Hallway Makeover and a Jenny Walsh Clock Giveaway

September 18, 2013

hallway makeover

Another reveal today! This time, our hallway, which stretches a good forty feet through our house, kind of like a boat.

This time, I have a before photo! Ta-da! So much cream!

hallway And now white and charcoal! It’s so much more fresh and clean. And for the record, it’s even nicer in person. The half charcoal wall is possibly my favorite thing in the house so far, maybe because I did it all by myself! I measured and taped, two things I don’t particularly enjoy doing. But it was worth it. I saw a post on The Marion House Book a few months ago about half painted walls and filed it away in my brain until one day I was thinking about the hallway and it popped out again! That’s how most of my design decisions happen – like epiphanies of ideas stored in there from hours of Pinterest longing and blog reading.

hallway makeover 2 A Coco cameo, of course, because even he likes hanging out in the hallway now that it’s spruced!

I’ve never attempted a gallery wall before but I thought it would be perfect for the space between the kitchen and the living room. Some of the pictures moved from other rooms, where I had gotten sick of them over the last few years, and they have new life now! I originally thought I would need frames, but as it turns out, I did not need frames. In fact, after putting fifty (!) frames on the wall, I still have about ten frames of various sizes left over! They’ll get used around the house, but for the love of Pete, no one should let me buy any more frames.

I didn’t want the wall to get too busy, since it’s a tight space, so I kept the wall to white, black or gold frames. I had a bunch of plain wooden frames from Ikea, so I sprayed those with gold spray paint. They dry in a flash and add a little sparkle! I also had artwork that didn’t quite fit some of my frames, but at Alex’s smart suggestion, I took them to a frame maker and had mats cut. It makes a big difference on larger pieces and cost about €8 per mat. It worked out perfectly and allowed me to use frames I wouldn’t have otherwise. Success!

hallway makeover 3 Since prep work isn’t my favorite part of any project, I decided we weren’t going to try to block it out with paper like most bloggers seem to do. I can see how that would be useful, but we don’t have a piece of floor that’s big enough for laying out all those frames! So I decided we would wing it. We started with the largest pieces and then worked slowly, adding more frames, making sure that the different color and size frames were balanced on each side of the wall.

It took us about three hours, and a bottle of wine, to get them all up on the wall. It was mostly a peaceful process, although I think Michael asked me Is it level? about seventeen times. I was thankful/cursing the person who gave him that handy little level for Christmas a few years ago!

hallway makeover 5

And now the fun part! See that wonderful Time Flies clock on the wall? Designed by the incredibly talented Irish designer, Jenny Walsh. She makes the sweetest clocks in funny shapes – a grandfather clock the shape of an old man or cuckoo clocks in the shape of birds. Jenny is one of the nicest people you’ll meet – and her whole intention with her products is to make people smile. She also has these new steel deer antler hooks I totally have my eye on – they’d be great for hanging jewellery! Sadly for me, they sold out so quickly I have to wait a bit to get my hands on one!

clock giveaway

Jenny has kindly offered one of her creations to one of my lucky readers! One reader will get to pick one of her cuckoo clocks in the color of their choice! And they’re great colors – teal, yellow, fuchsia, grey, blue or red! You can’t go wrong!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post and tell me whether you’re the kind of person who’s always late, always early or always on time. (Full disclosure, I used to be on time or early, but moving to Ireland has made me always late. Because Irish people have a tendency to be late by about half an hour!) I’ll announce the winner on Monday.


  • Reply joan lenihan camacho September 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Always, always on time!!

    the hallway is great!

  • Reply Yolène @ Crème de Citron September 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Lovely post! It reminds me I need frames, a lot of them! (I have gigantic packets of photo prints still unpacked since I came back from Australia…).

    I am always on time or early. And if I am early, I tend to be a bit too early a lot of the time as I get stressed about being late (and I have nightmares when the battery of my watch dies). But I am learning how to be more relaxed about that and being in Ireland helps 😉

  • Reply Lynn Caldwell September 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I would love to walk slowly along this hallway and have a good stare at each and everything hanging there. Great job! I thinking winging it is the best way to go, at least most of the time. And it looks like you’ve got the balance just right – drives me crazy to see things on walls that are (usually) too high, too low, too wrong. 🙂 You both did well to get it done peacefully in 3 hours!
    For the record, I now struggle to be always on time (Irish timekeeping sometimes wins the ongoing battle…).

  • Reply Jennifer Nash Humphrey September 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Lovely & I feel the same re: templates. Sometimes you just gotta hunker down & do; experimenting is part of the process.

    I run a wee bit behind. Spouse runs even more behind typically. Einstein proved time was relative so it’s really all in the name of science, right? 😉

  • Reply Karconhee September 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Errrm, on the late side, I’m afraid . . . despite my bestest efforts!

  • Reply Vanessa September 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Hi there Emily. Love the hallway makeover… it’s fab!
    As for my time-keeping, I’m usually annoyingly punctual (for an Irish person, ha!)
    Hugs, Vxxx

  • Reply Gerry September 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Looks great, Emily. And it is like a boat, with cabins off of it. I like that. And the photos. And the clock.

  • Reply Emilie Casseday September 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I am always early. Or at least try to be because I know that once I start arriving late, I will always be late. Whenever I go anywhere with my husband, we are always late… hmm. I love the updated hallway. So beautiful.

  • Reply Emily September 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    The wall looks great! I love the half paint idea.

    I’m typically a bit early or right on time!

  • Reply Colleen September 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I love when people decorate their hallways/stairways with family photos! It’s a wonderful way to transition room to room, and it paints a lovely picture of the homeowners and their families. I always spend a little extra time looking at each photo!

    I tend to be a bit early or right on time 🙂

  • Reply Ann September 18, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I don’t envy you hanging all those frames at all. My OH is a nightmare, not only would the level be out but the tape measure too (and probably a blob of prittac to hold it in place). Me I go by eye, so you can imagine we don’t hand many things up together.
    I’m always about 10 mins or so early unless the OH tags along and then WE’re a half hour late….. why is that?

  • Reply Mairead September 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I love the makeover. Your hallway looks so interesting.

    I am almost always on time. On our wedding day, the priest was not ready for the bride, he commented that it was a first for him!

  • Reply Matthew September 19, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Always early, I always turn up about twenty minutes early, everyone else turns up twenty minutes late – a pocket sized book is always handy!

  • Reply Evin September 19, 2013 at 2:50 am

    Always early, though my wife is always late which complicates things!

  • Reply Torry September 19, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Lovely! The charcoal half-wall is fab…. And always early 🙂

  • Reply Anne September 19, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Your hall looks great – I am always a little late even though I always intend to be on time!

  • Reply Aoife Kinsella September 19, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Love that clock! And the cat!!

    I am always either mad early, or a bit late. Very rarely in-between. The fact that I neither wear a watch or have a clock in my room doesn’t help!

  • Reply Kate Fogliaresi September 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I’m always early, I hate being late for things! However, with a one year old sometimes I’m not as early as I’d like 🙂

  • Reply Michelle September 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Always Always Late.

    Love the hallway and the clock. Getting the keys to our new house next week, the clock would be the perfect house warming present!

  • Reply emer breen September 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I’ve been taught well by my Dad, never arrive a minute too early and never arrive a minute too late….it doesn’t always work out like that but i have an obsession with being on time!! Love the prize – wow, thanks for the competition xx

  • Reply Aisling Friel September 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I tend to be early. I’m almost always the first person to arrive, does this mean I’m not really Irish? 😉

  • Reply Kathleen September 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Hi Emily, well done with all the measuring, taping and leveling…I’m amazed that you hung all the frames by winging it! Final result with the white and charcoal looks great :-). Great idea to use the gold spray paint!
    As for time…well, I’m generally late, unless it’s my daughter’s irish dancing or my son’s soccer…they keep me on track. Could be that I don’t have a clock in the house, and am always hunting for my mobile to check the time.
    Love Jenny Walsh’s cuckoo clocks…subconsciously I think I was expecting the Swiss type, but instead they show off the cuckoo in all her glory 🙂

  • Reply Katie G. September 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

    The hall looks lovely!

    My tendency is to be on the mildly late side, though I’ve been making extra efforts to correct this!

  • Reply Julie September 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Love love love the hallway, you have given me some inspiration liven mine up:) HATE being late, however since my baba arrived I am constantly late. For everything. If I win the clock I will set it half an hour late – might solve my problem!

  • Reply noelle sousa September 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I am always early, very early!! I get it from my Dad, whenever either of us have to be anywhere you can be guaranteed we’ll have done the journey in our heads twice before we leave the house and we will always arrive with plenty of time to spare 🙂 He is actually in england at the moment and text me from the harbour to say, ‘typical dad, i have me and your mam at the harbour at 12.45 and our boat is due to sail us home at 4.15, time to spare’, it really made me laugh when i read it.. 🙂

  • Reply Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm September 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    On time or late…depends if I like what I’m going to do or the person I’m meeting…sad but true. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your work and am hoping to visit Ireland in the near future. Your blog has been a huge help, as have the other sites you’ve mentioned. Thank you!

  • Reply Caroline Downes September 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    As much as I try I always seem to end up late, I’m definitely getting better though!

  • Reply Joanne O'Sullivan September 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I am hideously irregular 🙂 When I try to be early for something, the world delays me somehow and I end up late….and when I’m trying to be on time or fashionably late, I end up there way too early. No idea how!

  • Reply sean thompson September 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I try my best to be early by ten minutes well at least five
    But don’t want to be the very first person to arrive
    I hate to be late I try so hard not to be
    But sadly fate sometimes conspires against me

  • Reply Aisling September 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Loving your gallery wall and seeing some of your familiar pieces there. I am generally always on time, however with two young kids to wrestle out the door, my time-keeping has become somewhat more erratic of late! However, I have no doubt that a cute cuckoo clock would keep me up to speed 🙂

  • Reply Sweet Like Cinnamon September 20, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I am always on time. Even on my wedding day! I have the photos (with the clock at City Hall) to prove it 🙂 your hallway looks stunning Emily. The gallery wall idea was great and it worked out really well. I love the gold frames too.

  • Reply Pamela Moore September 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Always on time.

  • Reply Laetitia September 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Very nice hallway makeover!
    I am always on time for work, my clock at home is always 15 mins early. Apart from work, I am always late.
    I love your creation, the ”Fly On The Wall”. I bought it as the gift for a Birthday in Arnotts. Time flies, your beautiful creation has flown to Germany .

  • Reply Jennie Andersen September 20, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Always on time! Love the hallway!

  • Reply Stephen September 22, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Always late no matter what my intentions.

  • Reply cbb September 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Always late, unfortunately, despite my best efforts, circumstances always conspire against me! That & underestimating the time it takes me to get anywhere! Love the hallway & the clock looks great, great craftsmanship!

  • Reply Tom A September 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I’m definitely always on time. I aim to be early, but only ever manage to get there just about on time. If I aimed to be on time, I’d be late!

  • Reply Lu September 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Always aim for on time – sometimes a little early and sometimes a little late

  • Reply Poetry at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance | From China Village September 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    […] the winner of the Jenny Walsh Clock Giveaway! Congratulations, Aoife Kinsella! I’ll email you tomorrow with the […]

  • Reply Alex - Hydrangea Girl September 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Oh! Oh! Your hallway looks awesome sauce, Emily. What a fab update. It’s so fresh and bright! I used to hate white, but recently I’ve been falling for it, and you nailed it here. I love the little details and mix and matched picture frames. And of course, little Coco.

    I obv. would love to be in with a chance to get my hands on a little cuckoo clock! I’m always early. Not too early, I try to be 10 or 15 minutes early as I hate that panicked feeling of being late.

    xx A

  • Reply Wendy September 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I love the update on your hallway. Gallery walls are one of my favorite things. They add so much interest to a hallway. I love that they slow us down, making us take in what is hung, in a space that is normally used to get us from point A to B. 😉

    BTW, I am ALWAYS on time or early. (Can you tell it’s a pet peeve?!!!)

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  • Reply A Bright Living Room Makeover - From China Village May 19, 2015 at 9:31 am

    […] which we slowly made over and turned white and bright over the last year or so. (You can see our hallway, bedroom, bathroom and landing strip in case you missed those, and you can see the before photos […]

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