A Quick Hallway Update

Well, I didn’t feel like I could go a whole week without mentioning my hallway. This hallway has been a very sore subject with me for the last two weeks, but last night, I finally reached a milestone — all of the walls and trim are painted. Completely. Two coats of paint, and no additional touch ups needed. I can’t believe how long it took me to get to this point.

Hallways are deceptive. They’re generally small and/or narrow, and don’t require as much decorating as actual rooms. So I looked at my hallway and thought to myself, “This should be easy! I can get this done in a week or two, no problem.”

But what I didn’t take into consideration is that this one small hallway has ALL OF THE DOORS in it. There are five doorways in just this one little area. That’s three additional pre-hung doors that had to be installed. That’s four doorways that had to be trimmed out (the bathroom door was already done). That’s trim on five doorways (plus the crown and the baseboards) that had to be wood filled and sanded. That’s trim on five doorways (plus the crown and the baseboards) that had to be caulked. That’s trim on five doorways (plus the crown and the baseboards) that had to be painted with two coats of paint.

The trim installation took me about two days. The wood filling and sanding took about two-and-a-half days. The caulking took me another two-and-a-half days. And for the last two days, I’ve been painting.

The walls were a slower process than most rooms, too. There’s not much large wall space in this hallway that can be quickly painted with a roller (although I used a roller anywhere I could). But there are plenty of narrow areas above and around doors that had to be painted with a brush. This deceptively small hallway just about pushed me to my breaking point, but last night at 9:00, I finally finished the last coat of paint on the walls and the trim.

11-17 hallway progress - walls and trim all painted - 5

It’s not finished yet. I still want to paint stripes on the walls. But that’s the fun part, and it’s the part that I’ve been anxiously awaiting for the last two weeks as I worked on all of this other not-so-fun stuff.

I still have just a little trim to add back to the cabinet, but I’m not even focused on that right now. Right now, I’m just excited to finally be at a point where I can finally paint my stripes.

11-17 hallway progress - walls and trim all painted - 2

And I still have some door painting to do as well. Only one of the doors on the bathroom is painted, while the other one is still black (with a tiny touch of purple that I tested a while back).

11-17 hallway progress - walls and trim all painted - 3

And our bedroom door still needs a second coat of paint. (Since we don’t have door knobs yet, I use socks between the doors and the jambs to keep the doors closed. :-D)

11-17 hallway progress - walls and trim all painted - 4

I also still need to take care of this area on the cabinet where I added the spacer. I loaded it up with wood filler, but still haven’t sanded it.

11-17 hallway progress - walls and trim all painted - 1

As soon as I get that sanded, I’m going to tape the walls and get those stripes painted. I’m so excited to finally be getting to the fun stuff in this hallway.

Side note: Remember how the glass diffuser on my new hallway ceiling light crashed to the floor and broke into a hundred pieces, and then I considered buying a new light? Many of you suggested that I call the light company and see if they have an extra glass diffuser that I could either have or purchase. Well, I did that. The company is Safavieh, and the lady I contacted was so nice and helpful. She wrote me a couple of days later and said unfortunately they didn’t have any extra glass diffusers for that light, so she sent me a brand new light free of charge! I couldn’t believe it! That’s amazing customer service right there.



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  1. Looking good. Your love for stripes runs deep, I know, but I’d let it be in there for a while before doing anything on those walls. It’s such a small space and it’s right next to the lovely music room with the pattern on those walls. Also, I’m not sure the stripes will have the intended effect since they will be so broken up by all the doors and the cabinet in there. I think the beautiful work you’ve done on all the trim could really shine with the walls being solid and neutral. My two cents (may not be worth much).

    1. I agree about the stripes – too busy – too many doors and next to the music room. But it’s always your call and your home and your inspiration. Love watching it all come together.

    2. I AGREE…!! I love all the trim work and the stripes maybe competing to much with it. Plus it would be SO time consuming..

      1. I was thinking the same thing! I think in a house full of beautiful color the clean trim/cabinteyr/molding in the hallway is like a breathe of fresh air! With the music room stencil still lingering right next door….if it were me I would finish the stencil up and leave the hallway clean and simple…. and let the pretty light fixture be the focal point.

        1. I agree with all of you! I love the simplicity of the hallway and those door colors against the white walls!!! Amazing.

          1. Count me in this group! I love it just like it is, anything more would seems like overkill TO ME. I’d live with it for a few weeks, then make a decision. Of course, whatever you do only needs to appeal to your taste, so my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.

          2. Agree. Too soon to do more than dream about those stripes. I’m thinking it could be way too busy and out of character with your usual style. Less could be more.

  2. When you get to a point that you are ready to show us all of it can you do a video walk through? I would love to see the transition from room to room of all that you have done so far. I’m just amazed every time I read your blog and see all the fabulous stuff you have done! You are such an inspiration!

  3. I am usually so excited by your designs but as mentioned above the stripes are problematic for me. As if you need to hear my thoughts! It’s your house. However, you could do a “mockup” on the photos to show the stripes so that you do not waste time and energy painting and then changing your mind?

    1. My first thought after I read this post was “Don’t paint stripes”. The hall has very little wall space and it will look busy and take away from all the your trim detail. Select a neutral color, hang a picture on the wall and call it done!

    2. I’m firmly in camp “stripes are overkill” for such a small amount of wall space. It looks so beautiful as it is! But, your vision is usually much better than mine, and I know it will look great either way.

  4. Can you show a picture or explain how you trim the entryway into the hallway. It looks like yours is trimmed with wood instead of drywall and it peaked my interest as something I might like to do in my home.

  5. Yes hallways are work! My hallway connects the whole house so I have nine doorways. when I finally painted the hallway, the color did not come out like I wanted and because of all those doorways I never painted it over because I just don’t have your tenacity. 😉 It’s looking great and so happy they replaced the whole light!

  6. After all that work, I would say “the heck with stripes!” and call it almost done!! But that’s not me, and I know you have your heart set on stripes. I love the doors – as I said before, I didn’t that was going to be a good choice, but I do really love them.
    I have a suggestion (you may not want!) for painting that they used when our house was built; My son in law was our painter, and he sprayed all the walls with primer & 2 coats of finish paint. He had prepainted all of our trim & doors before installing. Then he came back when all was installed and caulked and touched up as needed. I think with all of those openings, it may have been easier doing it his way. Just wanted to mention it for any future jobs, or for those who have not yet begun a project.
    Also, AWESOME info about the light fixture! I think companies are (mostly) trying to make customers happy, if they want to continue their businesses. There’s a lot of places to shop, and many of them are well aware of that fact!

  7. I have had similar customer service from Safavieh. I think they are a great company and would do business with them again.

    I agree with the reader who suggested you might want to give your plans for stripes on the walls some time to mull over. With five doors in such a small space, stripes might make it intensely busy. Just a thought. Love the work you have done.

  8. The hallway looks sooooo good. You are one talented/hard working gal. Just thinking of where you started (when you first purchased the home) to now is just unreal. You are really doing wonders!

  9. Kristi, Great job. I don’t usually chime in but this time I have to give support to your intention to do the stripes! I can see it and I think it’s exactly the thing for that hallway. You plan on subtle strips like a tone on tone right? At this point it looks a bit utilitarian with all the doors and stripes will dress it up just the right amount in my opinion.

    1. I agree with Julie; the subtle tone-on-tone stripes will bring out the walls and give the hallway a dimension that leaving the walls plain would not do, plus it will tie the hallway into the rest of the house. Go for it!

    2. I agree. I think most people are thinking about stripes with a more jarring contrast. But stripes with the music room colors would be a nice subtle texture supporting the bolder doors and tying the hallway to the music room. And in any case, you’ve been looking forward to this part AND it’s only paint. Have fun and can’t wait to see the results. You’re an inspiration for sticking to the boring jobs until they are done!

    3. Yes, they’ll be subtle. I do agree with others that the hallway is too small for bold stripes, like white and dark teal. But I plan on doing white and classic gray. The classic gray is the same color I have both in the living room and the breakfast room, so you can see how light it is. Those are also the colors (Polar Bear and Classic Gray) that I used on the stenciled walls in the music room. I’m pretty determined to do stripes. 🙂 I’ve learned that I like my rooms a bit busier than most people like their homes — more color, more patterns, more everything. 🙂

      1. Yay! Perhaps people are thrown off by the term hallway and forget how big your space is. I think you showed a mock up earlier and it looked wonderful with the subtle colors and it tied in so well with the stenciled walls. I agree that a video walk-through would be nice. Seeing a room at a time is NOT the full picture. You see the full picture every day.

  10. It’s looking very good. I’m sure the stripes will add a lot of visual interest and that kitty door is sooo cute! What great customer service you got! Step-by-step…

  11. I know I don’t really have a vote. Still, I will venture to say, what you have now is classic simplicity. Why not defer the stripe decision until you are completely finished, and then assess how things look? Having one’s ‘heart set..’ at this point seems like an emotional choice in that already-complicated hallway.

  12. I am also looking forward to a walk about video. I have been following your blog for the duration so very excited to see all the remodel rooms together. I just wish we had asked you to make a video of the beginning. Your forever home is going to be amazing . One day I am sure you will want to pinch yourself to make sure this is really all yours and “finished’ . That is as completed as a decorator’s home is ever ” finished” . Good or bad , your home will are always a piece of art in the making in your mind.

  13. I can’t wait to see the stripes! Yes, the hallway is beautiful as is, and would be enough on its own in most homes. But in _your_ home, it seems like right now, the hallway, as lovely as it is, is just at the jumping off point! With the grass cloth in the entry, tile in the kitchen, and stenciling in the music room, it seems like these hallway walls could look almost too bare without something to enliven them and make the space say “Kristi”.

  14. Ha, if it were me doing this, I’d be tempted to call it a day without the stripes! But I do think the ones you are planning are subtle enough that the hall will be excellent with them! Glad you are getting closer to the end and it’s looking good.

    Oh and awesome about the replacement light fixture. That was so above and beyond but cool of them!


  15. So your stripes are your treat for slogging thru all the less fun stuff! Personally, I use the treat theory anywhere I can. Good job on the hall, keep plugging along.

  16. I love the idea of stripes on the walls and am very curious to see them in your hallway. I have a tiny hallway with as many doors as you and decided years ago to put in a striped chest of drawers (I painted the chest of drawers in black and grey stripes myself, like, 15 years ago and still adore it :)) Painting the walls never even occured to me then, but it might pop up as an idea for the future, so this is very exciting for me.
    Oh, and even without that personal interest, I’m convinced that light grey and white stripes will tie the hallway into your design concept rather than compete with the other rooms! Have a great weekend!

  17. Your hallway is looking fabulous with the door color and all the trim wor you’ve done. Great job Kristi. I think by using the same subtle colors as your music room for the hallway wall stripes, even though your wall space is small, will take your hallway from already stunning, to stunningly gorgeous!!!! Go for it. It’s only paint. Great news on the light, that’s really fantastic customer service.

  18. Gotta jump on the no stripes bandwagon!!! A few of those lovely botanical prints on those clean, pristine walls would be just perfect!

  19. It looks beautiful and elegant. In my humble opinion, the stripes would take away from the gorgeous trim and make the whole space look very busy.

  20. I just want you to crack on with your pantry! I’ve got an empty room to convert into a pantry and I’m planning on copying everything you do!

  21. I am so excited another room almost completed! I think the stripes will look great. It will be tone on tone, so not as busy as others think. And with the dark doors I think it will be like a satin jewel box. Especially with the light. How lovely for her to send you a new light! Perhaps you should see what they have for your entryway! Have a great weekend!

  22. The hallway looks clean and bright and you did a skilled job of it. BUT as beautiful as it is, it’s not as though visitors will walk through the hall and say, “omG! I can’t believe how awesome this trim is!!!” It is awesome and you are amazing but imo subtle stripes will only enhance the space and everything you’ve already done in it. Try them out! Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

  23. I believe you hit on the reason I love your blog so much. You like your home bolder than most people, and that’s what I love, too. I see homes that are beautiful everywhere I look on social media, magazines, etc., but I just want to paint some color on the walls, in the kitchen, on the trim and so on. I just wanted to ask a question about your baseboards. I’m not being critical, but I wondered how you made the decision to use the baseboard profile you did instead of continuing the Craftsman profile that’s around the doors. This link should show what I mean. The reason why I want to know is because we’ll be redoing all the moulding on a Craftsman home. http://gripelements.com/baseboards-styles/

    1. As a general rule, I don’t really think of things in terms of style, as in, “Oh, this thing is modern in style, so I can’t use it. This other thing is traditional in style, so I can use it in my home.” I think a lot of people get really hung up on those things, which at some point will force them to use things in their home that they don’t particularly want to use, while at the same time, missing out on some things that they really prefer and would enjoy using in their homes. My general decorating rule is that if I like it, I’ll consider using it, regardless of the style, as long as it can play nicely with the other things in my home. Applying that to the trim in my home, my thinking was that I had a lot of doors to trim out, and I’d be doing them myself with no help. I wanted something simple (read: easy), yet substantial and somewhat elegant and refined. I ended up using the door casing I have without giving any thought to a style label attached to it. I just really liked it, and it fit the criteria I wanted. But once it was installed, I saw that it could either be dressed up with some interesting baseboards and pretty crown moulding, or it could be dressed down a bit with very simple baseboards and no crown moulding. To fit my personal style, I decided to dress it up a bit with fancier baseboards and crown moulding, but again, I gave no thought to style labels. I just simply did what I liked. I’m sure that would bother some people, but that’s just how I do things. 🙂 And I’ve never had anyone come into my house and say, “It’s interesting that you used Craftsman door casings on your ranch style house.”
      Now to be clear, there are definitely instances when I would be more focused with style. For example, if I were called upon to design a home that was obviously Craftsman in style, I would stick with all Craftsman style mouldings, built-ins, etc. But my house is kind of a mutt — a mix of randomness — even from the outside. It’s a ranch, but not really. It’s half stone and half siding. It just has no defining style to it, so I felt freer in just doing what I wanted to the inside. And honestly, I think most houses are like that. There are only very few that I can think of (i.e., houses that are unquestionably Craftsman style, or Victorian style, etc.) where the style of the house would necessarily dictate what you put inside as far as built-ins and mouldings, etc. I think for most houses, from ranch style, to suburban McMansions, you can pretty much do what you want to the inside and make it your own style.

      1. Kristi, I appreciate so much your answer. That’s something I really appreciate about following you, that you explain your process. Thanks again!