Small Hallway Reveal (It only took me a year!)

Last November I stenciled the little hallway the connects the master bedroom to the living room. Calling it a hallway is actually quite generous, “nook” would describe it better. I stenciled it using the Birch Forest Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils, which was time-consuming but turned out great. I fully intended to decorate the area after I stenciled, but then life (and other projects) happened and I abandon the whole area.

But now it’s decorated…and I love it.

Birch Forest Stenciled Hallway

The hallway has been through a few stages, here is a “before” picture…kinda. It’s the best I have.

hallway nook before

Wasn’t my house a beauty? I can’t for the life of me figure out why it sat on the market for nearly a year before we bought it. Oh wait, maybe it’s because the whole house looked like the inside of a stomach. Yeah, that probably had something to do with it.

Eventually I came along and painted the hallway green and added a DIY tree painting. Then a few years later I made it into a birch forest. I don’t know why, but trees and this hallway (ahem, nook) have always seemed right to me.

hallway progress

And now, a year later, it is finally finished!

cozy hallway nook

It probably would have stayed empty forever if it wasn’t for that little bench. Remember when Adam and I got our hands on some beautiful pecan and built a farmhouse table? We are currently working on building benches for it (honestly, it’s going terribly and we are on our third try), This bench is an extra one Adam built so we can put it at the end of the table for large gatherings. I didn’t want to keep it in the dining room though, so I threw the hallway because I didn’t know where else to put it.

live edge pecan bench

Then I decided that it looked pretty darn great in there…so I decorated around it.

Here’s the kicker – I didn’t even make anything (besides that no-sew yellow pillow). One day I dropped the kids off at preschool for a few hours and went shopping. Sometimes it’s really nice to just buy stuff and have it be done.

colorful pillows

That flower pillow I got at World Market, it was in a clearance bin for $14. It’s actually navy, but it looks black in all these pictures.

The pendant light is also from World Market, it’s the Odelia Iron Hanging Pendant. It was $23 (on sale), and I bought their Silver Electrical Ceiling Hardwire Kit as well. They only had a few pendant options in the store, but I just went to hunt down a link for y’all and they have a ton of awesome pendants online (like the Galvanized Metal and Rope Pendant Lamp and the Punched Metal Pendant… and well, all the others.)

World Market Pendant Light

Originally the hallway had a cheap ugly boob light (it used to be gold but I painted it). I hated that thing and fully enjoyed ripping it out.

boob light

I had really wanted something more than a ceiling-hugging fixture in there, and swagging the pendant over to the corner is the perfect solution. (Embarrassingly enough it took me a few days to figure that one out.) Here is the view from my bedroom.

a cozy little nook

The mirror is from Kirklands… it was originally $60, marked down to $30, and I just so happened to have a $25 gift card. Score.

How to decorate a small hallway

And that’s the tour! If that pink house picture sparked your interest you can head on over to my house tour and see lots of before and afters.

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  1. What peaked my interest was the small hallway. Thats what I have, but it is a straight shot from beginning to end. We have lived here 16yrs and I have never been happy with how I have it decorated. Love the birch tree stenciling. Did you say who the stencil is made by?

  2. YES! it is perfect!
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  3. Hahaha I love this and I had to tell you I called the lights in my old rental house boob lights too !! Hahahaha I was laughing so hard when I saw your pics here ! : )

  4. LOVE it! That bench is totally perfect!

  5. That looks great, Ashley! I think the look of the rough-hewn bench is just perfect against the stenciled walls. I can totally see how it inspired you.
    What an incredible difference your whole house is from that first before picture! And it’s so nice to have made those kind of changes yourself, rather than just buying it all perfect already. Or at least I think so. :)
    Jan Elizabeth recently posted..A bowling ball with a history, and big plansMy Profile

  6. I love how this turned out! Love that bench so much!
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  7. I love the trees but they do look VERY time consuming. Props to you!
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  8. Anonymous says:

    Your alcove/nook/hallway looks fantastic. I can’t believe the time you must have put in to that stenciling, and it makes it look so original. The bench is the top on the cake. Magnificent and definitely one of a kind as well. You pulled it all together with your pillows and the area is magnificent. You should be very proud!

  9. El banco no me gusta,me encanta,es precioso al igual que todo el “pasillo”.Un cambio fantastico.Felicitaciones

  10. I think that bench is perfect in there- it all looks so cozy :)
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  11. Oh I love the tree stencil, it looks perfect in your hall/nook. I just used the Woodlands stencil in the powder room, huge pain in the rear but like you I just live the end results! Great job!
    Susan recently posted..Ugly Brass BEGONE!!My Profile

  12. I remember when you stenciled the hallway I kept thinking how perfect that stencil would be in my tiny hall but I can’t picture myself having the patience to complete it. The bench blows me away! That was the first thing I noticed in the picture. Can’t wait to see the benches for your table done if this is the wood you have for it. Um, no the before pictures are not my thing. What’s with people painting strange colors to put their homes on the market. My son and his wife bought a house this year and every room had the same hideous color on the walls. Took a week, but we painted the whole thing.
    Lois recently posted..Frugal Christmas: Calling all CraftersMy Profile

    • That hallway was a pain to stencil, but if you have a big flat wall (not a pentagon, like my hallway) it wouldn’t be too bad.

      That pink was terrible, wasn’t it? There was just so dang much of it…even the ceilings! I still have one pink closet left to tackle.

  13. “If time was what you needed to gain a little perspective. . .” (Name the show I am quoting for 500 bonus points). . . Seriously, whether it was waiting for the right time or not, the hallway looks fantastic! Great job with the stenciling and I love the bench. Can you come do something with mine now? :-)

  14. It looks fantastic! I have the same kind of nook/hallway. I doubt I have the patience for the stencil…. Great job!

  15. What a great little space. Wonderful job!
    I never did understand how the ‘boob lights’ took off as a builder grade standard. They need to go. Haha!
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  16. Looks wonderful!
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  17. It looks beautiful in there, I think the bench and the trees work together really well. I’ve never heard the term boob light before but I laughed and laughed when I read it (I think my husband thought I was going more than a little bit loopy!).
    Thanks for the lovely inspiring pictures (and the giggles)
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  18. It turned out so beautiful! I know how it is starting a project and then a year(s) go by and nothing has been completed. I feel like that’s every room in my house!!! Haha!!!

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  19. Ellie a.k.a :) says:

    What a nice cozy little nook! It just makes me want to explore a little further. Really like that pendant light.

  20. Your nook looks great! I love it =)
    Kristin Corbin recently posted..Artwork DisplayMy Profile

  21. I love it! Looks great. And the stenciled trees make it so cozy.
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  22. I LOVE this! I typically don’t like stenciled walls but your birch trees are absolutely beautiful, it looks more like wallpaper to me. It gives this little “nook” such a rustic feel, yet the silver accents make it glamorous at the same time. Amazing!

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