Home Improvement, Room Reveal

The Upstairs Hallway Makeover

I’ll never forget our house hunting day when we stood in this upstairs hallway trying to imagine how we could make this house a little better.  We had looked at some fabulous, finished houses that day, but none of the others sat on 13 completely private acres.  And despite knowing that this house needed a LOT of work, Jake and I just couldn’t completely rule it out.  As we stood in the hallway we began to paint a vision of the things we could do to make it better and I could not have imagined that the hallway would be as pretty as it is now.

This hallway was truly an example of “it gets worse before it gets better.”   This was the listing photo of our hallway as it looked the day we stood there deciding we could remove the wallpaper, install hardwoods, new light fixtures, doors, switches, and new trim.  It looked dated, but put together in this picture.

And then I started to rip down the wallpaper and discovered another demon layer beneath that was sooo hard to remove.  My sister, Julie, and the boys actually spent an entire summer Saturday ripping down the top layer on this right hand wall.  PS- have you ever seen a ceiling fan in a hallway?

The hallway actually remained like this for a while as we were interrupted with the hall bath renovation that I wrote about here.  From time to time, I’d get ambitious and rip down some more wallpaper- even enlisting the help of my boys on several occasions.  Even though it was and endless and messy task, they actually loved ripping down wallpaper.  It was strangely satisfying, especially when you’d get a hold of a large piece.

After we finished the hall bathroom project, I had to promise Jake that I’d remove the rest of the wallpaper before starting another project.  So I buckled down and got to work:

Jake asked me to take down the trim one day while he was at football with the kids, I was so pumped!  This was the first trim I took down on my own.  (Now I’m totally an old pro at it, haha!)

I never thought it would happen, but there finally came a day when ALL OF THE WALLPAPER was gone from this hallway.  I was, however, left with damaged walls that needed to be repaired, skim-coated, primed, and painted.

Then, one day, after we decided to bite the bullet and lay hardwoods in the entire upstairs, Jake ripped out the carpet for me!  Let me just say, demo is seriously so fun.  There is always lots of hulk-like roaring and laughter going on!  There’s no tedium, it’s just plain muscle and fun!

After patching the walls, I moved on to painting the ceiling as well.

And I enlisted some more help with the priming.

And eventually, we got to the part where the walls were no longer papered, or messy.  This was like a little heaven on earth!

Ta da!!!!

After removing the mdf board, we installed the hardwood very carefully so that it would line up at our bedroom and Grant’s bedroom on the other side of the house.

We are so happy with how the bathroom transition turned out.  We were able to reuse this marble transition that was in the house originally.

After the floor was finished, we started to hang the new 6 paneled bedroom doors and I  changed out the light fixtures.  Remember that ceiling fan in the hallway?  It was actually very nice to have while we were ripping down the wallpaper up there during the hot summer months, but I really wanted two matching low key fixtures up there.  I settled on some glass domed fixtures with Edison bulbs.  We then replaced the hallway switches with rockers.

I know this isn’t super exciting stuff, but it made such a difference, and it’s a cheap and easy update.


And then…for the finishing touch, it was time to cut, paint, and hang the trim.  This has made all the difference in the world.  It took me a couple of days to paint all of the trim for this hallway.  There was so much!  There are 6 doors in this hallway and like I’ve mentioned, we decided on custom routered top and bottom cap pieces.

And now that it’s all done, it’s seriously my favorite transformation so far.  I love this hallway. Here’s a reminder of how it looked when we toured the house:


And now, I just love passing through here:


We are in the midst of planning a new master bathroom which will entail some changes to the hallway, specifically losing the doorway across from the master at the end of the hall and some natural light in the process, but I will add some cool art and maybe brighter lightbulbs to compensate!

So there it is, our vision come true!  I would have never thought that a hallway would be my favorite transformation, but this one truly is my favorite so far!

3 thoughts on “The Upstairs Hallway Makeover

  1. Absolutely beautiful! I honestly don’t know how you find the time and energy. If we ever find a fixer upper, I’m going to ask you to be my Yoda!

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