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24 Hour Hallway Makeover

Sharing our hallway makeover – this project was inexpensive and came together so quickly and easily. What a huge difference!

Simple and Inexpensive Hallway Makeover

A couple of weekends ago Dan was away in Portland. I was bored at home and decided to take on the challenge of doing a hallway makeover. As I mentioned in my hallway inspiration post, we currently live in a pretty dated apartment (and not dated in a cool way! hah!). It’s a temporary living situation (under a year, or so we are planning) but we actually love living here. Our situation is a bit unique in that this apartment is going to be gutted and redeveloped once we move out so we were given permission to do whatever changes we wanted because we are the last people to be living here before the major changes! However, these are definitely changes I will make in my future home again and the more temporary changes will likely work for most rentals (depending on your landlords rules).

Since we will be here for a few more months, and we were given free reign to make changes in the space (hello, that sounds like fun!) I wanted to have a bit of fun but not spend too much on anything that wouldn’t be coming with us to our next home. I decided to first do a little hallway makeover to brighten up one of the key areas in our home – the hallway! The hallway is a prominent location in our apartment. It is visible from the entry way and it extends out from between the living room and the dining room. The kitchen, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms extend off of the hallway via the doors. With the prominent location, a hallway makeover was necessary.

I gave myself a $500 budget for this hallway makeover (which I stuck to!) but the majority of that budget went to pictures for the wall and a carpet – things that I will take with us to the next house. The changes that made the main difference came in at under $200! We (my mom and I) scoured the local vintage shops for artwork and a carpet and in the end Etsy and my local hardware store were my best friends in sourcing all the finishing touches.

So, let’s get to it and I’ll show you the simple changes that made a huge difference in the hallway. First though, let’s reallllly take in this shot of the before…yikes!

Hallway Makeover - BEFORE

Phew…much better!

Hallway Makeover | Colored Doors | Colored Interior Doors

1. Paint the space

Painting the dark doors and trim was a must for me and this was the single biggest improvement. All white for the doors and trim would be the obvious option but I knew I wanted some colour to really infuse happiness into the space. I considered adding a colour on the walls but I didn’t want anything taking away from optimal brightness in the hallway which is really achieved through the white walls. I settled on painting the doors instead. This was a first for me but once I pictured coloured doors as part of the hallway makeover I couldn’t think of doing it any other way! I did 2 of the doors a light green, 1 door a darker green, and 1 door a dusty mauve. The colours really complemented each other and with the white walls and trim the final feel is very bright.

Tips for selecting paint colours:

  • if using multiple colours, look at your colours all together and with your trim and wall colour too. Colours really play off of each other and change how the others look
  • Bear in mind that paint is always more vibrant up on your wall than on the paint chip
  • Eggshell is a good finish for walls but for doors and trim I like to go for semi-gloss or pearl
  • In general, 2 coats is good…but 3 coats is great!

Hallway Makeover | Add Trim to Doors | Door Retrofit | Add Panelling to Doors

2. Update The Doors & Handles

The doors were flat and definitely lacked any sort of charm or style. I worried that just painting them as is would look a bit cheap. To pull off the colour I wanted to give them an older classic feel so I added a panel frame to each door. This was SO EASY and I highly encourage it if you are dealing with flat doors too. I used a 1/2″ moulding and needed 2 x 8′ lengths per door. The moulding was thin enough that I was able to cut the 45 degree angles on the corners myself using a small hand saw and attached them to the door using wood glue.

Adding panelling to the doors transformed them from flat and cheap looking to old and stylish. I’m totally okay with tricking people into thinking these are old quality doors! This update cost about $15 per door.

For each door frame I used:

  • 1/2″ moulding
  • wood glue
  • a tape measure to measure each piece and also measure when placing on door

Door handles were the next update. Since this is a temporary space and I kept budget in mind and spray painted the current door handles. Matte black is a great colour and I highly suggest this for anyone looking for a simple aesthetic fix.

3. Consider Lighting

Often older apartments come with dated light fixtures that don’t provide much light. Switching out light fixtures is actually a super simple task! Since this was my first time doing this my dad came over and helped me out. I am so excited to shop for lighting in my future home and for this small project this simple and cost effective fixture was perfect.

Hallway Makeover | Botanical Prints

4. Add Art Work

Art work is the step that I find really makes a space feel complete. In a narrow space like a hallway, a gallery style wall with a collection of pieces that are the same size can give a a really high end look. Whether that is two larger symmetrical prints side by side or a set of 4 or more pictures like I did here. I love botanical prints and this hallway was perfect spot to hang a collection of them. I found these vintage botanical prints from Words & Melodies – a Canadian seller on Etsy who has tons of different botanical prints in their shop. They are an irregular shape and I plan to custom frame them in the future but for now I framed them using frames from the Dollar Store that I spray painted (talk about a cheap fix!). I used acid free tape to adhere the prints to some watercolour paper and put them in the frames. Honestly, I was pretty darn impressed with the outcome!

I knew that I wanted a round mirror in the space. Mirrors are great for making a space feel larger (and also for saying hello to yourself every time you walk by!). I scoured the internet and found a ton of great round mirror options but wanted to check out my local thrift shops first. I’m so glad I did! I found this amazing vintage round mirror for only $10. It is great quality and has a lovely natural patina. Friends, always check your thrift shops, it’s amazing what you can find for your home!

Hallway Makeover

5. Cozy Up With a Carpet

The final purchase was the runner. Honestly, this made the hallway makeover feel so complete. Carpets are a must in every room for me. They warm up a space in a way that no other element can. Although I was working with a budget, I knew I wanted a quality runner that I would take with me to my next home and have for years to come. Etsy is an amazing place for vintage wool rugs and I found tons of options. This one came from a vintage rug seller in Turkey and arrived at my door within 3 days. It was also so affordable at $225 all in and the quality is great. I love this carpet and am happy to have found it.

Hallway Makeover

So there you have it! The 5 changes that made a huge difference in my hallway makeover and are great ways to upgrade a dated home. I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments! Thanks so much for reading, Friends and make sure to check back soon as I take on an even scarier task…updating the bathroom!

Hallway Makeover

Hallway Makeover

Hallway Makeover

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comments +

  1. […] chose 2 bold prints and I painted the door a lovely soft blue and added trim (tutorial in my first hallway makeover […]

  2. […] so easy to transform the style of a piece just by swapping out the hardware. Remember the hallway makeover from my last apartment? Just spray painting the handles to the doors black made such a big difference! With our kitchen […]

  3. […] Different Color Doors by Threads & Blooms. Be creative when you are bringing color to your space! The fun use of color on these doors is perfect with the muted rug and sweet floral prints. […]

  4. Rachel says:

    Just found this post while looking for door painting inspiration and WOW! Amazing job!! Can I ask what paint colors you used??

  5. […] If you’re all about home improvement and design, make sure to check out our past decor posts like our simple hallway makeover! […]

  6. […] it something it is not, I have taken a fairly fun approach to my decorating (have you looked at my colourful hallway makeover yet?). So, a colour coded scheme for this bookshelf sounded right on theme! I had only one […]

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