We’ve been to heaps of talks and workshops over the years offering advice on all sorts, from home renovations and decorating to styling, painting and upcycling. Looking back, where we were renting at the time, as interesting and useful as the information was, it probably wasn’t that relevant to us then. But now that we’re homeowners (still need to pinch ourselves when we say that) we can’t wait to attend more (after lockdown, of course) and soak up all the information. Now that we’re living in our own flat, we’re ready and raring to go with making it our own.

We’ve already kicked off with smaller, easier touches in our flat. We’ve livened the space up with plants, we’ve adorned the walls with artwork and we’re currently sprucing up the balcony to make it a lovely summer space. But now we want to go bigger. We’ve caught the home reno bug and we’re ready to stretch our design muscles. That’s right people, we’re ready to don some brushes and slap some paint on the walls!

Back to those talks we’ve attended and one thing which came up time after time was that when decorating your home, one of the places you should start with is the hallway. Why? Well, it’s the first place you see when you enter the home, essentially setting the tone for the rest of your place. It also connects many other rooms so if you begin with the hallway then it could, and most likely will, help with inspiring the adjoining rooms.

So that’s where we’re going to start, the hallway. Another piece of advice we were given was that with a hallway, go dramatic and bold. It’s a great space to actually go dark if you’ve wanted to try a deeper tone. This would scare many people as hallways are one of the rooms which will usually get little light so you would usually think that you should keep the space lighter and therefore brighter. Reading an article with Farrow & Ball’s Colour Curator, Joa Studholme on sofa.com recently, we couldn’t help but get hooked on one thing Joa said when discussing painting small rooms – “If you have a small, dark room and you paint it white, you will have a very small, dark, dull white room. You’re much better off embracing a small, darker room and use a lovely, strong colour”. Sage advice and something we’re keeping in mind when looking at our own hallway.

So where do we begin? Well, let’s start with the hallway as it stands right now. We’re in a new build flat so it’s as you’d expect. We’re working with blank white walls, modern wooden doors and standard light switches. We’re also up against some annoying features such as the fire safety door mechanism and the many ceiling fixtures (sprinkler, alarm, hatch, spotlights etc). This means that we’ve had to change the plans for some things. Originally, we wanted to paint the ceiling but because there are so many fixtures, we’re thinking that we may need to keep it as is. We also wanted to potentially paint the doors, which we can do, however, as it’s going to be a fairly big task to make sure we’re doing it correctly, we’re planning on keeping them as they are for now. We’re aware that if we paint the doors then there’s not really any going back to get them to how they were originally, which scares us! Finally, we ideally would like to change the spotlights to pendants but as the ceiling is quite low, this isn’t possible because the doors would hit them. But we’re going to work with that we can!

At the moment, we have a white corner console and some vinyl records on the wall. As mentioned before, it’s a blank canvas. Our starting point however is a lamp we have which is the Luke Edward Hall snake table lamp from Habitat. We adore Luke’s pieces and we jumped at buying this when the collaboration launched. However, we didn’t realise how large the shade would be and so it’s been really hard for us to house it somewhere in the flat. We found this corner console on Wayfair and it all works perfectly in the corner of the hallway. That means that whatever we decide to paint the hallway, we want it to work with the green and white of the lamp.

A rough moodboard for the hallway

After lots of searching and scrolling on Instagram, we’re leaning towards a mustard or a green. We’re really inspired by Laura Jackson’s home and have also spotted a gorgeous mustard via Almost Everything Off eBay which we love.

The plan is to also take down the framed vinyl records and hang some lovely old portraits which we bought from a vintage market in Peckham. The other thing we’re planning is to replace the light switches and plug sockets to either an antiqued brass or a matt black. We think that those little details will completely refresh the space.

To kick things off, we’ve got testers up of Hunter Dunn and Muga from Paint & Paper Library and after running a poll on our Instagram, Muga is looking like a popular choice. But what do you think? Let us know!

So that’s the current plan! The idea is that it’s a warming, impactful hallway which blends the contemporary building with period style. As our first foray into painting, let’s hope we can pull it off!

Any advice for first time painters? Drop us a comment below or join us on Instagram!

David & Mark x

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