Inside Our Home: Our Hallway

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Our house was built in the 1940s; three years ago, we decided to stay put and build an addition instead of moving to a larger home. The original home was a bit over 700 square feet – the size of a basic two-bedroom apartment but on two floors. After the remodel, we are now around 1,400 square feet. One of the best parts of the remodel was the opening of the hallway. Originally, where the banister is, we had a solid wall. That wall housed our entertainment center for the living room – now it opens to our dining room.

a hallway in a 1940's rowhome in historic Greenbelt, Maryland with a collage of black frames holding family photos along the wall

While this remodel was taking place, I was on bed rest for my pregnancy. Paint colors were chosen by my husband who collected a few paint swatches from Home Depot and asked me to pick which one I liked best. One color that I liked better in the swatch than in real life was the color for the hallway. I thought this color would be darker, but over time it has grown on me. If the bathroom and Emerson's room doors are closed, the hallway can be quite dark; the light color opens it up.

Before the remodel, we were so frustrated with the stair risers. When we moved in, they were dingy white and covered with globs of glue from having the stained carpet removed. We tried painting them white but they still looked dreadful. I then tried to be creative and painted them French blue, which was just as horrible. I then painted them over with red, which was fun, but still not right.

Another benefit of the remodel was that they sanded them down, properly painted the risers, and refinished the oak stairs. I would like a runner, but I don't want a basic beige Berber or an Oriental look, and most runners I see are either out of my price range or not our style. Until I find the right thing, they stay bare.

A closeup of family photos in black frames on a wall in a stairwell

As soon as we had the hallway redone, I knew I wanted to do a collage of frames along the wall. My husband's dad died during the remodel and I wanted to display some great pictures of him, along with other great pictures of our family.

a framed and matted photo of a baby in a green field

My cousin Arielle took this picture one summer, and I just loved it so much I had it blown up and framed.  She totally captured the chubby cheeks and arms of that age, and how curious and newly mobile she was (she was examining a Slip N Slide at the time of the photo).

a collage of family photos in black frames with white matting in a stairwell

Me and my sister as kids, my husband as a baby, me and my husband with the groomsmen from our wedding making silly faces, a member of Kings of Leon (no not really, it's my father-in-law, but I think he would fit in the band perfectly!).

a collage of family photos in black frames with white matting in a stairwell

My husband and his dad, me throwing a temper tantrum as a toddler, and my husband's maternal grandfather (picture taken by my father-in-law).

a collage of family photos in black frames with white matting in a stairwell

We don't have many wedding photos up, just the two in this hallway.  This is right after we were declared husband and wife, one of the only pics of the event where we were together.  Funny how a wedding is about the union of two people, but you get so busy greeting family and friends you often don't see one another except at the ceremony, first dance, toast, and cake cutting!  I guess that's what the honeymoon is for…

a collage of family photos in black frames with white matting in a stairwell

As you can see, I never finished this hallway project. In our home office I have a stack of black frames – ones I buy on clearance at Marshalls and Target or pick up when I stop by IKEA. I just haven't had the time to pick the photos and put them up in the right place. Maybe this post will inspire me to finish!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Our house doesn’t have many places for photo montages, the hallway is a perfect place for it. I think that’s why there aren’t any wedding photos (I stand corrected, we have our signature frame with a photo of the ceremony hanging in our dining room!).

  2. I thought that was a picture of Emerson! Let me find out it was you as a toddler. Wowza. Anywho, love the picture collage. Great way to preserve your memories. 

  3. That picture of you throwing a fit is Emerson’s face! The resemblance is amazing. I love your home; it looks beautiful and you’ve got great taste. I also love the blue theme on your Christmas tree.

  4. Love the photo montage, Allie!  Love the idea of black frames with mats for the photos up the staircase! My home has photo montages too, but they are set in designated little areas:  ones of hubby and me, ones of his family tree, ones of my family tree and another for our friends.  Our official wedding photo greets front door guests.  Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your hallway collage. I had something similar when it was just my son and me. I would like to do it again in our new home and our newly blended family (my husband and his two kids). I love the idea of using all black frames…different sizes, shapes, etc…but all black.

    It’s so funny because my brother and brother-in-law are doing this in their hallway…using all black frames. I am having a great time picking out unique black frames to give them for Christmas!

    Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  6. I see I’m not the only one who thought that picture of you was Emerson! Talk about a mini me…that’s so neat.

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