When we bought our co-op, we received a list of house rules. Some were relics of the 1920s, like the rule forbidding packages or groceries being taken up the stairs (dumbwaiter only!). Others were more relevant, like the rule for 80 percent of the floors being covered with rugs.
While we’re on the top floor of this building, we have been on lower floors in the past, and know how irritating stompy neighbors can be. And we have pets, pets that love running down this hallway together. A runner was a necessity.
Finding a runner long and narrow enough, however, was hard. So instead I ordered Flor carpet tiles. They’re definitely pricier than buying a regular runner, but I love them. They stay put and can be replaced individually, and better yet, they perfectly fit in the hallway.
For lighting, I used the tole chandelier from our last apartment. The chandelier combined with the pink runner makes what is a bleak hallway a bit more cheerful.
I still have plans to wallpaper the entry, and I think I’d like to extend that wallpaper down the hall as well. The long blank wall drives me batty, and I don’t think any amount of art alone would fix it. But in the grand scheme of things, I no longer have a hole in the hall ceiling and all of the doors are painted, so I’ll survive with an annoyingly blank wall for a while.
If you’ve ever toured a colonial-era home, you were probably introduced to the concept of public and private rooms. The idea is simple: all the really nice, formal things are concentrated in rooms that could be viewed by the public, and as you moved through the house to the more private rooms, the architecture would simplify. Intricate mouldings did not extend through the entirety of the house, for example. Formality was like a shield; if you were close with a member of the house, you were likely entertained in a less formal sitting room. But an outsider? Fancy fancy room for you, with the foyer being the first line of formal defense.
So practical application today: if you ever find yourself in a colonial-style mcmansion where absolutely every room has dentil moulding, you can tut-tut in your head about their lack of historical accuracy! What fun!
I bring this up because our modest 1919 apartment embraced the same concept. All of our doors have these lovely glass knobs, but the closets are cleverly equipped with porcelain knobs on the other side. Why have a pretty thing no one sees? And indeed, solid brass hardware is only used on the public-facing sides of the closet doors. The interiors are fitted with brass-plated hardware. I love that practicality.
As you can see, I’ve painted the door and finished the hardware. We stripped the door before painting, and I have mixed feelings about the results. The final layer of paint was oil-based and very difficult to strip. On the interior side we just left it in tact, but the hallway-facing side we attempted to get through that layer of paint, with poor results. It was a job probably requiring some manner of power tools. So I think going forward we’ll just strip the top layers of latex paint, which aren’t too terrible to remove, and then prep the surface for painting.
I went with Deep Caviar in a high gloss enamel and I’m really happy with the color. The hallway doesn’t get a ton of light so it’s hard to see with an iphone photo, but the color reads as a chalky black-brown. All of the hallway doors will be painted in this color, with the interior side of the bathroom and bedroom doors painted white. By the spring, we should be done with the door slog!