Here is what the hallway looked like when we moved in....
I have a lot of things to say about this photo, but my mother always told me that if you have nothing nice to say than don't say anything at all. So....moving on.
First, we ripped up the carpet and (phew) there was hardwood underneath. We refinished it and stained it darker (along with the rest of the floors in the house) a red mahogany color. We hired someone to do that work since it was the whole house and not one room. But we decided to refinish/stain the banisters and replace/paint the spindles ourselves. That was not an easy project, but I think it is totally worth it. It really brightens and cleans up the whole space.
Here it is after a little paint and stain.....and a new light fixture....
And also in the process of updating this area, we decided to paint the doors black. B was gung-ho (sp?) about this but I have to admit being a little skeptical. The whole plan for this house was to clean and brighten everything....and black felt like it would create the opposite effect. But, after a few weeks of listening to his rationale and obsessively googling for pictures of black doors on the internet, I decided to jump on board. And I have to admit (although I hate to) that I really love it. For more info about this process, check out my post here from 2010).
This is what the hallway has looked like since August of 2010. It is 100 times better than it was when we moved in, but it was still pretty bare....until now.
The only tricky part about this project was working around the thermostat. Otherwise, I just started out with a straight line in the center and worked up and down from there. I scattered the basement gallery a bit more randomly (more on that here), so I thought I would try something different upstairs. I bought all of these frames at Michaels on sale a year ago. I think I got this whole slew of frames for around $100 since there was a 50% off promotion plus a 20% off extra coupon (or something like that). That is less than $10 a frame, so it was a steal!! The rug was from IKEA a little while back. Not sure if they still have it, but I have three of them throughout the house. One in the hallway downstairs and another in the kitchen in front of the sink. They were $15 each and they have been AMAZING! I think they still have the same type of rugs available, just not the same colors. The biggest reason I love them is because they are machine washable and they come out looking brand new. Perfect for kids!!!
And I almost forgot to mention the horse painting. This is my favorite new addition to the hallway. B bought this for me for my first mother's day. I have been talking about a horse painting ever since I met him and he finally found one for me. It is so nice to look at it every morning when I wake up to head downstairs.......even if it is 5:00am.
So that's it for galleries this week. I am thinking about doing a little three frame thing in the downstairs hallway, but only if I can get another good deal on frames. There isn't anything on the wall at the moment, so it looks a little bare. Just not sure what to put in the frames yet so I am holding out on the project until then. Upstairs was easy, I just found a picture for every place we have traveled.....plus a picture of my belly when I was pregnant (of course). It is sort of a random assortment of photographs, but I thought it seemed relatively cohesive since they are all black and white.
The beauty of a project like this is that you can always remove and replace the photos down the road if you have a change of mood or decor. And knowing me, that will be sooner rather than later. Or, in keeping with the timeline of this project, maybe I will take another year to plan it out! Who knows??
Have you done any galleries in your home recently? I am obviously loving them lately since I have done two in a matter of a few days. If so, I would love to see what you are working on....
And before I leave you, let's do a quick before and after.