Board, Batten and Beauty on a Budget: Cottage Charm Hallway Reveal

Cottage charm hallway reveal. Board and batten hallway with gallery shelves

It’s been a month-and-a-half in the making, but after wiping the sweat and sawdust off my brow, I can say that the board and batten hallway makeover is finally complete.

I’ve wrestled with the wallpaper, showed the nail gun who’s boss…lady, and told the Kreg Jig, “I don’t need no stinking YouTube tutorials”.

I might be exaggerating a little, but there is a certain amount of empowerment you get when you try out a new skill and don’t fail miserably at it, especially if that skill saves you money by doing it yourself.

To save money, my husband cut down a sheet of MDF and I adhered the strips directly to the walls with construction adhesive and a nail gun. I’ll share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way with you in a later post.

Today, I’ll show you everything we did to give this hallway some much-needed charm on a budget. I’ll include a cost breakdown and resource list at the bottom of the post.

It all started with an inspiration board and a hallway that hadn’t been updated in eight years. Long ago, we put up track lighting and painted over the dark wood doors and molding with white paint. She looked much prettier than her 80′s throwback style but she still sported her shiny brass knobs like a pair of gold hoop earrings.

Before and after hallwayOur hallway gained some cottage charm and character with the addition of gallery shelves and wainscoting. Texture was added with the grasscloth wall covering. If you are hesitant to use grasscloth for fear that it will get dirty, installing it on the upper portions of the walls will keep it out of reach of little one’s PB&J-covered hands. You can also go the extra step to make the wallpaper more dirt and dust resistant by applying a thin coat of Minwax water-based Polycrylic with a sponge roller. The Polycrylic also gives the grasscloth wallpaper a subtle sheen.

Board and batten hallway with gallery shelves.

In my original plans, I wanted to build the knock-off version of Pottery Barn’s Holman Ledge using Ana White’s instructions. Instead, my husband and I built a set of picture ledges using pine boards, crown molding, and a strip of lattice wood for the front ledge. You can find the tutorial for building these gallery shelves in this link.

DIY gallery shelves and board and batten


They were a little over double the cost of materials of Ana White’s $10.00 shelf plans, but much less than what we would have paid for Pottery Barn’s shelves. I adore the side profile of the crown molding.

Side profile of DIY gallery shelf

Although we had a shelf for our family photos before, only half of the pictures fit on the old shelf. The other half had to be hung on the wall. Now, we have two shelves that allow us change out or rearrange the pictures without putting any nail holes in the walls. I reused the same frames. They were all spray painted white to keep the space fresh and light.

DIY gallery shelves- Hallway reveal.

I waited for about three months for Ballard designs to put their Carriage House chandelier on sale. Well worth the wait!

Board and batten hallway with gallery shelves


I was inspired by the open frame doors tutorial from Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl to give our HVAC air return cover a glam makeover. I made some modifications to make it work for our opening that I will explain in greater detail in a future post. Otherwise, check out her tutorial for building the frames. Update: The vent cover tutorial can be found in this link.

DIY air return cover


Radiator screen vent cover


The hall bathroom that you see to the right will be getting an update soon thanks to Shannon from Fox Hollow Cottage who sent some samples of Maison Blanche’s La Craie paint!

DIY air return vent cover


Here’s how much we spent to give our 1980′s rancher some cottage charm:

Small Carriage House Chandelier from Ballard Designs (20% off plus shipping) $139.00

Oil-rubbed Bronze Knobs and hinges from Ebay for (6) doors $96.00

(1) 4 X 8′ sheet of 1/2″ MDF $25.00

Construction adhesive, nails, and caulk $11.00

Materials to build both of the gallery shelves $56.00

(2) double rolls of Grasscloth Wallpaper $90.00

(2) small containers of wallpaper adhesive $14.00

Materials to make the air return cover $37.00

Primer and Paint (not included in price since we already had these, but I used Sherwin-Williams Multi-Purpose Primer and Proclassic Enamel in gloss)

Total $468.00

If you’re like me, when you makeover a room, you may ask yourself, “Is it all worth the time, money and trouble?”. But when you step back and see the results, you know it’s all worth having a home that is truly reflects the things that you love.

Before and after hallway

tricia tag


This was featured on:

Blogger Homes


I’m linking this up to some of my favorite blogs such as:

Young House Love

Fox Hollow Cottage

Cedar Hill Ranch

Rain on a Tin Roof

Savvy Southern Style

Artsy Chicks Rule

Beneath My Heart

Liz Marie Blog

It’s Overflowing

Fine Craft Guild

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  1. i love, love, love board and batten!! your hallway looks great – and great idea with that return vent!
    katie recently posted..milk paint brings all the girls to the yardMy Profile

  2. Tricia your updated hallway looks so great! I really adore the picture shelves. I’m going to need to incorporate these somewhere in our home. Thanks for the cost breakdown too! Great job!!!
    Clydia @ Three Mango Seeds recently posted..ITS PARTY TIME 3-17-13My Profile

    • Thank you, Clydia! I follow your blog so I can’t wait to see when you do the shelves. I’ll be doing a quick tutorial soon to give some more info on how we made them.

  3. It is such an amazing difference! I am so jealous…my hall is still boring :) Every detail about it is wonderful…from the grasscloth to the vent cover. NICELY DONE!!! Sharing this :)
    Sherry recently posted..Quick~change magnetic desktop photo displayMy Profile

    • Oh, thank you so much for sharing! No need to be jealous! It only took 14 years of us living here to get it done. You have plenty of time to redo your hallway! :)

  4. Wow! What a difference! It looks amazing, and a month and a half time frame is impressive! (It just took me two days to install a faucet…haha). I adore the profile on the shelves! You and the hubby did a wonderful job!

  5. It is SOOOO Beautiful! I especially love the grasscloth. You did such a wonderful job. Sometimes I think people forget that hallways are another room and living space. They often get neglected. You did a superb job of bringing life, energy and beauty into the space. LOVE it!
    Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz recently posted..DIY JUMBO JENGAMy Profile

  6. It looks gorgeous! Bravo!!
    Erin@Managing the Manor recently posted..Some NEW AdditionsMy Profile

  7. As always… you’ve outdone yourself. I looks fantastic from top to bottom. You didn’t miss a trick or a detail. You do the prettiest room makeovers! It’s so light a bright now. Fresh, modern and perfectly cottagey.

    Now, come do mine! ;)
    Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage recently posted..Psst… I’m movingMy Profile

    • Hey, Shannon ! So glad you like the hallway! You can fly me out anytime and I’ll fix that hallway right up for you. Then we can fly to the east coat so you can do my open kitchen cabinets. Sound like a deal?

  8. This turned out fabulous! Great Job! :)

  9. Love! So smart doing the double ledge. And the air return vent cover is brilliant.
    Danielle @ 2 Little Superheroes recently posted..Refinishing Furniture (& your hair) with Coconut OilMy Profile

  10. I sooo love your talents!! It looks absolutely amazing. Fantastic idea on the vent cover. I just found your blog via Fox Hollow. I’ll be staying a while and checking you out! :)

  11. Love this! It really brightens up your hallway and all the details are fabulous. It looks professionally done! Love the photo shelves too.
    Jennifer @ Town and Country Living recently posted..Easter Signals the Hope and Joy of SpringMy Profile

  12. Hope Wykel says:

    You’re so creative Tricia…I get so many good ideas from your site :)

  13. Ruth Anne says:

    I have been looking forward to your reveal and it has been worth the wait. Your board and batten walls look so bright and neat–I would like very much to do this in our family room. The way your hallway came out so beautifully encourages me to do this in our upstairs hall, as well. Your hard work really paid off! And, your treatment of the air return struck a chord with me–ours looks much like your old one and could stand a facelift. Thanks so much for your inspiring blog.

    • Hi Ruth Anne,
      I’m glad you’ve been following along! I’m so glad you like how everything turned out. Let me know if you end up doing this in your family room or upstairs hallway. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  14. I love the hallway! What size light did you select from Ballard?

    • Hi Jessica! This is the small one. It came with two types of mounting hardware where you can hang it with a chain (for high ceilings) or do a ceiling mount like how we have ours.

  15. Tricia, It turned out wonderfully! Everything you chose works so well together. Love it all! And I agree, the B&B really brightened things up. I noticed that in our room too.
    Love those shelves with the pictures…what a great idea! And the air return cover too.
    Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  16. I love the shelf, love the light fixture and love the new dark knobs. Well done!

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  17. Your hallway looks fantastic! I love all the details that you put into it.
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  18. Love love love!!

  19. Tricia, the hallway is a knock out. Everything you did looks so nice together. I love the air exchange cover. Details like that make such a difference.

  20. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but that’s an amazing hallway! It has sooo much character now. I’m fascinated by all you did to it. You had a great vision for it and carried it through with great style. If I had a hallway, I’d want it to grow up to be just like yours!
    Liz @ Quirky Vistas recently posted..Eternal Hope for the Earth-Weary Heart!My Profile

  21. I love this SO much! I think something like this would be perfect to brighten up my hallway! Pinning!

    I would love for you to link this up to a new party I am hosting with four other bloggers, Give Me The Goods Monday! Your links will show up on five blogs! You can go here to link up:

    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  22. Great job! Love the ledges, awesome way to display family photos. Thanks for linking up to The Scoop!
    Lolly Jane recently posted..The Scoop | link partyMy Profile

  23. I Love this!!! You did a stunning job. We are actually just finishing putting up board and batten in our long hallway too and I plan to do some kind of gallery on ours as well. I also love your grass cloth wallpaper. Hopped over from Give Me the Goods Monday – can’t wait to explore your blog some more!
    Krista recently posted..4F Craftin’: Simple Twine and Yarn Easter EggsMy Profile

    • Hi Krista,
      Thank you! I went and checked out your blog and got sucked in looking at the projects you’ve done so far. You have a cute blog!

  24. I’m sooo jealous–of our beautiful hall AND of your courage to take the project on! I really, really, really want this look in ouir house, but…the courage to take it on is lacking. :( Great job! ~Zuni
    Zuni recently posted..Children’s Table at BunnyvilleMy Profile

    • Hi Zuni,
      Seriously, if I can do it, you can too! I used to be so afraid of using any kind of power tool. I still won’t use a table saw or a tile saw. But I started off doing smaller projects with a miter box. I got hooked from that point and then realized how much easier it was to do with the right tools. Sometimes all you need is someone to help you with your first project and then you’re set.

  25. Tracia, this transformation is awesome! One of my favorite features is the way you changed the vent. Reminds me something special from an old house. Now I’ll have to watch for that light fixture to go on sale. I have a few that need to be changed badly.

  26. Love, love your hallway, the wainscoting, the air return, picture shelves, colors, textures. So fresh. Great redo. ~d
    di @ musings recently posted..Happy EasterMy Profile

  27. Wow! What an amazing transformation! I showed my hubby the air intake screen you made and he’s like “I’m so doing that!”. I love the light fixture, walls, frames, everything! Thanks so much for linking up to Give Me The Goods Monday!
    Jamie @
    Jamie recently posted..Give Me The Goods Party #1!My Profile

  28. Tricia you are the boss! My computer/internet has been cracking a tanty so I’ve just seen your hallway. Seriously lovely, inviting, warm and just gorgeous. I hope your super proud of yourself, major achievment. I just bought a Kreg and cannot wait for our first date!
    Sarah @ 20 State recently posted..Breath {A monthly motto}My Profile

    • Hi, Sarah! “Cracking a tanty” sounds like something my car would do! I’m so glad you like the hallway. You’ll love Mr. Kreg! He is awesome!

  29. Just wanted to stop back in and thank you for sharing this great makeover at Project Inspire{d} Tricia! :)
    Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule recently posted..Ready For Summer?? DIY “Driftwood” Beach Sign TutorialMy Profile

  30. Tricia
    It look amazing! Such a great job. I love that you took a transition space and made it a decorative touch! I’m following you on BlogLovin.
    I’m visiting from Tater Tots and Jello. I hope you can stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Spring JOY Frame ~ Printable

  31. It’s so bright and pretty!
    Alicia @ A Syncopated Home recently posted..New Bedroom CurtainsMy Profile

  32. Great job, Tricia! Thanks for taking the time to share; you’re a great discovery! :0)

  33. Charming indeed!! Found your feature at the Give Me The Goods party! This hallway is fabulous!!
    Eva @ Snappee Turtle recently posted..So THIS is what happens when you turn 30My Profile

  34. Tricia, this looks amazing. So inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  35. I love your makeover! It makes everything so light and bright, and I can’t wait to see exactly how you revamped that vent cover!
    Well done!!
    Jeannine @ The Concrete Cottage recently posted..Happy Easter!My Profile

  36. This looks absolutely gorgeous! What a transformation, it is so bright and cheerful. Beautiful job.
    Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers recently posted..March In ReviewMy Profile

    • Thank you, Taryn! I’m so glad you like the hallway! It’s hard for me to remember how much different it looks now until I look back at the before pictures.

  37. Thank you for linking up to Project Inspired! I featured you today at Setting for Four:
    I also pinned your beautiful hallway to our group linky party pinboard! Have an amazing day! Heather
    Heather recently posted..Project Inspired No. 7 Linky Party Features….Beautiful Home Decor IdeasMy Profile

  38. Following you on Pinterest and Google plus now too – love your blog and your hallway reveal! Heather at Setting for Four
    Heather recently posted..Project Inspired No. 7 Linky Party Features….Beautiful Home Decor IdeasMy Profile

  39. Just wanted to let you know your hallway is one of my features tonight Tricia! Thanks so much for linking up to the Project Inspire{d} linky party! :)
    Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule recently posted..Ready For Summer?? DIY “Driftwood” Beach Sign TutorialMy Profile

  40. Love the way the hallway looks! and the register cover is brillant! I’m pinning too. Little Bit from
    Little Bit recently posted..Our House: Re-Doing the Family Room… One Section (al) at a Time!My Profile

  41. What a gorgeous transformation! It’s such a bright, charming and welcoming space, and I love that picture ledge! I’m going to have to file that one away for future reference! I have become such a fan of board and batten, and have added it in a lot of spaces in my home – I never tire of seeing reveals of it either! Yours is stunning! Well done!
    Jenny@EvolutionofStyle recently posted..My BFF Bob Vila, March in Review & a Link Party!My Profile

  42. Looks outstanding!!! Love all the family pics too.

    Linda@Coastal Charm recently posted..Nifty Thrifty Tuesday No. 157My Profile

  43. Beautiful hallway!! I love every detail, especially the grasscloth! Did you follow any other page or tutorial for applying it? I was thinking of a similar look for our powder room (wainscoting and grasscloth) but I’m a bit afraid of doing the grasscloth myself and my husband will nix the project if I have to pay for a professional ;-)

  44. This is absolutely fantastic! Where do I even start? Just know that I pinned it for future inspiration!
    Luisa recently posted..I Saw the Sign!My Profile

  45. I have a long hallway like this and have so much trouble decorating it. I love what you did here. It truly is an inspiration!

  46. I love your hallway. Just curious about the width. Our hall is very narrow and just wondering if I could make this work.

  47. I love your hallway! Great job! I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind answering them…if I understand correctly, you cut the MDF to use as the battens? I was wondering why you didn’t use 1X2′s or even lattice strips? Just wondering if you had any insight. Thank you…again it is really beautiful!

    • Hi Anna! I don’t mind at all answering questions! In fact, it will help me when I do the tutorial later on. I’ve used lattice strips before when I did my kitchen back in 2008 and they were super easy to cut. But now, they are so expensive. A 2″ strip costs $10.00 and I would have needed 10 just for the vertical strips. I couldn’t use 1 x 2″s since they would have been thicker than the door jambs and also more expensive. Instead, we only had to use one 4×8′ sheet of 1/2″ MDF which cost $25.00. That one sheet was enough to do the verticals, horizontals, and the baseboards. There were extra steps to make it look nice (which I’ll go over in the tutorial) but it was all worth it in the long run. I’m so glad you like it!

      • Thank you Tricia for your very thorough reply! I appreciate the input…it all makes sense! So glad I found your blog. Have a wonderful Spring!

  48. Beautiful. I love the change and how it looks. I think I need to buy some white paint and a few boards…well just a few. I feel a spring project coming on girls! hahahaha…
    Debbie recently posted..Shabby Chic Style TABLESCAPE FOR SPRING-HANDPAINTED PINK ROSESMy Profile

  49. Wow, what a beautiful transformation! {And you have a gorgeous family to display in those pictures as well!} I popped over from Inspire Me Please! Thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)
    Abby @ Just a Girl and Her Blog recently posted..How to Make a Bunting Banner in Word {with Clip Art Tips and Tricks}My Profile

  50. Wow! This totally ROCKS! I’d absolutely love for you to stop by and share your board and batten at my party — it just opened!!! Enjoy your weekend LOTS! XO, Aimee
    Aimee – It’s Overflowing recently posted..Share Your Creativity 4/13My Profile

  51. I love your blog so much! Always so pretty and inspiring! XO, Aimee
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  52. What a nice bright hallway. Let me invite you to come link it up with us at ?
    A new linky opens tomorrow.
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  53. This is great, and I have been looking forever for just the right light fixture. This one is it. Now I’ll just have to be on the lookout for the next sale. Thanks so much.

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  55. Mylinda says:

    This looks great do u have a board and batting hallway tutorial? What sized boards did u use for the vertical boards.

  56. I love this! I am wanting to do this in my hallway. We bought a new house a month ago and just about every room needs to be redone. I was wondering if you have posted the tutorial yet or if you know when you will be? I wanted measurements for the vertical boards. I saw they are 1.75″ wide, but how tall? and how did you do the base? Thanks!

  57. Awesome, awesome job! The carriage house lighting and board and batting is wonderful – bright, nice, functional – Great job!

    Linda @ Hello I Live Here

  58. Michelle Fitzgerald says:

    I just found your blog. I love it. Your hallway is so bright now. You’ve inspired me to do something similar to my hallway, but I have stairs that I will tackle as well. :-)

  59. Wonderful, so glad I found this as we are planning on this type of shelf in our grandbabiesroom.

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  1. [...] I’ll show you how to build gallery wall shelves like the ones we have in our hallway. If you’re just starting out with doing carpentry projects, this is perfect because you only [...]

  2. [...] love what Tricia did with this hallway over at Simplicity in the South! Go over and take a look to see how she pulled it all [...]

  3. [...]  Board and Batten on a budget hallway reveal from Simplicity in the [...]

  4. [...] I  redecorated our hallway last month,  I was on the look-out for artwork to fill the empty space along one wall but also [...]

  5. [...] Hallway makeover from Simplicity in the South [...]

  6. [...] Want to see the finished hallway? Click this link for the board and batten hallway reveal! [...]

  7. [...] I  redecorated our hallway last month,  I was on the look-out for artwork to fill the empty space along one wall but also [...]

  8. [...] from me once in a while, it’s probably because I’m knee-deep in a DIY project, like the board and batten hallway project I just finished up this [...]

  9. [...] when I hinted at the end of my hallway reveal that my next room makeover would be our guest bathroom? Well, today’s the day I get to share [...]

  10. [...] In The South recently gave her hallway a makeover, taking it from a rather neglected 1980s look to a very light a bright cottage style hallway with board and batten [...]

  11. [...] Board and Batten Hallway with Gallery Shelves from Simplicity in the South [...]

  12. […] board and batten hallway with grasscloth wallpapered walls and gallery shelves by Simplicity in the South. I love how it makes a small place interesting without being too busy!  You really DO need to check […]

  13. […] orb!!  She made it?!  Simply gorgeous.  You have to see how she did it.  Way to go, Angela! Simplicity in the South Look at how Tricia takes a normally plain part of any house and turns it into something fabulous!! […]

  14. […] up our living room to our adjacent kitchen! Love grasscloth? I also put grasscloth wallpaper up in our hallway above the board and batten back in the spring. Click the photo below to see the […]

  15. […] Visit Simplicity in the South for more of this Cottage Hallway. […]

  16. […] In The South recently gave her hallway a makeover, taking it from a rather neglected 1980s look to a very light a bright cottage style hallway with board and batten […]

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    Board, Batten and Beauty on a Budget: Cottage Charm Hallway Reveal – Simplicity in the South

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    Board, Batten and Beauty on a Budget: Cottage Charm Hallway Reveal – Simplicity in the South

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