Before & After: Blank Slate Hallway

updated Mar 12, 2020
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(Image credit: Kim R. McCormick)

When my husband and I moved into our renovated row home in 2011, this second-floor hallway was pretty much a blank slate. Almost two years later, we’ve made one major change and brought needed personality into the space.

Neither of us liked the carpet; after living with it for a year and a half, we impulsively removed it in April. Our home is over a hundred years old, and we knew the original heart pine was mostly intact underneath. (We had seen the house before the carpet went down.) Our neighbor and friend, who conveniently is an experienced contractor, refinished the floors.  

The hallway was antique white, and I repainted all of it Ultra Pure White. I chose this clean, bright white to be a crisp complement to the warm wood floors and our colorful accessories. I haggled with an Etsy seller in Turkey for the the main kilim rug in the photos. The bamboo blinds, which are the same as the rest in our house, are from The door at the end of the hallway leads to our guest bedroom, which we’ve also redecorated.

I hung the artwork high to emphasize this wall’s height and low because this wall is at the top of the stairs from the first floor (on the left). Distracting from the light switch are prints from Betsy WaltonBecca StadtlanderAmy MarcellaLena Wolff, and Yuji Yamada. There’s also a favorite New Yorker cover, some out-of-print Paper Source wrapping paper; and a family photo. The sleepy model is our three year old, Kojo.

(Images: Kim R. McCormick)