Hello, I hope you had a lovely, restful weekend.  I spent some time away with my mum and sister, but I’ve returned to my brood feeling really refreshed and ready to take on the major redecorating project in our home for this year – the hallway.

As you’ll probably be aware, our house was built in the 1930s and the previous owners thankfully retained many of the house’s original features, including picture rails, the front and back doors, leadlights and stained glass windows and the wood panelling on the hallway, stairs and landing walls.  Over the past year, I have deliberated over what to do in the hall and whether or not to repaint the panelling, especially now that there is a definite trend towards darker, more cocooning surfaces, however we have decided that repainting the wood in a lighter colour is the way forward for us.  It will completely transform the space into a lighter and brighter part of the house and modernise it without compromising on the traditional, elegant feel that the original wood panelling brings to our home.

We also need to recarpet the stairs and landing and source some nice new lighting and other accessories, so lots to think about.  Thankfully, when we lifted the carpet up in the hall, we discovered a gorgeous and pretty much unscathed original wooden floor hiding beneath, so a light sand and dark stain should see that right.  (Hopefully!)

I’ve been having a nosey around Pinterest for some hallway inspiration, so here are some favourite ideas I want to share with you.  All these hallways have wood panelling of some kind, so it’s interesting to see how the owners have approached it.

First off, let me show you our hall, stairs and landing in their present state…

This is looking towards the back of the front door.  Not exactly off the pages of Elle Decoration, but hey, we all have to start somewhere!!

hallway door

And looking to the left hand side corner (the stairs are just behind the wall to the left)… as you can see, I’ve been propping up paint sample cards!



This is taken looking up the stairs to the first return.  The panelling goes up almost three quarters of the wall, therefore can feel like you’re in a church!  With the large window, this space would be so much brighter if painted light.

stairs wood panelling

stairs balustrade

And lastly, this is the landing.  As you can appreciate, there is a LOT of wood going on and although some people love this and are totally against painting it, I know that we won’t look back once we’ve done it.  This is the central core to our home, with all rooms leading off it, so for us, it needs to be a flowing, open, airy space.

(And that green carpet in my littlest’s bedroom will be going too… )

landing wood panelling

Onto the Pinterest shots now…


Firstly, some soft greys and whites for a calming, sophisticated feel.  I like how the stair balustrade has been left as stained wood.  Nice contrast with that and the dark wood floor.

hallway white

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This next one is similar, however the upper walls have been painted a darker, more putty-like colour which is really clean against the pure white panelling.  I also love the Persian-style rug on the floor to bring in some colour and lift the overall scheme.

hallway darker grey

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I have included this shot, because the back of the front door has been painted a darker colour to contrast with the surrounding white panelling.  I think this really works.

hallway darker front door

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In this Dublin townhouse the walls have been finished in a dark blue-grey colour which looks stunning against the white panelling.  This looks good with the speckled granite effect floor tiles they have here, too.  Again, the balustrade has been left au naturel.. this is workable for two reasons; 1) it gets a lot of wear and tear with people trailing their hands up and down it each time they use the stairs, therefore the paint will chip off very quickly, and 2) it adds depth to the overall look – imagine this scene with the balustrade painted white, too – it would seem very flat and cold.

dark blue walls hallway

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Finally, this panelling has been painted dark grey and the walls above left neutral.  It looks gorgeous of course, however with our panelling covering almost three quarter of the walls, I do think this would be too dark, plus I really don’t fancy sanding the floors back to their natural wood colour.  I love a dark floor against lighter walls.  I’m probably just not being brave enough, but I do envisage a kind of Scandi meets New England look, so it’ll be light painted wood for me.  You could compromise and paint one area of panelling in a darker shade, but I feel that leaving parts of the wood unpainted, such as the balustrade and banister uprights, will bring the touch of warmth and depth that I’m after.

dark painted panelling

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If anything, it’s a little bit of inspo for me to get working on!

Any of you painted wood panelling in your home?  Tips??  Please share!

K x

Home Etc


8 Comments on Hallway Inspiration

  1. Wow that is a great space to work with. Whatever you decide no doubt it will be absolutely stunning when you have finished. I love a good hallway and have a pinterest board dedicated to it. We recently did ours and have a large photo wall running up the stairs with lots of chinky frames. I am quite happy with it, although I have that nagging feeling it is not finished. Cant wait to see what you decide on #homeetc

    • Hi Tammy, yes I love a good hallway too, they’re often the last place people decorate but I think they’re really important as they set the tone for the rest of the house. Thanks for reading x #HomeEtc

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