Before and After: Stripes!

>> Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When you enter our apartment, you enter a hallway that serves as an artery to all of the other spaces. At first I thought it was wasted space, but over time I have realized that this space is awesome. It's a contained area to shed boots, coats, hats, etc. so that the New England winter, and all it's glory, does not have to make it's way into my living room, on my sofa, and all over my dining table. It's also my first impression room and other than a couple of coat hooks and some framed calender pages, it was pretty boring.

The hallway also contains a billy bookcase from Ikea. This is where I keep most of our glasses and plates. Maybe one day I will show you how ridiculously small our kitchen is.  You will not be jealous.

So I had been thinking about an easy way to spruce up this space. One that would be A. Cheap and B. Mr. Sabbe would be down for doing. Last year I was super impressed with Hannah's striped hallway on a budget and it just so happens I was walking through Home Depot a couple of weeks ago and spotted a gallon of oops paint in a similar shade of gray. So cheap part...check.

Next I had to convince my husband it would be easy. I love my husband, but he is no John from Young House Love. So I designed the stripes so that he would not have to paint next to the base or the ceiling, and not around the tops of any door moldings. There are about a billion coats of paint in this place and we learned from our living room that trim is so incredibly tough to get right because of all the bumps and bulges. I taped everything. Secret...a quilters ruler makes measuring and taping wall stripes so much easier. If you are considering this project, I would invest in one, waaaay more accurate than a measuring tape. And the easy part...check. So I put the man to work, see how happy he looks. Ladies, it's all about equipping.
I didn't stick around to keeping baby Sabbe's brain cells in tact. But this morning I work up, peeled the tape down, and smiled out our new jazzy hallway. I love how it turned out.
Much better don't you think? All for a roll of tape, a $5 gallon of paint, and 1 hours of my sweet husband's time (the taping took me about 2 hours). He told a nurse at the hospital today that he helped me paint the hallway last night. She replied "the hallway? that's not even a room." He said, "she's pregnant and she's an interior designer, I do what I'm told." The nurse told him she predicts he will have a long, happy marriage.

The last touches for the hallway will be a durable floor runner and a fun light fixture. And the Ansel Adams calender pages (which is a great/cheap art idea if you are looking) will definitely go when we get some cute photos of our little guy.

Note: I would not actually recommend horizontal stripes on old plaster walls to any of my clients. It definitely reveals every bulge and imperfection, which I knew going into it and was ok with. But I'm a little more particular with clients than I am my own house, which, to my husband great joy, I refer to as my test lab. All 700 sf of it.


Robyn Marie January 18, 2011 at 5:28 PM  

Wow, this came out great. I love it!

Kate {domestikatedlife} January 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM  

You are a majorly productive pregnant lady! It looks awesome!

Melissa January 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM  

This is amazing! I loved Hannah's version and your's looks great too. I wish I had an entryway to try it on!

Cindy Smith Benson January 18, 2011 at 6:07 PM  

This looks great, job well done ;)

katie beth January 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM  

i can't believe how much of a difference a few stripes made. it looks great!

i just found your blog and i have to say, i love it!

thank you!

Laciv January 18, 2011 at 6:11 PM  

Oh how much I enjoy seeing the results of your projects. I do hope that one day I'll have the opportunity to hire you to make my home reflect parts of my personality and that of that future husband of mine (still praying for him ;o)). Your hallway made me smile. Thanks!

Marianne - Style For Living January 18, 2011 at 6:16 PM  

What a beautiful differnce! Well done!

Megan Lee January 18, 2011 at 6:25 PM  

Wow! I love it! Who would have thought that just some stripes could really transform the space.

Simone - honeyandfizz January 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM  

It looks fantastic! Love those stripes xx

Tiffany @ Savor Home January 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM  

Your Design + Hubby's Work = gorgeous! Love it.

Heather January 18, 2011 at 7:06 PM  

Hi, never commented before, but I just had to tell you that looks soooo much nicer! Kudos to you and your helpful husband :)

Kelly January 18, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

I love it! And the pic of Bryan giving the thumbs up made me laugh out loud...sweet guy!:)

Cyndie January 18, 2011 at 7:23 PM  

I love it Steph! Great job Brian!! He's such a good hubby! :) LOVE IT LOVE IT! :)

Saara January 18, 2011 at 7:58 PM  

It looks AWESOME!! Really makes a huge difference...I'm jealous of the stripes and the fact that you have nice mouldings and WOOD floors!! There are no such nice rentals near me....

I did similar stripes in our first apartment here, and designed them to avoid the doorbell box, thermostat & smoke detectors on the ugly wall...sorta helped to camouflage them.

Hope your walk when well today! You're a major trooper in that snow, and extra baggage. :)

Lauren January 18, 2011 at 8:25 PM  

Love, love, love it! I didn't even notice the pictures on the wall in the BEFORE! Makes a fun statement and makes everything PoP out!

Jessica January 18, 2011 at 8:31 PM  


Stephanie January 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM  

Yay for stripes! I want to do the same thing in one of our bedrooms. You did a fantastic job & it really makes your hallway look larger and more interesting.

Honeybee Ministries January 18, 2011 at 10:06 PM  

FUN!!! I love it! Especially leading up to your green living room! :)

LindsB January 18, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

So when do you want to come help me do mine too??? oh baby I love this!!

Rebecca January 19, 2011 at 2:10 AM  

It looks fantastic! You are so funny in the way you write :)

Sarah :) January 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM  

Stephanie, this looks FABULOUS. It's amazing what a little gray paint can do! :) You're so creative. :)

Britt January 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

I love how it turned out! Beautiful! Can't wait to see what you come up with for a fixture and rug!

Danielle Oakey Interiors January 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM  

i love it. i am searching for a place to add stripes in my home.

Haven and Home January 19, 2011 at 11:36 AM  

Well you know I LOVE this! Gray and stripes? Be still my heart!

Lili January 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM  

I have to say this has to be the best looking and least expensive before and after you've done! Looks FANTASTIC!!!

Pudel-design January 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM  

Looks great;)
Love these stripes!

Anonymous,  January 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM  

This looks so good! Huge bang for the buck. Great Job...both of you!

Chic Coles January 19, 2011 at 8:54 PM  

That looks so great.What a change.

Emily January 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM  

LOVE this! you did such a fabulous job (as did mr. sabbe) :) i miss you boston ladies!!

Bryn January 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

awesome! You know would look really cool in the space? This pendant:

I am pretty sure I am going to put two of them in our upstairs hallway.

Sarah January 20, 2011 at 2:01 PM  

LOOOOOVE this!!! Now I need to find a room/hall to try this in!

Kimberly Moore January 20, 2011 at 5:48 PM  

I'm itching to get out of apartment living so I can paint! Love this.

casey at loft and cottage January 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM  

Such a huge difference. It looks amazing!

Design Esquire January 22, 2011 at 2:20 PM  

This looks AWESOME! What a bang for the buck. Your hubby is such a great sport.

Full House January 24, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

Wow that looks so fabulous. Look at you and all of these projects you are knocking out.

Randi January 26, 2011 at 10:34 PM  

Wow! I love it!!!
I'm a new follower!

The Handsome Hound February 3, 2011 at 5:53 PM  

love this!
I have been thinking of doing pale gray horizontal stripes in my new tiny hallway with the interior of the front door a high-gloss black.

Great blog!

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