Dark Hallway Makeover Reveal

How to lighten up a dark hallway in a home using a few of my room brighting tips.

I have a big surprise for you, one that you may not expect.  I made some changes to the hallway off my kitchen that I fondly call the “hallway of darkness”.

how to paint over stained louvered doors is a easy weekend decorating project

You may recall how it looked when we first moved into the house. You know I have been trying to brighten it up ever since.

bold paint color choices to choose as a weekend decorating project

I started by painting the louvered doors white…

Painted louvered doors with a Home Right paint sprayer

…and I even painted one of the doors a bright green to make a statement, but even with that pop of color, I still didn’t love the space.

We were going to remove the row of wall cabinets in the kitchen to allow more light to enter the hallway, but decided that we needed the cabinets more than a lighter hallway that we just pass through and don’t spend a lot of time in.

After I finished painting the kitchen cabinets white, I got to thinking more about what to do in the hallway and it came to me, don’t fight it, but instead go with the fact that the hallway is always going to be dark or in shadow, so go with it and use a dark color to make a statement and add interest.

So that is what we did to the hallway last weekend….  Goodbye hallway of darkness…..hello….

Navy and blue hallway to paint is an easy weekend decorating project.

…navy and white hallway with a faux transom above the door.

To compliment the new navy paint, paneled walls, ceiling light fixture and faux transom over the door, I made another quick, easy and affordable update that compliments the other updates I made to the room.

Weekend decorating idea to install new doorknobs around your home

I changed all the doorknobs from crusty old antique brass to shiny new nickel.

Schlage Bowery Doorknobs with Greyson Trim in Polished nickel

Schlage has so many styles and finishes of door hardware to choose from and since doorknobs are used in every room, they make the perfect accessory to help tie an entire home’s look together. I knew I wanted shiny chrome or nickel so I chose to use their Bowery Knobs with Greyson Trim. I love the classic, yet modern vibe of the style’s shape.


There are four doors in the hallway, one is a keyed entry, one is a push lock for the powder room and the other two are simple closet doorknobs. All came in the Bowery style in polished nickel. They accent the navy and white beautifully. Even the outer door that is stained and battered looks so much better with a shiny new doorknob.

How to replace a doorknob a perfect weekend decorating project.

I treat doorknobs as if they are jewelry to a room since they are so easy to change out to showcase your personal style. They are a low-investment and high-impact project that can be done in fifteen minutes.  All you need is a screwdriver to remove the old doorknob and then replace the latch, spindle and then the pretty new doorknob.

How to replace a doorknob

Add another minute to change the door latch plate and you are good to go.

Decorating with blue and white

In just over an hour, we changed the doorknobs on all four doors in the hallway. We also changed all the door hinges to silver which took another 10 minutes for each door.

Decorating ideas using blue and white.

It took a few hours to measure, cut and hang the wide bead board paneling and trim. It was primed wood so it only took two light coats of semi-gloss paint.  If you would like to know how to do this, I did the same treatment in the powder room of our previous house.


To paint the walls, I used two colors of navy paint mixed with glazing liquid so I could create a grasscloth effect on the walls. I will show you how I did this in an upcoming post. The molding along the top of the bead board is called 4.5″ Chair Rail Backer. I bought it in 8 ft sections at Lowes.

Lighting ideas for small spaces

Changing the light fixture took about 15 minutes.

Decorating ideas with navy blue and white

How I made the faux transom over door at the end of the hallway. I did this in the studioffice of my previous home.

How to add bead board to walls

It has only been a week since we made the changes, but I love it!!!  I will share more of the details, paint colors, etc next week.

Decorating small spaces

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment

  1. Pompatooie says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I am now in the middle of transforming my own dark brown “Hallway of Darkness” in my 1970’s fixer upper, and this is giving me the courage to go on. I had to sand all six doors and trim due to 50 years of nail scratches from previous owner’s dogs and teeth marks where rodents chewed on the woodwork when the house was abandoned for 6 years. In two separate places the woodwork was charred. I have no idea what that was about….I am sanding spackle today, and tomorrow I caulk and tape. I am looking forward to white, light and bright!