How to transform a hallway to your seaside farmhouse dream – all on a budget

Modern seaside look – copyright pictures: Pete Helme for Rust-Oleum UK, styling by me

Hallway Transformation: From a Dark and Unwelcoming Space to My Coastal Farmhouse Dream

|Contains sponsored products|

First Impressions

One of the things that bothered me most of our house, was the hallway. It was such a dark and uninviting space, with magnolia painted walls and a carpet full of very questionable stains & smells. So it comes as no surprise that this was on top of my priority makeover list when we received the keys to our house back in October 2018. But as it is always with plans, things turn out differently. In our case water leak dramas, a mouldy kitchen left from the previous owners, several broken utilities (surprise!), and my arthritis pain always seemed to be getting in the way. So we lived with it for a few months before we finally started our hallway makeover project on a budget (a very tight budget by then).

But what is a makeover without some BEFORE impressions. Found this little snippet of our first house viewing (when the carpet didn’t seem that bad actually). See how dark this space is?!

Style Vision

Although we bought an ex-council house from the 50s, a very standard square box with small windows and not many exciting features, I was intrigued to see how far we can push things decor wise and if we could achieve a clean & bright coastal farmhouse vibe for the hallway. Whites, light grey and hints of turquoise mixed with wooden details.


Getting Rid Of The Old

First step was to remove the old carpet. Yikes! You did not needed a magnifier glass to get an idea of what sort of creatures were living in there. My personal highlight was when we discovered the previous owners extractor fan outlet ended up in the landing, with all the steam, cooking fats etc. ending up directly in the carpet. No wonder this felt damp and smelled horrendous. On the top floor we were lucky enough to discover some wooden boards underneath the filthy carpet and once everything was removed, I sanded it lightly, cleaned it with sugar soap and then painted it white. In hindsight I should have painted the walls first, but I just couldn’t live one more day with this carpet. Ripping it out what such a cathartic experience that I could just not hold back any longer. From changing the kitchen floor we knew that the underly downstairs was damp concrete. Before even thinking about laying a new floor down, it need damp proofing, followed by a layer of extra thick insulation sheets. To make the space seem bigger, we chose the same laminate flooring from the adjoining kitchen. See below for all product details.


Choosing The Right Paint

Getting the colours right was so important in this small and dark space. It took a while, and many paint samples, to find the perfect shades. For the walls I chose a matt white for the top half and a light grey with subtle notes of blue for the bottom half. From experience I knew that hallways always get scuffed easily so I went with the Valspar Gold V700 – slightly more expensive, but so worth it. And most importantly it went well with our front door in Duck Egg Blue, which I had already painted in a previous project [click here for my front door makeover tutorial].

My personal highlight though was choosing the paint for the staircase. Through my work as a stylist, I had the opportunity to work with one of my favourite companies and test out their chalky finish floor paint. I’m going to share a detailed HOW TO PAINT A STAIRCASE with you soon, but here is a little sneak peek of the products used. For the raiser I chose Chalk White and for the steps Winter Grey, which perfectly matches the wall colour. Everyone thought I’m insane to paint my staircase instead of laying it out with a new carpet, but what can I say – I love it! Yes, you do have to dust it a little more often, but I rather see the dirt and am able to quickly clean it up than to have another carpet gate. My only worry was that it’ll be slippery, but the chalky finish gives it a little bit of grip, so no problems there so far (I even managed to walk down in socks a week after hip replacement surgery).

Hallway makeover with nautical vibes, copyright pictures: Pete Helme for Rust-Oleum UK, styling by me



The final step was to accessorise our hallway with nautical inspired decoration that wasn’t too tacky and echoed the coastal farmhouse vibe I envisioned. Found the perfect round mirror to resemble a ship’s bull eye at Cotswold Co., the coatrack was a souvenir from our honeymoon in Cornwall, the seagrass woven rug is from IKEA (a £20 bargain which can easily be replaced, so it has my approval), and our ugly heater is now hidden behind a radiator cover with shiplap style boards from eBay.

Looking back to a year ago when we started, I can’t tell you how happy I am that we did what we did!!! It always fascinates me how colours can transform a room.


Hallway transformation, copyright pictures: Pete Helme for Rust-Oleum UK, styling by me

Products used [contains some gifted products] 

Staircase: Chalky Finish Floor Paint in Winter Grey and Chalk White from Rust-Oleum

Door: All Surface Paint in Duck Egg Blue from Rust-Oleum

Floor: Quick-step Aquanto laminate flooring in Natural Oak from B&Q
Wall colour: 

Walls: Valspar Blank Canvas (mid sheen) V700, Dulux pure brilliant white 

Lifestyle shots taken by Pete Helme for Rust-Oleum UK, all styling by me.

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