Great Brownings hallway and landing

Updated 13 February 2019

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Based on the photos, I appreciate that the hallway and landing don’t look all that different from how they looked before (new wooden floor downstairs and new carpet upstairs aside) but the old photos didn’t quite capture all of the damage caused to the walls by the previous owner’s fixtures and fittings, messy wiring snaking around doorframes and of course, the wobbly cardboard ceilings. With all of these issues fixed, these parts of the house really do look a whole lot better in person than they did before.

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I’m glad that we insisted that the carpet fitters install our (admittedly very thick and unmalleable) carpet as a runner on the open tread staircase, exposing a strip of the wood on each side rather than agreeing to one of their lazier suggestions of carpeting the whole of each step (which is what was there before) or leaving them bare (slippery, lethal hazard).

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We still haven’t quite decided what we’re going to do with the space under the stairs – at the moment, it’s just somewhere to put that Tom Dixon jack light. We’re also not sure whether to do anything about all of the wooden panelling and balustrades – it could do with some kind of treatment to restore it to its best.

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The tall-pronged coat hooks on the way to the loo are from SCP as my rather flimsy replica Hang-It-All definitely wasn’t going to be able to hang all of our bags and other crap.

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We still haven’t worked out how on earth we’re going to change the lightbulbs in the chandelier.

26 November 2018

One of the main selling points of the house for us was the main entrance and hallway – we really liked the double height space, long mid-century chandelier, open-tread staircase and the way in which all of the rooms upstairs and downstairs seem to branch off it in a logical way.

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While we like the timber-clad wall, timber staircase and timber balustrade on the upper floor, it is a bit of a timber overload when you walk in, which will probably intensify when we lay the new wooden flooring, which is sort of the same colour as the stairs and the wall.

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Some of our neighbours have painted the timber wall white, which does bring out the staircase and balustrade more and reduces the timber overload somewhat but we don’t think we will – it seems a bit sacrilegious to permanently paint over it, even if it is a bit 70s ski chalet/porno.

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In terms of furniture, there’s a space under the stairs where the previous owner had her piano – we’re not sure what to do with this. We liked the idea of putting up a mirror on the wall behind the staircase like one of our neighbours to create an interesting reflection of the stairs and possibly some kind of sideboard, again like a lot of our neighbours have.

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We’re currently in the midst of redecorating so there’s a big scaffold in the middle of ours – we made the unwelcome discovery that all of the ceilings upstairs were made of wobbly cardboard (apparently a thing in the 60s) and so had to reinforce it with plasterboard before plastering over it. A layer of white paint, wooden flooring downstairs and carpet upstairs and we should be done. I still haven’t worked out how we’re going to readily change the lightbulbs in the chandelier when they run out though.

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Entry to be updated once it starts looking decent.

This collection of objects looks rather on the bland side but I thought the overabundance of timber was probably enough of an assault on the eyes.

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1. Mid century version of a chandelier – I’m pretty sure this is original from when the house was built because I’ve seen it in one of the other houses on the estate

2. Alvar Aalto 66 chair recycled from my current flat

3. Fake Eames Hang-It-All recycled from my current flat

4. Rug from LaRedoute recycled from my current flat

5. Mackapar shoe rack from IKEA – shoe racks are fundamentally ugly things but are preferable to shoes being strewn about the place. I think this one looks vaguely like something from Norman Copenhagen if you squint.

6. More coat hooks – these vintage teak ones are from eBay

7. Giant Hovet mirror from IKEA recycled from my current flat – this can go under the stairs (in an imitation of one of our neighbour’s flats)

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