Interiors: A Budget Hallway Makeover (so that no-one notices the mess in the rest of the house)

I’m sure I’m not alone in struggling to keep a clean and tidy house when there’s a pint-size destructor in our midst. Tell me I’m not????!

I was proud of our little house and the way it looked before Ted came along. Now….not always quite so much.

Between me and Gray, we have little time to clean and tidy – we try and keep on top of it as we go along, and tend to do a bit of a clean-up on a Saturday morning (OK, Gray does the bulk of it while I usually work or have a shower!) but if Gray’s got gigs at the weekend or we have other plans then that doesn’t always happen.

(That little disclosure above was meant to make people feel better about their own houses not being pristine, but now I’m thinking anyone reading is going ‘god this sewer rat of a woman never cleans her house, how revolting’ etc…)

What I’m trying to say is that we’re usually playing catch-up with house chores and our home is never as spick and span as I’d like. First world problems.

I came up with a bonkers theory, then, that if our house looks nice when you first enter it, then you might not notice that there’s a pile of unidentified ‘stuff’ on the dining table or a little dust ball under the shelving unit in the living room or a wooden spoon and colander in the middle of the kitchen floor. (Ted’s current favourite thing is emptying the kitchen cupboards).

First impressions theory, I’m calling it.

If I’m deluded, then leave me be, OK?

Anyway, now you know how my mind works, here are the details of our little hallway makeover.

Our hall is a very small – and I’m a poet and I didn’t know it – but if there is an opportunity to put up some nice pictures and get a fancy rug, regardless of the size of the space, then I am ON it. I would make a great interior designer for mice holes, ant hills etc.

So don’t be deterred by a lack of space if your hallway is as bijou as ours. (Or if you’re as pretentious as me and use the word bijou.)

small hallway makeover

The focal point of the space is the rug, and it’s the runner version of the La Redoute rug that every Instagrammer and her designer dog has. La Redoute always have sales on, and we got this when there was 40% off, so it was about £40.

It is lovely quality, so thick and luxurious, and I wish my whole house was carpeted in it. Yes, it’s light-coloured, so not the most practical choice perhaps, but the pattern and the thickness means it’s not that noticeable if you spill coffee or biscuit crumbs on it en route to the living room. (‘Who is this slovenly creature???’ Horrified reader.)

hallway gallery wallhallway budget makeoverI’ve written about our artwork in a previous post, and framed most of our prints in Hobbycraft frames for ease and cheapness. (I’ve previously used a great local company to make bespoke frames but this obviously takes longer than using pre-made ones, and the Hobbycraft ones are decent quality.)

For the opposite wall, I bought a few ultra-cheap white frames from ASDA along with some gold brackets from Amazon to decorate them with, after seeing this A Beautiful Mess post.

hallway prints a beautiful messMine are almost as good as theirs, if you don’t look too closely to see where the brackets are a bit wonky. The prints are old holiday photos from a pre-Ted era, back when I had time to take photos of cappuccinos and make DIY photo frames.

small hallway interiors hacksThe other little touches are a vintage-y ornate mirror from Dunelm (which you can’t really see above, but is on the left wall between two doors; Dunelm is great for budget mirrors, by the way), our lamp shade which was bought a while ago from ASDA and an artificial plant in a basket, both bought from TKMaxx.

I would have liked a bigger ‘statement’ fake tree/plant for the bottom of the stairs but it wouldn’t have been practical with Ted the Destroyer, and they’re also mega expensive. I think this little plant actually fits the space and brightens it up nicely.

And there you have it, our small but perfectly formed hallway.

I will add here, in the interest of transparency, that often, Ted’s buggy is left up in the hall so he can play with the straps (another favourite pastime), completely destroying any ‘look’ that I’ve tried to cultivate.

And there’s sometimes another pile of unidentified ‘stuff’ – washing, junk mail etc – that gets left on the stairs, ruining the ambience. Finally, we recently put up a stairgate that can not in anyway be made to look stylish, and now seems to be doubling up as a coat stand.

Still, you get the idea. Hopefully.

Bye for now! x

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gallery wall small hallway title


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Hello, I'm Laura. I write about parenting, life, style, building a business and finding success on your own terms.

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