It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home but, if we’re being literal, then in a double fronted house the hallway is actually the heart – along with the stairs and the landing. They have to seamlessly blend into adjoining rooms and so meet their purpose in both form and function.
If you haven’t yet seen what we started off with, here’s a quick reminder:
Before we move on – apologies for the quality of some of the photos, I really struggled with a poor camera, dodgy light and (honestly) a lack of patience. However, let’s start on:
I LOVE this colour scheme, it shifts with the light and is timeless and pleasing. We sanded, sanded and sanded again the stairs before using a mahogany wood stain and finishing with wax to allow the natural grain of the wood to show through – the spindles and sofits are in Slipper Satin.
The light is from BHS. The wonderful cornicing is original but the ceiling rose is a (pretty good!) repro. Again, we went for colour on the ceiling to help the architectural features stand out rather than blend into one. If you haven’t already, I really would recommend you try colour on a ceiling instead of boring white!
This pic probably shows the colours a little truer. The carpet, if you’re sad enough to be wondering, is Malabar (made by Cormar) 100% wool in Cottonwood. Incredibly durable, warm and lovely underfoot.
If you’re particularly eagle-eyed, you may have spotted these holiday memories previously in our kitchen diner but we decided to move them to the landing instead. They usefully illustrate just how different colours can work with French Gray. Anyway, back down to the stunning curtain.
The fabric is Sanderson Varese (Autumn) which couldn’t work better with the colour scheme. It was perfectly made and fitted by the wonderful David James Interiors who also fitted the simple sheer blind that lets in light but blocks out the view of the neighbours! They also suggested the tie back, which we love and picks up another key colour of the fabric.
Now, in case you’re struggling with perspective, this is a big curtain! It’s 1.8m wide and with a 3m drop. That’s a lot of fabric!
11.2m of fabric to be exact. We don’t pull it at all in warmer weather but it comes into its own in the winter and – don’t you agree – looks amazing.
Heres’ the view from downstairs which is where we’re heading now as we move down into:
The original screen doors look so much better without the frosted glass we had when we moved in. In an ideal world we would have incredibly stained glass – typical of Edwardian homes – but the cost was eye-watering!
Ah, yes. The light. Ain’t she a (Laura Ashley) beauty?
Is it ostentatious to have a chandelier in your hallway? Probably. Do we care? Nope! We actually think the hallway would be a little sad and naked without it. One of my favourite splurge purchases in the house – and totally justified as it was in the sale!
The only piece of furniture in the hallway is this little mahogany cabinet:
I have always known it – from my mum – as Aunt Andrina’s boot cupboard. Andrina was my Great Aunt and she, apparently, always kept her boots in it! On top you can see my incredible, personal wedding bouquet:
It’s so beautiful that it still makes my heart sing. The fabric is offcut from my wedding dress and Oly’s wedding tie. It contains my mum’s nursing badge, china roses from my brother, bows from shoes I had when I was six, a dress stud from my grandfather, a brooch from my mum’s most beloved Aunt Trixie – alongside plenty of other bits and bobs. And I am now lucky to count the talented lady who made it as a friend. Read more about it here.
Above it hangs my grandmother’s fan, mounted on cerise felt. Doesn’t the colour just look amazing against the French Gray? Here’s a few other details:
Moving down the hallway towards the back door:
We replaced the previous ugly white plastic door with a composite door – a Rock Door. We choose ‘rosewood’ finish and are pleased with how it matches with the staircase wood. The difference in heat retention with this door is phenomenal, it’s also incredibly secure so we sleep well!
The stag door mat is yet another shout out to my past – the family crest bore a stag, so I needed to get one into the house somewhere!
To the right of the back door proudly hang these:
Our wedding reception tables were named after famous people we like (plus my mum!) – so, Oscar Wilde, Marilyn Monroe, Morecambe and Wise and so on. On the back of each card was a carefully selected quote, now framed and making us smile.
When we installed the back door we went for plain glass. Great on the lower panels that look into the garden but above the door we ended up with a rather depressing view of the neighbour’s rooftops. And that is where the genius that is Purlfrost comes in.
This incredible window film is made to measure and – I think you’ll agree – doesn’t look like a bit of film. We loved it so much we used it to tie the front and back doors together. So, let’s head to:
This time we added some colour to the window film design. Pretty good, huh?
Even with my dodgy photography, you’ll notice the colour change for the lobby. Read in full here, but we switch to Mouse’s Back on the walls (the best paint name!) and Brinjal for the door. The Old White continues, for continuity with the hallway, under the dado and on the woodwork.
Here’s how it looks with my Hair poster – from the production we saw on Broadway on the last night of our honeymoon.
The impressive front door is a beast. A local joiner made it for us and said it was the biggest door he’d ever made! You want to see it from outside? Ok, sure (just ignore the step that we haven’t got round to painting!):
The colour, Green Smoke, works wonderfully with the red brick and the brass hardware.
And doesn’t the window film look superb from the outside? Would you know it was just window film? It fools most of our visitors anyway!
So, that’s it. That was a longer page than I expected – apologies.
Let me know what you think about the welcome into our home.