Transforming a Boring Narrow Hallway

by Debi53
3 Materials
5 Days

We have a very narrow hallway with five doors. I decided to paint the hall the same color as the doors and trim to keep it from being too "busy." I was right. It wasn't busy, but it was really boring. After looking at it for 7 years, I finally decided to try to add some interest.

The 'Before'. Long, Narrow,and dull!

We (that means Hubby) started the transformation by running a straight 1x3 board 36" from the floor. We chose this height because it matches the height of our half walls in our living room. The half wall is across from the hall and they are both visible from our living area, we thought the consistency in height would be visually pleasing.

This is the end of the hall. Only a few inches of wall, but it gets trim, too.

On top of the 1x3 we nailed right angle moulding. We use a nail gun-one of my favorite power tools-but you could use small finish nails.

As we began installing this trim, we realized that our walls were really bowed. . When we first fitted the trim right against the walls, we realized that it really accented the bow in the wall as you look down the long hallway.We decided to run the moulding straight and fill in the gap between the moulding and the wall with paintable caulk. Now, looking down the hall, the walls appear to be musch straighter. It is an optical illusion that makes a big difference. I had planned to use peel & stick decals above the chair rail, but realized that I didn't have nearly enough and couldn't get any more. So plan B.

We then adding lattice strips to form the "panels" below the railing and after filling all the nail holes and the tiny gaps between the wood strips and the walls, we painted the bottom white and I stenciled the top with a Wall and Floor stencil from Hobby Lobby. (I am really bad about not taking 'in progress' pictures, so I don't have partial pics of the stencil in progress.) I stenciled all of the large areas first, and then cut the stencil into smaller pieces to go around the edges of the doors and tight spaces.

After finishing the project, I though that the white panels on the bottom just didn't quite work, so patient Hubby helped me repaint it the same color as the adjoining living area.

We think the darker area looks much better. Do you agree?

We just set the lattice strips right on top of the baseboard.

Close up of stencil, trim, and grey wall.

The stencil on each side of the door might look odd in this picture, but in the context of the space, the stencil is in line with the areas on each side.

Here is the finished hall using only thrift store metal pieces. I did a separate post here on Hometalk detailing how we decorated the hall and transformed these metal pieces, including the light fixture, for a bargain basement price! You will also see each of the pieces up close.

Suggested materials:
  • Stencil   (Hobby Lobby)
  • Lattice Strips   (Lowe's)
  • Thrift store metal art pieces
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 6 questions
  • Catherine Catherine on Jan 06, 2019

    What paint did you use for the bottom walls?

  • Barbarachaffinch Barbarachaffinch on Feb 16, 2021

    Where did you get the stencil and how do you use it? What is the background color and the top color? I want to follow this my hallway is like yours but boring.

    for the bottom you just made the wood outline and painted it white??

  • Ani67723421 Ani67723421 on Mar 23, 2023

    I just love this transformation!

    thanks for sharing

    we are redecorating our dinning room this would work perfectly ♥️😍xx

Join the conversation
3 of 107 comments
  • Ginna Ginna on Dec 01, 2020

    Your hallway turned out fabulous!! What a great idea!

    We also have this long hallway and it needs something. I was going to put gray brick like wainscoting that would cost us a couple hundred dollars for that plus the 1x3 board and angle molding. So yes this is a great idea!!

    • Debi53 Debi53 on Dec 02, 2020

      I'm so glad to have been of help. I hope your project turns out beautifully!

  • Mary Ann Mary Ann on Feb 06, 2024

    Absolutely beautiful work….I wouldn’t change a thing…..popcorn ceiling as someone spoke of….your work enhances the TEXTURE it couldn’t look any better!!!!!!