This week my husband and I have been working hard to decorate our hallway. It’s one of the only spaces in the house that has remained untouched since we moved in more than three years ago, so it was looking pretty tired and desperately needed updating. You may remember that I wrote about my choice of wallpaper last week and, even though I thought it was quite a bold choice, I had a lot of positive feedback from my friends on Twitter and Instagram so I set to work. Firstly we decided to paint the whole space white. It was a grubby, marked magnolia to begin with, and just adding a couple of coats of white paint really freshened up the space. The skirting and door frames started to look really grubby in comparison, so I bought a tiny pot of Tommy Walsh white gloss paint from Poundland and gave all the woodwork a fresh coat of paint too.
This resulted in a night spent sleeping in the living room, because the smell of the paint was really strong in the bedroom, so I was glad when the fumes had subsided the following day. When the paint was dry we started to hang the wallpaper, which was easier than I had ever imagined, as it was a paste-the-wall paper. I picked a ‘Doodle’ design from Graham & Brown, which I ordered from the Debenhams home range. It turns out that I actually over-ordered the number of rolls; I’d made sure to get enough rolls to wallpaper the space but didn’t realise that the pattern repeat would be so regular, so I there wasn’t much wastage at all. The pattern looks really busy but it actually has a very regular staggered repeat so when we were matching up one length to the next, we were only loosing about 4 inches at a time, rather than the 20 inches or so that I’d imagined. Needless to say I was rather impressed by this – less wastage always make thrifty ol’ me happy! Pasting the wall is so much more simple than pasting the paper; it seemed much less messy and we only needed about a quarter of a sachet of wallpaper paste to complete the whole room. We pasted it on with a normal paint brush, so could be precise about getting it into all the edges and around the woodwork. I didn’t trust myself to do any cutting, so hubby measured up and snipped the wallpaper to the right length, white I eased out the air bubbles beneath the hung wallpaper with a damp sponge. Teamwork! When we finished putting up the paper (in considerably less time than any other wallpapering project I’ve done!) we allowed it to dry overnight before adding a dado rail. We bought a pre-primed dado rail from B&Q, which cost around £13 for the whole room and again my husband was responsible for cutting it to the right length because my measurements tend to be rather approximate rather than accurate… We decided not to screw the dado rail in place and instead used an Evo-stick Gripfill adhesive to glue the rail in place. We squished it onto the wall until some of the adhesive squeezed out of the top of the rail, which I wiped away with a damp sponge. After allowing it to dry I place, I whizzed over the top of it with another coast of white paint to finish it off. After living with an empty hallway for a few days while we were decorating we realised that we didn’t want to fill it up again with lots of pictures, cupboards and rails so we’ve moved the key box into another room and have relegated our stash of coats to the bedroom. Instead of messy coat hooks, we wanted to have a sleek solution that would be a design feature (as well as somewhere for guests to hang their coats) rather than a necessity. I’ve had my eye on a specific coat rack for a while now; based on an original by mid-century designer Charles Eames, this walnut coat hook is ideal for the space. It matches the original wooden doors of our 60s home perfectly and I love the space-age style that was so popular in MCM design. I got the coat hooks from designer reproductions specialist Vita Interiors – the same retailer where I found my George Nelson Starburst wall clock that I wrote about last month. I love the over-size design and the fact that it’s pretty enough just to enjoy looking at without using it for coats. Of course, I won’t begrudge my visitors hanging up their hats there, in fact, I think I’ll feel rather proud!
I reused my old hallway mirror by giving it a good clean and rehanging in a better position where the light comes in through the door. I found out that I couldn’t go without a mirror in the hallway because I went to look into it about 5 times over the course of the three days we spent decorating and ended up staring at a blank wall (its funny how habits are so ingrained in your mind isn’t it?), so I obviously need it! Actually, the black edges and gothic style look in-keeping with the doodle wallpaper and almost looks like it’s been picked out especially for the room.
Finally, we put down a new rug in the hallway to freshen up the floor. We are considering taking out the carpet altogether and just having the tiled floor beneath the runner, but I wanted to live with the rug for a while before committing to tearing up the carpet! I love the chevron design of the rug, and the black and white looks great with the doodle wallpaper.
I got the rug from the same store that I found my kitchen rug, as I know that the range at Benuta is hard wearing and great quality. My kitchen rug still hasn’t been ruined in spite of all the comings-and-goings from the garden in wet weather so I knew that I could rely on this runner to survive everything that happens in my hallway. Well, at least the cats approve – I’m sure Cookie things she’s camouflaged against the monochrome now!
What do you think of my new hallway design? I’m pleased with how much brighter the room appears to be now that the walls are white, and I’m delighted with the wallpaper – it’s not overpowering at all! Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy.