my hallway transformation!
If you follow my instagram, you'll have seen lots of snippets of my hallway already, but to sum it up... for the last couple of months, I have been transforming my hallway from a cold empty, floorless shell into - well this! I couldn't be more pleased with how it's turned out, initially I had no idea what to do with it or how to create an entrance to my new home. I wanted something that was a bit more than just a hallway, something that felt a bit more welcoming if that makes sense? But after a lot (and I mean a lot) of scrolling through Pinterest and instagram, I finally found some images of the kind of look I wanted to go for.
It was the flooring style that started off the whole design in my head, I was going to go for wooden flooring but then I wanted something different to the lounge which it leads into and tiles weren't really an option as they were too time consuming and expensive - so I settled for a tiled look instead and went for vinyl. I actually worked with a brand for my vinyl and I found it amazing as the pattern was a custom design so I could choose how big I wanted the pattern to be - but we'll get more into that later! I think I'll constantly change up the decor in this space like I do with the rest of my home, but for now it's pretty perfect. So, if you fancy browsing more snaps and getting some links to some of the bits I've gone for then keep reading!
So before this whole project started, you can see that the stairs were just MDF covered in bits of cement, paint and god knows what else. Messy building work that's for sure. The hallway floor was literally just concrete, rough as anything. The starting point was to get the stairs sanded, cleaned and primed. I used a big tin of MDF primer and gave the stairs two or three (I think I did 3!) coats of it to get them realllly white which made the whole painting process a lot easier. This wouldn't have mattered if I was going for a colour but as I was sticking with white, the more primer (which is also white) the better. My dad put flooring compound down to sort the floor out before anything went on it too. It's basically a big liquid mix that you pour over and let dry, and it gives the floor a smooth, flat surface. Kinda like when you tarmac a road. Once all those boring bits were done then I could get into the fun stuff!
The white stairs & victorian-esque monochrome checkered flooring was the duo that I initially fell in love with. I was lucky enough to come into contact with For The Floor And More, a company who offer custom patterned vinyl flooring, so you can either choose from the amazing range of patterned vinyl they have on their website - or like me, you can have something custom designed for you! I knew exactly what look I was going for so it was fairly straightforward for me. They first sent me over a sample of their vinyl flooring so I could see if I was happy with the quality of it, which I was. After that, it was time to design it and I took a guess at the size of the squares that I wanted the pattern to be and I was sent over a digital proof of the design (to the exact measurements of my hallway) and they ended up looking far too small. I then asked for them to be increased a bit in size, received a second proof very quickly and then it was perfect! The vinyl is amazing quality too, it's the perfect flooring for the hallway where we're in and out with muddy feet, especially at this time of year. It cleans up so easily whilst still looking gorgeous and it never feels cold to walk on with bare feet either.
For The Floor And More make it so easy for you to achieve the exact look that you want to create. Before the vinyl went down, I got the stairs painted which took me quite a bit longer than I initially thought it would. The coats of paint actually dried super quick (even the stair paint that said 24h drying time, was bone dry within 2!) it was just the time it took to actually paint them, it became a bit of a chore as it took ages. Of course it was worth it in the end though. Once the stairs were done (better to get the messy part out the way before laying the flooring) my uncle came to fit my vinyl as well as my landing carpet for me and that was all the main bits done so I was then able to start decorating.
The black and white vinyl flooring and the white stairs left me with a very monochrome look so that's kind of what I based the entire decor around. I went for a white radiator cover, which masks the ugly radiator plonked in the centre of the hallway, but also has given me a nice little surface to put ornaments and trinkets on, adding a bit of character to the space. I already owned a wicker basket which I decided to use for shoe storage rather than a shoe rack, as it's quite a small hallway so is a bit limited on space and I also thought this looked nicer! I then picked up a wicker stair basket that matches the shoe basket nicely and I added some fake lavender to it to give the place a pop of colour! I used Pinterest for a lot of my inspo, not only for the floor & stairs but for little touches like the stair basket/lavender too.
After the stairs were finished, it was just white on white with the walls and railing also being painted white (which is what I wanted) but I also felt like it needed a bit of colour injected into it. It was like a blank canvas waiting for a bit of character to be installed! I decided to go for a little gallery wall on one side of the stairs but I didn't want to spend too much - one, because I was on a budget and two, because it's not being placed in somewhere you sit in often like the lounge for example... so I didn't want to fork out on pricey prints! I ended up going for black frames to tie in with the monochrome look but adding contrast to the white wall, I got most of them from ikea and a couple from the range so very cheap. For the prints, I ended up using greeting cards for the smaller frames (which worked brilliantly!) and then I bought a fashion book from homesense for around £7 and got 4 prints out of it for the larger frames. I had to invest in a couple of frame mounts as they weren't large enough for the frame but they were also cheap as chips from eBay. I ended up spending maybe around £20 on the gallery wall in total which is a complete and utter bargain. I would definitely recommend using a few of these hacks if you're trying to do a gallery wall or want some prints on the cheap. They look just as good.
After that it was just a case of adding in little touches here and there! I picked up a few bits in the range to decorate the radiator cover with and also added in some new Autumnal bits like the pumpkin and candles that I picked up in homesense. The decor on here will get changed up regularly with the seasons but for now it's perfect. I popped in a gorgeous black velvet lampshade that I found in homesense that ties in beautifully with the flooring, and I put a mirror above the radiator cover on the wall to not only fill in the blank space, but also to allow lots of light in. Plus a mirror in the hall is essential as you're heading out the door isn't it?! I popped a couple of plants in the empty corners just to add something, because you can never have enough greenery can you, let's be honest. The coat hook by the door was another homesense find, it's a wooden board with silver decorative hooks which is gorgeous but with the amount of outerwear we own, you can't really see it anyway ha. For a last minute touch, I popped a command hook on the wall and hung mine and Ru's cameras on it which I think adds a lovely personal touch - don't you think?! And that's pretty much it.
I still want to add a few more touches, like a little basket for our hats/gloves underneath the coat hook, and potentially some more things on the walls to inject a bit more colour to the space. But for now, I'm super happy with it and it just feels nice to finally be able to walk in and out of my house without it being a cold, empty, concrete shell. If that makes sense? I just love coming home and being able to walk into my house where it feels complete, it wasn't like that for such a long time so it's been amazing seeing it all come together.
I also filmed the whole process over on my YouTube channel, you can watch it here!
Do you love renovating?!
Disclaimer: The vinyl flooring was given to me in exchange for this review.