The Hall, Stairs & Landing: A Mini-Makeover

The entrance sold the house to us on our very first viewing. Mrs B (the previous owner) opened the front door and Mr S and I exchanged that look like ‘This is it’. Seriously. I am a SUCKER for a Victorian feature. The little porch and stained glass front door had already got me but then I saw the hall; it was so full of Victorian charm and that was it. Luckily Mr S had felt the same way too. Don’t get me wrong, it needed some work but the bones were good. Here are a few images taken before we got our hands on it…

*You’ll have to excuse the quality of some of these. They were taken pre-instagram. I now know better than to photograph at night time. Promise.

The first thing we had to do was buy two hallway doors. Mrs B enjoyed open-plan living and had removed them. We hit the jackpot at a local reclamation yard Beeston Reclamation and found 2 beautiful, old, Victorian 4 panel doors that had already been stripped and came complete with Beehive knobs. I know, I hate me too. Sorry! The one thing we forgot to do was check the measurements. First time home owners and renovation novices that we were, assumed that all doors were the same size (it’s fine, I’m laughing at myself as well) and had to have the frames built out to accommodate them - totally worth it.

Perfectly, imperfect Victorian doors

Perfectly, imperfect Victorian doors

The second was that blue paint HAD TO GO. As colour-fobes it was painful for us to even look at and it actually managed to detract from the beautiful stained glass. We wanted to go super neutral and light to let the original features speak for themselves and sort to find the perfect and palest greige (grey beige). I don’t want torture you with the decision making process, just know that we spent our life savings on tester pots and eventually committed to Bleached Lichen 4 by Dulux. We kept the ceiling and wood work simple in brilliant white (satin for the woodwork).

Some of the tester pots we sampled… the colour we went for is the very pale grey shade on top of the white, third row down on the right.   *Tester pot tip - for a true colour, check your sample on brilliant white rather than the colour of your existing wall. Other colours can interfere with the way the colour presents.

Some of the tester pots we sampled… the colour we went for is the very pale grey shade on top of the white, third row down on the right.

*Tester pot tip - for a true colour, check your sample on brilliant white rather than the colour of your existing wall. Other colours can interfere with the way the colour presents.

The third and final part of the mini- makeover and the part that made the biggest difference - the striped carpet. Mrs B (who was 70+) told us on our first viewing that she had stripped the entire staircase by hand, it took her 3 months and she worked on it every single day for hours. Even though she installed a full carpet on the stairs, she had stripped each step in case anyone ever wanted a runner in the future. I mean. What a bloody woman!! From this moment on there was never any other option than a runner for the stairs, if only to honour Mrs B.

We only had to strip this one step (one tread and two risers) and I believed her. It took HOURS.

We only had to strip this one step (one tread and two risers) and I believed her. It took HOURS.

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I have to hold my hands up here and admit that Mr S found and suggested the carpet that we chose. I instantly loved it but credit where credit is due. We had quotes from both Carpetright and a local family-run company Alec Ross Carpets in Crewe and decided to go with the latter. Not only were they a better price, they were also considerably more flexible with our design ideas and offered alternative suggestions and full explanations when my ideas wouldn’t work (they even suggested to cut the width in half and use one half for the runner and one for the landing carpet, saving us half of the money!) - the same could not be said for Carpetright.

I remember the day the carpet was fit, I was at work and Mr S was at home and I was PACING. I started second guessing our decision - it was such a bold move, we loved the sample but how would it translate to a runner and full landing carpet? AND WITH THE STAINED GLASS? …. Well, this was the very first photo Mr S sent to me and, as you can imagine, it was love at first sight.

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For the runner we opted for a 2 foot width; our stairs are 32.5 inches wide, which left a gap either side of just over 4 inches. We chose a black binding edge of 2 inches (rather than the more common whipped edge) and continued it onto the mini-landing rather than having a full carpet. The stair rods were the perfect finishing touch in an antique brass finish, so they don’t detract too much from the carpet itself. We picked them up on ebay for £6 each and the carpet fitters installed them for us for an extra £40. Definitely money well spent.

This is the extremely mathematical way we chose the runner measurements. In case you wondered.

This is the extremely mathematical way we chose the runner measurements. In case you wondered.

Very recently we have also painted the inside of the front door black, to match the outside. It has made the door so much more of a focal point and added some much needed drama to this angle of the hallway. We used Bedec Multi Surface Paint in Soft Satin Black - you can use it on any surface, inside and out, it has a primer included AND it’s water based which means it drys super fast! It’s also more of an egg-shell finish which I much prefer as I don’t like shiny woodwork, especially when it’s black.

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Add a few finishing touches like wedding photographs, an up-cycled sideboard and a cast iron radiator (more on all of these later) and the makeover was complete. See below for the fun part - the before and afters:

Would love to know what you think about our mini hall and landing makeover? Let me know in the comment section below.

Ps. none of the links or recommendations in this post are sponsored/affiliated, just a fan and would completely recommend to you.

K, love ya, bye x