The Small Hallway: Plans for a Quick Makeover, Fretting over Paint Color Edition

See my ambitious title up there? This is going to be a quick makeover. It’s a small hallway, after all. And then once we finish the hallway, we’ll be so close to the bathroom that we might as well just keep going into it, too! And then the whole downstairs will be….better than it was when we moved in!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Here’s the hallway right now:


(Plus half of an orange kitty. And a bit of Abe’s new play kitchen, which was a $9 thrift score the other day, which is not staying in the foyer permanently, and which you might or might not hear more about later, depending on how things go with a couple of play kitchen related ideas I have in my head).

So this is the center hall of our center hall colonial. It connects to the foyer, the basement (that door you see off to the right), the kitchen (also off to the right, next to the bathroom door), our half bath (that rusty colored room you see at the end there), and the den (to the left). Right now it’s mostly still the same yellow color it (and most of the house) was when we moved in, only I’ve managed to make it EVEN WORSE by testing out paint samples all over it.

And I don’t like any of them.

For the record, the paint colors are, from top to bottom, Grey Mist (from the Behr Home Decorators collection at Home Depot), Grant Gray (same), and Behr Marquee Gotham Gray.

I think I’ve considered pretty much every color that exists for this hallway (for real; there was a time when I thought dark purple might be just the thing). Most recently, though, I’ve been torn between a few more subtle options:

*White: I finally feel like jumping on the “paint all the walls white!” bandwagon, except that none of the walls I need to paint seem like the right place for it. Well, I mean, except the bathroom. Which I did paint white. I’m worried that white would just look dingy in this hallway with so little natural light. And also that it would feel totally disconnected from all the rooms around it.

*Gray: either a cool or a warm neutral gray…hence all the paint samples. But the top two read too brown, and the bottom one is too blue.

*Black: just because part of me always wants to paint everything black.

But I think now I’m leaning toward painting it either the same color as the kitchen or the same color as the den, for the sake of harmony and flow and not having a house that confuses people and gives them a headache and all.

So that would leave us with either Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter:

mismatched chairs around kitchen table

I’ve long felt that Revere Pewter is sort of a color that was invented to be perfect in my kitchen, with the cabinets and granite and tile that’s in there:

kitchen with copper shelving

…but I don’t really love it on its own. But it’s very neutral, will go with anything, works fine in low light (the kitchen doesn’t get a lot of natural light, either, because the only window goes out to the screened porch)….it’s a very safe choice. And it’s a small hallway, so if I get bored with it, it’s easy to change later.

Or Hale Navy:


So I love this color so much that I just covered every inch of my den, including all the trim and the fireplace, with it. It would be a different direction to go with the hallway….like “let’s just embrace that this is a small space and make it all cozy-like.”

I was going to talk about all my hallway plans in this post, but then I talked about paint colors for 600 words, so I decided to save the rest. But tell me your thoughts on paint colors. Hale Navy? Revere Pewter? Something else altogether? Do you secretly want me to go ahead with that purple plan after all?


The Small Hallway: Plans for a Quick Makeover, Fretting over Paint Color Edition — 18 Comments

    • The foyer? With the squirrel wall? That’s BM Nantucket Fog….I’m actually thinking of changing that out sometime relatively soon, which is the main reason I didn’t list it as a contender 🙂

  1. I’m a big fan of Ben Moore’s Soft Chinchilla (2135-50, I think), if not that, then the Revere Pewter (another of my faves) I would resist the urge to make your hallway a cave with the Hale Navy (or dark purple, for that matter) This is just an opinion from the peanut gallery.

  2. I think I prefer revere. I fear that if you go dark there, it doesn’t have the same “wow” in the den. I sort of like that it’s a wow effect when you enter the room. (At least I imagine this, since I’ve never actually “entered” the room.)

  3. I would go with the “cave” option, in the Hale Navy if I can’t wheedle you into the darkest purple in the world. You know how I usually react to dark, too, which should give my opinion extra weight. That hall was *meant* to be dark.

  4. I’m in the process of painting all the rooms white in part because I don’t have the first clue about how to handle such questions as these. We’ve got places where the different colors meet, and I don’t really know how to make that work. Which is why I don’t have a good answer to your question. My inclination is to go with Hale Navy, but newlywoodwards makes a good point about the Wow thing. There’s a reason no one pays me for design advice/guidance…

  5. I think you should paint it the same color as the foyer – light blue? It’ll flow nicely and won’t make the house seem chopped up and smaller. Plus a light color will make the hallway feel more open and not cramped.

    • I considered the blue (it’s Benjamin Moore’s Nantucket Fog), except I’m thinking of repainting the blue rooms white (the whole front of the house is that color, but it’s been nearly 4 years now, and I’m getting itchy for a change). It is a pretty color, though!

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