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Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress

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.

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover

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!

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Benjamin Moore Classic Grey

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.)

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Easy Thermostat Cover

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.

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Simple Thermostat Cover

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.

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Free Public Domain Shakespeare Art

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.)

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Magic Light Trick

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.)

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Hallway Sconce Light

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.

Simple Thermostat Cover and Hallway Progress | 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. #thermostatcover #hallway #hallwaymakeover #beforeandafter #sconce #sconcelight #walldecor #wallart #budgetdecor #freeart #decortrick #eyesorecover Thermostat Cover Art

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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21 Comments

  1. I love watching you transform your home. Every time I see what you’ve done it gives me inspiration to tackle a new project in my house.
    Also, I am so excited to see the name you have picked for your daughter. Not a common name, or a common spelling of that name at all. I used to be embarrassed of my name when I was little, as I grew up in the 80s so I’m sure you can imagine the jokes regarding the President (even though it was his last name, spelled different, and he wasn’t in office when I was born but hey, people run with anything). But now, I absolutely love my name because it’s a one of a kind. So excited to see another.
    Wishing you all the best.

    1. Thank you so much! I love that it is a unique name too and ties in with my affinity for Shakespeare. 🙂

  2. I grew up with an attic fan in the house, and it did a great job of cooling down the house without using the AC. I’m in SC as well. Y’all might like it if it still works! The hallway looks great too!

  3. It looks soooo nice! Question, though. What about the light on the picture causing the thermostat to read warmer than it really is? I know if we have our ceiling hall light on it messes with the thermostat. Our living room is a good 5 degrees different than the hall so we try not to have the hall light on too long to mess up things further. Lol.

  4. As a former English teacher, too, I like the children’s names and their literary connections. Makes a special story to tell them each someday. Not nerdy at all in my “book!”

  5. Where did you get your sconce for the hallway??? I love it, and might help spruce up our own hallway. We have 2 lights right now that really need changed out!

  6. A seriously stupid question…are you spraying your doors with the wrought iron paint or using brushes/rollers? We have a sprayer but I was just curious since my husband hates for me to use it…

  7. We have installed solar tubes in our laundry room, guest bathroom, & hallway. Amazing how much light they let in!

  8. I also have a dark hallway with a lone thermostat for decoration. I was afraid to put anything over the top of it and decided to go another way. After painting, I embraced the thermostat with a Friends-inspired frame from Hobby Lobby. (Remember fancy frame around the peephole in the door?) I love your solution, too!

  9. Thank you Lauren for all of your suggestions to open up a poorly lit space and creating a focal point of interest. I LOVE how you tie meaning to your wall art and other accessory items. I feel the same way about incorporating a piece of personality or history into your home. Can you tell me if you all had to wire the sconce into the wall? Light fixtures are a great complement to any room but I cringe whenever I have to think about hiring an electrician. Blessings!

  10. I noticed that the doors started out white and ended up black. What color and finish did you use on the doors?

    1. Hi Renee,

      The doors are Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron in semi-gloss as we have done throughout the house. Finally made it to the hallway!

  11. I love the new color. It really made a difference. It’s so funny that you felt that way because I did the exact same thing last week. My hall bathroom was painted in a gold color which coordinated with the former yellowish color in the hall.
    (I painted the hall a light gray a few months ago and love it. ) I went in the bathroom Thursday morning and just couldn’t take looking at those gold walls anymore! We had leftover paint from the hall and I grabbed a paintbrush while I was still in my pj’s. I’ll send pics on the new Community page when I’m completely through. Thanks for always sharing your beautiful transformations.

  12. The hallway looks so much brighter and more welcoming now! I love the thermostat cover idea too!
    One way we added more light in our hallway, was by adding electrical outlet covers with lights. The lights turn on when it is dark and just gives a little more light in our very dark hallway without having night lights plugged in. They are great too in the middle of the night if you need to run into one of the kid’s bedrooms if they need something. 🙂

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