Asher chair from Pier 1 - front

Asher chair from Pier 1 - back

Teal, green, purple and PEACOCKS! (Or probably peahens.) It couldn’t be more perfect for me!

So anyway, those are the ideas I’m leaning towards for my walls. I hope they’ll all work together in my house as well as they do in my mind. 😀

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    June 5, 2017 at 10:23 am

    It sounds like you are well on your way. I have really liked the black walls in the music room but suddenly they are looking kind of harsh to me, I think because of the soft colors in the breakfast room. What a turn around from last year. Yea, clarity!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Oh, I love your choices! They just seem like YOU! And those chairs are so swoon-worthy.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    June 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I always love seeing what you choose or are thinking about doing for your house, and this post was chock full of exciting choices — but that Thibaut Etosha wallpaper (!!!) oh, my, that is fabulous. I am amazed how often you find things that I absolutely love and don’t see anywhere else in blog land. Love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I generally love everything you do and the wallpaper you want for the music room looks beautiful. Very sophisticated and fun. But the wood in the hallway might not be the best choice for something narrow. And it’s still wood. And you clearly don’t like ship-slap (I agree). The look doesn’t go with how the rest of the place feels.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 5, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Do you mean my hallway is narrow? My hallway is like a small room — it’s about 11.5 feet x 8.5′. It’s not like most hallways that are long and narrow.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 5, 2017 at 10:48 am

        That would make a difference. I was reacting to the darkness. All of your rooms are so light and airy while still cozy. But I’m sure you will make it work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate s
    June 5, 2017 at 10:27 am

    LOL! Shiplap! good for you for continuing on! If it were me I would just sit in that beautiful breakfast room and contemplate other things… For a long time… A very long time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I have always been intrigued (and charmed) by your music room. Do you or Matt play piano?
    (I’m sure you’ve answered this questions, but can’t seem to find it.)

    Love all your ideas and your willingness to share so openly about the many quandaries you find yourself in. Keep going…we’re all behind you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Have you thought about continuing the light gray from the breakfast room into the living room? It would probably work nicely with the fireplace and the teal wallpaper, and provide some color continuity.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 5, 2017 at 10:51 am

      I actually have considered that. I have a bit left over, so I think I’ll go ahead and install the grasscloth wallpaper (since that decision is definite and non-negotiable) and then try the Classic Gray next to it and see how I like it. I do like the idea of the consistency between the breakfast room and living room since they can both be seen from the front door.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:47 am

    2 comments/requests. if possible, could you please post your floor plan more often? sometimes I don’t remember the flow and it would just help visualizing your process. secondly, how do I access your DIY for the music room doors? I want doors between my dining room and kitchen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Okay, so I am not even from Texas and I am SO DONE with shiplap.

    Those chairs, though, they are perfect!

    Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Well I think your dark stained ceiling is the “bomb.com”!!!!
    It should be in all the high end mags it is so fabulous. Go for it!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    June 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Loving your new direction/vision for your walls. They are all going to look so amazing, unique and totally you, especially the wallpaper for your music room, it is going to look gorgeous and whilst I would not think to choose a lilac/lavender wall color, matched with those chairs from Pier 1, I think it will be so soothing and classy in your studio. Look forward to seeing all this progress……you definitely have your designer groove back Kristi, it is all coming together beautifully.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 5, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      You had gotten 2 elves chairs fit the music room that you said you were goin to use as is. Are you still planning on using the or what ?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

        Do you mean the blue chairs? I’m still going to use them, but I’m considering reupholstering them. The blue works for now, but I’d eventually like a different color.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Sounds great. And, can not agree more on the shiplap phase. 10 – 15 years from now will be the deconstructing of shiplap phase. Anyway, I have 2 comments-love that lilac, and you will too, it’s the color I put above the wainscotting in my newly remodeled bathroom (which is on Houzz under the listing Grand Ave bathroom-by Stumpff Homeworks)

    Also-perhaps a chair rail or something on your entry wall so that you can at least complete the upper portion of the wall.

    PS-I’ve known people that re-paint their walls every couple of years anyway so I wouldn’t worry about changing those living room walls again, go for it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Val Murphree v
    June 5, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Kristi, I love the drama of the black walls in the music room! I can see beautiful peafowl art above 2 comfy chairs covered in a similar pattern to the Thibault fabric. Those Pier One chairs would be great in the living room. I agree Ship lap does not belong on your walls.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Robbyn Mendleski
    June 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I had to laugh because FINALLY I found someone who is as “over” ship lap as I am! Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Krissy Buck
    June 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Your house. Your rules. Who cares if you change your mind? Keep doing you and find what makes you happy. You are not alone in changing your mind, by the way. It keeps things interesting.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Kristi, I love how your house is coming along…the breakfast room is gorgeous! I have a question…in the one photo with the wood ceiling (I think it’s your bathroom), where did you get the light fixture? I really like it. ~ Co

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shelly Mathes
    June 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Going to look so nice, can’t wait. Concerning shiplap, I never get tired of it, I have loved it from day 1. Matter of fact when we get the master bath redo planned out I am going to have some sort of shiplap but I don’t want those seams, so maybe that is not shiplap, I also want it vertical. I guess to each his own, ha! Thanks.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    June 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Loving the direction you are going and those chairs are fabulous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Those chairs were made just for you. I can’t help but think two of them would be perfect with a velvet sofa in the living room. Or somewhere near the peacock door handles.

    I do have one question, where are you planning on using your saws once you have your studio? I’m thinking about sawdust everywhere.

    I love your blog.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 5, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      I actually use my saws on the front porch. 😀 I’ll keep doing that until I have my workshop.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 5, 2017 at 3:35 pm

        For some reason I was thinking you did that in the garage now. Then no worries, My bad! 😄 I was for sure you wouldn’t be sawing in your soon to be beautiful new room so I wasn’t sure where you would do that dirty work. Wishing you the best of luck as always.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Buy that chair IMMEDIATELY!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathrine Anderson
    June 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I hear you on the ship lap! I never really cared for it and am so TIRED of it. I think in a few years it will look outdated and people will be ripping it off their walls! The whole modern farmhouse thing is starting to look over done to me. Enough already! Should idea I love the idea of a lavender work space. I love everything you do!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila Felix
    June 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Ok, long winded post here! I have been following you since the condo.#1. I love that you do not follow trends and that you are colorful. I personally like shiplap, BUT not the kind everyone is slapping on their walls. I love your shiplap that you struggled to remove. LOL. I agree that it does not suit your style and so I have no problem that you removed it.(not that this would matter, this is your home!and your BLOG!) I just love old houses and find the way they built them very interesting.
    #2. I love, love , love the lavendar that you will possibly use in your studio. I am so glad you will have a room for your creativity! #3. You sound quite British at times. “It must be done!” LOL it made me think of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. #4. I admire that you do no shy away from repaining or redoing a job. It may take time but the outcome is always worth it. #5 Yours is the only Blog that I still follow. I love your work. Do you think you may start to Vlog at all. Or is that too much on your already busy schedule?
    Please say hello to your wonderful husband and know that your readers still love what you do!
    Sheila F.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 5, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      I’d love to do some vlogging! It would be so much easier if I had someone to help me. Since I work by myself and Matt can’t help me, most days I’m doing good if I just remember to get all of the photos I need of each project. 😀 But I’ll give the vlogging some thought.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        Kristi, would Matt be able to assist you if you used a tripod to record your videos? Even if you just used your cellphone video camera, and got a small tripod for it, maybe Matt could operate the camera on a tripod to make sure you’re captured on screen; with a tripod, it’d be easier for him to pan around and zoom in/out vs. holding a cellphone or video camera. Just a thought!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I’m liking your ideas. I especially really LIKE the lavender color for the walls in your studio. Will you be buying that peahen chair, or creating your own?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    And I SO AGREE about posting the floor plan. I too have to stop and try to remember the floor plan.
    And is there that wide of an opening between the living room and the kitchen? I thought I remembered just a doorway.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    A couple questions for you: Is it all possible to see a quick view into the kitchen from the living room? I’m having a hard time visualizing the colors clashing and was just curious to see them together. Second question: do the curtains still work with your color scheme? Just wondering, since those were also chosen with the previous kitchen theme in mind.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Your home is simply beautiful…you have an awesome sense of color combinations. I wish I had your ability to repaint if it isn’t exactly what you want…I have a hard time just painting a room once, it is my least favorite thing to do, unfortunately. Happy to hear I am not the only one that doesn’t like the over-used shiplap. The peacock chair would be perfect with with everything you have done to date. Thanks for sharing so much of your life!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    I love your choices!! I especially love that wallpaper for the music room!! So pretty with all your other colors!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    You saved the best for last — my jaw literally dropped when I saw those chairs! They would be stunning with the lavender walls! And will hint at the purple in your breakfast room! Love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    The Thibault wall paper with wainscoting below is very nice but I think it will detract from the beautiful grass cloth in the entry. It’s just way too eye-catching. It might be better in the guest room as a focal wall. http://stephaniekraussdesigns.blogspot.com/2014/06/teen-girls-room-before-and-after.html

    While I love the ceiling in your bathroom, I worry that using the wood in the hallway will be too dark for such a small space with no windows. I usually think of wood walls in mid-century houses with lots of glass.

    What I love is the lavender for your workroom. It’s gorgeous and those peacock chairs are fabulous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Kristi.
    YES! YES! YES! to those dreamy chairs!!!! Front and center— they are wow:)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    I LOVE the Etosha wallpaper for the music room! Very sophisticated. Carrying the wall color from the breakfast room into the living room/entry way would be an excellent way to keep the flow and you already know it can handle the colors you have chosen for your fabrics without overwhelming them.

    The wood walls for the hallway is an interesting idea but would it be too dark? A small, dark powder room is dramatic but the hall might be too big for that. I also don’t think it would flow that well with the other rooms. Perhaps white or light walls with the built ins the color of the fireplace.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Those chairs are gorgeous! IMHO they belong in your music room with the piano. They have all the colors to tie into the adjoining rooms, and they might be a little to ‘dressy’ or formal for a working studio. I think your chairs in the studio should be less fancy and something that could be cleaned if they got messy while you are creating. ☺

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heather B
    June 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Kristi, I love your do-overs! Every room has been amazing and beautiful, before and after each do-over. It’s a great example of how there isn’t just one “right” way to decorate, and every change brings new ideas and inspiration. You might not want to paint the living-dining-living room another 10 times, but I’ll enjoy each new time if you do! 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 5, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Love that Etosha wallpaper. It’s bold yet classic, and looks gorgeous over wainscoting. That choice is a big win. The soft lavender is a wonderful choice for the studio, too. Sad to learn the gray clashes with the grasscloth and necessitates repainting. But will the gray you used in the breakfast room harmonize instead? Not a fan of shiplap at all. But your bathroom ceiling is so elegant and was such an important element in that room. I can imagine you would create a space in the hallway with just as much style and elegance as the bath. My only concern is that with no natural light coming into that hallway the dark wood ceiling could feel oppressive. And choosing another finish for the wood just wouldn’t look right with the bathroom right there. Do you have a lighting plan that will address the need for extra lighting?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane M Lange
    June 5, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Kristi, I love your color scheme plan. Although it wasn’t one of your options, I am going to put a vote in for a purple/gray wall in the music room, a la https://www.pinterest.com/pin/188729040614064687/ (keep trim white and doors black or dark charcoal).
    It would tie in nicely with your benches in the breakfast room and that beautiful lilac in the studio.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 6, 2017 at 10:45 am

    When you talk of the vertical “non shiplap” wood planks on a wall, I can’t help but see this: http://uglyhousephotos.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/140807a.jpg
    How will you keep it from looking like 70s panelling? Sincere question.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      June 6, 2017 at 11:54 am

      I won’t use it in combination with ugly brown wrinkled decades-old carpet, curtains from the 1960’s, a vintage-in-a-bad-way doorbell chime, mix-and-match black and antique white electrical outlets and outlet covers. and a ceiling covered in acoustic popcorn texture. 🙂
      When you strip all of that other junk out of that room, there’s really nothing outdated about stained wood — especially that particular color. Imagine it in a room filled with completely updated finishes, like that stained wood used in a kitchen with new gray cabinets, a carrara marble countertop, and modern pendant lights. I personally think it would look great. I could do without the varying widths of wood, though. That is reminiscent of 1960s paneling with the random width fake slats of wood. The ugly orange stuff from the 60s is hideous, but beautifully stained wood walls are classic. Whether or not they look good or not depends on what you use with it. Any finish can and will look outdated, even something that’s generally amazing like carrara marble countertops, if you combine it with a room filled with decades-old, worn out, stained, dreary, outdated finishes.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        June 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        I agree with Kristi’s analysis of the photo, although the varying widths don’t bother me that much. I wouldn’t choose them but if I inherited them I could live with them assuming the wood is of good quality. It is hard to tell in that photo, but if that is good wood and it were cleaned and polished, it could look great. I don’t know if it is mixing styles too much, but I love the look of paneling that goes about 3/4’s up the wall and then either has a wallpaper frieze at the wall top or the wall top and ceiling are painted the same color.

        That said, it would not be my choice to do dark wood on the walls of the hallway. It just doesn’t seem in keeping with the light and bright vibe Kristi has thus far captured so well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie Morris
    June 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Kristi, I love the wallpaper you’re thinking of using, a brilliant choice for the music room! If the grey paint doesn’t work you might want to take a look at Behr’s Curio in their Marquee line. I used it in my remodeled bath and master bedroom last spring and love it. It is a light blue-green but greyed down shade and it plays really well with grey and white marble and the greens and teal that I used in fabrics and accessories so it may be just the ticket in your space without being a bossy color if you know what I mean. It’s light but not pastel and just deep enough to contrast with white trim. Everything is looking amazing my dear!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    June 6, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Love that wallpaper – and the chairs, and the wall color! And I am so excited about seeing your kitchen tomorrow!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    June 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Just a thought…could you purchase a chair or two for your studio, and also paint the same design onto one wall? I loved your birds and was so sad to see them go. I feel like that would be something similar.