A dark, beige hallway gets a light and bright makeover, plus a solution for creating an inexpensive thermostat cover and sconce lighting without the electrical work.
The other week, I had one of those days where I could NOT look at our dark yellowy-beige upstairs hallway for one more minute. You ever have a day like that? One where you think, “I need to find a paint brush immediately.”
I’ve never shown this spot in our house before, but it’s one we walk through a bajillion times a day.
It gets zero natural light already, but the cream trim and beige walls weren’t doing it any favors.
So we continued the paint colors from our foyer up the stairs and into this space. Robert painted the cream colored ceiling with Benjamin Moore Simply White, and I tackled the trim in the same color (only in semigloss).
Then we painted the walls Benjamin Moore Classic Grey. It’s perfect for spaces with minimal natural light because it creates an airy quality that isn’t just plain “white”. And there’s a warmth to the shade that keeps it inviting.
Now it looks like this!
We’ve been painting away to continue the black door trend from the rest of the house too using Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron.
I wouldn’t call it finished. We still have the other side of this hallway where the walls are completely bare. The attic door could stand to be replaced. And eventually we need to remove the attic fan on the ceiling.
But this space already feels happy!
The only thing that bugged me on this end of the hallway was our thermostat and the fact that the end wall was just begging for some kind of art.
Enter this situation…
(Some affiliate links are provided below.)
If you don’t follow Brooke from the Nesting With Grace blog already, she has this brilliant tutorial about how to rig a sconce light without needing any electrical skills (dubbed the “magic light trick”). She gave me this light bulb moment (pun kind of intended… har har).
I figured I could hang this sconce light above a piece of art to cover our thermostat. I used this frame without the glass in it to make it super light and also so the thermostat could still function with the “breathable” paper art on top. Some covers that are solid wood or glass placed over top of a thermostat can cause inaccurate temperature readings, FYI.
The frame sticks out so that there’s still plenty of space on all sides of the thermostat, but you can’t tell looking at it down the hallway.
The art is really just a vintage book cover image that I downloaded from the public domain and had printed as a matte 11×14.
True story: Robert and I were married on Shakespeare’s birthday (hello, former English teacher here), so we named our little girl Olivia, which was a name invented by Shakespeare in the play Twelfth Night, where a girl is displayed as one of the first female heroines in literature.
Our next little one’s name will be Regan (a name invented by Shakespeare too). So if you didn’t think we were nerds before, well… you probably do now.
Hence, the Shakespeare art. 🙂 I’m a sucker for wall decor that has emotional significance.
If you want to print it for your own wall, you can click the button below to access it in my printable library:
(If you’re already a subscriber, the link to access it is in your email.)
So now with our sconce light on, it looks way more fancy schmancy than it is. Even if it is just a Target frame with a cheap print inside.
(I shared some of my favorite sconces for under $50 the other day, if you’re thinking of rigging one too.)
It’s hanging right outside of Regan’s nursery, which I can’t wait to get started on soon… ya know, if I can ever stop painting random beige areas in our house that suddenly start driving me bonkers.
I’m sure I’ll share the other half of the hallway once more happens on that end. Right now it’s just a blank nothing.
While we’re at it, do you have any favorite solutions for jazzing up a dark hallway? Or favorite ways for covering up eyesores on your walls? We’ve thought about eventually adding picture frame molding in this space too… I keep saying that but it IS going to happen one of these days.
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