So after 7 years of living in our home, I’m happy to say it’s pretty much finished. Every room has been refreshed (some more than once), every space has had some love put on it, every single thing in the house complete. The hallway had been the last remaining space we had never touched. It took us 7 years to finally get around to completing it and that was only because we were putting the house on the market to sell.
This, of course, is slightly bonkers I realise because knowing that we’ve not really been able to just live in the house and enjoy it finished seems a bit of a shame but, to be honest, I don’t really regret it. Not really. I’ll be honest, if it weren’t for the fact that we were moving, I would have been planning on refreshing the office as well as re-doing the dressing room. Things change, tastes change and my home is a never-ending project. So that part doesn’t bother me.
The shame, however, lies in the fact that I didn’t get to decorate the hallway the way I really would have wanted to if we were staying here. It has genuinely taken everything in my willpower to resist doing something a little more fun in the space but knowing that we were only finishing it so that we could sell meant I really needed to hold back. The last thing I want to do is spend a lot of money and time dressing a space that would only need to be taken all apart again (or worse, left behind) when we pack up to another property. And I have no idea what the other property will be like just yet (we haven’t found a house as of my writing this post) so even buying things with the view to taking them may be a little silly. I’d prefer to get into the new place and assess exactly what we need rather than buy now and hope for the best.
Time was also a factor. We knew we wanted to put the house on the market quickly and the hallway had always been quite a cringe-y introduction to our home. Every time we had people around, I’d die just a little as I opened the door, ushering them quickly through the hallway to one of the finished rooms and hoping they wouldn’t notice the disgusting worn carpet, the dirty and marked walls, the ugly light fitting, the mismatched artwork on the walls, just thrown up there because I didn’t have anywhere else for them to go.
Let me tell you first of all that these ‘before’ pics are just some photos I found throughout the years. The real state of the hallway – what it actually looked like before we started – was never captured on film. I knew it was going to be a relatively low-key makeover so I didn’t bother (blogger fail) but it hadn’t changed much since these pics were taken, just picture a few more marks on the walls, a lot more holes in the wall, the carpet on the stairs more stained and threadbare.
Now I will readily admit to one thing I did which I always tell you not to do here on my blog. We needed to get painting and I didn’t have the time to faff about trying to decide on a colour for the walls. And so (cringe cringe) I went to the DIY store, looked at a bunch of paint colours and bought 5 litres of paint – no testing, no taking home even a paint swatch – I just went, ‘Yep, that’ll do’ and bought it. I KNOW. Okay, so yeah, do as I say and not as I do. To be fair, I don’t hate the colour but I wanted a more earthy grey and what I got was a much more blue-y grey. If we were going to be living with it for a while, there’s not a chance in hell I would have done that but well, we were on a very tight timeline and I just needed to get some paint on the walls.
Here’s what it’s looking like now…
We went for Dulux Goose Down which, to be totally fair to the paint, is a lovely soft grey. I definitely don’t hate it. Would I have chosen this particular paint colour in any other circumstance? Probably not. What’s done is done, though, and it looks absolutely fine.
I also want to say that one of the things I have always hated about our hallway is just how narrow it is. There is absolutely no space for anything in the way of furniture which means that the only thing you can really do is add something on the walls to dress it up. Whilst I really wanted to add a chair rail and paneling to the bottom of it (I played with the idea of adding wallpapered panels for a few years as well), what it really needed was just a fresh coat of paint, new carpet for the stairs, new lighting and a bit of a freshen up. I knew I could take the lighting with me so it was the one place where I decided to get slightly spendy (although relatively speaking, they were still bargain buys) and I really wanted a beautiful mirror for the entrance as gorgeous mirrors are just a good investment and really, can be used anywhere.
Everything else was done pretty inexpensively and as quickly as possible. We worked on it every weekend over the course of 3 weeks and in that time, we managed to get everything completed. I would have loved to have replaced the flooring as the original floorboards were pretty beat up but similar to the bedroom, they really only needed a clean, a light sand and a couple of coats of dark stain. They actually came out better than I’d expected.
Upstairs, the flooring in the hallway had already been done a couple of years ago when we updated the office but we decided to continue the carpet up to the dressing room so it’s split into wood flooring which goes into the bedroom and carpet which goes up the stairs. Again, a quick fix but it’s perfectly fine. Speaking of the carpeting, because I got a much bluer paint colour than I’d anticipated, I chose the colour of the stair carpet to work alongside it. Again, I’d wanted a darker, more earthy grey but chose a more blue-grey carpet to work with the walls. See how important paint colours are?! Ahh well.
I do rather adore that light fitting for as boring and non-descript as it is up here. Both light fittings were from British Home Stores.
This is the Hol Pendant Light. At £200, I honestly think it’s a bargain and makes such a statement. I originally had intended to put this at the bottom of the hallway but it’s a big light and I fear my taller guests might have smacked their head on it when they walked through the door! So, here upstairs, it worked much better. Downstairs, it’s the Kolding Ball Ceiling Light, which at £60, is just a crazy good price for such a stunning light fixture.
My favourite part of this little makeover is the fact that it’s fresh and clean and when you walk in the door, you get the impression that it’s a cared-for home. The radiator cover was one I purchased on eBay for a mere £30 but it did give me just a little bit of surface to decorate and a few plants never go amiss.
The beautiful mirror is really one of the stars of the show. It was provided to me by the lovely peeps at Sweetpea & Willow (a brand I adore) and it really elevates everything else and creates the impression of more luxury, lifting all my inexpensive choices and bouncing around a bit of light in my very narrow space. Its antique mirror border with gold trim is stunning and I have absolutely no doubt I’ll find a home for it when we move.
I left a few more links below if you are wondering where things are from. But in the meantime, what do you think of our really simple hallway refresh? Have you ever had to hold yourself back from decorating the way you want to for the sake of resale? Are you as sad as I am that this is the very last room reveal I’ll ever do in this house?
Sources: Mirror – Sweetpea & Willow / Entrance Light Fixture – BHS.com / Upstairs Hallway Light Fixture – BHS.com / Radiator Cover – eBay / Small Gold Bowl – Zara Home (old) / Tray – Zara Home (old) / Fragrance Diffuser – Ted Baker / Leopard Candle – Bonadea / Plant Pot – Homebase (in store) / Faux Zebra Plant – Audenza / Gold Plant Pot – Sweetpea & Willow / Art – Society6 / Faux Flowers – OKA & Abigail Ahern
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but the mirror was provided to me free for my review. I only work with brands I really like and think you’ll love too! All images and opinions, as always, are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support Swoon Worthy.