HOUSE: New Mexico #2

More hallway updates.

Hallway Updates -

Last week I shared the simple makeover I gave the light fixtures in my hallway, but I neglected to show the rest of the space. I like hallways—they’re not too demanding, since they often don’t require furniture, but they’re a nice opportunity to put a pattern or color to use that you might not elsewhere in your house.

Hallway Updates -

When I moved into my house, the hallway was painted several mismatched, blotchy, dirty shades of white. You can’t really tell from the before photo, but the walls had been coated with a layer of gritty sand paint at some point—which, if you’ve ever dealt with it before, you know is a huge pain to get rid of. I started by patching holes and repairing cracks in the plaster, then spent a day hand-sanding as much of the grit off as I could. I’d say I got it down about 75%, and that’s good enough for me—it’s enough that it’s not really noticeable unless you’re stroking the walls, and I figure if you’re caressing the walls in other people’s houses you should probably be OK with whatever you find there.

I caulked every corner, gap, and crack in the woodwork (♥ CAULK ♥), then finished the walls with flat Valspar Imperial White, and the trim with semigloss Valspar Du Jour. These are the colors I’ve been using throughout my house. They’re similar to the Benjamin Moore Moonlight White/Simply White combination I used in Newburgh—creamy, warm walls with bright white trim. If anything, Imperial White is just a touch cooler than Moonlight White. It tends to gain a very slightly greenish cast in dim light, but not in a sickly way. It a great color if you have an older home that gets a lot of sunlight—it’s kind to other colors, including different shades of white. (As always, THANK YOU to Lowe’s for keeping me supplied with paint. You guys rule.)

Hallway Updates -

I wasn’t sure what to do about the hardware on the built-ins at first. Ideally I’d have liked to just remove the paint and clean it up, but the metal was SO deeply etched and rusty, and several of the pulls were dented, so there really wasn’t any hope for them to look refreshed. Since I solve most problems with spray paint, I didn’t mull it over too long—I just reached for that good old can of Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer and went to town.

Hallway Updates -

They look pretty great now. I can definitely see unlacquered brass pulls looking really good, but I wanted to work with what I have. Plus, I like that the same pulls have been here since the house was built, even if they had to be painted.

As an aside, I really love built-in cabinetry. That’s something the old houses and apartments I’ve lived in before haven’t had. I’m happy to lose a bit of space in the adjacent rooms in favor of having storage space that’s accessible from the hallway. The upper cabinet holds all of my extra towels and linens, and the drawers are perfect for first aid items and medicine, extra toiletries, and tools that I need to be able to easily access regularly. I don’t understand why built-ins fell out of fashion!

Hallway Updates -

The runner comes from Rugs USA (it’s available in larger sizes, too). I wanted something with a very large scale, graphic pattern in the hallway, and I needed it to be very traffic-friendly. Considering the price, I’m very happy with the runner! The pattern is printed on the jute, not woven in, but that’s totally OK with me. It’s heavyweight enough to lie nice and flat, and it’s easy to vacuum. This is the second rug I’ve bought from Rugs USA, and so far, so good. Shipping was free (YAY) and fast, and the rugs were both packed well.

Hallway Updates -

Every time my flip clock turns up in a photo, a few people ask where it’s from. It’s a Karlsson Big Flip Clock, and I bought mine on eBay. It’s also available on Amazon, but the price seems to vary wildly from day to day. If you live in the UK, you can buy the same clock rebranded by Habitat. There are other options, too—but I can only vouch for the Karlsson. I’ve had it for more than four years now (here’s a post I wrote about it back then), and it’s never had any problems at all.

Putting a clock in a hallway is a great thing to do, by the way. When I’m getting ready to leave the house, I walk through the hallway a bazillion times walking between the bathroom, my office, the bedroom, and the rest of the house. It’s so nice to just glance up to check the time!

I still need to hang some artwork in the hallway (I’m always so slow with hanging things on the walls), but I love how bright and clean it looks now. It’s good to pass through serenity on your way to other things.

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  • Reply lisaane April 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    ♥ CAULK ♥ du Jour ♥

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Caulk au vin!

    • Cristina April 21, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Du Jour RULES! So nice to have you back, Anna!

  • Reply Beth April 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    You are sooooo inspiring!!! I love your posts!

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Thanks, Beth! Glad you’re enjoying. 🙂

  • Reply Jemma April 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Nice! Love the rug. Wow some nice rugs from that place. Can’t see any info about international shipping though, so guessing they don’t do it.

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Hi Jemma, no, according to their shipping FAQ, they don’t ship internationally.

  • Reply Katrina April 20, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I love caulk!

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:48 am


  • Reply Taste of France April 21, 2017 at 1:03 am

    I am admiring your results–it’s the same place but just better!–and getting delusions about DIYs in my head. Then reality hits me: I would manage to make more of a mess with caulk than to fix anything. Kudos to you! And those built-ins are fantastic.

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Well, you’ve clearly hired people who know what they’re doing! Aside from the cost, that’s the thing that makes me want to do things myself—I often don’t trust “pros” to do it right.

  • Reply Vera April 21, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Hi Anna,
    I follow your blog religiously. It’s good to have you back : )
    Love your work!

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Hi Vera! 🙂

  • Reply Junedotbe April 21, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Gosh! Your post made me realise how much I miss having a hallway (my apartment is basically just – messy –
    enfilade rooms)… Yours looks stunning and I can’t wait to see what art you will choose.

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Hallways and entryways are pretty important spaces! I’ve lived in places without either, and it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes not having that transitional space between rooms. It’s a big deal!

  • Reply tricia April 21, 2017 at 6:40 am

    yes – this post really makes we want to make my hallways more inspiring. when we moved in two years ago, i just hung some art up and started ignoring it haha. you’ve done such a cool job revamping yours! and i LOVE the shape of those old drawer pulls.

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

      And I’m the opposite! I save hanging artwork for the absolute last thing—I guess because otherwise I tend to overdo it, and forget that I actually tend to prefer more empty space.

  • Reply Nicole April 21, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I’m very excited by all these new posts! We just bought a 1919 rowhouse in Baltimore than needs TLC and probably gobs of caulk! Can’t wait to renovate, you are giving me lots of inspiration….

    • Anna @ D16 April 21, 2017 at 8:53 am

      How exciting, Nicole! Good luck!!

  • Reply jana April 21, 2017 at 9:35 am

    caulking is the most satisfying task to me. it’s my version of that feeling i hear people have about gardening.

    i agree on the built-ins! i have two similar built-ins that flank the hallway so each bedroom has one just right outside. i’m about to start work on them. they’ve been painted a billion times. how much prep do you put into something like this? i keep going back & forth on whether or not i should put all of the efforts into sanding them all the way down to the wood or not. it’s so much goddamn work but i feel like i might hate myself later for doing what everyone else did & just slapping another coat on top.

  • Reply Daniel @ Manhattan Nest April 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    It looks so great in there!! I loveeeee the built-ins so much. Your landlord is such a lucky guy. <3

  • Reply Brooke April 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    I’m new to your blog, all the way from Australia. I love your posts, please don’t stop!

  • Reply Bobbi April 23, 2017 at 4:47 am

    I am in the process of doing some work to my bathroom, so I totally drooled over your posts about yours. I need to wait until I have more, ehm, respectful ideas, as I’m in the mood for very bold colors and crazy things. My bathroom is all white, and I saw a wonderful turquoise tile paint, and I can’t stop thinking how wonderful it would be to paint the floor turquoise and the tiles on the walls a bold yellow…but my landlady would kill me. So I wait until I calm down.

  • Reply Judy April 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Anna,
    It is so nice to see you back again! I have always liked your clock, and found one recently at a flea market. Does yours make a loud whirring (or worse) sound at 12 o’clock? I haven’t hung mine yet, and am wondering if I need to fix it first.

    • Anna @ D16 April 23, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Judy, yes, the gears start preparing at around 11:30, then do their thing at 12:00. It’s loud, but I don’t even notice it anymore now.

    • Anna @ D16 April 23, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      BTW, congrats on the find!!!

  • Reply Monica April 24, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Do you have a go-to post on caulking, or would you ever write one? I realize I’m very late to the party on this one, but after a REALLY bad experience using caulk when I probably should have used wood filler I’m super gun shy. I don’t want to get it everywhere because it seems there’s no good way to remove it beyond sanding everything down which is a giant mess, and therefore I don’t want to caulk at all . . . I just need some best practices/tips/tricks to feel confident enough to try again. Again, I feel like this is super basic to other people, it’s just something I never learned and most DIY-ers I follow just gloss over it like it’s the easiest thing in the world!

    • Anna @ D16 April 24, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Monica, no, I haven’t—but that’s a good idea. I’ll keep it in kind for a future post!

  • Reply Jo April 25, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Anna – I absolutely LOVE the colors in this hallway!
    I wanted to second the idea of a ‘Guide to the Caulk’, as it were. Your blog is the first one where I read about caulking before painting but I’ve only ever had negative experiences with caulk. We bought our house last year and it has a room the previous owners painted the color of … cheddar cheese? We realized this year we never use that room because the color makes us both kind of angry, so I’m slowly gathering information for the easiest/best DIY paint job and I would love more information on pre-paint caulking. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Reply piia April 27, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    So many new posts! I’m glad you’re back!

  • Reply Hélène July 31, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I used to be a reader of your blog a few years ago and I am SO happy I stumbled upon it again (believe it or not I had been looking for it on and off but I just. coulnd’t. remember. its name). I absolutely love your taste and I kinda want to be like you when I grow up, ahah. Your new house looks amazing. Cheers!

  • Reply Michelle June 6, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Hi Anna. I recently fell in love with your hallway. I attempted to find a Valspar Imperial White swatch without success. Do you happen to know if it goes by another name now? The people at Lowes tried to check for me but no luck. No worries if you don’t know but I thought I would ask. Your sense of style is always inspiring.

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