Monday, March 7, 2016

Progress in the Upstairs Hallway

Since we moved into The Papered House, our upstairs hallway has been in rough shape. I didn't take a "before" photo, but I'll try to describe what we were working with: The baseboards, crown molding, and door casings were covered in multiple layers of chipping paint. The floors were covered in a beige-colored carpet. The carpet must have been beautiful and plush when it was installed over twenty years ago. However, our house's only bathroom is on the second floor, at the end of the hall. As a result, this area has gotten a lot of foot traffic over the years, and the carpet had definitely seen better days. A previous owner had removed wallpaper and applied a coat of primer before putting this house on the market. However, there is no window in this hallway, and the space always felt dark and dingy despite there being light primer on the walls.

To add insult to injury, we definitely made the hallway worse. We knew we wanted to rip out the carpet, so we didn't make an effort to protect it while working on any other home improvement projects. We dripped all types of paint, paint stripper, and spackle on the carpet and it soon started to look much worse. Like a Jackson Pollack painting gone terribly, terribly wrong.

We've now made some progress is the hallway and it is starting to look so much better.

Papered House_Upstairs Hall 

My husband stripped all the paint off the baseboards and door casings. There are five doors in this space, so that process took at least a month. The wood trim has been painted with a fresh coat of "Relative White" from California Paints. As I described in my last post, my husband agreed to let me use caulk around the edges of the trim, and it made all the difference.  

We ripped up the carpet and discovered beautiful hardwood floors underneath. Given that this hall leads to our one and only bathroom, we had to be a bit creative about refinishing the hardwood if we were going to stay in the house. We decided to do a "quick refinish": we sanded off the top layer of finish, but didn't remove any stain. Then, we applied a new coat of finish immediately before going to bed, being sure to work our way towards the master bedroom. We were able to walk gingerly on the floors the next morning, provided we were barefoot. We repeated the process the next night to apply a second coat of finish.

 Papered House_Upstairs Hall Runner

As I mentioned, there is limited natural light in this space. Rather than fighting the space and trying in vain to make it light and bright, we decided it would be better to work with what we have. Our goal became to make this space feel warm and cozy, rather than bright. Once we decided on this approach, choosing the paint color was much easier. The shade we used is called "Asian Jute" and it's from California Paint's Historic Colors of America collection. It's a deep beige with rich gold undertones.


According to the folks at California Paints, this particular shade has been used in almost every architectural period in American history: Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian. We like feeling this connection to the past and knowing that we've selected a color that has been used in American homes for hundreds of years.

Papered House_Antique Washstand

Our bathroom does not have a linen closet, so we store linens in this antique washstand. We believe this dates to the 1920s or 1930s. The marble top is one of my favorite features, as well as the intricate hardware.

Papered House_Antique Washstand Pulls

A small antique lamp sits on top of the washstand. Its twin lives one flight down, on a table in our entry hall.


If my husband and I ever need to get ready at the same time, this mirror comes in handy. I can work on my hair and makeup out in the hallway, so that he's free to use the bathroom. It's just an added bonus that this mirror casts a shadow resembling the Bat Signal.



Last but not least, this cherished piece of artwork was a wedding gift from a former boss. His wife is an artist and she made this lovely mixed-media piece. The gold and olive green tie in perfectly with the wall color and the runner we chose for this space.


As with all of our projects, this one isn't quite done. We still need to repair some cracks in the ceiling and give it a fresh coat of paint. One of the baseboards was in very bad shape, so we pulled it off and will be installing a new one soon. Not seen in this picture is our attic door, which still needs some work. We're waiting for the weather to warm up so that we can remove the door from its frame and take it to the basement to finish removing the paint.


 Thanks for reading, folks. Have a wonderful week!
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5 comments:

  1. The floor looks gorgeous, and Holy Guacamole, you have a Bat-Mirror!

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    1. Haha! I guess a Bat Mirror is preferable to living, breathing bats, right? 😋

      We lucked out with the floors. They are damaged in several places (hard to tell in the photos), but the color is so, so pretty.

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  2. I love that antique washstand. What a beautiful piece. The upstairs hall looks great. You achieved your goal of making it look warm and cozy 100%. BTW-I'm still glad you won the caulk fight. :D

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    1. Stacy, I'm glad I won the caulk fight too! I don't think I could have appreciated the progress we made in the hall if I were still staring at those unsightly gaps!

      We are so happy we found the washstand. The details on it are just incredible. As the saying goes, they don't make 'em like they used to :)

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  3. Jamie, this transformation is so beautiful. I can't believe those gorgeous floors were underneath that carpet that is so cool. I love the marble topped wash stand and the paint color you chose too. Hugs, CoCo

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