End of Hallway Photo Gallery Wall
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
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I have a dark, small alcove/hallway that I face head-on each time I exit my primary bedroom. The problem is, I've always put upgrading it on the bottom of my priority list because not that many people see it. Before hopping back on the crazy train of teaching after the summer, I decided I had time to take on one more small project.
Here is the "before":
It couldn't get anymore boring than this. It was dark, off scale and basically the landing place of misfit decor! I painted the ceiling and alcove SWGreek Villa and the accent wall SW "Peppercorn." Then I marked up a photo to get an idea of what might fit in the space (below).
Next, I cut an arch out of sanded poplar plywood (leftover from my master closet reno) to frame the alcove. It gave me an excuse to purchase the cordless *Ryobi Jigsaw linked here, Here's an idea of the new colors working together.
The paint isn't perfect along the edges but those will be hidden by the giant frame that will cover it!
Next up, building the arched frame. Easy-peasy, right? Well, if there are two things I've learned from taking on these projects, it's that 1. They always seem to take longer than planned and 2. There is ALWAYS an unforeseen problem that will unexpectedly crop up.
Building the frame was fun! I'm getting better with the tools and my measurement skills are perfection! Teaching fourth grade math is really paying off, LOL!
I successfully attached the arch to the two sides using pocket hole screws and my *Kreg jig. (Ignore the dirty garage floor, that's a project for another day!)
Next, I nailed some support strips into the alcove to attach the frame to.
When I got ready to drag this bad boy into the house, I recruited my son to help. Here's where the "something ALWAYS goes wrong" part of DIY'ing comes into play. The frame wouldn't fit in the space. Apparently, my perfect 4th grade measuring skills mentioned earlier didn't account for JANKY WALLS! Note to self: Measure walls in multiple areas to account for jankiness!
The new jig saw earned it's weight in gold at this point. I trimmed off 2 1/2 inches on the top left portion of the frame where the wall bowed outward. It still wasn't perfect but I knew adding trim would hide the tiny gap that was left. The side leg of the frame had to come off, get trimmed on my *DeWalt Table Saw and then get reattached. Success at last!
I decided to go with a monochrome look and paint the frame the same dark color as the focal wall, SW Peppercorn. I ironed on some *Band It Edge Banding to cover up the edges, painted the ceiling SW Pure White and had my nephew install the prettiest*gold star-shaped fixture from Amazon.
My nephew is also learning the art of installing crown moulding, so I asked him to try his hand at this little alcove and he knocked it out of the park, despite the crooked walls! Way to go Tyler!
I can finally see this project getting closer to the finish line. The last difficult step was to install a marble ledge at the bottom of the frame. I've used this little *Skil Wet Saw I ordered from Amazon for several projects and it's been such a great purchase. I cut a piece of marble to fit the ledge.
Time to install a*gold wall sconce with a screw-in * battery operated puck light that comes with a remote. This light is perfect for places that you don't want to hard wire for electricity. It has two modes of white light and warm light that adjust to your desired brightness. Another easy purchase from Amazon.
The final and most necessary part of this focal wall is the photo gallery that will be mounted inside the frame. I chose three family photos that showcase some of our most enjoyable times spent together: the beach, the mountains and the holidays. I uploaded the photos to Walgreens Photo and chose the 8x8 size. These photos will be mounted in 16 x 16 white frames (Amazon) for a pop of contrast against the dark charcoal wall. The frames were of good quality and came as a set of three. The last touch was the Medallion runner from Target. Here is the final result:
What a transformation! I couldn't be happier with the way this project turned out. I get a little more confident with each one and it ends up being so worth the risk. I still need some ideas for the blank wall in the little alcove. A large mirror? Painting? Leave well enough alone? I'd love to hear your thoughts!