Updating the hallway for $0 - The Kim Six Fix

Updating the hallway for $0

Our house was previously a rental until when we bought it.  In order to neutralize it and make it easy to maintain the previous owner had every.single.surface (walls, ceilings, vents, switchplates) painted either bone or antique white.

Our stairway up to the second floor looked like a giant white abyss (not to mention the atrocious brass lamp):

From the front entry way, living room and dining room you can see up the stairs onto the giant white blank wall:
J on Christmas morning

It was time to change it up.
First thing I did was pull out this shiny brass number:
Because I am on a spending freeze, I decided to replace it with the fixture previously hanging above my kitchen table:
(When I removed the 80s fluorescent light in the kitchen, I replaced all the fixtures. I never really hated the original chandelier but I wanted all the new ones to match)

It wasn't the ideal solution because the chain is much shorter than the one on the brass fixture, but I made due.  I did have to move the hook closer to the fixture itself, and therefore had an excuse to whip out this beauty:
My christmas present this year: A new cordless drill!

The hook was not drilled into a stud, but had been hanging from a toggle bolt, so that is exactly how I rehung it. 
I then decided i needed an accent wall, to accentuate the fact that there is a 22 foot ceiling in the stairwell.   I couldn't afford new paint, but I loved the color I used in the kids' bathroom (Martha Stewart's Buckwheat Flour.)  It is pretty neutral and dark enough to contrast with the white walls and trim, but not super dark for the windowless area.

The challenge was getting up to the ceiling to paint (although it was not nearly as big of a nightmare as hanging the new fixture from the ceiling!)  I used my 16 foot extension ladder for the painting:
For the fixtures I had to use a very very scary scaffolding set up.

It was my 12-foot folding ladder (which I couldn't unfold all the way because the space wasn't wide enough), and my 10-foot little giant adjustable ladder set up on the stairs.  Between them are two rusty nail-laden boards that previously formed the fluorecent light fixture housing I tore out of my kitchen ceiling. Because I had to use the top step of the folding ladder, there was nothing to hold on to.  I was basically walking along a shakey balance beam, 12 feet above the top steps and more than 20 feet over the rail and onto the ground floor.
Clearly I survived. But shhh don't tell OSHA.

All in all I am very happy with how it came out:
It may not be the most dramatic makeover one has ever seen, but at least now it doesn't scream "80's tract home!"   And this isn't the end, oh no.   This is only what I could do for ZERO dollars.

Eventually I am going to stain my generic builder oak stair rails:
No, my stairs aren't still decorated for christmas. I dont' have an updated picture!

The rail will be dark dark and the balusters white so it looks more like my Pinterest inspiration
Isn't that GORGEOUS?!

I don't have the money to buy the stain this month, although I may start the sanding and priming as my next project.   We shall see..

ETA: I DID IT!! The stairwell was updated in THIS post.

Updating the hallway for $0 Reviewed by TheKimSix Fix on 11:34 PM Rating: 5 Our house was previously a rental until when we bought it.  In order to neutralize it and make it...