3 Ways I Upgraded my Hallway

3 Ways I Upgraded my Hallway

After completing two major projects in 2022 (my basement and kitchen), I decided to start the new year off with a quick project. This hallway was on my 2022 project list, but it got pushed (anyone else always overestimate how much they can get done in a year!?). Anyway, I knew I could get this hallway done pretty quickly, even while taking my time, and committing to only working on weekends.

There were three main projects I wanted to complete in this hallway, and let me tell you, those three projects really made an impact! For a quick project, this hallway looks completely different. 

1. Re-Imagining my Linen Closet

I decided to get started with what I knew would be the most time-consuming part of the project: the linen closet.

The Before and Why I Needed an Update

This linen closet gets used multiple times a day. It’s right next to our bathroom so we store all of our towels and other bathroom necessities that don’t fit in the vanity. It’s also the home to the majority of our cleaning supplies. Since it’s the central location of our main floor, it’s the most accessible space to keep those types of things.

Not only was the linen closet looking quite dated (hello orange wood!), but it was losing a lot of its functionality. The drawers were massive! This is great if you have a lot of crap to store, but mostly what happens is things just got lost in them! When I was going through them I find so many multiples of things because we just couldn’t easily find things so we bought more of them. 

My solution? Build more, but smaller drawers so that things can be better organized. The door also needed a facelift, and the shelves were old and needed a new life. And of course, a really good cleaning.

Building New Linen Closet Drawers

I’m not going to go into a tutorial of how I did these here, because I followed essentially the same steps that I did when I did my kitchen drawers. The main difference? Instead of plywood for the structure, I used 1x5s. It was just more economical to do it this way based on how many drawers I needed to build. But, to be honest, I did like this method a bit more. It was just easier to build (no ripping plywood or adding edge banding), and they felt a bit…nicer?

For the drawer fronts, because they were going to be so small, I decided to use PVC lattice moulding for the faux shaker trim. This worked out really well, and they installed really nicely. The base of the drawer front was just ½” MDF that I had left over, and I used these extremely affordable knobs!

linen closet drawers linen closet drawers

An Updated Door

I decided to keep the door, but upgrade it with a fresh coat of paint, and matching faux shaker trim. I gave it a really good sanding first because it had years of orange poly on the surface. Then I primed twice and painted twice! I used Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace here, which is also what I used in my kitchen, and on my bathroom trim!

I added the PVC lattice moulding to the edges but did have to notch out spaces for the hinges and latch. For the hinges, I just marked where to cut and used my multitool to carefully and slowly cut. For the latch, I decided to just trim around it!

Speaking of the hinges and latch, I was originally planning on replacing both. But, ultimately I decided to just give them a fresh life by spray painting them gold! They look brand new and it was basically free since I already had the paint.

New Shelves

The shelves were pretty simple! I ended up using some leftover stair treads from when I did my basement stairs for the main part of the shelf. They’re sturdy, pretty…and free! And they worked out great. I just cut them to size and added some supports underneath using scraps. 

Once they were installed, I had the choice of having a rounded front, a flat front or adding a 1×2 as a face frame.

Ultimately, I chose the face frame!

Organizing the Linen Closet

Ah, my favorite part! I honestly was so looking forward to this part from the day that I decided to tackle this project! In the drawers, I used these plastic organizers. They have little rubber feet to keep everything from moving around, and they fit in there perfectly! I also added a silicone heat protector for under my hot tools. I always wait until they are cooled off before putting them back, but I just wanted a little extra security just in case!

For the shelves, I picked up some lazy susans and clear containers from the Home Edit line at Walmart. For the price, they are great quality, and beautiful!

2. My Favorite Door Trim DIY

Once the linen closet was done, the next steps were even simpler! First, was updating the door trim.

With every room I upgrade, I’m slowly also upgrading all the window and door trim. I have a full tutorial from when I did my kitchen, so check back there for the how-to.

It’s honestly one of my favorite upgrades I make to each room. It’s so simple, yet makes such an impact! 

3. A New Light Fixture with a touch of DIY and New Tech

The final step? The basically blank wall opposite my linen closet! It desperately needed a new light fixture and something was just…lacking!

Why I Painted my Brand New Light Fixture

I knew that I wanted a black candelabra wall light for this hallway. It takes me a LONG time to pick out a light, every time I do it! When I found this light, I thought it was going to be perfect. It coordinated really well with the lights in my kitchen, my dining room, and my bathroom, which are all visible from the hallway. So, when I went to purchase it and saw that the silver version was significantly cheaper, I decided to buy it, and paint it!

Now, before I painted it, I did install it just to make sure that it worked before I made any changes to it that could make it so I couldn’t return it! But, painting it was super easy. You just want to make sure to cover the light bulb holes with some tape, then I just used black matte spray paint.

painted light fixture

How to Use a Light Fixture Without a Switch

Many of the wall lights in my house require a switch on the light (it’s a 1940s house). This means there isn’t a switch plate on the wall. It also means that the lights you can choose from are EXTREMELY limited. Well, I don’t like to compromise, so I wanted to find a solution that didn’t require hiring an electrician.

I already use a remote control light for my closet, and it’s worked out wonderfully. But, I didn’t want to have a remote for this light because…well, where would I keep the remote? Then, I discovered the Phillips Hue lights. The remote basically looks like a modern light switch, and you can stick it to your wall using the 3M tape that they include. I knew I had to try it. Plus, I figured, if this works, I can finally upgrade the wall lights in all three bedrooms!

It did take me a little while to figure out and get configured, but it works great! You can also control the dimmer right on the switch. I will definitely be upgrading my other wall lights when I go to do those rooms too!

The Big Reveal

I added three framed photos of our adorable cats right under the light. I love large frames and it definitely adds a wow factor! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with 3 or 5 frames, so I started with 3, but am definitely thinking 5 would be better. What do you think?

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