It’s been a little quiet from me over the past fortnight, but there’s been a very valid excuse for my lack of presence! We have been redecorating our hallway, stairs and landing, which was always going to be our big project for this year (last year’s was the kitchen/living makeover), and so things were turned a little upside down around here for a few days whilst the painter was in. However, I am pleased to say I can finally share some pictures of the (almost) finished result with you – there is still carpet to be laid on the stairs at the end of the week but I couldn’t wait that long to show you around… I have never been known for my patience :)
B E F O R E …
Firstly, let’s remind ourselves of what the hall looked like before work started… orangey, dark wood panelling on all the walls and a very old red patterned carpet made the space feel dark and dated.
The wood panelling covers around three quarters of the wall space and we wanted to lighten it up, yet retain the beautiful texture of the wood grain. With the light coming in from the big window on the stair return, the wood had faded badly and was in need of some serious TLC, as you can see.
W O R K B E G I N S …
Firstly, hubby and I pulled up all the carpets and sanded back the beautiful oak floor that was preserved beneath the hall carpet. That was a weekend day gone in itself, what with numerous trips to the dump, sanding and cleaning up the dust, however it was all very much worth the effort when we finally finished the floor. We wanted to achieve a matt finish to show off the grain and colour of the natural oak, so we decided to wax it rather than varnish it. We used Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Wax which glided on like a dream and was very easy to apply with a quick drying time in between, so the three coats were on within a day.
Onto the panelling next, which our painter prepped with a base of stain sealer primer – he used Johnstone’s Ultra Primer Sealer which is a water based primer, so nice and quick drying. It is the equivalent primer product to the better known ‘Zinsser 1-2-3’, however at a fraction of the price and every bit as good.
As you can see the primer alone really brightened up the entire space!
T H E F I N I S H E D R E S U L T …
So… two coats of paint later (plus a good tidy up) and here is the newly freshened hallway… (drumroll)
I think you’ll agree it’s been brought into the modern day! On the wood panelling and surrounding woodwork we used Farrow & Ball Strong White, a really lovely, soft, off-white which I think I’ll continue to use on the woodwork in the rest of the house. On the upper wall we used Farrow & Ball Purbeck Stone to add a little definition and warmth.
The back of the front door has been painted in Farrow & Ball Mole’s Breath which is a shade or two darker than the Purbeck Stone. The drawing room through the door was painted in Cornforth White last year – I love the flow of these three neutrals together and how they layer up to create a really soft and relaxed palette.
I picked up the little rug whilst visiting my brother in Doha back in March. I like this kind of ethnic, boho style in this room as it adds a welcoming pop of colour and pattern to the muted backdrop. I’m currently on the lookout for a bigger rug for the hall floor, but this helps protect the floor from dirty feet in the meantime!
We are having carpet fitted on the stairs and landing (hooray!) at the end of this week, so I’ll be able to share some more pics of that with you soon. We chose to leave the banister handrail and posts in their natural state, simply adding a coat or two of a mid-oak coloured stain to restore and renew the wood. It really warms the space up and again adds extra definition to the overall look.
I love how the main window at the stair return really pops out now as a principal feature in the house – before, it was partly concealed by a heavy, timeworn, red velvet curtain, which had to go (and the tomes of dust with it!!) I have fallen in love with this window all over again.
Downstairs again and looking through to the kitchen, where the space feels much more open and connected. We framed an architect’s sketch of the house dating back to 1936, which we had found some months back rolled up in the attic – it’s a little nod to our home’s history, which we love the idea of.
So there you have it. It feels like a different house and we just love the bright and airy space we come through the front door into every day. There are still a few areas to finish off, namely a new radiator cover, ceiling pendants, a nice little lamp for the hall corner, a large rug, the list goes on! I will be putting together a ‘little’ wish list soon of some pieces I’ve spotted recently which are perfect hall additions, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Maybe you’re planning your own hall revamp or need to improve on the hallway you have at present? Either way, I hope you’ve been inspired by what we’ve achieved so far.
Enjoy the rest of your week – I’ll be spending it pulling up old carpets upstairs – ugh!
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