Katie’s House: A Quick Update for the Hallway

First and foremost: We are so excited to announce that we’ve been asked to become regular contributors to the domino.com website!  Our first feature – an updated post about Mera’s downstairs bathroom – ran yesterday (we may or may not have had a squeal-filled phone call when we saw it).  You can check it out here.

And in other news…

All hail the power of paint!  I’m so desperate to finish the Chamber of Secrets (which is taking forever – this is renovation in real time folks) that this Sunday I grabbed my painting supplies, marched downstairs, and gave the hallway a little makeover.  Sound counter-productive?  The truth is that I desperately needed to finish something, and now that I did I totally have my house-fixin’ mojo back.

I’ve been steadfastly ignoring this hallway for years, but since painting the living and dining rooms, it’s become much harder.  The yellow hue – perhaps sweet and sunny in its younger life – has become through the years dingy, and more evocative of urine-soaked snow.

Red House West||Quick Hallway UpdateWe use the hutch to store linens and extra bathroom supplies.  It’s a really sweet piece, and definitely deserved better than it was getting.  This hallway had become the repository for stacks of homeless art which became, in turn, repositories for Dean and Carl’s copious furballs.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

Even the magical blue dining room paint that I love so much was suffering in its proximity to the hallway.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

I decided to paint the hallway the same color as the living room – Miller Paint’s Crystal Ball, the prettiest shade of pale gray.  Behold the difference:

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

Hallelujah!  Now that the color palette is more unified, the flow through these spaces is so much better.  When the hallway was yellow, the three different colors made the view into the living room visually hectic.  Things are much more serene now.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

To give the hutch a little update I lined the back with this chalkboard-printed paper by Lily & Val; I just used double-sided tape to hold it in place.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

I’m crazy about the Bakelite handles.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

I decided to keep the art simple (which means the stack of homeless art is now seining for furballs in another room), but these two little pieces feel right to me.  The Picasso drawing is a page torn from a Sotheby’s catalog that I got for really cheap on Etsy.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

The photo of the dove is from a thrift store.  On the back someone wrote, “1980.  Taken in a small courtyard in Alicante Spain, after a night train from Madrid, killing time before an afternoon bus.”  It’s funny how photographs taken with real film have an undeniably vintage cast to the them – a look that many Instagram filters attempt but few achieve.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

I’m so, so happy I made time to do this.  I get a little lift every time I walk through here and I feel reinvigorated and excited to dive back into the Chamber.

Red House West||Quick Hallway Update

Anybody else sometimes need to switch gears when they’re in the middle of a big project?  Thanks for reading along!


13 responses on “Katie’s House: A Quick Update for the Hallway

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I feel less crazy now for doing the same thing with DIY projects. In my renovation of our living rooms, I got blocked in my head so we set about attacking the study/spare room (which is a converted garage) so now it’s a work in progress too. But that break then helped me return to the living rooms and take them a bit further.

    I very much approve of the changes to your hallway. It looks much fresher and lighter now and it feels like a proper space instead of an access point. I once painted a hall yellow thinking it would make the windowless space brighter and happier but it just looked dingy. Lesson learned. I’m thinking of painting our hall here a pale dove grey but that’s down the line once I’ve stopped bashing the walls moving things between rooms for all the other DIY going on around here.

    Congratulations on the contributing writers gig. Well deserved.

    1. k80bennett

      Wall bashing, oh my! You’re an animal.
      Yellow is definitely a difficult color. For a long time I painted every bedroom in every house I lived in (4 or 5 total) a soft butter color and loved it. All those rooms had natural light, though, which made a big difference. My palette has certainly shifted into cooler tones lately and prefer them in this house.

  2. artpippin

    I switch gears all the time during projects, which drives my husband crazy. For a while there was a rule that I was not allowed to start a new project until I finished a couple others. I am inspired by the hallway paint color.

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. y2knina

    Urine-Soaked Snow. Its a wonder Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore hasn’t gone there. Its so evocative in its specificity. 🙂

    I love what you’ve done here and, yes, now all the spaces flow and relate so much better. I also enjoyed the peek into your art stash. I have a pile in my tchotchke closet. And a rather long, mostly naked hallway. One day, one day. Maybe you could do a “waiting in the wings” post some time. Interesting to see those things waiting for their time in the spotlight. And collecting hairballs.

    Congrats on the Domino gig. As Laura says, it is well deserved. Don’t forget us When you get all big and famous!

    1. k80bennett

      That’s a great post idea – there’s so much art waiting for its moment. “Waiting in the wings” is a lovely way to put it, far better than seining for furballs. And don’t worry Nina, even when we’re on the RHW yacht reclining in deck chairs, nibbling caviar, and dictating our posts to a team of stenographers, we’ll never forget our roots or our favorite readers 🙂

  4. Carol Crump Bryner

    Huge congratulations to both of you on the Domino happiness, and to you, Katie, for the inspiring update to your hallway. If this doesn’t make people want to find a part of their house to make better, I don’t know what will! Good job. (And I love those Bakelite handles too.)

  5. Susan

    Perfect…doves and feathered Bakelite pulls…flowers on wallpaper and fabric and rug..and the visual bridge that Crystal Ball creates from hall to living room and back again. the newly happy juxtaposition of hall and dining area. Domino’s selection of REDHOUSEWEST is definitely to quote their banner “bringing style home.”

  6. Sheepy Hollow Farm

    Congrats on the Domino ‘job’ (gotta check it out next). I’m in LOVE with your hallway make-over!! It’s almost – immediate gratification – for little (by comparison) investment!! The carefully chosen artwork, paper back-drop (great to line drawers too) is just beautiful! Thank goodness you kept those awesome knobs/drawer pulls! Thanks for the inspiration. I rate this project over-the-top A++++++

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