It’s Hallway Week!

This morning, for the first time in weeks, I woke up feeling excited about working on house projects. I really have no idea what’s been going on in my head lately. I thought it was just the organization thing, and while that did play a huge role, it wasn’t all of it. I’ve just had no motivation at all to work on my house.

But today, I feel like I’ve turned a corner…finally. I’m actually feeling excited and motivated! I decided to work on my hallway before tackling the pantry. I’ve been planning for quite some time now to build cabinets in the hallway, and I thought that would be a good project to tackle before I jump into finishing the pantry. It’s been almost two months since I’ve done any building, and that was when I last worked on the portico (which still isn’t finished).

portico progress

But I think the last time I actually built anything cabinet-like was back in December 2015 when I finished building the pocket door bookcases in the music room (which you can read about here).

So instead of diving into the deep end with the big pantry cabinet project, I thought I’d wade in the shallow end a bit first with a much smaller and easier cabinet building project in the hallway.

The design I’ve chosen for my hallway cabinets is very similar to this one…

I’m doing cabinet doors on the bottom, a drawer above, and cabinet doors on the top. I don’t plan on putting glass or mirror in the upper doors, though. Mine will be all painted. And I’ll also be using partial overlay doors and drawer front since that’s what I have in the kitchen and hallway bathroom. But this time, instead of ordering custom doors like I have in the past, I’m actually going to try to build my own.

These cabinets will go right here where the old hallway closet used to be.

house floor plan - location of hallway cabinets

So while I’m in hallway mode, I plan to tackle a few other projects in there as well, like finally installing new doors on the bedrooms. I’ve been looking at this mess for far too long now.

hallway 2

That’s leftover craziness from when I tried to strip the door and stain it (an epic failure) and then tested some crazy colors (really? red?) on the other door.

So I’m anxious to finally have matching, solid color doors on these rooms, with new trim to match the rest of the house.

I’ve also decided to abandon the idea of doing dark stained vertical wood slat walls in the hallway, and not because I don’t like the idea (I actually think it would be awesome), but because I didn’t really consider how much finished work would have to be undone and redone in order for that to happen.

By adding slats of wood with 1/4″ thickness to my walls, that completely throws off the two doorways that are already trimmed out in the hallway — the bathroom doorway and the opening from the music room to the doorway. I’d have to remove the bathroom doors, remove the casing and header on the hallway side, and either remove the door jambs and replace them with jambs that are 1/4″ wider, or somehow add 1/4″ width to the existing jambs. Then I’d have to reinstall the casings and header, and reinstall the doors.

hallway bathroom remodel - after - old linen closet turned into open shelving with cabinet underneath, double doors used to open up space inside the bathroom

And all of that just so that I can do wood slats on my walls isn’t worth it to me. Plus, I’d run into the same problem with the finished door jambs on the cased opening between the music room and the hallway. I’m looking to move forward, not go backwards and redo a bunch of projects that were finished long ago.

I could always try to cut the slats so that they fit perfectly around the existing door casings and header, but I don’t like that idea. First, it would decrease the appearance of the casing thickness by 1/4″, which I don’t like. But it would also be very difficult to cut the slats so that they fit perfectly around the casing. That might not be a big deal of I were planning on painting the slats, since I could just caulk any small gaps between the slats and the door casing. But since I was planning on staining the slats, I think it would look like a mess.

So I need a different plan for the walls. I don’t want to just paint them a solid neutral color. I’d like to do something a little more interesting than that since the hallway is more like a small room (rectangle in shape) rather than a standard long, narrow hallway.

Then I’ll just need some crown moulding, a new ceiling light, and a bit of artwork. Seems easy, right? 🙂

That’s the plan for this week. I don’t have any grand delusions that I can actually get all of that finished in one week. But if I can get the cabinets completely built, that’ll be more progress than I’ve made in the last two months, so I’ll feel good about that. And the good news is that all of my plywood is already cut and ready to go, so this morning I can jump right into building. I hope to have some good progress to share with you tomorrow!



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  1. Perhaps you suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I’ve never been diagnosed, but I can definitely tell that I get in a serious “funk” at the end of winter and at the end of summer. The weather here in MD recently changed from 95 and humid to 70s and beautiful, and I had the most productive weekend I’ve had in a month! Glad to see you’re back 🙂

    1. I was thinking along those lines too. I have depression which is under control but I too notice that there are certain times that I just get in a funk and stay home/sleep/don’t get dressed/etc all weekend long. But then after a big I snap out of it and get back to being productive. It used to frustrate me but now I try to recognize and accept it, rather than beat myself up over it.

      I live in DC, and I agree about the gorgeous weather!

  2. I’m having a hard time visualizing where you are going to put in the cabinet. Did you say in a previous blog post where you are going to be building this at? We’ve been missing you – can’t want to see what you get done this week!

    1. They’ll go on the wall that’s just to the left as you walk from the music room into the hallway. I edited the post to add a floor plan pic to the post showing the location for clarity. 🙂

  3. You mentioned you have some grasscloth left from the entryway. Do you have enough for the bits of the hallway? Doesn’t seem like you’d need much with all the doorways and the cabinet!

  4. Seems like a bunch of us ran out of steam! Still haven’t painted the mailbox post which has been ready since June then WHAM!

    This last week I created a framed floor to ceiling chalkboard wall in the hallway and have finally figured out more storage for the kitchen (big built-in). Going to be paying close attention to your hallway!

  5. I think burn out happens to the best of us. While it’s frustrating because you can see all that still needs to be done, sometimes you really do need to just let yourself take a break. So glad your creative juices are flowing again!

  6. So pleased that you are starting on your hallway first and looking forward to following your progress. It’s going to look fabulous like all the other rooms you’ve done so far and I can’t wait to see what you decide to do for your hallway walls.

  7. Glad you are back! Maybe from time to time your brain needs a break to catch up with all of the changes to your house. You’ve done so much this year. Maybe you just needed a break? Anyway, I’ll be excited to see this build out! Did you ditch the bench idea? I personally like the idea of closed cabinetry better; it will be cleaner looking than an open bench with hooks. Just wondering what your thought process was on that.

    1. Before the garage conversion, the front door was the main entrance into the house, not only for visitors, but also for me. So I had planned on putting a “mudroom” type of space in the hallway, which is where the original coat closet had been. But now things have been reconfigured. I still use the front door pretty much exclusively, but as soon as we get our driveway concrete poured and have the pad for the carport behind the studio, the French doors at the back of the studio will be the main entrance for us and family, so that’s now where I plan to put the “mudroom” with the bench. (I put “mudroom” in quotes because it’ll be a far cry from the amazing, huge, fancy mudrooms you see all over Houzz and Pinterest, but it’ll be just enough to serve its purpose here). So with the reconfiguration, I decided to just do regular cabinets in the hallway.

      1. Thou the cabinet will be nice & I for one love storage. Will this be a sorta fancy linen cabinet to store spare linens , blankets and spare towels especially since you will soon have a guest room. Have you finished the stencil in the music room yet? Really have missed your blog. Hope you’re feeling better.

  8. What about just doing plain walls and dress them up with art work? That seems to be the theme you have going right now, with the entry and the wall outside the pantry. I think once you see it cleaned up with the same doors and molding, it will be nice to have just a simple space that goes into the bedrooms.

    1. i agree. Don’t over think this space. Just having matching doors and nice trim, along with your cabinet will make it all look wonderful and completely different. Plenty of space for massive art work. You can always come back to it with some texture or wall design.

  9. You needed the break. You are now rested and ready to go. No one can go non stop. I look forward th seeing your work though😁.
    Sheila F.

  10. Kristi, I am so glad you are going to fix up that terrible, awful, no-good hallway. It is really depressing in an early ’70’s kind of way.

  11. So excited you are back, you have been missed. Don’t get down on yourself, it happens to the best of us.

    How about wallpaper in the hallway! Seems to be making a great comeback, some patterns are so beautiful and bold now. Isn’t the rule of thumb that the best place to go with a bold pattern is a small space? This could be the perfect spot!

    Whatever you decide, it will be beautiful as usual!

    1. I was thinking same thing. You can always go super fun on the wallpaper, as it’s a small space and not something you have to look at all day.

    2. I do LOVE wallpaper, and the bolder the better. But I’m kind of shying away from wallpaper in this house just because of how much the house shifts and moves throughout the year from season to season. I’m afraid that I’ll spend that money and time getting the wallpaper just right, and perfectly wrapped around corners with patterns matched, and then a year later the paper will be puckered in the corners as the house shifts. Even the drywall tape in the corners of the breakfast room and pantry have shifted and puckered in the year that those areas have been drywalled.
      But I could certainly create a wallpapered look with paint if I can find just the right pattern.

      1. Maybe the lovely birds/flowers “wallpaper” that you had in the entry way back in version 1 could be used here? It wouldn’t be a ton of wall space to do, and I did so love that design! I hope some version makes it somewhere in the house!

  12. This sounds like a fun project, can’t wait to see it. Drawers are my nemesis so I am hoping you create a great tutorial (like you always do). Building doors is fairly straight forward, and to me, fun.

  13. You might be losing interest because you have so many unfinished projects. That would depress me I know. Why isn’t the portico finished? Seems simple enough.

    1. Perhaps because of the Texas heat! A cool summer day in Texas is 92 degrees.

      I recall that she had to get enough of the portico done for the men who were doing the siding, but if I were Kristi, I’d definitely work inside until at least October.

      Kristi, I’ve had the same kind of funk that you’ve described. I call it PPD (post project depression). It’s when you’ve been through a project’s big effort and you still aren’t completely done. However, your brain thought you would be done and now it’s just too tired to cope. You get over it eventually.

      So welcome back. We really missed you 🙂

  14. Everyone can always use more storage so the cabinet build will be great in that corner. As for the walls, I’m sure something will inspire you while you work on the cabinet and new doors.

    You are extremely hard on yourself! Slow down and take it one day at a time. Sometimes just the amount of work ahead can make a person stall out. I’ve done that a couple of times and get upset with myself for wasting time. I was told to just relax and the mojo would come back.

  15. I find I get less burnout with daily life if I have a vacation or something planned to look forward to. My life can turn into a Groundhog’s Day movie real quick. Even if it’s just a concert or something small like a lunch date with a friend, it helps me. Something just to keep me going with the daily grind…Good luck!

  16. This is really awkward, but I couldn’t help but notice your Instagram “likes” recently. Many of them are borderline pornographic. I don’t know if someone has access to your account- and I’m certainly not judging. From one woman to another- simply wanted to make you aware, if you weren’t already. Xo

    1. Thank you for not judging my porn habit.
      Just kidding! 😀 Yes, I was hacked, and now I’ve got about 200+ “likes” on non-English speaking pages (yes, with some borderline pornographic pics), and I have no idea how to get rid of them efficiently. Going through and deleting/blocking them one-by-one is going to take forever. *Sigh* How embarrassing. I despise hackers. And since they never tried to post anything to my page, they’ve been doing this completely undetected for about a month now. So frustrating.

  17. I can see a combination of all your whole house inspiration colors in a bold, colorful pattern. I don’t know what pattern I can envision, but I can’t wait to see what you come up with. This is the perfect space to play with something fun! Maybe you could paint something like this beautiful fabric in your colors. Brings back the birds but in a different format, and with much more color.

  18. Could you maybe run slats randomly, kind of like groups of vertical stripes or in partial pieces (hanging art). Hard to articulate what I am envisioning.