March 15, 2018

Hallway Makeover | Before & After

Hallway makeover before and after


our hallway makeover journey!


I say journey… it’s taken nearly eight months from the initial plan to completion. And I say Before and After… it’s mostly After. And when you see the Before pics, you’ll understand why!

Unlike the living room, the Before’s were snapped in a bit of a hurry, post taking down the few remaining pictures that hadn’t fallen off their inadequate hooks and pre Mr OS grabbing a paintbrush.

Looking at the hall now and seeing those before images after some time has passed, I can’t quite believe the state it was in. But isn’t that always the way with most makeovers and renovations? Maybe that’s why I only snapped three pictures…

A  H O U S E  F U L L  O F  7 0 ‘ S  E L E M E N T S . . .

Apart from the ancient dirty carpet and just the feeling of it being a thoroughfare with no real lived in feel, for me it was all about those horizontal 70’s bannisters… as in they had to go! Ours is a 70’s house meaning there was all sorts of 70’s ickiness to be erased right form the word go… Artex ceilings, old fashioned skirting boards etc. etc.

As we’ve decorated over the years, bit by bit, the 70s elements have been replaced wherever we’ve been capable (or have had the funds to pay a professional). Way too many rooms still have that nasty stipple-effect ceiling thing going on but re-plastering always feels like a bit of a major undertaking.

Rome wasn’t built in a day…


before…


online stylist hallway pre makeover

Hallway upstairs before


But the bannisters… Urgh! And not only Urgh but we always had a weird, no lower bannister situation going on right from the off. Mr OS had moved into the house first before we were together and in true boy fashion, decided the downstairs part should be sawn off.

Maybe he was going for a less 70s bannister the better approach… Maybe it’s best not to question his motives.

Fast forward a couple of years, one wife acquired and one baby later and I distinctly remember asking where we would put a stair gate. The same question arose five years ago only this time it was more how do we keep a bouncing puppy from bounding up the stairs. In both cases, we got by!

T H E  S E A R C H  F O R  A  C A R P E N T E R  I S  A  L O N G  O N E . . .

Back to the present day and late last summer we allocated a couple of weekends where I was on child and dog distraction duties and Mr OS proceeded to apply liberal amounts of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe to the hallway and landing walls. This was a shade I’d been itching to have somewhere in the house!

Around late September I began thinking of Christmas garland opportunities (don’t judge me – I ALWAYS start thinking about festive decorations in September), on a non-70s bannister and so began the mission of pursing carpenters for quotes and availability. Turns out neither of these is easy… by a long shot!


after…


I finally got around to pinning someone down (not literally, although maybe I should have) to a date in November and within one day, horizontal was replaced by vertical and after sixteen years of scowling at the staircase, I was one happy bunny!


Biscuit in the hallway

biscuit asleep in the hallway

hallway with dark walls and oak floors

hallway through to the living room

Vases – H&M US : similar here in UK | Shelf – Oak Store Direct | Framed Print – Lumitrix c/o Bowl – (old) Oliver Bonas : similar here | Ceiling Light – John Lewis : similar here | Linen Candle – The White Company | Nest Learning Thermostat


Just before the Christmas decorations went up we had a new carpet laid and suddenly the hallway looked half decent. Since January, its been all about the gallery wall… which in if I’m honest, scared the Bejeepers out of me. Whilst I can visualise most things, this one left me with a bit of an interiors blind spot.

Cue the gods of Pinterest and IKEA!  After finding a few images that featured framed prints leant on picture rails in amongst books and other objects, I decided this was the way forward – say Hello to the IKEA Mosslanda Picture Ledge. No more middle of the night, pictures falling off inadequate hook scenarios for this house!


hallway painted with farrow and ball downpipe

hall shelf with vases and framed print

coat rack in hallway


Then it came to sourcing the right lighting – Mr OS is now fairly sure I have a lighting obsession… and I fear he may be right. As with the living room, I went straight over to Cult Furniture and promptly ordered the Tribeca Triple Pendant light.

Next we got down to the serious business of finding actual prints to go into various assorted IKEA and Habitat frames. Turns out this is quite a vexing task when it comes to matching up print and frame sizes.

Somewhere in amongst the entire process (August 2017 through to March 2018) I was approached by both Lumitrix and Mapiful asking if I would like to receive a gifted print. Possibly it was the fateful intervention of the Interiors Gods… or maybe they’d just seen me warbling on over on Instagram Stories about the hallway…


styling up a hallway shelf with vases a candle and a print

Framed Print – Lumitrix c/o


From Lumitrix I choose a beautiful seascape print from the Venice Surf series by Kate Holstein that now has pride of place on the new shelf.

Lumitrix have a beautifully curated gallery of images but it had to be something in monochrome and for us the the surf/beach theme was perfect.


Mapiful custom map poster Veuve Clicquot

Custom Print Map Poster – Mapiful c/o | Frame – Habitat


Mapiful kindly offered a custom print map poster. I choose our location as the Champagne Caves of Veuve Clicquot in Reims where Mr OS proposed and added in the date and year of this momentous event.  This print now makes me smile every time I walk past it!

If you’d like to order a Mapiful print of your own, they’ve provided me with a 15% discount code that you can use from now until 31 March 2018. Just enter ONLINESTYLIST15 at the checkout.


stairway decorated with prints and lights

scented candle in a lantern to maximise fragrance

C'est la vie print from olive et oriel

Happy Light – Cult Furniture | C’est La Vie Print – Olive et Oriel | Frame – IKEA | Brooklyn Bridge Print – Etsy | Glass Candle Holder – The White Company | Candle – Donna Ida


In terms of the rest of the gallery wall prints, one is our own New York trip photo of the Chrysler Building and the lightbulb print was stolen from the living room, together with my #ElevateTheEveryday Too Wordy poster from my desk.

For the C’est La Vie and two palm prints I shopped at Olive et Oriel.  The Brooklyn Bridge print is by Sam Judge and the More Issues Than Vogue is by Rock Salt Prints – both found on Etsy.


elevate the everyday print and kinfolk home book

cult furniture pendant lights and gallery wall

styled hallway and landing with gallery wall

Elevate The Everyday Print – Too Wordy | Kinfolk Home Book | Chanel Collections & Creations Coffee Table Book | Wire & Decorative Accessory – Oliver Bonas | SMYCKA Artificial Monstera Leaves – IKEA | Vase – Zara Home | How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are Book | More Issues Than Vogue Print – Etsy


things I love about the space… apart from the new bannisters!


Overall, it now feels much more like another room – one that’s cosy and lived in. I’d happily sit on the stairs with a glass of wine on a Friday evening… in fact that’s probably where you’ll find me later on this week!

As with most Farrow & Ball paints we’ve used in the house, the shade appears to change depending on where and how bright the sunlight is during the day. If you look at these images, depending where I was when taking the pictures and the angle of the lighting, it looks almost blue in some shots and a rich dark grey in others.

M O N O C H R O M E  W A S  A L W A Y S  M E A N T  T O  B E !

As I type this at 5:00pm, the sun has gone around the front of the house and is currently flooding a white kitchen and a dark grey hallway with light. Monochrome was always meant to be!

I also have a (good) thing about the shelf. If we had a bigger hallway there would have been a console table in there somewhere, styled with ever changing vignettes no doubt. But by moving the coats from above the radiator to near the front door (H’s excellent idea), we made room for a shelf instead.

Cue much shuffling of vases, prints and scented candles. And it’s a great place for keys and a loose change pot… although I’ve had to appoint myself the Shelf Monitor.

Dear Family, repeat after me… It is not a dumping ground!


white wooden bannisters in dark grey hallway

view from top of landing down the stairs

Palm Prints – Olive et Oriel | Tribeca Pendant Lights – Cult Furniture


My other two favourite elements are the Vegas Metal “Happy” light – another Cult Furniture purchase and having a scented candle in a candle holder jar to “throw” fragrance up to the ceiling. I’m living up to my own advice with this one!

Our hallway makeover was a long ongoing project that due to resources, time and actually getting around to a serious stair bannister conversation that should’ve taken place fifteen years ago, took a while to complete.

But as with most things in life, it was more than worth the wait!


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22 comments on “Hallway Makeover | Before & After”

  1. Love your Hallway make-up. Has given me inspiration for displaying prints and posters up the stairs. It has not been long since we finally made over our Hallway and it does make a welcoming difference to my home.

    What I love about your make-over’s is that they are inspiring & very achievable on an average person’s income. Not one styled just for a interior’s magazine shot. But in a home that a family is living.

    I love to see how you re-style the vignettes during the seasons too.

    1. Hi Shirley,
      Ah thanks so much and I’m really pleased it might provide you with some inspiration for your own gallery wall! I do love an interior makeover as much as the next person but it’s great to find those that you feel you can achieve too in terms of space and budget. These things do take time – especially when family life takes over and weekends become packed full of To Do’s already. I’ll keep on with those vignette changes too – they’ve become my seasonal obsessions!
      Have a lovely weekend ahead!
      Amanda xx

  2. This is modern fabulous!!! what colour did you use — I’m a bit of a white or white or another shade of white woman but would love to try something more dramatic!

    love your inspiration – have a lovely weekend 🙂

    1. Hey Rosie!
      Thanks so much – a little bit of paint drama was needed I think. It’s Farrow and Ball and is called Down Pipe. Its one of those colours that at first you think OMG when it starts going on but its looks pretty fab when you get used to it.
      You have a lovely weekend too!
      Amanda xx

  3. It looks lovely. May I ask where the carpet is from/what colour it is? This looks a lot more practical than our very light beige carpet that now needs replacing.

    1. Hi Debbie – thank you!
      You do need something hard wearing for the stairs don’t you? Especially with a pre-teen and a labrador! It was by Regency Carpets, its the Mayfair Design and the colour was called Basket. If you Google it it should show you suppliers. Good luck!
      Amanda xx

  4. Love your styling. You’ve given me an idea for displaying family photos on a picture frame shelf in our hallway, although I’m more of a light oak and seaside colours gal. Can I ask -where did you get the white vase from? I’ve looked on H&M and can see the others but not the white one.

    1. Hi Margaret,
      Thanks so much! And I love the idea of using oak and seaside colours – I think the principal would work for any colour scheme. The white vase was also H&M but I don’t think they sell that one anymore. You could try Zara Home perhaps or Arket for something similar? Good luck with the makeover!
      Amanda xx

  5. Oh it looks so lovely, and such an inspiration – you’ve given me loads of ideas for mine, and a bit of courage with the colours! You’ve totally transformed it, well done.

    1. Thanks so much Amanda!I know what you mean about the courage thing with the colours though – it feels like a big leap when you paint something really dark. Trust your instincts – and the tester pots!
      Amanda xx

  6. Amanda it looks gorgeous! You’ve done such a brilliant job and I can see why you must be so thrilled with it! Can I join you for a glass of wine on the stairs?!

    Enjoy!

    Love, Monica x

    1. Thanks so much Monica! It was such a great space to pull together in the end… once I’d conquered my gallery wall fear!
      And there’s always a space on my stairs and a glass of wine waiting for you!
      Amanda xx

  7. Love this make over. mine started in september last year,not finished yet! old victorian house so had to re-plaster, bang went the budget so still waiting on getting the right carpet and build the budget back up, trying to decide what will work with Farrow & Ball railings as we painted the bottom half of the walls and the wood work in this colour. loving your gallery walls, you nailed it.

    1. Hi Sheryl,
      Oh my goodness – that sounds like a major project. The budget is always a lot tougher when there’s plastering involved isn’t it? I just looked up the Railings colour – that is divine! I love the dark shades so much at the moment! So glad you like the gallery wall – I found it was just one of those things that I had to bide my time about on the decision front. I hope you get there soon with your paint colour!
      Amanda xx

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