Before and After: Stripes!

>> Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When you enter our apartment, you enter a hallway that serves as an artery to all of the other spaces. At first I thought it was wasted space, but over time I have realized that this space is awesome. It's a contained area to shed boots, coats, hats, etc. so that the New England winter, and all it's glory, does not have to make it's way into my living room, on my sofa, and all over my dining table. It's also my first impression room and other than a couple of coat hooks and some framed calender pages, it was pretty boring.

The hallway also contains a billy bookcase from Ikea. This is where I keep most of our glasses and plates. Maybe one day I will show you how ridiculously small our kitchen is.  You will not be jealous.

So I had been thinking about an easy way to spruce up this space. One that would be A. Cheap and B. Mr. Sabbe would be down for doing. Last year I was super impressed with Hannah's striped hallway on a budget and it just so happens I was walking through Home Depot a couple of weeks ago and spotted a gallon of oops paint in a similar shade of gray. So cheap part...check.

Next I had to convince my husband it would be easy. I love my husband, but he is no John from Young House Love. So I designed the stripes so that he would not have to paint next to the base or the ceiling, and not around the tops of any door moldings. There are about a billion coats of paint in this place and we learned from our living room that trim is so incredibly tough to get right because of all the bumps and bulges. I taped everything. Secret...a quilters ruler makes measuring and taping wall stripes so much easier. If you are considering this project, I would invest in one, waaaay more accurate than a measuring tape. And the easy part...check. So I put the man to work, see how happy he looks. Ladies, it's all about equipping.
I didn't stick around to keeping baby Sabbe's brain cells in tact. But this morning I work up, peeled the tape down, and smiled out our new jazzy hallway. I love how it turned out.
Much better don't you think? All for a roll of tape, a $5 gallon of paint, and 1 hours of my sweet husband's time (the taping took me about 2 hours). He told a nurse at the hospital today that he helped me paint the hallway last night. She replied "the hallway? that's not even a room." He said, "she's pregnant and she's an interior designer, I do what I'm told." The nurse told him she predicts he will have a long, happy marriage.

The last touches for the hallway will be a durable floor runner and a fun light fixture. And the Ansel Adams calender pages (which is a great/cheap art idea if you are looking) will definitely go when we get some cute photos of our little guy.

Note: I would not actually recommend horizontal stripes on old plaster walls to any of my clients. It definitely reveals every bulge and imperfection, which I knew going into it and was ok with. But I'm a little more particular with clients than I am my own house, which, to my husband great joy, I refer to as my test lab. All 700 sf of it.

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