Banishing the Boring Narrow Hallway

7 Materials
5 Days

Earlier this year I did a post on stenciling my boring white hall. It is very narrow with multiple doors. I did not want to do the typical thing of hanging family pictures and the hall is too narrow for furniture or even shelves. To add interest, I decided to stencil the upper half and my sweet Hubs did 'faux' panels on the bottom. Finally, I found three metal pieces to decorate the walls. Please let me know what you think. I just added the final piece, a wire basket to the door at the end of the hall. Please go to the end of this post to see the updated 'After' picture.

Plain white hallway--boring!!

The door at the end was left blank for a long time. I finally found the right piece for it. See it at the end of this post.

Transformed with Stencil and Paint.

Through the magic of stenciling and paint, it became a lot more interesting. Here is the link to the original post which gives a little more detail on how we did the faux panels:" target="_blank">

Thrift Store Metal Pieces as art.

My hall is narrow, so it is difficult to get a good shot, but you can see the three pieces that now decorate the hall. I wanted open and airy metal pieces so that I did not block the stencil--(because I worked so dang hard on it!) Please notice the builder grade light that was in the original post and see the new fixture (at the end of this updated post) that we made from a flea market find.

Now for the fun part. I found my first metal piece at an outdoor junk stand while we were traveling. It is gorgeous and is one of my favorite pieces in our entire house. I live in a split level and this is the first thing you see as you get to the top of the stairs. (You can see my kitchen to the left.)

This is the view from the other direction.

Next, I found this fireplace screen-again while traveling. We removed the screening from the back using a Dremel saw to cut all the soldered tack points. Then we removed the feet and painted it.

Here is the painted screen now -- it reminds me of grasses that might grow beside a pond.

Finally found the third piece--another fireplace screen. Again, Hubs removed the screening and we painted it.

I use this screen to disply Christmas Cards, birthday cards, and seasonal pictures of my grown children and grandchildren. For example, I will clip pictures of my (now grown) children in their Halloween costumes from 30 years ago along with their children (now) in their costumes; or Easter outfits, or snow pictures. Even when it is left plain, it is still interesting since it has a bowed shape and doesn't just lie flat on the wall.

Metal 1920's Lampshade

Many, many wonderful Hometalkers suggested we get rid of the builder grade light fixture. We found this (very heavy) metal lampshade at a flea market. I loved the patina and Hubs said he could convert it into a ceiling fixture. Score!!

We took a black plastic ceiling medallion and sprayed multiple coats of paint until it matched the metal shade. Hubs figured out a way to attach the shade through the medallion (You can tell which one of us is the engineer in the family!) and we added an Edison bulb.

The Edison Bulb gives a beautiful sparkle. (Yes we have popcorn ceilings, but such is life. They have been painted over and contain asbestos, so there will be no scraping them off.)

Completed Hall with Updated Light

Well, friends, what do you think?? I now love my "new" (40 year old) hall and the one-of-a-kind light fixture that my brilliant Hubs helped me create. Improvement over the before fixture, yes?

Final Touch-Metal Basket on Door

After a lot of indecision, I finally decided to add one more touch-a metal basket mounted on the door at the end of the hall. That blank door really bugged me and now my hall is complete!

Close up of wire basket.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 34 questions
  • Leah
    on Dec 5, 2018

    Please, where did you find the wind swept tree?

    • Penny
      on Dec 12, 2018

      You might want to try Hobby Lobby. I picked one up that was green in color and my husband sprayed painted it black.

  • Cinamom
    on Jan 21, 2019

    I have a hallway such as this & ANYTHING that is put on the walls tends to get knocked out of place in a matter of time! If I screw anything to the sidewalls it tends to catch clothing, ect. And all that stuff just makes the hallway look smaller. My daughter suggested color blocking. Where I could paint one wall a darker color & if I wanted to I could stencil a side wall. Not sure if I want to try since I like your idea of stenciling the top part of the wall. So maybe I'll paint a chair rail(or stencil one) and put a darker color below? She also mentioned putting sconces on the walls for lighting, they are too high to hit when someone goes down the hall & yet add interest.

    • Judi
      on Mar 14, 2019

      As you stencil the upper wall block out squares and stencil a stand alone stencil inside. You might even put picture frame molding around it.

  • Kelly
    on Nov 6, 2019

    What color grey is that you used on top for stencil and bottom?

Join the conversation

4 of 830 comments
  • Amy
    on Nov 15, 2019

    Wow I just love the fire screen! I was hoping I could copy but I doubt I'll be finding one of them anywhere soon 😭🤣 love it all x

    • Debi53
      on Nov 15, 2019

      Go to very junky looking thrift stores. That is where I found both of mine. One for $15 and one for $16. Ask the owner. Items like this are usually stuck in the back behind other things. Also ask if they know any shops that might carry them. Owners usually know about other thrift stores in the area.

  • Carole gerst
    on Feb 10, 2020

    thank you for this wonderful idea I know exactly now what I'm going to do with that thin space in my living room I have a shabby chic decor going so thank you so much I appreciate it

    • Carole gerst
      7 days ago

      it's so nice to see something creative except the politics and everything that's going on in the world today it's easy to sit back and look at people in the beautiful things they do so I would like to thank you.

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