Hallway update project
Craft & DIY,  Our house

Our hallway update project

Hallway update project - the view to the bedrooms
The view to the bedrooms

After seeing our new bathroom, the need for some updates in our hallway became glaringly obvious. So, our hallway update project: should we consider these new changes one big project or a follow on project?

Our hallway

This is our hallway, which connects our living room and entry with our bedrooms and bathroom. It is also where our turtle, Bubble, resides.

There are 4 doors that exit from the hallway – two bedrooms, our (recently renovated) bathroom and the stairs to the cellar with the laundry, tool cellar, heater, man cave and preserves cellar. Yes, we have a room just for the preserves, jams and wine, as well as storage for things like Christmas ornaments.

At some stage, we will paint or swap out the doors and frames in the hallway, but we don’t have the budget to do it at the moment.


I would love to paint the walls something dark and moody, like a great navy. However, we recently received notice that there an apartment block (of 7 units) will be built on the block next to ours. If our understanding is correct, the new construction will block off nearly all of our natural (morning) light from the bathroom side of the house. I am therefore reluctant to go dark before we know how the light in the hallway will be affected.

The changes


The tiles have to stay. We have them throughout our living room and kitchen, as well as the hallway and entry. Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds for new flooring at the moment – it is more of a very long-term wish because of the area that would need to be done. There used to be a colourful rag runner on the floor, but we removed it when we were getting ready for our bathroom renovation. It was too busy and the unevenness meant our daughter often tripped. I am thinking a simpler runner would be better, possibly in a navy blue.


As we were losing storage in our bathroom, we needed more storage in the hallway. The new white IKEA cabinet (Billy with Oxberg with Eneryda knobs) addresses this issue. Before, there was a shorter IKEA Billy bookshelf in its place, with pictures above it and food and oddities for our turtle on top. Visually, the new cabinet calms things down significantly, even if I still have to style the shelves. I have also seen a glass treatment that I would like to try (see The painted hive – thanks Kristine), but I we still have to decide on what will be written on the doors. Perhaps “Bubble’s Pantry: Open 24/7” in reference to the fact that the turtle food is kept inside.

Wall art

Apart from a mini wall in our daughter’s bedroom, the hallway houses the only gallery wall in our house. While I love the photos, I need to do something to quieten the space and already have a plan.

On the opposite wall is an ugly grey box, which is our electrical box. Obviously, I can’t move it and it has to remain accessible. However, I am planning to do something to disguise it.


The shoe rack will stay. Perhaps surprisingly, my husband has more shoes than me and we need the shoe rack for storage. If you can imagine, before the work on our bathroom, the rack was overflowing and we had about 10 random pairs “hiding” on the ground behind it, too. The rack had to be moved before our team could work on the bathroom, and took the opportunity to purge. We parted with about 15 pairs of shoes that we didn’t wear anymore and will be doing our best in the future to keep the shoes to a minimum.

Hallway update project: my aim

I have two big aims for this project: to make the space more soothing and to better connect it to the entry. That is why I plan to attack the entry at the same time.


One element that will help unify the two spaces is the runners. The entry has a smaller runner, which I like but it does not really go with anything else in the house. We needed a rug quickly to go in the space and found it on sale. While it went with the artwork in the area, it unfortunately looked more blue online than it is in real life.  So both the rug and the artwork will therefore be going.

There is also a mat on the floor in between the two runners to prevent my mother-in-law from tripping when she wants to go downstairs (the floor changes height). The mat here will also be changed to suit.

Antique secretaire cabinet

Our little girl is a big girl

The other big change to this room is that the pram/stroller is no longer needed and will be finding a new home. Suddenly, this room will have some breathing room! We have considered a bench, a console table, a trunk… but have not decided what will end up here.

The small trunk that is there now does not have to stay. My husband would prefer that the small table stays, as it is a family antique. In addition, if we move the small table, we will need to find a solution for our modem/phone/other electronics. I am excited to see what we decide to do here.

more of the entry to be updated in our hallway project
Oh, the possibilities!

Storage, storage, storage

The two storage baskets will also have to be changed. One is falling apart and the other contains various covers, nets, an umbrella, blankets, etc. that belong with the pusher. Depending on what we decide to do with the wall space that we gain by finding a new home for the pusher, we may need some baskets there too. In other areas of our home we use metal baskets, but these would scratch the wood on the antique writing cabinet. Our aesthetic tends towards industrial, so that rattan baskets will probably not work for us either.

Possibly, we will also need some hooks.

Why, oh why?

Can I just have a little rant about textured wallpaper and textured walls?

Textured wallpaper is something that I had never really encountered before coming to Germany. It covers almost all of our walls and ceilings: our house was built at a time when it was standard practice to paper the walls with textured paper before painting. Unfortunately, it is one of those annoying things that costs a lot to change. While I would love to get rid of it, it will not be happening this time round.

(On a side note: I can’t wait to hear the results of the Young House Love poll on textured walls.)

Wall interest

I wanted to add a feature wall in the entry and was thinking about playing with some peel and stick wallpaper. Does textured wallpaper go with normal wallpaper?  I can see it being a challenge to eliminate bubbles in the patterned paper with the textured paper underneath. And the texture will probably still be visible.

Philip from Wall2Stick has been great, and thinks they may be able to change the paper they use to make it workable. Still, because of the depth of the texture, the bumps will be visible. I don’t know whether we will go that route or try paint or something else. We are discussing our options.

The hallway update project plan

So the main plan is to unify the hallway and entry areas and bring more calm to the space.

  • Change and update the door handles. The only one that is a problem is the entry door as the other side of the door goes to the common area that we share with my mother-in-law (and more door handles)
  • Swap out picture frames to quieten the gallery wall
  • Find or create something to camouflage the electrical box cover
  • Style the upper part of the cupboard in the hallway
  • Frost the cupboard doors to make the cupboard look more like a chemist’s cabinet
  • Decide on rugs and mats to unify the space
  • Change out the artwork in the entry, perhaps even with something custom made
  • Decide what (if anything) we want to fill the space in the entry and what additional storage is needed. This will have the biggest impact on the budget for the project.
  • Find a wall treatment that will work with our textured wallpaper
  • Create a better functioning landing strip
  • Generally tidy up the entry and get rid of some of the excess

Our budget

Of course, I will be working on a budget. Not counting the cost of the cupboard, which has already been paid for, we hope to spend less than EUR 200. This may need to be adjusted depending on what furniture changes we decide to make in the entry. Whatever money we get for the pusher or anything else we sell will also contribute to the budget.

Wish me luck!

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