When I started working on my hallway I was envisioning a light bright space with a few fun details to keep it interesting but not overwhelming. I also didn't have a huge budget to work with but really, who wants to invest a bunch of money in a hallway?
I'd been really crushing on the Nate Berkus Arrowhead Runner from Target but after thinking it through it just wasn't an option. For one I would need two of them to run the full length of the hallway (it would've looked funny to have a runner that only went part way) meaning I would need to piece them together somehow, likely creating an odd joint in the middle. The hallway includes doors from the backyard, the bathroom and my two kids rooms. With all these doors I was concerned it might not hold up to outdoor footwear and it also had no sticky backside, making me nervous it would be slippery when the kids were running through there. Plus double the rugs = double the cost. At $70 a piece they were definitely out of the price range I wanted to spend on a hallway runner.
I was at the hardware store for some spray paint (for my giant $5 mirror you can see in the picture above) when I stumbled across the rolls of runners. While it wasn't wool like the Nate Berkus rugs the fuzzy charcoal was close enough that it reminded me of it. It had rubber backing so no slip and protection for the hardwood from wet shoes from the backyard. Hmmm, it could work with a little tweaking. I looked for the price...$2.75 a foot. The 14ft I needed would be under $40, $30 less than just one single Nate runner and $100 less than the cost of the two I would've needed...Sold!!!
A quick stop for a sponge on my way out and fifteen minutes later I was rolling out my runner and making a plan.
I started by cutting some triangle out of my sponge. The Nate runner triangles were smaller and more spaced out but I decided it would be faster and easier to make them a bit larger and line them up one right after another so I didn't have to worry about measuring spacing between.
I grabbed a paper plate and some regular white latex paint (some of my left over trim colour) and started dabbing. I didn't want a really white and solid triangle, I was going for a slightly more transparent look, so I dabbed off quite a bit of paint on the plate before I applied it.
I lined up the center point of the triangle with the left edge of the painters tape that marked the center of my lines. Once I had my first triangle I moved the tape down about half a foot and started working my way down stamping a few triangles in each row before moving the paint strips down. If you look closely you can see the runner had grooves in it which really helped when moving the tape. I could just run my finger down the groove and place the tape. They also helped when stamping for lining up your next stamp with the last one. I kept the tape though instead of relying only on the grooves because I found I started to drift a couple of times when I didn't line it up as close as I should have and the tape helped the find the center of the line again.
Once I got more comfortable with the process I got into a bit of a rhythm and it became much faster.
You can probably see a couple spots where my lines drifted a bit but I figured it added to the more authentic "hand woven" look I was trying to knockoff.
While I know it doesn't look like a hand woven wool rug I'm really happy with the end result and find it makes the hall feel a lot more put together. It feels nice underfoot (not really soft but not as rough as I thought it would be) and works better for my families needs and budget. I don't think I could've beat $40 for a 14ft runner. All said and done the painting took me about an hour and half and with the back door open it only took about an hour after I finished for it to be dry enough to walk on.
And just because I like a good before and after here's a picture of what we were working with before.