Moodboard Monday: On ‘Hall’-iday


April 15, 2013 by Decorum DIYer

Happy Monday, all!

In keeping with my personal goal of transforming my 1960’s rancher, I’d like to share with you a moodboard for our dark, narrow, long hallway.

“Who needs a moodboard for a hallway?”, you may be asking yourself.

Well, I do.

Allow me to show you my dismal hallway:
Not pretty.

Not pretty. (Sorry the photo is so fuzzy, but I am a terrible photographer (that’s why I have Jane) and my youngest was in my arms.)

As I said, it is long (just over 19 feet), dark, and narrow.  There isn’t room for a stick of furniture and the walls and ceiling are perforated with doors, vents, lights, and the like.

We usually keep all of the doors closed (that is why it is so dark), so that our youngest doesn’t venture into the bedrooms and bathroom without an adult.  Trust me, only trouble is awaiting him on the other side of those doors.

The ceiling has four (4), count them, 1-2-3-4, elements that must be tamed.

The ever important, but unattractive, smoke detector/carbon monoxide alarm:


The whole house fan, which is covered by a sheet of plywood

to keep out drafts during the winter:


Attic access door and drop-down ladder:


And, we have one hall light of which I am not very fond.


I don’t mind the light itself, but I don’t like it aesthetically, nor functionally, for the hallway.

Here is our hallway with the light on:

You can see why I keep the light OFF.  Yuck!

You can see why I keep the light OFF. Yuck!

We still have a baby gate on my daughter’s room.  Since Ascher is still in a crib (although he has been known to crawl out onto the changing table.  Hey, it’s a small room and the proximity of the furniture cannot be avoided.), we use the gate on Claire’s door as a way to keep her door open (for light into the hallway and to have an earshot of her when she is in her room alone) and keep Ascher out of her room.  Our rule for Ascher is that he is not allowed in any of the rooms without an adult, as there is simply too much for him to get into, both to make a mess and injure himself.

If Ascher is asleep, we keep all of the doors open for light (except his door, of course).  It is a bit better:


As to functionality (can you tell I spend a lot of time thinking about the hallway lighting situation?), I’d like to create some dutch doors for all of the bedroom doors.  I think the bathroom door should maintain itself fully intact, don’t you?


(Via ‘The Diligent One‘)

I’d also like to change out the basement door (the first one on the left) to a nine or twelve lite door.

Something like this:

12 lite 3/4 window door

12 lite 3/4 window door

I think the above would do the following:

  1. Give the hallway some character and break up the bevy of boring doors
  2. Provide natural light to the equally narrow and dark basement stair well
  3. Allow individuals to see other individuals entering/exiting the basement to avoid accidents.  Currently, one is blindly opening the basement door into the hallway when returning to the first floor.
  4. The 3/4 window style would still allow for our cat door.  We keep the basement door closed and locked at all time to avoid unintended falls down the basement stairway, mostly by our youngest one.  He is tall enough to reach the door knob.  It is only a matter of time before he figures out how to turn the door knob handle.
Aside from these practical conundrums, I want to elevate the hallway into an attractive and functional space; not just a passageway.

Here’s my vision:

OB-On 'Hall'-iday

Please visit my ‘Hallway’ Pinterest page to view above items and original sources.

Here are the changes and additions, I’d like to make:

  1. Maintain the current wall color of Valspar’s ‘Lyndhurst Mushroom’ (also currently my living room color), but paint the trim a creamy white
  2. Paint all of the doors a high gloss black
  3. Refashion all of the bedroom doors into dutch doors (the lower and upper halves of the door function independently)
  4. Replace the basement door with a 9 or 12 lite, 3/4 window style door
  5. Install bead board on the ceiling and paint it a creamy white
  6. Cover the attic access door and house fan cover (really just a sheet of plywood) with the bead board for a more seamless and cohesive look
  7. Change out the hallway light.  I have several options in mind: flush mount drum shade; track lighting to focus on family tree, gallery, and artwork; or a combination flush mount with multiple lights that move independently
  8. Paint a tree on the 75″ wall (the wall on the right) and add family photos in the form of a genealogical tree.
  9. Hang a grid gallery high on the 117″ wall (the wall to the left) that features current photos of my children
  10. Create a rotating, clothesline, children’s artwork display under the grid gallery on the 117″ wall
  11. Update the floor runner, new pattern/color?

So, what are your thoughts?

Can you see my vision?

Do you have any suggestions or pearls of wisdom from experience?

I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…, happy decorating!


12 thoughts on “Moodboard Monday: On ‘Hall’-iday

  1. Elisa says:

    I totally get your vision and let me just say the dutch doors are a great idea! I have a 18mo old who is very curious and we keep our doors shut too, but it hinders the air flow of the house. Dutch doors are totally versatile and much better looking than baby gates (I have my fair share.) I can’t wait to see this all come together!

    • Yes! The air flow is another major factor, as I especially dislike using my air conditioner in the summer. I would much rather open the windows. I agree, I think Dutch doors are a much better solution. Thank you for stopping by and your encouraging comments.

  2. Love the idea of adding bead board! I think it’s great that you’re adding personality to all your spaces. I would think hallways are often overlooked.

  3. Christa says:

    I like the idea of the 9 or 12 light for the basement door. Beadboard on the ceiling – never would have thought of that but sounds neat. Can’t wait to see what you do to the hall way. It’ll be great of course.

  4. Simply Chimerica says:

    Love the bathroom door, and the idea of a tree! I think that would be a super great detail for your kiddies!

  5. I love the dutch doors! I would not have thought of that. That would have been great when my kids were smaller. We did the baby gate thing, too, and it is thoroughly unattractive. I also like the idea of the bead board and the art on the walls. We have a long hallway, too, although blessed with light. I immediately thought of an art gallery and hung a bunch of art, too. I think your hallway is going to be awesome.

    My mother-in-law has the most beautiful family tree hanging in her hallway. Her mother made a pencil drawing with photos in it. It’s huge and she did it all by hand and had them framed, one for each of her children (she had 7!!). It’s hanging in J’s parents’ hallway. I’ll take a picture of it and send it to you, just because I think you’d like to see it. I’ve spent a lot of time just standing there looking at it 😉 Her mother also wrote a lot of poetry and did a lot of sketches. About ten years ago, my m-i-l compiled a cookbook with all of her mom’s recipes, poetry and sketches. It’s really cool and I actually use it a lot. My daughter used to pour through it, looking at all the sketches and would trace them. I think she knows that book by heart. (Sorry I’m rambling – I was just thinking about how nice your family tree idea is and started telling you that story 😉

    • Not rambling at all. I love to hear stories like that. I am sentimental and nostalgic at heart, so ‘ramble’ away. Thanks for thinking of me, as to the family tree. Your version sounds more like what I see in my mind’s eye and I get lost in family photos when they are display at friends’ and families’ houses.

  6. twistnpout says:

    Oh hallways are such a dilemma. I think the Dutch doors are a great idea, but yes the bathroom door should remain fully intact. I never really know how to handle a space like this – I can’t wait to see the finished project. I am having a real dilemma with my entry way – no room for even the smallest table no closet – its a 1060’s split level, so i’m sure you get the point. Anyway – good luck!

  7. Your moodboards remind me of how much I neglect the “fifth wall” – – the ceiling! I really like the bead board idea. And hallways are a great space for displaying artwork and photos, so I encourage you to have a field day with that. Both the family tree and clothesline of artwork speak to my heart! One of my favorite “hallways” was in our old home in Columbus, OH. We had a string from one side of the wall to the other and on the string we hung using clothespins poloroid photos of the guests who came to visit us. Three years later, when we moved, the entire string was filled. Anyway, all that to say, hallways hold great potential for memory making!

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