The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Hallway Makeover

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hallway Makeover

I wish I could find the picture I took of our hallway when we first moved into this house--the before picture. That memory chip seems to have disappeared though. If I find it, I'll be sure to show you because this transformation is dramatic. You'll just have to visualize the before... A plain hallway, no chair rail, nothing hung on the walls, builder grade lighting, wasted space, scuffs, and fingerprints... The after? A functional space with chalkboard wall and art area for the kids...
I started to do this project on my own several times. (The hubby isn't very handy with things like this.) I measured for the chair rail, borrowed supplies from my dad's garage, bought the chalkboard paint, and stood in the hallway ready to begin...
Over and over again...
I just couldn't do it though.
You see...
This is the sort of project I would have done with my dad by my side.  If I had the vision, he could make it happen! The window box on the front of the house, the dollhouse bookcase and restored vintage rocking chair in Lydia Grace's room, the "teacher box" I used for my small groups when I taught 4th grade, and the dozens of other projects that my dad had been there to help me with. Most of you know that he passed away in October 2012 from pancreatic cancer. Long before he was gone, I knew how much I relied on him...
How much I needed him...
And not just for things like this, but in this I certainly felt his absence...
One of the kids would start crying...
And I'd put the paintbrush down.
If it wasn't for the fantastic handyman who my mom recommended, this hallway wouldn't have happened.  He was professional, patient with the kids wanting to be his "fan club", and able to make my vision of a functional hallway come to life. We don't live in a huge house.  It's just the right size for our family of five, so it's important to make every square foot count.
The addition of chair rail sectioned off a perfect space for the chalkboard wall. It also gave the hallway a grander feel. With the exception of the chalkboard wall, a semi-gloss paint was used under the chair rail which can better stand up to future scuffs and messy little fingers. The same color in eggshell was used above the chair rail. I chose a black light fixture and black picture frames to balance nicely with the black chalkboard paint. Adding in the Ikea table and chair set made it the perfect place for the kids to get creative...
This side of the wall holds frames with some of my photos while the other side has frames for the kids' artwork.
What do you think?  How would you make your own hallway more functional?
Happy renovating and decorating!


  1. It looks great Jennifer! What a great use of space too. I love the chalkboard wall.

  2. Very lovely, and a great way to use an otherwise unused space. They pictures look great lined up like that, make the space look bigger somehow. (you do know you are going to be constantly sweeping chalk dust off your lovely floor though don't you?!)

    1. Thanks, Julia, for stopping by. You are right it does make the space look bigger. Yep, chalkboards=chalk dust. It is worth it for moments like this one though...

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jordyn. I appreciate you stopping by. I was over at your site the other day. Love it!

  4. Your hallway makeover looks great! I'm sure the kids love the chalkboard wall and table and chairs. Thanks SO much for sharing at the Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop. Have a great day!

  5. I am inspired by your ideas! I love everything about this hallway, from the great shape of the doorway to the chair rail- the chalk paint to the frames for art! What an amazing project!

  6. Beautiful! I love the pictures going down the hall. Looks so clean and streamlined.
    Corey from

  7. I love what you have done to your hallway. For so many of us it's just wasted space, although we are lucky enough that the people who built the house made the hallway a foot wider than normal because they had seven kids!

  8. Fantastic in every way! Thanks for sharing at Project Insprie{d}... you were featured this week:

  9. I love this chalkboard wall in the hallway! So cute! New follower from the Mom Lovin Blog Hop.
    XO/Kelly @ Our Cone Zone

  10. That's a nice idea. We tried to do the whole chalk board painting in our basement and it flopped.. I'm thinking we needed to use it up faster. Or maybe we just did something really wrong. :)

  11. I love how you've made a little mini playroom out your hallway. So clever. Also love the paint color. Can you please share the brand/color? Thank you kindly.

  12. This is such a beautiful design for a hallway - love it!

  13. It looks amazing, and I just love the chalkboard wall! Thanks for visiting us at the Creative Circle link party :)

  14. I know you have great memories of your Dad. Mine died this past October and I have such good memories of working on big and small projects with him. Love the transformation of your hallway. so creative.


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