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Chez Larsson

Stenciling the Hall Floor?

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Chain Link

Chain Link

Remember how I on Friday mentioned possibly tiling the hall floor sometime next year? Well, here's another option I've been exploring.


Basket weave

Basket Weave

When I wrote the post on maybe wallpapering the floor to hide that awful peige (pink+beige) linoleum (I've given up on that because the cost of two rolls of wallpaper + three cans of varnish turned out to be quite expensive for a kind of temporary solution) I had a comment that led me to check out stencils.



Cane Basket Weave

I don't know about you but to me stencils sounded very 80's and I had an image in my head of several stencilling projects from my past. You know the "a border at the top of the wall" kind of things.


Eight pointed stars

Eight Pointed Stars

When I went to check out the link in the comment I was blown away by the stencils shown there. Wow! Stenciling sure has come a long way since my home made red and green tulip border at my parents house circa 1987 (what was I thinking?!).


Endless Circles

Endless Circles

Aren't these images so inspiring? Make me want to put stencils in more places than just that floor.


Large Nova Trellis

Nova Trellis

So now it's a matter of choosing which one. That's so hard. For one because they're all beautiful (and there are a million more where they came from) but also because it's kind of difficult to imagine them on a floor rather on a wall.


Moorish Circle

Moorish Circles

Also difficult because since it's paint ANY colors combinations are possible. Almost too much choice?!


Small Star diamonds

Star Diamonds

Star Diamonds

Do you guys have any recent stencilling experience and have you used any of these "all over" type stencils that mimick wallpaper?




I'm really into this idea now but I need your advice on what stencil would do best on the floor and I'd love to hear your color suggestions too. Basically anything goes in the hall because aside from the peige everything is white and the lockers can (and one most definitely will) be painted and I can choose those colors after the floor's done.



Here's that pesky looking floor in all it glory. As you can see I REALLY need to do something about it. Oh, as for tiling the floor and adding under floor heating it's still something I want to do one day but I desperately need to look at something else than that lino until that day.

The images in this post are from the Royal Design Studio Flickr page. There's also a website where there's even more choice… How to choose?!



  • charli says:

    Is tile something that is very expensive there? Here in the U.S. we can find some pretty nice looking tile on discount at some places for $1 a square foot. I don’t know what that converts to, but that space looks like its about, what? 8×6 ft? 8×8? Factor in the count of the other supplies you need and if you do it yourself (not too hard) you are looking at something like $100 USD. Painting it would probably cost us here in the U.S the same or more if you do all the steps properly. I would tough it out until you have enough for the tile- maybe as an early Christmas present to yourself?

  • Annapolitan says:

    Sherry from Young House Love just did a post on stenciling their office walls, and it looks awesome! But she said wall stenciling is HARD. Hopefully floor stenciling would be a bit easier. These stencils are beautiful. I don’t know which I love more.

  • Kaisa says:

    Wow, so cool. Now I know what to do with our laundry room walls :). For a floor, I would probably go with something “tilelike” e.g. the stars. But all of them are so pretty!

  • Messy says:

    Wow, those are amazing. I like the Moorish circles best. Lively but calm, so you can still find that shoe on the floor without going dizzy.
    One question out of curiosity: will you paint the linoleum itself, or rip it out and paint the wood/concrete underneath?
    Anyway, I’ve only ever stenciled with potatoes. 😉 It seems fairly difficult to do those large designs repeating… It would definitely go pear-shaped on my walls! But it’s a great idea.

  • I have tiled flors in the past (all the basement floors at the old house) so that’s not the issue. What I need to do though is to add under floor heating and while it’s something that I could do I want it to be done at the same time as I get the WC in order and I need my contractors for that because the plumbing needs changing. I’ll use the same floor in both areas and want under floor heating in both too so it seems like a good idea to get the pros to do the hall while they’re doing the WC and that won’t be until next summer earliest.

  • I saw that just as I was writing this post. She got the stencil from the same place these come from. I imagine doing a floor will be easier than a wall because you can just lay the stencil flat and it will be easier on the arms.

  • homestilo says:

    Stencils have truly come a long way Benita! My only suggestion would be to keep the scale of the pattern in mind.

  • I will paint the lino. The hall was added to in the 80’s so the floor underneath is patched together somehow. The lino is in very good condition though, really flat and smooth so I think paining it will be ok!

  • That to me is the tricky bit. I want it to be slightly busy so dirt from shoes won’t show as much but at the same time I don’t want to get that trompe l’oeil 3D feeling where it feels weird to step on it.

  • Anne says:

    I like the stardiamond or the Nova Trellis. Grey and white – well, what can I say? I’m not a colorful person.(although I’m planning, maybe, to paint one wall blue-grayish. Me – the dare devil)

  • NancyKnots says:

    Hmmm…. The last one you showed — green in a wicker design — definitely looks like you, and like things you’ve liked in the past. But you also seem to be into gray these days. Or would a tan go with the wood floors and stair railings and help hide the dirt that will be tracked in? I’ll be watching to see what you choose.

  • Hxx says:

    Definitely a semi-traditional Moorish pattern would look cool, like the Star Diamonds – great space to be a little OTT!

  • Maggie says:

    I vote the endless circles!! fantastic idea.

  • Annie says:

    I will take this in swedish so we don´t get lost in translation.
    Nummer ett, inte alltför ljust eftersom det är en hall där man drar in skor, ner i källare osv.
    Numer två ett mönster som inte gör dig vimmelkantig, här tycker jag att de mer raka linjerna är att föredra.
    Nummer tre, färgerna får gärna kontrastera men på ett behagligt sätt, alltså inte rött mot grönt eller blått mot gult. Min favorit bland bilderna är den sista, fast då i svart-vitt, eller grön-vitt (en mörkare grön än på bilden, som din ytterdörr tex.) Fast alla de med raka linjer är fina, den näst sista i svart-vitt gilar jag väldigt mycket också, precis som den är. Men jag är en försiktig typ. Men framförallt undvik psykadelikänla, kör på raka linjer.

  • angel says:

    What I don’t understand about painting a floor – will you be able to clean it wet? Or will you have to rely on the vacuum cleaner until you put in the tiles? Is there a colour that will stay even if it gets wet from shoes and salt and snow? If yes, the idea sounds genius!

  • Mig says:

    I would choose the Star Diamonds. Eventually, the Eight Pointed Stars.

  • Juliette says:

    Stenciling sounds like a fabulous idea! I do think scale is important, but maybe that wouldn’t be too hard for you since you were already thinking about tiling the space. I would use a stencil scale about the same size as the tiles you were thinking of. Sounds like a medium-sized one based on your previous comments.
    In terms of color…hm, that’s rather fun to think about! I think tone on tone is easier on the eye in general, but that’s just me. I guess you have to think about what color you wouldn’t mind seeing from the living area just up the steps. Since it’s temporary, what about the pink colors from your cool space chairs? I was also thinking about some greens b/c of of your door and some accents your recent LR post.
    I like the 8-pointed star stencil you posted a picture of. You could even make the occasional star a contrast color. I know you’re going to make this an interesting project!

  • Caroline says:

    I really like basketweave and wicker. Is it less interesting that they seem similar in scale and style to tile?
    I would get seasick from the circles…

  • elisa says:

    wow, fascinating! i love the moorish circles too. i would go dark, but not so dark that light-coloured dirt starts showing up, if you see what i mean! and since it is temporary i’d have some fun with colour! i’m amazed at the stencils, do they not have edges to them? i’d love to see how they are done x

  • NancyKnots says:

    After looking at them again, the star diamonds are very nice, and mimic tile.

  • Nicola says:

    Love the Moorish Circles too, it’s not too busy. Maybe you could do it in green and white: following on from your front door? Really interesting idea, though, and nor a flower in sight!!! x

  • There are special floor paints that adhere to lino and I plan on using that. Oh, and yes you can clean the painted floor.

  • Zosia says:

    I kind of like Eight Pointed Stars and Star Diamonds for the floor. Colours: Maybe white and light gray to continue from the outside or white and green (that you have around the house). Happy deciding and a great weekend.

  • Michelle says:

    Snap I think both the Eight Pointed Stars and Star Diamonds – as they look tile-like. Was also going to suggest grey / white – charcoal / white type colours. Unless you want to tap into colours in the other rooms – such as your favourite greens etc that you have cusions in. Anyway it seems like a good idea and I can see why you feel the need to cover the existing colour….. Good luck

  • Jo says:

    You’re so right Benita stencils have come a long way.
    Over here in Canada, Benjamin Moore [paint company] has started calling them Wall Tattoos, in an effort to get away from that 1980’s Jocasta Innes paint effect sort of vibe. There’s one called Portico, I thought you might like if you wanted a tile inspired look. But there are lots of others too.. the link’s below.
    If you plan to choose one from the photo’s above, I like the second one Basket Weave for a floor.
    The uniformity of the pattern would make doing it simpler too I think.. less margin for error.
    Jo xx

  • Rhonda says:

    I think the stencils are a great idea. To me the space does not look naturally lit, so I think it would be a good place for some color. Nothing to busy, but something that would compliment the door but provide some brightness. My experience is limited. Here in Japan, shoes never go beyond the entry area, which is 20cm below the entry, and is considered “outdoor” even though it is inside. You would like it. The floors stay clean and there are cabinets for your shoes.

  • Thanks, I like the Portio one too!

  • Mea says:

    I love the Moorish Circles. It reminds me of some gorgeous vintage tiled hallways you can find in the UK. I would like to see you use 2 shades of vintage green. You like green, it’s on your door and bits and bobs through the house. Some comments mention green and white which would be a fresher look but I feel the pattern lends it’s self to a more vintage feel plus it wouldn’t show up the dirt as much.

  • petra says:

    Hi Benita,
    I love the stars and star diamonds as they resemble “real” tiles.

  • Monica says:

    The last time I stenciled something was I think in 1993. I went crazy with an ivy stencil in the kitchen and did a shell & starfish stencil in the bathroom. Don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway I have evolved and I am grateful.
    These stencils are nothing like that though. I really like the Endless and Moorish circles. Do people actually use a stencil brush to paint this large scale patterns? I can imagine that would take foreverrrrr.

  • I guess so… hmmm… I’ll have to get a big one!

  • malin says:

    Jag målade linoleummattan i vår trapp med golvfärg från beckers fungerade utmärkt. Vi har sprungit upp och ner nu ett par månader och det funkar finfint mattan var från 1949 typ.

  • Kanon! Då känner jag mig trygg 🙂

  • jja says:

    My voice for Nova Trellis, it looks like it will fit well with the living room.
    Or just pink with some strapes? :))

  • Sandra Yeong says:

    Green Basket Weave looks nice…

  • L says:

    Rather than go with any of those pictured, can’t you get a custom stencil made? If so (for reasonable price) how about you go with a pattern from one of your great accent pillows? For instance, the leaf design that you also had on a shopping bag, if memory serves? The colors are muted, so you won’t get that creepy feeling, but busy enough to hide the dirt.

  • Dru Peters says:

    Here in the US there are under tile heat systems that are electric, and easily attached to an on the wall thermostat. An easy DIY project, no more difficult than tile. No plumber needed, tile goes right over. Not expensive either. Is that available to you? I love the idea of doing a project (and spending the money) only once!

  • There is, but see the first comment at the top where I’m explaining why I’m waiting.

  • Messy says:

    Ms Larsson, you are the Queen of Painting! I’m sure if you can’t do it, it’s humanly impossible. And why not do it, if the lino is in good condition.

  • devil says:

    Stenciling a floor in such a small space could get very tricky. Too hard on the eyes for me – I’d just use a solid color paint in a neutral color.
    If you absolutely must use a pattern, I’d suggest you keep the colors as low-key as possible. Just MHO, of course. 🙂

  • L. Kate says:

    Ok Benita, this is a complete departure from stenciling….since this is a temporary fix, why not do a gorgeous peel-and-stick checkerboard tile. You could do a gorgeous gray and white, or even tone on tone gray. Another option is industrial rubber flooring with the raised “penny” look (like the penny tiles). Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe used some last weekend in a laundry room on hgtv on her show Sarah 101. It was so cool and came in a ton of colors (or, haha non-colors). And, btw your new place looks incredible!!

  • Funny you should mention the industrial flooring because that was what I was initially going for until someone commented that together with my two metal lockers it would be a very 80’s…Not the look i’m after.
    As for checkerboard tile it’s also not the look I’m after but thanks for the suggestions!

  • I guess I could make my own stencil but I don’t see the point when there are so many cool ones already made. If there was no choice available I’d consider it though.

  • Patychag says:

    Probably a larger scale on the floor will look better. I would stick to colors that you really, really love so you don’t get tired of it. The Chain Link and the Nova Trellis, in my opinion, are the ones that look more like you. I think looking at the front of your house so neat and organized will be weird to open the door and find a super busy super bright pattern. I think a larger pattern helps the eye flow into the next room. I am really curious to see which direction you’ll go! Love your blog.

  • Giulia says:

    I think this is a great idea and you posted some nice samples. Because you are doing it on a floor have you thought of using a pattern that is similar to Spanish and Cement tile floors? you’d also find them in a lot of old European buildings. I’m linking one of my pinterest boards that has cement tile options as I’ve been researching it. I think some of the samples you posted are in that vain.
    Colour wise I’d go with a strong neutral like charcoal so you don’t get sick of it but you still have a strong statement. Good luck – look forward to what you do.

  • Giulia says:

    BTW – you search for stenciled floors in Pinterest quite a few options show up. Also YHL stenciled their sunroom floors in their last house.

  • Dusa says:

    I like this one, especially the grey tonal effect…open, yet busy pattern to hide some dirt and it’s available in a Pro size, which is larger for faster application.
    Just my 2 cents…

  • I did my guest bath ceiling and it was a PAIN but worth it in the end. John and Sherry just did one in their office, and they did it the right way (unlike me).
    Here’s the stencil –
    And with crown molding –

  • RebeccaNYC says:

    I also went stencil crazy in the 80’s…along with my sister we did borders in her entire house. Sage green and pink mauve. What in the world were we thinking? anyway….these are all lovely, and I know you will choose something wonderful, you always do. I vote for a green to go with one of your accent colors in the living room…love that color. I painted lino in a very tiny kitchen as a quick fix once and it worked fairly well..if I had prepped better it wouldn’t have peeled, but I didn’t and it did, so about once a month I just repainted it!
    Can’t wait to see the results!

  • Jessica says:

    I have used the Moorish circles one that you posted in my dining room, and I love it. It’s kind of a pain to do and time consuming (though on the floor it’s probably easier), but the effect is awesome.

  • Nancy says:

    Hmmm, my choice would be the Star Diamonds in a two tone grey, or a green and grey colourway. The diagonal lines of this design would visually expand the space and I like that the Star Diamonds is more of a tile design. The scale would fit the size of your space and stairs too.
    It’s funny about associations because the Moorish circles reminds me of the 70’s as it was part of the logo and packaging for a major dept. store in Canada in the 60’s and 70’s. The Endless Circles was used as a variation of the same logo too. I can’t wait to see what you pick though.

  • vandegee says:

    star diamonds!

  • Lauren McF says:

    Green and black Star Diamonds. Wow. Would hide the dirt and be a great focal point.

  • I tried to comment on your site but it wouldn’t work. It looks really great! I love the shimmery effect on the more matte. I wonder if that can be done with the floor paint…

  • I love that you did the ceiling! I saw the post on YHL as I was writing this one and stenciling does seem like hard work, but like you say worth it in the end!

  • I have a whole board with stencils already on Pinterest :). And yes, I saw the YHL one the other day as I was preparing this one.

  • Mona says:

    I like Basket Weave – in the green!!! To match the front door.
    I can’t wait to see what you do! I know it will look fabulous!!!
    I have ugly grey lino in my kitchen and I am looking for a solution too!

  • Nancy says:

    Hmm, I would pick the Diamond Stars in a two tone grey, or a grey and green colourway. I would think that the slightly higher contrast with the green would hide the dirt better. The diagonal lines would visually expand the space and the scale of the design would work with the size of the room and the stairs.
    It’s funny about associations… the Moorish Circles and Endless Circles reminds me of the 70’s as it was part of a logo and packaging for a major dept. store in Canada in the 60’s and 70’s. I can’t wait to see what you pick though.

  • Marie-Claude says:

    Never wrote before, but I have to say your blog is wonderful and as become to me a great source of inspiration (since I am renovating my 1928’s home right now).
    I am sure a good prep on that linoleum floor et your talent will do the trick.
    At worst it can buy you time for your initial idea. But for now you will experience something new and can always re-paint to another motif!
    Just follow your instinct! You’ve proven so far you have what it takes to make a home beaufitul and welcoming!
    with pleasure to look foward of your project!

  • YSC says:

    I like the 8 pointed stars, though using muted colours — like light green, grey or grey-blue? Not such a fan of the wicker as I think it would be a little too busy for a floor. Lines on a floor just make me want to follow them 😉
    Good luck – I’m sure whatever you choose will be beautiful!

  • Marlena says:

    I really like the 5th option – the gray and white. The gray would hide the dirt and complement the white in the entryway. Good luck! Looks like a project that could be done over the weekend, right?

  • such a great idea. would love to do this in my hall if i could ever find the time. also, you might find this useful:

  • Maura says:

    I think the stenciling is a great temporary solution! I had a painted floor for a while – it does wear after a while, but the wear is a good nudge to get on with the permanent floor (not that you ever need a nudge, but I do!)
    This blog entry: shows a stenciled kitchen floor in a geometric pattern similar to some you posted. To me, the pattern does not read “busy”; it’s actually quite restful looking. I love the grey-and-white she used, but since this is going to be temporary, I think you should go crazy and use the green (or pink!) that have been showing up in the house lately. Here’s a green stenciled floor: (for the color – the pattern is a bit much).

  • Lisa W says:

    LOVE them all, Benita! I know you’ll pick great colors! My first thought was to pick a design that sort of emulated tile shapes that you would expect on a floor, but after thinking about it I might vote for the more circular designs to echo the round shapes in your living room and balance the boxy shapes. Have fun!

  • my vote ~ Nova Trellis… Dark gray gray diamonds & a shade lighter light gray lines…. you can add color accent on the walls if needed… my opinion of course.

  • Those color combos are great! I added them to my Pinterest stencils boards. Thanks!

  • It may take a bit longer because there will need to be several coats with enough drying time in between.

  • Marnie says:

    I’ve been coveting the stencils from Royal Design Studio for a year now. So hard to narrow it down to just one! I think the Chain Link one would work for your floors and the Moorish Circles one as well. I second Nicola about bringing the green from the front door into the space. Green and white would be great 🙂
    To do the stenciling, you can use a special stenciling roller brush which will be quicker and more kind on your hands. They sell those too (and no I’m not affiliated with them – just too much time on my hands lol)

  • Hulsy says:

    I suggest a white and green chevron.

  • Cate says:

    Loving the stencil! So fresh when bright colours are used with white. How to avoid being too busy though? I can’t wait to see what you settle on. Meanwhile, I know your stair lino removal is a separate project, but I thought I’d share these stair risers because they make my heart sing: Pity we just moved into a house with no stairs…

  • lorie says:

    I think the endless circle pattern is very modern,large scale,open and has a slightly feminine feel to it. It would be lovely in green and white & would make your entry way a fresh welcoming place to come home too. Add some black and white detail (mirror/storage/hall table)and natural reed or rush baskets it would be a very pleasing effect.
    I have stenciled floors before and it can be challenging (depending on the pattern). I think that hand painted floors can look very lovely and there is much to be said about the pleasure of doing something with your own hands. You maybe surprised how much you like it.
    P.S. make sure to coat with 3 to 4 coats of urethane for durability.

  • kim says:

    Isn’t “chez” a french word, if my memory serves me well (prob. not), but why not usual Royal Designs french saying stencil? Just a crazy idea, thot I would throw it into the pot!