Banishing the Boring Narrow Hallway

by Debi53
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!!

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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:

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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  • Teresa Teresa on Mar 22, 2022

    This is a marvelous transformation! I have the EXACT same hallway in a 44 year old house that I am remodeling. I am not kidding you... last night I was just thinking it is time to paint the hallway and doors but I just wasn't sure what color or what I wanted to do. You have given me great Ideas! Problem is I am really bad at stenciling. I am artistic but the whole stencil thing seems to go south on me. I probably use too much paint. Anyway... I might try that or just go with the wall paper idea. Has anyone used the peel and stick wallpaper? I do not want it to look like contact paper. Thanks! Again awesome job!

  • Ger69483387 Ger69483387 on Jul 16, 2023

    This is gorgeous!!! I especially love the heavy, metal lamp shade!! How exactly DID your husband attach it to the ceiling?? Wouldn't want to try something and then have it fall & hit someone! :). Thanks so much, you did a fantastic job!!1

  • Joyce Joyce on Jan 09, 2024

    Beautifully done! Just curious, what is the width of your very narrow hallway? I too have a long narrow hallway but I don't think it's too very narrow. I especially love the metal pieces you found and repurposed as art! Brilliant idea!

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  • Ber13055452 Ber13055452 on Oct 03, 2023


  • Jri55467586 Jri55467586 3 days ago

    You have a GREAT eye for unique and creativity.

    I think the ceiling light is an AMAZING, clever, and unique idea. I LOVE IT!

    I love all of your wall metal choices, especially the one with the "look of grass".

    Your wall finishes are excellent and well done!

    However IMHO....

    I think between the creative stencils, faux paneling, multiple pieces of wall art, ceiling light, and door decor... there is too much for the eye. It's distracting and the narrow hallway looks cluttered.

    In such a small place...I would pick one single wall texture... let people feel comforted by the calm and simplicity of walking in that hallway.

    Maybe in that hallway... paint the trim and doors the same color as the wall... so they blend in instead of stand out.

    I would want to draw everyone's attention to your amazing ceiling light and your favorite metal art piece.

    Showcase your favorite piece at the top of the stairs.

    But, only showcase your next favorite piece at the end of the hall.

    Maybe design/paint that last door as if it was an accent wall instead of a door...then attach your favorite piece to it.

    Maybe incorporate the doorknob so people are surprised its actually a door too.

    Maybe backlight your art.

    I think people won't notice the narrow hallway and will instead want to go see the art at the end of the hall.