Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Project Hallway

Confession:  I hate my upstairs hallway.  It is 16 feet long, with a continuous wall on one side and lots of doors and stairs and stuff the rest of the way around.

A while back, I did this to it.  (There was a lot of process first.  Round ups of inspiration here and here, too.)  It was better than before, but  This is a lesson in the down side of compromise.  I wanted a magnetic wall somewhere for the girls to hang up their art, my husband wanted that out of sight, and, against my best judgment, the upstairs hallway magnetic strip was born.

Here's the thing, though.  No one uses the magnets.  And while I love chartreuse (do you?), I would prefer either a neutral or a pattern now that the rooms opening off the hallway are navy and pink.

Here's the other thing.  I have to spend the tiniest amount of money possible on this project.

I better get to the options/ pictures. ideas a little faster, huh?

Option 1:  Framed wallpaper panels

First thought, grasscloth:

The Hunted Interior

via My Little Happy Place

But of course a large-scale pattern would be nice, too:

Nate Berkus

via Sadie and Stella

Option 2: Upholstered panels/ ribbon trim

via Little Green Notebook

Option 3: Chair rail

This strategy is all about dividing and conquering.  By adding the chair rail, I can use a little bit of wallpaper, either above or below, and smaller framed artworks will work (larger framed artworks being too expensive.)

Wallpaper below:

via Door 16

Wallpaper above:

via Martha Stewart

Decorative moldings below, stripes above:

via House to Home

Moldings below, upholstered wall above!

Tory Burch

Now, the down sides/ realities:

Wallpaper panels work best when they have a story going on, like chinoiserie murals, at which point we run in to a money problem.  The examples above work because they all have furniture and art to populate the halls.  With plain old framed wallpaper I am just not as interested.

via Babble

via A Storied Style

Moving on.

Trimmed, upholstered walls would require 12 yards of fabric, dozens of yards of ribbon/trim, and a LOT of nailhead.  That adds up, fast.  Also, I'm not the best with straight lines.  I could skip the trim and go for an amazing pattern, like this.

via Sara Gilbane Interiors

But that means more than 12 yards of fabric that is muchos dineros.

As for the chair rail sitch, well, it's just not that exciting to me, and bring the added problem/project ("opportunity"?) of finding or making 5 large-scale pieces of art.  

In a case like this, I always think it is good to figure out what you REALLY want by asking yourself:

What if money were no object (though it is)?

What if I didn't have to do the work myself (though I do.)

In that case, I'm pretty sure I would have the wall upholstered in a beautiful indian blockprint fabric, with contrast ribbon trim and really big fat nailhead.  I would put my grandmother's gold tole sconces on either end, flanking an enormous, gorgeous painting or mirror. there an inexpensive way to accomplish that?


  1. What if you combined the ideas? Chair rail (plain bottom) with fabric above (maybe even with nailhead trip along the chair rail)? Or chair rail with indian blockprint fabric in frames above?

  2. Okay, I feel a little silly suggesting anything because your ideas are all amazing, but would you consider a burlap wall with trim and nailheads - like this

    She did her entire room for around $50 and used thumbtacks instead of nailheads. Then you could layer in the lights like this

    and the mirror

    And maybe hang some fabulous Indian print art? Not sure this would be super kid friendly, but might be a way to get some texture without spending the money for true upholstered walls or grasscloth? And has lots of different colored burlap if you wanted a more bold color. Anyway, that's my cheapo suggestion.


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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