Hallway transformation: stripped-back stairs to statement for less than £200

Feel inspiration to spruce up your own stairs with this impressive DIY hallway makeover
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  • Hallways may be one of the smallest rooms, but they are also often the busiest and can be prone to wear and tear. If your hallway is in need of a makeover, then take inspiration from this impressive transformation, where one homeowner turned her stripped-back stairs into a colour-blocked dream for less than £200.

    Hayley (aka @wallbirchmansion on Instagram) from Kingston upon Hull in East Yorkshire often documents her DIY projects, and when it came to her hallway idea she was keen to do the work herself to keep costs down.

    ‘Everything we do around the house is done on a budget,’ she told heating experts UK Radiators. ‘We like to try and reuse and upcycle things around the house that we already have. It means a lot of time and graft but it’s totally worth it when we see the end transformation.’

    hallway before and after

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    ‘This has got to be my most favourite transformation in our house. We didn’t keep track of what we spent on transforming the hallway, but we managed to keep it under £200.’

    Before: Stripped-back hallway

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    Stripping the wallpaper from the stairs and upstairs landing was the first step, followed by pulling up the stair carpet. ‘Luckily, the stairs were in good nick, but there were a lot of staples and nails in them so we had to remove those, fill the holes and sand them all down,’ says Hayley.

    ‘Spending time on preparing beforehand means you’ll get the best finish. We’ve found stripping stuff back to its original state works really well and getting rid of any imperfections before you start adding your finishing colours and details helps to get an almost professional finish – without paying a professional price.’

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    Next up was removing all of the gloss on the bannisters, door frames, skirting boards and dado rails using a heat gun. ‘It was a really time-consuming job, but it was totally worth it to get the finish we wanted,’ recalls Hayley.

    ‘The walls weren’t in the best condition, so we considered getting them re-plastered, but decided to have a go ourselves and just filled the holes and sanded them down.’

    After: Colour-block hallway

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    The new-look hall is a super-stylish monochrome scheme with bold punches of Copper Blush paint from Dulux. Patterned cut-and-stick tiles look great and cost a fraction of the price of real tiles.

    ‘We painted the lower half of the walls dark grey and I didn’t want different coloured skirting boards and dado rails so we painted these too’ says Hayley. ‘Along with the banisters and radiator to help it blend in. The upper half of the walls are in a copper blush colour, as are the door frames.’ This paint trick can be a great way to make a narrow hallway look wider.

    Buy now: Dulux Copper Blush matt emulsion, £18 for 2.5l, B&Q
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    Painted stair runner

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    Instead of spending out on a stair runner, Hayley painted one using the same paint as on the walls for a more budget-friendly, practical option.

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    The same scheme continues upstairs. ‘We had a boiler on the upstairs landing, which we wanted to hide, so my husband built it into a cupboard – it’s given us lots of storage space,’ says Hayley.

    Buy now: GoodHome Durable Princeton Matt Emulsion, £17 for 2.5l, B&Q

    Adding fake plants and hanging prints and pendant lights were all part of the finishing touches. ‘I even upcycled an old mirror using patterned sticky vinyl for the downstairs hall,’ Hayley explains.

    ‘My advice is to just give it a go when it comes to DIY. There are tons of videos on the internet with tips on how to get the job done. We’ve always done this – all our work in the house has been self taught, we’ve just had a go at it and figured that if we couldn’t do it we’d get a professional in then… and we haven’t had to do this yet!’

    Image credit: @walbirchmansion / UK Radiators

    Having transformed her hallway just in time for halloween, Hayley’s scheme is bright, bold and punchy. ‘I’m still very much exploring colours, patterns and textures that I like,’ she says. ‘I definitely like to use a lot of bright colours and bold patterns, and I tend to mix and match these together and hope it works!’

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