Ever since we purchased our home more than 12 years ago, I have dreaded the day that I had to finally address my narrow hallway/stairwell area. This area is right by our back door and the hallway goes to our laundry room and the stairs goes up to my office/craft room. I made myself wait until I finished the craft room before I finally dealt with this space. Finally, after 12 years of hating this space, I had no choice, I finally had to deal with it and we revamped it in a big way a few weeks ago.
This was by far the most challenging space that I have ever designed because I have wracked my brain trying to figure out how I could take this super narrow space and turn it into a mudroom. We have been in dire need of a spot by the back door to hang coats, toss shoes, backpacks, etc., and no matter how I looked at it, I just couldn’t come up with a solution. It finally just hit me as I forced myself to stare at this space how I could overcome the issues and we are beyond thrilled with how functional and pretty the space turned out.
Before I go into the details, let me just show you the before picture (please excuse the big paint swipe on the wall):
Yeah, your basic standard ugly stairwell and hallway. I hated that yellow color and the color of the banister. This space also had horrible lighting and was really dark. The light fixture was just one bulb.
Here is the same shot/angle today after the revamp:
Pretty big difference, huh?
I knew that if I could just really focus on this space and think through every square inch, there had to be a way to make it so much better. It turned out more beautiful (and functional) than I imagined. Don’t you just love that when that happens?
The first thing I focused on was the trim and wall colors. Because this space is so dark and has no natural light, I had to play off of undertones. I wanted the walls a blue, gray with a very slight hint of green but I had to lean more green to get the color to appear blue because of the artificial light. I had to work with the awesome paint guys at Home Depot to come up with this custom mix and I used Behr Ultra paint in a flat. This is the custom mix that we used:
I loved the cabinet and trim color in my office/craft room, so I decided to carry that down the stairs and into the mudroom for the trim, banister and built-in mudroom. The color I used was Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams:
We used a matte oil based for all of the Mindful Gray for extra durability.
We also changed the carpet (it was original to the house), which we also purchased from Home Depot and we matched the Mindful Gray to the carpet. It’s a beautiful durable berber and it has a gray undertone and I am in love with it!
The built-in mudroom is the most significant thing that we did to the space and on Friday, I will be dedicating a whole post into how we did it. It was super easy but there are just lots of little details, so if you’re interested, I shared the details and tutorial for making the built-in here.
Here are just some shots of it to give you a better idea of the built-in mudroom:
I only had 5 inches to work with to keep this narrow hallway free from clutter. The baskets on the bottom will hold miscellaneous things like scarves, flip flops, magazines, softballs, etc.. The bottom shelf, will be a spot for my daughter and I to leave our shoes (my husband’s shoes are too big).
We also installed hat hooks on the second to the last shelf at the top.
Again, if you want even more details on the built-in mudroom, that tutorial is here.
As far as the photographs and gallery wall going up the stairs, I blew up my favorite photos of my daughter from our spring break trip to Mexico. I then framed them with my favorite chrome metal frames and had a large mat cut in white, so I could get that pop of white in the space:
I created a gallery wall (I’m not finished with it yet) with blown up photos from my trip to Italy, photos of my daughter, a few of my paintings, a framed sea fan, mirrors and a big letter “A”:
Once I finish this gallery wall going up the stairs, I will do a post on all of the little projects that I did for it. Hopefully, I’ll have it on the blog next week.
Again, sorry that the pictures are not better. Very difficult space to photograph.
I am so glad that I didn’t just paint this space and call it done but that I really stopped to take some time to think through how I could creatively design this space to make it also a functional space. I always says this but I’ll say it again, if you just give a trouble space a little of your time and sit a stare at it for a few days, you can overcome design challenges. Hopefully, my post today will inspire you to look at your narrow hallways and stairwells a little differently to see if there is a way to utilize the space better.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today friends! I’ll be back on Friday with the tutorial for my built-in mudroom wall.
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