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Our Hall in Progress

traditional home hall lights | brass lanterns

{above photo with the addition of brass lanterns}

Beautiful hall decorating ideas filled with tips from design blogger Julie Blanner

Sometimes I just want to celebrate the little victories rather than the after and our hall is one such instance. The space has really evolved since we purchased our home last summer, but like everything in our home, is still a work in progress.

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Hall decorating ideas

When we moved in, the hall was covered in white but not-so-white carpet. It was victim to the heavy traffic that halls tend to receive. When we purchased our previous home {referred to as The Colonial}, we removed the carpet on the stairs, but replaced the carpeting in the hallway. Despite taking our shoes off and frequently vacuuming, we also had to frequently clean the carpet. Rather than re-carpeting the hall in this home, we decided it would be best to replace it with wood floors and add heavy molding. I had them stained a color close to the banister. It is one of my favorite decisions we have made in our home to date, because it is much easier to maintain and visually appealing. I can’t find a before picture, but I was able to find a photo that I took just after the floors were installed.


get tips and ideas to update a hall with dark, dated doors


tips for adding light to a hall and your home

get tips and ideas to update a hall with dark, dated doors

Our hall isn’t too large, but boasts 8 doors. The original hollow core dark stained doors felt dark, dreary and cheap. Rather than just painting them, I decided to replace them with custom two panel shaker doors. I’m not going to lie. It was an investment, far more than I had originally anticipated. I searched everywhere online and couldn’t find them more reasonable – until I visited a friend’s home a month after they were installed. More on that to come later in this post. Anyways, when we replaced them the hall completely transformed. For added bonus, the doors have also reduced the noise, helping the girls nap through Dusty’s constant barking a bit better. There was definitely more light when I took the “after” photos, but the most significant difference in light was made by the doors and that we painted them in a white semi-gloss to reflect light.

Home blogger Julie Blanner shares her ideas for updating a dark, dated hall

Since a hall doesn’t consist of much, I wanted to pay careful attention to details. I ventured to a local door hardware store and fell in love. I know a lot of people prefer to shop for jewelry in a jewelry store, but this was pretty much my heaven.

Beautiful hall ideas

How to update a hall

I selected antique brass solid knobs for the bedroom doors because they felt warm and full of character. I love the understated elegance they add.

It's all in the details - hall ideas

Home blogger Julie Blanner shares her ideas for updating a dark, dated hall

Since it is a hall of doors, I wanted to differentiate the bathroom and hall closet, especially for guests. Doing so breaks up the monotony and adds interest. These gorgeous crystal door knobs on a rectangular rosette really elevated our hallway. I particularly love the discreet way they love with just a simple pin.

Beautiful ways to update/decorate your hall | crystal door knobs and shaker doors

Beautiful ways to update/decorate your hall | crystal door knobs and shaker doors

Beautiful hall ideas

Another detail that I added were these simple light switch plate and outlet covers. They’re discreet, but compliment the floor molding and are an upgrade from standard plastic light switch plates.

light switch plate cover - easy ways to update a hall

Hall decorating ideas

Finding a beautiful runner for the hallway proved to be a challenge. I really wanted an antique oriental runner, but I never managed to find the right length, color palette and most importantly, price. I had a 6′ runner that I got from Lowe’s for our mudroom, but didn’t end up using. I placed it in the hall upstairs for a visual and loved it. I ordered it in the longest length and wasn’t sure if it worked. So I ordered another that almost managed to reach the length of the hall in a different pattern, but it fell short. I reverted back to the shorter runner in the pattern I loved and decided to position it in the middle, along the length of the largest wall. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and stop overthinking it, right? I thought about how we’re made to feel that things like runners should make the length of a space and be within 1-2′ of a wall, but when I look at images and watch movies with inspiring home design, I often find that is not the case at all. Rugs are often scattered throughout, somewhat haphazardly, layered or centered. I reminded myself that home design should celebrate life, not add stress.

Beautiful hall decorating ideas filled with tips from design blogger Julie Blanner

Beautiful hall decorating ideas filled with tips from design blogger Julie Blanner

Beautiful hall decorating ideas filled with tips from design blogger Julie Blanner

I had considered adding a few pieces of art to the hall, but what could be more beautiful than my three little babes? Family photos can be a little challenging because they can start to look arts and craftsy, which is not what I was going for. To achieve an artistic aesthetic, I selected photographs from our vacation in Michigan where the girls weren’t looking directly at the camera and were off at a distance. I had them professionally printed and framed. Framing became another one of my obsessions because craft store frames looked like just that and I couldn’t find a lot of thin, gilded wood frames. I was doing my best to avoid using Rub ‘n Buff, which meant I spent one too many hours searching for something so simple. Did I mention that I sometimes obsess over the silliest things?

how to decorate a hallway

How to decorate a hall

I needed a size in between the standard 11×14 or 16×20, so I had them custom made {and it was inexpensive!} Once framed, I also hung them artistically – evenly spaced, just a few inches apart at the same height. I’m absolutely in love with them! In fact, if you come over, don’t be surprised if I drag you upstairs to the hallway to admire the photos of the girls.

Hall decorating ideas

If you were wondering about those doors, my heart heart still sinks a little. I am enamored with our doors, but we went to a friend’s home for the first time on New Year’s Eve and their doors were almost identical. The difference? They were a third of the price and special ordered from LOWE’S! Seriously, I should have known. They also had the same backplates and almost identical door hardware, just in a different finish. Great minds, right?

how to decorate a hallway

Have you ever had a should’ve, would’ve, could’ve home moment or spent far too much time obsessing over something minute?

{you can see it’s current state with brass lanterns here}


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28 comments on “Our Hall in Progress”

  1. It all looks amazing! I just love all the door hardware and thank you for sharing the resources for those. Have you considered replacing the hall ceiling light fixture? A moravian star pendant would look beautiful there…

    • Absolutely! I have ordered a couple of gorgeous lanterns that should be here in 6 weeks. A star pendant would be pretty. I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

  2. Beautiful ! Love it ! Simple but so pretty 😉 good job !

  3. Hi Julie – The hallway looks simply beautiful. I love the knobs especially the glass one. I have been collecting glass door knob sets from HomeGoods for the past 6 months. Every time I go, I look for them. So far I have found 8 sets in 2 different styles. I still need more, but am excited to use them throughout my house.

    I am on my way to check out the link to the glass doorknob you used. It is a beauty.

  4. I absolutely love the transformation! It’s so simple yet so classic and elegant! I had originally thought of painting the hallway side of our doors black like we are doing our entry door but now I’m second guessing myself. Truly beautiful!

    • Thank you! I do love the contrast of dark doors, but I always lean toward light and bright because it makes me happy. Decisions like that are always difficult, aren’t they!

  5. Hi Julie,
    Love the simplicity of the hallway. May I ask where you had the gold frames made and size? My hallway is similar to yours and thinking about adding some frames.

    • I copied the invoice sent for accurate details: Morado Sales on Ebay…16×18 Small Thin Gold Solid Wood Picture Frames White Mat 8×10 image opening

  6. Hello! Can you please provide the sources of your door knobs? Both the all brass and crystal rosette! thanks!


    • Of course, you can find them here. I cannot express to you how much I love them. We receive compliments on them all the time. Have a great week, Lindsey!

  7. Hi Julie!
    I just love these door knobs! Can you tell me if you purchased the concealed screws (CF mechanism) or not? I’m not sure if there is a huge noticable difference. Thanks so much!

  8. Hi Julie! Did you ever blog about your door saga? They sure look beautiful!

    • Thank you! It was just that I could have had them for a fraction of the cost had I known that Lowe’s could custom order them. That’s precisely what I’m doing for the closet doors!

  9. Hi Julie!
    I love the door knobs you chose for this project, particularly the crystal ones. I’m looking to buy the same for a set of French doors I’m buying. It looks like you chose Emtek’s Old town clear knob with a rectangular rosette. I like the finish of the gold rosette you have, is it the French antique or polished brass? Thanks for your help 🙂

  10. Hi! Love the off white color of the walls – what color did you use?

  11. I know this is an older post, but I am so thankful that I found it. 🙂 I am in the market for antique brass door knobs like the ones you used in your hallway and bathroom. I am having a hard time finding door hinges to match the antique gold finish. Were you able to find hinges to match your door knobs?

  12. Hi Julie, can you please tell me where you got the brass lanterns from, I love them! Thanks 

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