It may be a while before you see the finished shots. Here is a before shot (this was before the house was replastered)
I'm holding out for parquet flooring in the lower hall which we just don't have the funds for at the moment, but we had to start the painting and decorating because the family grandfather clock has arrived from the US. It is currently in the garage nestled in it's bespoke wood box (which looks like we are storing Count Dracula's coffin), but needs to be reassembled and in place soon. As this will require the skills of a horologist being a rather old and sensitive piece, we want to move it as little as possible. Hallways are often ignored when it comes to decorating because, let's face it, they are awkward (to put it politely). They are the first room a visitor sees of your home and is where first impressions are formed. Our hall is by no means large, but there are loads of corners and doors and then there is the tall gaping area above the stairs. I am not afraid of heights, but have vertigo in the traditional sense where up a height, my vision and balance gets a bit wobbly and I lose my sense of perspective. Not the best frame of mind to be in when balancing on a ladder. So we may need to hire something a bit more substantial for tackling that area (the ladder upon platform upon ladder combo the plasterers used makes me dizzy just thinking about it). In the meantime, we can at least tackle the lower hall in anticipation of the arrival of our clock. As of last night, the hall was a work in three stages. As the walls are newly plastered they have to be pva sealed which Stephen is only 3/4's through. He started painting the walls in Canton from Little Greene in the lower hall, but didn't quite get the two coats on. I started stencilling yesterday at least hoping to cover the areas that have two coats of paint on, but didn't quite manage it. It may remain in this form, give or take a bit, for a while yet so here is a bit of a taster. Please excuse the quality of the photos, as my OH (other half) was on a charity bike ride yesterday and as he is the keeper of the cameras, I had to resort to using my phone. We chose VN5 Shadows from the Pure Pattern section of our Vintage stencils.
As our hall is likely to be a gallery for paintings, Stephen's photographs and our wedding photographs, we wanted a subtle pattern for the background. I admit, I do tend to lean towards allover repeat patterns, but I definitely wanted one for the hallway so that I wouldn't have to worry about the positioning of art in relation to stencilled decoration. We will just be able to hang pictures wherever we want. We chose this particular pattern because it is simple, but has a certain amount of humour about it and is something a bit different. If you think it looks like that rubber flooring with the raised circles, you'd be right. This is what Chips designed it from, allthough in much larger scale. Each circle is 5" diameter. Being geometric, we also felt it had an early 20th century modernity to it which would work in our house. The whole effect is created by using a highlight and a lowlight. Although you can use any colours as long as one is paler than the wall, and the other is darker, I decided to stay quite traditional and use lighter and darker shades than the wall colour.
It is best to experiment first so I painted a swatch of wall colour on one of our wedding signs and tested my mixed colours there.
As I was mixing up colours, I had to make sure I would have more than enough to cover the entire hallway as it will be a bit difficult to mix up the colours again. I made a cup of each and just have to hope it will finish the job. "Canton" is a mid tone blue/green. As you can see from the photos, the colour changes with the light, but in the main, it leans towards blue. I wanted the pattern to be quite subtle so my dark and light tones are not too far away from the original.
I knew I would have lots of awkward areas to deal with so had Chips make me a special stencil with just one circle on it. And here is the start of the stencilling. It looks great. I imagine that every person who walks though the door will touch the walls because it really does look like the walls have raised circles on them.
This photo was taken in failing light as I stencil into the corner (and the paint is definitely not that green). How do you deal with corners if you want the stencil to go around them? Stick the stencil on the wall you are stencilling, but let the other bit of stencil "flap". Don't stick it down on both walls. You will be able to gently bend the stencil quite far into the corner. Make sure your stencil brushes are especially dry of wet paint and stencil as far as you can into the corner. Remove the stencil and match it up on the new wall, sticking the stencil down on the wall you are working on, but not the other wall. Again stencil carefully into the corner matching up with the pattern on the previous wall. Don't worry if you don't quite get into the corner. If the stencilling fades a bit, then that is fine and it looks quite nice. Corners are generally in shadow anyway. I am hoping to get the lower hall finished over the next week or so. As to the rest of the hallway, it kind of depends on if we can organise something for the area over the stairs and then there is the floorcovering issue. I hope it will be soon because I don't like unfinished projects. More to follow.....