Evan and I have been wanting to do something special for his mom for a while now. When brainstorming ideas for Mother’s Day gifts, we thought, why not surprise her with a room makeover? We were planning to be in town for Mother’s Day weekend anyway, so that’s exactly what we did!
When we arrived at my mother-in-law’s house, we talked about our plans and decided to work on her foyer and hallway, as well as her small powder room on the first floor. She picked out the colors she wanted from a series of Olympic paint chip booklets and then told us what she wanted to change about those rooms. She mentioned that she loved the beach and would like to bring that feel into her house. We agreed that we could accommodate that request!
For today’s post, I’ll talk about her hallway makeover, and tomorrow I’ll write about the powder room reveal! Here is a glimpse of what the hallway and foyer looked like before:
The hallway was a clean slate for us! It had never been painted before. The outlet covers, doorknobs, and light fixture were made of brass and could have benefited from an update.
The hallway was missing a second light fixture due to a water leak a few years prior. We decided to install a new one for the hallway and replace the light fixture in the foyer. Before we left, my mother-in-law told us that she liked the look of oil rubbed bronze fixtures, so we decided to go with that.
When we went to Lowe’s, we were surprised that there weren’t a lot of options for flush-mount light fixtures. The available selection consisted almost exclusively with what we refer to “boob lights.” Lovely, right?
We actually settled with two boxes of boob lights, thinking new lights were better than none, until Evan got a great idea. Why not install track lighting instead? There were a lot more options in that department. So we did. When we returned to my mother-in-law’s house, Evan installed the two new light fixtures in both the hallway and the foyer.
As for the hallway itself, we decided to create a sophisticated, cozy, beachy feel by installing board and batten throughout. Prior to installation, I painted the top half of all of the walls with Olympic’s “Quaking Grass” in a satin finish.
Meanwhile, I took the brass electric outlet covers outside and coated it with several thin layers of Rustoleum’s Multicolor Textured spray paint in “Caribbean Sand.”
I also took off the closet doorknob and spray painted it with Rustoleum’s “Oil Rubbed Bronze” so it would match the new light fixtures.
For the board and batten, we bought 13 8′ long, 2″ wide, thin strips of molding and five 8′ long, 2″ wide, and approximately 1/2″ thicker strips of molding. We determined that the board and batten should be 41″ in height — that way, it wouldn’t reach any of the light switch outlets or the thermostat and would have a nice gap between them. Evan measured the length of all of the walls to determine how many and how far apart each strip of board and batten should be. After measuring, we marked the location of each strip for easy reference during installation.
While Evan was still putzing around with the light fixtures, I cut down each thin strip of molding to 41″ in length.
Afterward, I held each strip vertically onto its location on the wall, directly above the baseboard. I used a level to determine whether or not it was straight against the wall.
Once everything was flush and good to go, I secured each strip onto the wall using our brad nail gun, our air compressor, and a series of 1 1/4″ brad nails. I continued down all of the walls until every vertical strip was installed.
To cap off the board and batten, we installed the thicker molding horizontally on top of the vertical strips. We installed each piece one at a time, measuring and cutting down the molding as we went. Since the vertical pieces were all at the same length and were level against the wall, we didn’t need to worry about whether or not these horizontal pieces were level.
About an hour later, all of the board and batten was installed throughout the hallway. Our vision was coming together nicely!
Our next step was to fill in all cracks, seams, and nail holes with painter’s caulk. Just a little dab for each worked great. Once that was dry, we painted the wood pieces and any extraneous green sections of the board and batten with two coats of primer. I’ve been using Zinsser primer for all of my house projects, and love it. Since it is water based, it doesn’t smell; it also covers nicely and dries quickly.
To finish the hallway, we painted the board and batten, the bottom half of the walls, all of the trim, the closet doors, bathroom door, front door, and ceiling with Olympic’s “Crumb Cookie” in satin.
And there you go! A clean, fresh, beach-cottage-worthy hallway and foyer. It’s a rather simple change when you think about it, but we feel that we completely transformed the space.
A few details:
The best part? My mother-in-law loves it! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on how we updated her adjacent powder room!
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