Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hallway Makeover

You know that Alanis Morissette song - Ironic where she says "it's like 10,000 spoon when all you need is a knife"? Well that pretty much summed up our life back in March, as the weeks drew nearer to the Junior League Tour of Kitchens. Brent and I were definitely feeling the pressure. It's like one minute it was September and we had all the time in the world to get our lives together and the next, it was March 20th and we were one week out from show time and the smallest space in our house was giving us the most grief. The hallway.

Getting the new stair runner installed was a huge first step for the hallway, but we still needed to add more life. We had always talked about doing some kind of ceiling treatment, and went back and forth considering everything from wallpaper, to a cool wood trim installation to just painting it. We stayed on the wallpaper train a long time and looked and looked at wallpaper options but just never could find anything that blew us away. The wood trim concept was our next focus, and as cool as we thought it could be, we feared if we opened that can of worms so late in the game it could get expensive and time consuming quickly. So, we decided to go the painting route.

On a whim we decided to try this faux denim effect from Ralph Lauren. 

This process requires you to paint a layer of the glaze (which is what comes in the can above) atop a white ceiling. You select your glaze color at the store and they mix it in just like paint. Then, before the glaze can dry you take a special brush and drag it along the paint to create the denim striations. The process sounded simple enough, but we knew we had to be fast for it to work. So, Brent created a homemade scaffold using three ladders and some wood planks he had in the basement.

(I apologize in advance for this awful photo, but we had to take the ceiling lights down so we had to hang a work light which was REALLY BRIGHT and makes for hideous lighting.)

This little set up allowed us to move quickly and smoothly by simply dragging our brush or roller along the ceiling while walking on top of the planks. Brent's Mom Cindy was in town (lucky her) and was along for the whole painful ride. The plan was for her to paint along the edges with a brush while I painted the center section with a roller. Then, Brent would follow behind me, dragging the special brush along the wet paint to create our desired look.  

Here was the finished product:

We loved the color, but the texture was WAY off. You can see how the process worked in some areas and how it definitely did NOT in others. First of all we realized we should not of gone along the edges with the brush. This approach created a darker frame along the perimeter of the hall which we couldn't lighten with the textured brush. We also figured out we should of done a small section at a time. Even with our homemade scaffold, the glaze was too dry by the time Brent got to it in some areas. And finally, because the glaze was just a glaze and not a paint, it caught weirdly in some areas, like the circle that's showing through above. We are guessing at one point someone who had lived here previously had some circular thing (fire alarm?) mounted there and for whatever reason, the glaze covered it differently than everything else. It was our own fault. We should of tested it out on a small section or on a piece of cardboard. But we are do it and figure it out along the way kind of people which kind of bit us in the butt this time. Oh well, we went back to Home Depot and asked them to mix us up some paint in the glaze color and then proceeded to paint the entire ceiling a solid coat of what turned out to be a dark green.

While the hallway has no windows it gets surprisingly good natural light from the kitchen, den, bathroom and master sitting room window.  The natural lighting is great because the green is so dark it can definitely read black when the sun goes down. Regardless, the ceiling color definitely adds some much needed drama to the hall and plays nicely with the floor runner we got at Scott's Antique last year. 

With the ceiling complete we were able to hang our new semi-flush lights from Cedar & Moss. They are SUCH an improvement from the blah "boob lights" that were there before. 

And finally, the last piece of our hall puzzle was our travel wall installation. Literally DAYS before the Kitchen Tour we hung these cool frames we found at World Market. We bough pretty much every gold-rimmed version of the frame they had in 3 sizes and filled each frame with black and white photos from our world travels over the past five years. 

We've had some great adventures and it's so cool to see some of those memories on display every day. Like I said, we bought every frame we could find in the Atlanta area, so we have some that we haven't filled yet ready to go for future trips!

Here's one final shot of the hall, looking into the den. As you can see the wall across from the frames houses a phone niche, which is original to the house. We don't have a house phone so I put a bust covered in colorful beads in there instead. 

We definitely went the long and painful route with certain parts of this project, but we are really happy with how everything turned out. And while there was probably still drill dust on the frames as the people toured our home that Saturday, we got a lot of positive feedback on all things hallway, but especially on the travel wall!

All photos are my own. 

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