Friday, October 10, 2008

Hallway Re-Design

Bella asked if I would offer up some design advice for her friend Beth's hallway.

There is NOTHING that thrills me more
than to sit down & and design a space.

Interior design is what I think about while I fall asleep at night, and the first thing that pops into my head when I wake up. I strongly believe in the statement that by improving the quality of someones space, you improve the quality of their life.

Beth mentioned that she likes a "less is more" look, and likes the colors yellow and blue, but not in a "country-yellow-and-blue" type of way.

This is how Beths hallways looks now:

The walls above the current chair rail are textured, and as you know, I LOVE texture- but the current texture is very heavy, especially for a small space like a hallway.
It also doesn't lend itself to the "clean, less is more" look I think Beth is after.

Since a chair rail isn't really necessary in a hallway (where there are no chairs), I would remove it and install beadboard, six and a half feet tall, up onto the walls. This would help to cover up some of the current texture on the walls, and would freshen up the space. Paint the beadboard a semi-gloss white, to capture and reflect as much light as possible. (Beth mentioned there isn't much light in the hallway) Cap off the top of the beadboard with moulding, and reinstall the existing baseboards if you can salvage them. Paint all of the moulding the same, semi-gloss white as the beadboard.

Beth mentioned she wanted to hang Black and White photography down the hallway, and the tall beadboard would provide a nice, crisp backdrop for that.

I would also add crown moulding to the entire hallway, also painted semi-gloss white.

Here are three options that I've come up with for Beth:


#1 has a natural-colored grasscloth on the upper part of the walls (above the beadboard) Grasscloth is GREAT for covering up pre-existing textures, and the "unexpected-ness" of it would draw peoples eyes up, subconciously creating the illusion of a taller space.
I also suggested the use of old shutters, or louvered closet doors painted blue (with the option of being distressed) as linen closet doors. If finding the right size is an issue, they could easily be constructed out of wood to look more like this:

I love the idea of using two, tall doors (instead of four short ones) at the end of the hall to create a less "busy" view. Also, the tall door would reinforce that sense of height I would love to create.
Using painted shutter-style doors would give your eye something pleasant to see at the end of the hall, and would make the entire length of the space feel tied together and would give passer-bys a nice experience, from start to finish.

The runner I incorporated into the design was just one of a million you could choose. I chose this particular one because I thought it added a nice pop of pattern, but the color palette was still nice and neutral.

Lastly, I might paint the ceiling in the hall a very pale blue color, just to add some whimsy and create a complete look. If not, I would freshen it up with a new coat of white. I couldn't really tell what the light fixture closest to the camera looks like, but if it's outdated, I would replace that as well. (The light in the background is a sun tube, which lets in natural light through the roof)


#2 has the same Grasscloth on the walls, but this time I painted it blue, to appeal to Beths love of the color blue. The runner on the floor is more traditional this time, and incorporates both the blue and yellow/gold tones Beth is drawn to. I used wood shutter-style doors, to inject some warmth and even more organic-appeal into the space.



#3 has black shutter doors, to tie in the black frames that adorn the walls in this space, and keep your eye moving. The walls above the beadboard would not be covered in Grasscloth, they would remain the same blue textured surface they are now. ANY type of rug could be used in this design. Traditional or Contemporary, even sisal, seagrass or jute if you like the idea of the texture of the Grasscloth, but aren't fond of it as a wallcovering.

Well, there's my two cents!

I always try to make my design ideas interchangeable, so that you can pick which elements you like best and they'll all work together. For example, if you like something in Design #1, and something else in Design #3- you easily switch things out and create a design that's perfect for you.
I am also very budget conscious designer, (because I'm a starving artist!) and beadboard (about $18 per 4'x8' sheet) is a fairly inexpensive way to really freshen up a space if you love cottage/seaside/organic or traditional style.
Paint is also one of the cheaper ways to re-decorate.
Also, if you purchase faux grasscloth wallpaper, it's only about $16 a roll, and I have a feeling one roll would go a long way in a space like this.

Good luck to you Beth...with all the design advice available to you through the internet, I'm sure whatever you do will look great!



Bella Casa said...

LAYLA!! You are INCREDIBLE!!! I love all 3 of those designs!!! I love the idea of the grasscloth wallpaper to cover up the textured walls...and the TALL beadboard is perfect. I love all 3 color options, too! I can't wait til Beth sees them!!!

Bella :) :)

PS: Hey, why aren't you on twitter???

Natalie's Entertaining At HOME said...


What program do you use to design those rooms? I love it! I too sleep eat and dream interior decorating as well. We are in the process of trying to buy the family acreage. It's a 1950's ranch style home but I'd like to turn it into a bunglaow style with arts & crafts trim & details with some cottage charm. Where do you get some of your inspiration? What websites?

Heather Wheeler said...

Can you stop by and do that to my whole house??!! Please? :)

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Fabulous designs, Layla. My absolute favorite was #1, hands down. I have the exact hallway in our new home, and never thought of the shutter door option. Thanks for your ideas!


Annelies Dease said... are INCREDIBLE!!!! I just emailed a friend your site and told her that you "make me want to sell my home, buy the bitty cottage of my dreams and have you make it looks JUST like yours"!!!! I love your site. You are the best!!!! XXX Annelies

Carla said...

Wow! I think I like #3 the best, no #1, no, wait, #3. Grrr, it's hard to decide. They all look great. I really like a touch of black in every room though, so I'll say #3.

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I am so excited about this! Not that I don't have enough projects going on around here (LOL) but
you inspired me on my own hallway!!! I love the tall beadboard with the grasscloth on top! My hallway seems dark to me and I think this would really give it the exact perk it needs. NOW to figure out a light fixture that will be perfect for my silly 8 foot ceilings.

Just LOVE your ideas. Keep 'em coming please.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? You are so talented! Wow, I am speechless!!!!! Melaine at mysweetsavannah

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

What great ideas! You did a wonderful job with this -- what a cool program!!


Magpie Interior Design said...

Wowee kazowee. I love em all. How will the poor girl choose? LOL.

Great job pal!


Wendy said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful! You WILL be famous one day!!!!!!!

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

Layla, as always your ideas are fresh and incredible. You are truly talented. I had a hard time deciding which one I liked best :0)

Deb said...

Seriously amazing that you put that together so quickly. Personally, I LOVE the third choice. The black shutters just make the rest of the colors pop in that area and tie in the black frames. NICE JOB!!!

Chris said...

OH. my. lord. I love every single detail of every picture. You just can't go wrong with any one of them. If I HAD to choose (so glad I don't!), I would go with option 1. Green is my second favorite color (white being first), and I fell in love with the textured wall covering above the beadboard. Spectacular!

maitlandmommy said...

Layla! Remember when i said i would be hiring you if this freakin' house of mine ever sells?? Yeah, i meant that. Trip to Florida in January - you're up for that right? A little design, a little beach and a little girl chat at night with wine?

Just so you know, i am a cottage-traditionalist (i made that up) but you nailed my look w/#2. Some traditional home mixed with cottage. YOU ROCK.

maitlandmommy said...

Layla! Remember when i said that if this freakin' house ever sells, i'm hiring you to do the new one? I seriously meant that! Sunny trip to FL in January, a little sun, a little design and some girl chat with wine - it's all good, right??

I'm a cottage traditionalist - (made that up) and you nailed my look with #2. THAT IS SO ME. You rock woman.

Jessica said...

i've tried to figure out where to email you. . .i can't find an email address....tell me about your floors? are they hardwood or laminate? also, the color and brand??? i adore them!! my email is or you can leave me a message on my blog if you have time!

Jessica said...

nevermind. i googled your domain site and floors and found your post on your floors!!!

thank yoU!!

Inspired Kara said...

Oh I love them all!!!

I think number three is my favorite!

Please show us some Beth after pictures!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Great ideas, Layla! You really are so very talented & I know you'll be a busy girl before long, doing this for other people too.

Hope you got my email on Thurs.!

Alyssa said...

Positively LOVING the ideas you came up with. The first is my much so that I plan to copy it for my stairway ;)

Excellent job!!

Hooked on Houses said...

Bella's right--you are incredible. Love the designs you came up with. Just cover those textured walls right up! Fabulous. -Julia :-)

chriskauf said...

I love those suggestions , I think as a matter of fact my upper hall could use the first option but with black doors ,hmmmm
you are amazing.

Liz said...

Oh Layla. These are fantastic suggestions! I would have never thought of using bead board at that height.

Now if you could just tell me how to install a beadboard backsplash over the existing formica in my kitchen. On second thought... just come on over. :)

Deb said...

Go Layla, go Layla, I love it all 3. If I had to choose one of the 3, I'd probably pick 3. What kind of program is that? If I could afford it, I would love to use it for my new house to kind of see what the rooms would look like with my selections in them. Very cool.


Tara said...

Layla~ These are all so amazing! I have not idea how I would pick! wow! i love seagrass and sisal as well, I want all seagrass carpet in my house! yummy...

Love your Blog and ideas!


Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Layla you have blown me away. I am quite impressed! You are THE WOOO-MAN!

Hmm... I think #2 is my fave, with #1 second... but they are all damn good!!!

Sunny said...

It looks awesome! I like #3 best myself. I really hope that you tell us what program you did that in. Pretty kewl!

Ms. Tee said...

I just came over from Bella's place - I'm so glad I did. What great ideas you had for the hallway! Love the beadboard - just beautiful. :)

Meghan Hein said...

You need your own t.v. show immediately! I LOVE the designs. Truly inspiring.

Jennae @ Green Your Decor said...

Wow! I made a suggestion about what she could do, but these are absolutely amazing! You are one talented lady :) And I LOVE grasscloth wallpaper, especially used sparingly the way you did here.

Me said...

wow. Layla, you continue to astound and fascinate me! You.have.such.a.talent! Do you do apartments :)

Jersey Girl in DC said...

Oooh, how fun! I love all three! I wish you lived closer to DC - I'd beg you to come to our condo for help as soon as possible :)

Kat said...

Beautiful work Layla! Beth has three wonderful options to choose from.

Michelle said...

Wow! Amazing! Incredible! What a face lift! I can't wait to see what she decides to do.

Anonymous said...

Number 2 is my favorite! What a transformation. I love your explanations of each option too! Thanks for sharing!~Sherri

Anonymous said...

Number 2 is my favorite! What a transformation. I love your explanations of each option too! Thanks for sharing!~Sherri

Bella Casa said...

Hi Layla,

I just wanted you to know that Beth is sooo excited with all 3 designs that you came up with...when she twittered to me yesterday, she said she could not wait until her husband got home to show him :)

Thanks again...and wow, I am still amazed at how you made a HALLWAY make so many people get so excited :) I agree with whomever said you need a tv show NOW!!!

Bella :)

Naturegirl said...

Wow what talent you have! I love your #3 suggestion! You are clever!

edeenut said...

I love how you took a plain and simple hallway and transformed it into a place I would love to just sit. It looks so comfortable. I need to do something like that to my boring old hallway.

Leslie said...

I actually have the same hallway as Bella. You have inspired me to redo the hallway with your designs. I can't wait to get started. You are one talented lady.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

That is tooo cool!
How did you do that? We can all send in ideas and you can fix them.
Our honey-do husbands will just love it!

Layla said...

Hey gang!

Thanks for all the SUPER SWEET comments! I used Adobe Photoshop CS2 to do the drawings in this post. :-)

The Lettered Cottage

Beth said...

Layla thank you so much for designing my hall for me. I loved how you left it so I could pick out of each one. I love the black shutters, I also love the blue walls. I will send you pictures with the final results.

thanks again