Sunday, February 3, 2013

Project: Hallway Over-Hall, Part 1

This is one of those projects that started because of another project, during which I got distracted and started working on something else - and now this project is finished and the one that I started is still sitting in the garage... sound familiar?

At least both projects are in the hallway. Our weird, little hallway. It's just a really small space in which six different doors/entryways intersect. Clockwise, we have: the entryway from the living room, a closet with a folding door, the door to the guest room, the door to the bathroom, another closet door, and then the door that heads upstairs.  Originally there was actually another door in there too (from when the living room was another bedroom - you can read more about that here), and that may explain why the door that heads upstairs currently swings out into the hallway. And while that may have used to make sense, now it's just an annoying problem.

See - when the door is open, you can't get into the closet or go to the bathroom. And there have been a few times where I'll be coming downstairs and J is getting something out of the closet and as he turns, I fling the door open at the bottom of the stairs - right into his face. On top of the traffic flow issue, because it's a solid door, I tend to like having it open to allow some light into the otherwise kind of dark space.

So since it's annoyed me for two years, I decided that I wanted to just get rid of the door completely.  That would solve both the traffic flow problem, and the light issue - but, my dad (always) being the voice of reason, told me that I needed to still have the door for heating/cooling purposes... so I amended my plan to just change the way the door swings. That way I could leave it open and it would be out of the way against the wall instead of in the middle of the hallway.

But once I got looking at it, I realized the door was kind of hobnobbed together by the previous owner (I'm not surprised anymore). For some reason the door wasn't square, so he had added this triangular piece of wood to the top to square it off and it was pretty obvious. So since we needed to get a new door, why not get a cool one... or one (DING DING DING!) with glass so that even with the door closed, the light would still come down the stairs into the hallway?!?!

Cue the trip to Community Forklift - the most awesomest second-hand home improvement store ever.  This place has aisles upon aisles of used stoves, toilets, fridges, excess flooring, and hundreds of doors. So on a cool December afternoon, I spent 3 hours sorting through the doors, measuring and assessing their condition looking for the perfect replacement. And I found it in a really heavy, $35 french door.

Isn't she a beauty?
Since it's store policy that the employees won't help you load your haul, I had to leave it there for the next day when I brought J back to help me load it up in our little Saturn Ion. I knew that we could fit it, but I didn't quite anticipate just HOW scrunched I was going to be on the drive home. J couldn't even fit in the driver's seat. But we did it! Glad that it was all side roads though!

Don't lecture me about airbags, Rob!
Once we got it home, we unloaded it in the garage - and there is sat until after our fantastic, two-week holiday vacay. When we got back, I was anxious to get started and set about taking out the old door and peeling off the door trim (since the new door was wider, I needed to take the trim off and move it back to accommodate the door). I even managed to fill in the holes before I got distracted by the rest of the hallway. The ugly, beige-y yellow, dirty, hole of a hallway.

As I pried trim off the door frame, I started really noticing the awfulness that was our unsightly little space. With the reasoning was that I couldn't very well put this sweet new door into an ugly hallway (and no - it had nothing to do with it being cold in the garage and me not wanting to sand and paint because my fingers were frozen), I headed off to Home Depot to peruse the paint chips for the perfect grey. Why grey, you ask? Well, after painting three rooms pretty bright colors, I was feeling the need for some neutrals to bring it all together. Side story: I was complaining to my mom how there were, like, a billion different shades of grey to choose from, and she zinged me with, "Wait - I thought there was only 50 Shades of Grey!" Touch√©, Mom. Touch√©.

ANYWAY - head out of the gutter, folks and back to my grey dilemma. I'll spare you the part where I go back to Home Depot 8 different times and pick up 16 different sample pots and I'll fast forward to picking out (finally) Behr's "Burnished Clay." I wanted something light since it's such a small, dark space. And it needed to be a pretty true grey - none of those blue/purple undertones like I saw in so many damn samples. In the meantime, as I struggled to pick a grey, I also decided to try out a tip from YoungHouseLove's new book by the same name. Tip #29 is: Add a Painted Detail to Your Paneled Doors. And since our paneled doors were looking pretty vanilla, I decided to give it a shot!

I used Behr's French Roast for the panels - it's very close to ORB, which I plan to do to the hardware.
And after a marathon painting session on a Friday night (I decided to start the project when J decided to watch "Kill List" - there was enough screaming and cursing going on to drive me to paint...), and some picture-hanging on Saturday, we ended up with this:

I did ORB this doorknob - loving the look together!
What we don't have yet is a door going upstairs - but I swear that's my next project... (as soon as it warms up a little). I also want to bring the grey color up the stairs and into the upper level.

**sigh** So many projects - so little time! Until then, we're left looking something like this:

Could be worse, right?! At least I refinished those stairs!

**Last side note** This was the first painting project that I've done that didn't involved days or weeks of drywall repair - and it was glorious.


  1. I LOVE the gray!!! I can't wait to see everything in person again soon!! What color will the door be?

    1. I'm leaning towards white... I had wanted to do a funky color, but J threw the "resale" issue in my face.