My first DIY reveal of the year – what a great feeling! I love refreshing my home at the beginning of the new year in preparation for the lighter, brighter days. My bedroom is next on the list…
To sum up what the hallway was like before I would say: dark, soulless, beige, depressing, confused, and just soooo many doors! Basically, I live in a new build flat so every single fixture and fitting is functional and lacks character. The doors (there are eight leading off the small hallway – yes, eight) are huge, washable and extremely strong, which is brilliantly practical but they are gruesome to look at and have no mouldings or even nice handles to detract from the fact that they are just massive slabs of wood. The doors, combined with the vile, light absorbing carpet mean that my hallway is just generally depressing and even when I put nice things in it, like the beautiful Victorian washstand and mirror that used to belong to my grandmother, nothing can lift it past the point of being utterly depressing. When I don’t enjoy being in a space, I try to close myself off from it, which means I cut out the light in the flat as I close all of the doors. Another consequence of not enjoying a space is that it quickly becomes a dumping ground – spot the old computer that needs to be disposed of and has sat there for a month!
So, something drastic had to happen, yet I didn’t want to spend more than about £250. Drum roll please…
These shots were taken by photographer Katharine Peachey during the recent home tour shoot she did for 91 Magazine. Luckily for me, she captured the hallway, which makes it look extra special in contrast to my awful before shots!
So, this is what I did:
1) Pulled up the carpet and painted the MDF boards underneath to match the living area and home office, which creates more continuity and less of the feeling that the hallway is separate box within the flat.
2) Painted all of the internal doors white – what massive change that makes! They are no longer a feature and you barely notice they are there, which makes the hallway feel so much bigger and brighter. We also completely removed the door that leads into the living area, which really helps to create more flow and bring more light into the hallway.
3) Changed the door handles and replaced them with original Bakelite ones that I bought from Lassco, which are a bit more a design statement rather than a purely functional tool.
4) Painted the bathroom door with blackboard paint to create some contrast with all of the white. Plus it’s rather handy for notes as the front door is just to the left of it.
5) Bought a new hallway table from eBay that is a vintage school desk and I now use the Victorian washstand as a bedside table, which suits the style of the bedroom a lot more than the hallway.
6) Added a couple of pieces of art work, including my favourite Double Merrick print.
7) Added our spare Ercol dining chair, with a colourful Orla Kiely cushion, which is practical for putting on shoes but also adds a bit of colour.
8) Bought a jute runner, which is super practical with a dog and it tones in with the table top and chair (I normally have a seagrass basket in the righthand corner too for scarfs and gloves etc). Some of you may remember that I bought a Turkish Kilim runner for the hallway but Otto ran down it with paint all over his feet – cut a long story short, the runner did not survive.
9) Styled up the hallway table to make it more appealing to look at and added a huge vase of flowers, which is always filled with yellow flowers to tie in with the cushion. I bought the vase from Petersham Nurseries Shop.
10) Bought some vintage hooks from eBay to match the black and white colour scheme.
All that is left, is to find the perfect rug/mat to go in front of the front door and some new light fixtures…
What do you think? I know it’s not perfect and it’s certainly not my ‘dream’ hallway, but with what we’ve got and the small amount of money I wanted to spend I’m pretty thrilled with the results. Gone is the dark, beige, light absorbing box and a new, light, bright and breezy passageway has arrived! I just need to find the perfect rug to placed by the front door and new lamp shades to replace the spot lights.
What DIY projects have you got up your sleeves this year?
Thank you to Katharine Peachey for the beautiful photographs.