Make an entrance with a panelled hallway

Make an entrance with a panelled hallway

I have always loved panelling, in old country manors, historic libraries and ofcourse, beautiful Victorian homes.

So when we bought a Victorian house that needed a bit of TLC I knew right away I wanted to transform the hallway into a panelling project.
With a family on its way we had to choose colours wisely. I gathered plenty of inspiration via Pinterest (, much of which, had white panelling with coloured walls above it. However, in my book there are no rules but instinct, so I decided to go against this colour theme.

We chose Farrow and Ball Manor House Gray in an eggshell paint to line our hallways so that scuffs and marks are less noticeable. This is topped with Farrow and Ball Wimborne White in eggshell, again, one of the most durable paint out there.
With the colours chosen the tricky bit is deciding on what sort of panelling you desire. I had a vision in my head which was simple, after all, less is more. But this seemed to go against many of the panelling you can buy at specialist companies. Therefore, we thought we’d save a sweet fortune and get our hands dirty to design and create the panelling we want ourselves.
First I knew we needed a nice thick dado rail mid-height throughout the hallway. This will make the hallway feel longer and provide a clean separation between the two colours.
Secondly, we had to choose a finer dado with a beading detail which we measured, cut and fix together to produce the panelling effect we imagined. We were recommended astragal beading by a joiner, but felt the beading pictured below was more ornate, so we went with this instead.
The key to creating your own panelling is preparation. I had to decide first what height the dado rail would sit, then how big I wanted my panelling, whether rectangle or square and so on. I went with 60cm x 60cm but it really depends on your hallway.
Pulling the panelling together
I measured and drew it all out for my husband, and purchased the dado and beading along with a mitre saw – the key tool to create this effectively. A Mitre Saw can be purchased from any hardware store and ensures that you cut your frames at exactly 45 degrees.
Precision, accuracy and patience is key
There is the option to fix the panelling with pins or wood glue, we went for standard Uni-Bond which has done the trick.
One key tip is don’t be afraid to continue the panelling around corners to maintain the theme throughout the room without breaking it up.
Continuing in the corners...
After fixing the panels into place we painted the bottom half grey. The dado rail was painted before fixing into place, and this was put in place last, to finish it off. The project requires preparation, time and patience but the finished effect is well worth it.
Pine on, paint next...
By the end, when looking back to the before and after shots of our hallway, we couldn’t believe the huge improvement to our entrance. Check the evidence for yourselves:
The Hallway - Before
The completed hallway
Now all we need is a black and white tiled floor to finish our throwback Victorian entrance…’All in good time!”, my husband keeps saying.

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