Jazzing Up a Hallway and Bathroom Updates

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I hope you are having a great kickoff to your summer, we only have two more weeks of school left here and my kids are clamoring to get the summer started.

When you’re an entrepreneur, sometimes it doesn’t always feel so cyclical. Sometimes you have to ride the waves of your children or your spouse who may have a more regular job. Last year, I felt like I was really waiting around because everything was kind of pending with our move so we didn’t really make any summer plans. 

Now, we’re settled in our home but experienced another curveball with a baby on the way so once again, we’re not making any plans. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the mailbag. 


This episode, we discuss…

[3:09] Jazzing up a hallway (Andrea) 

[10:04] Bathroom updates (Ranae) 


[3:09] Jazzing up a hallway (Andrea) 



Hi Betsy! I have been enjoying your podcast since it’s inception! Yours was the first interior podcast I started listening to, and I’m still happy every time I see you’ve dropped a new episode. Thanks so much for making beautiful spaces accessible for everyone, no matter our budget! 

Now to my question. I live in a 2008 bi-level with my husband and three teenage sons. The interior architecture is contemporary and relatively plain. I would say that our style is clean transitional (is clean a feeling word?). My individual inclination would be cozy Scandi, but there are two of us with opinions! 🙂 

My question has to do with the hallway that connects the main living/dining/kitchen spaces to the bedrooms/bathroom on the main floor. It was previously just a white hall with two builder basic flush mounts for lighting. At the beginning of the pandemic, I spontaneously painted the end wall blue (our red thread), and we added a small shelf at the top for display. In real life, the hall isn’t as long as it looks in the picture. This unexpected pop of color and fun art makes me smile, but it’s pretty random with the rest of the white hall/bland fixtures, and I’m not sure the two pictures work there (or maybe not even the shelf because it’s too high?). 

The challenge is that there is a light switch in the middle of the wall that we use so can’t cover and we can’t bring the shelf lower because it is resting on the top of the door frames of the two side bedrooms (there are only about 4 inches between the end of the door opening and the wall). Do you have any ideas for this hall that would make it interesting and still blend with what’s happening in the rest of the house? I’ve attached pictures of the hall, dining area, and living room (judiciously cropped so you only see snippets of family mess!) for context. Thanks so much!



You have this random blue wall at the end of this hallway that is really basic, not very wide, and  has some pretty plain light fixtures. It is also quite strange to have that light switch right in the middle of the hall. I do agree that having it on that wall as you’re looking down the hallway is just a real impediment to having something cooler there. 

I also don’t always love a random shelf up high because of Fung Shui. Even though this isn’t where anybody would walk, because it’s at the very end of the hallway, it makes it appear as though these things could fall as the shelf does seem to be fairly shallow.

I would say that you could paint or wallpaper this entire hallway. I’m also really glad that you gave me the context of seeing the living room as well as the kitchen and the hallway because these areas really flow into each other. 

If the hallway was more separated with an arch or something, I think it would be fun and playful to treat it differently with wallpaper or a different color but you would do it throughout rather than what you have now, which is an “accident” wall instead of an accent wall. 

I think if you continue all the way down the hall, it would meet this living room and kitchen area in a way that just doesn’t flow. It would be a similar issue to just feeling like you ran out of paint. My suggestion would be in order to give the end of the hall visual interest without having to move the light switch that you would turn that entire wall into a gallery wall. 

You’d have organic configuration of pictures that would go from ceiling to floor and side to side and it would not be symmetrical. You could have all the same color frames but with colorful photos inside. I do think that the hallway could use a little bit of color so I like the idea of the color photos. You could just incorporate the light switch as one of the rectangular or square shapes in that gallery wall. 

I think that would be a really cool, eye-catching way to make this wall more interesting. I would paint the wall the same color as the rest of the hallway. I would also consider doing a runner down the hallway that has some colors that are found both in the living room and in the pictures at the end of the hallway. That’ll tie the two spaces together.

Also, these light fixtures are pretty boring. They look like Home Depot or IKEA specials so I would definitely be inclined to switch out those two fixtures for something a little bit more interesting. You wouldn’t want to do anything that drops too much because you don’t have higher than normal ceilings so I would recommend a flush mount. 


[10:04] Bathroom updates (Ranae) 



Hi Betsy, Congratulations and best wishes for your new baby!

It’s been about a year but I wanted to say a big thanks for recommending that we paint our bathroom vanity taupe. It’s hard to capture on a phone picture but it’s so perfect. I would have never thought of taupe.

We did go a different direction with the wall color and really love that too. It took a while to find a green to match the funky 70s floor but now the room doesn’t look so much like an accident.

I think you also recommended build.com somewhere and it turns out that was the only place that had a straight, chrome shower rod that’s not a tension rod in stock.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! I’ve been living in the bathroom potty training my son and it’s not so bad.



Thank you so much for sending me these pictures and letting me know what happened. I love to get updates. I think you picked a lovely shade of light mint green for your bathroom. Now if you’ve read my book or listened to the podcast or seen me on the Today show you know that I don’t love the color green in any room where you see a lot of skin whether it’s a bedroom or  bathroom, because it can cast like a sickly paler on your face, making you look relatively unwell. It’s just not as flattering as something warm like a cream or a peach or something that would really add a glow to your skin tone. I think here it’s light enough that it’s really not going to be too much of a problem.

I’m really excited that you changed out those wall sconces that had the round Hollywood lights. Because I think you’ve really updated this bathroom on a budget. I love that you’ve changed out those old ceramic knobs for some clean handles. Everything is looking great, Ranae. You’ve done these cosmetic updates in such a way that I think it really freshens it until you’re ready to splurge and do a gut renewal on this thing. 










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