DIY Half Wall Transformations for Your Home

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Hi friends! Today I am sharing a few DIY half wall transformations that just may help to give you hope for the half wall (aka pony wall) in your home. 

Our house has a pretty interesting set-up. One that I had never seen when we found it, and have still yet to see anywhere else! One half of our house is one long, skinny room. This area includes our kitchen, dining area, and sunken den living room. When we first moved in, there was a half wall with banisters running from the top of the wall to the ceiling. The banisters were the first thing to go when we moved in, but we kept the half wall. 

I’ve had many people ask me why we didn’t just rip the half wall out along with the banisters. And I’m just here to say, I’ve never wanted to!  I actually love to see people keep their half walls and create something unique out of them. With the rise of open concept homes and open floor plans over the past several years, I think half walls have gotten a bad rep that they don’t deserve. In my opinion, these allow for an open feel, but with division! Which makes them pretty handy and wonderful, if you ask me. 

I’ve always seen the value in our existing half wall, as I know I wouldn’t like the layout of this side of our home without it. It would just be too busy, and honestly, dangerous to have a table and chairs in this area – as it backs up to a sunken den with a drop-off. I can just see our kiddos tumbling off now *insert sweating emoji.* 

So all of that being said, if you’re here looking for inspiration for how to KEEP your half wall instead of ripping it out, you’ve come to the right place. As I’ve been right where you are!  Today I’m sharing not only what we ended up doing, but great ideas I found along the way. 

Why keep a half wall?

It’s definitely the trend, at least in the last 10 years or so, to immediately remove a half wall/pony wall. As I talked to just a bit ago, the longing for open concept has been at the forefront of this. And while removing a half wall sometimes is the best solution for the flow of the home, keeping a half wall is often equally as beneficial.

The half wall in our home creates definition between our dining area and living room. Without it, it would be visually a bit too busy for my taste and would create a dangerous dining situation for small children. I truly appreciate how our half wall allows an open feel to our home, but gives separation and division.

Beyond our home and a dining bench, half walls can serve so many other purposes and bring so much beauty, charm, and organization.

So let’s get into it all the DIY half wall transformations!


1. Make it into a banquette bench/dining bench! 

I’m starting this out with what we actually chose to do with our half wall. After a long time of living with our pony wall as it was, and debating making it into a dining bench, I knew it was just time last year. 

I opted for a really clean, classic design so that this project will age well. But there are so many ways you can do this, and styles you can achieve! 

If your half wall is in the vicinity of your dining room and you are working with a small space – this is a great way to save space, create charm, and make the wall functional. Here is the full tutorial for how we converted our half wall into a dining nook.

It created the focal point for this room that I didn’t know we needed, and the end result is beyond my wildest dreams! 

For the sake of showing you the banisters we removed (since I actually don’t have any photos of the true before), I am adding one of the listing photos of our home before we purchased. If that doesn’t tell you how quick I ripped those babies out (lol). Couldn’t even stop to take a photo!

As you can see, we also added a faux wood beam across the ceiling where we had to remove the banisters. We ran it all the way across the living ceiling, and it’s honestly one of my favorite features of this area. A happy accident, really. 

2. Convert your half wall into a charming bookshelf.

I am absolutely in love with books on bookshelves. I can’t get enough. The more shelves for me display books, the better.  I love how this example uses the top of the half wall for decor, and the bottom half as a mini library of sorts. 

If your half wall is near your family room, this is a great addition and easy way to add character and functionality to your space. 

3. Turn it into an entry bench. 

When it comes to half walls, the entry area of a home is where I see them most. It’s a common choice to remove the wall altogether, but coming from someone who has lived in a home with zero entry storage – converting the existing wall into an entry bench is an incredible solution and easy way to solve a problem! 

I also love how Jessica creates a pretty storage area underneath the bench, and peg rail along the inside of the hall wall for hanging coats, hats, etc. 

4. Turn your half wall into beautiful, extra storage. 

I absolutely adore how they made this half wall to be so incredibly functional, set to display books and decor one one side of the half wall. And using the other side of the wall for storage bins.

I am a FIRM believer in storage bins and baskets scattered all over our home, so the practicality and order of this appeals to me. Not to mention, it adds so much charm to this beautiful entryway. 

Instead of completely removing the walls in this space, The House Diaries chose to keep the rooms divided with these stunning half wall storage shelves. This allows the space to feel open, but also gives division and interest to the home.

5. Keep it simple with a visually interesting wood treatment. 

I’ve shown so many examples with storage and necessary half wall decor. Sometimes, however, less is more. Adding something as simple as board and batten to the existing wall gives this half wall charm that it would otherwise not have. In my opinion, it also helps to disguise the outlets and light switches as well. A win-win! 

5. Convert your half wall into extra cabinets. 

If your half wall is near your kitchen area, the best way to “disguise” it is to use it for extra cabinet storage! I love how the below example uses glass-front cabinet doors to display pretty dishware. 

There are so many possibilities for making your half wall functional and beautiful! And honestly, I’m writing this post in the hopes that someone like myself of years past may read it. Someone who has just purchased a home with a half wall and is unsure how to keep it and make it beautiful. I LOVE to see people being different and using their half walls to create unique design that truly serves their family.

I hope this list of DIY half wall ideas serves as inspiration and gives you the hope and encouragement you need for your own half wall.

​Good luck! I’m rooting for you!


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