When we moved into the bungalow, I was so excited about having a hallway. Our old house only had the smallest little area at the bottom of the stairs, so there wasn’t room to do anything other than hang our coats and even that was taxing.
Here at number Eleven, we have a lovely square entrance hall that leads either down to the back of the bungalow, or to the front and into the living room. When we moved in, we only had our sideboard to put in there. It’s a sort of rustic, distressed oak and we’d bought it some time ago for our living room along with a matching TV unit, side table and two large bookshelves. Unfortunately, the sideboard no longer fitted in the living room with everything else, so it was a stroke of luck that it slotted perfectly opposite our front door in the hall. There was, however, still a lot of blank wall space around it and we needed something to help fill it. Enter… Dave!
This is Dave the Deer. (Are the stripes playing tricks with your eyes too?!) I bought him when me and Rob moved into our first house together in 2014 and he instantly became my pride and joy. He was the focal point of a gallery wall we had at the end of our kitchen, and everyone would comment on Dave. Costing just £15 from House of Fraser, I found him all by himself, abandoned in amongst some scatter cushions (some people are just reckless). I think I also took a liking to him because he has slightly wonky antlers; he’s perfectly imperfect.
Sadly for Dave, I’d hung a black and gold lampshade in the hall and had decided I wanted to stick to that as the colour theme. As you can see, Dave is silver so this was really unfortunate news for him. Poor Dave.
But have no fear! Dave was going to get a makeover – I was going to turn him white and gold. Obviously he was thrilled about this.
I set up camp in the garage, armed with my spray paints, brushes and paper sheets. Dave was there too of course. To begin, I sprayed him completely matt white and then left him to dry for a few hours before spraying him a second time, just to ensure he was fully covered. I learnt the hard way that spraying too near Dave resulted in streaks because of his shiny surface, so some paint had to be wiped away and reapplied. In the end though, he ended up a magnificent white and personally, I think it takes years off him.
After the first stage was completed successfully, I set about prepping Dave for the next bit of his makeover. For this, I simply covered his head and ears with magazine paper and tape – very sophisticated – and sprayed a metallic gold all around his antlers. When I removed the protective paper, I touched up his ears and the base of his antlers with a paint brush just to ensure a neat finish.
How happy does Russell Brand look in the first picture by the way? When Dave was finally dry, he was mounted pride of place in the hallway. I dare say he even looks like he’s smiling now.
I already had a few other white and gold home accessories to place on the sideboard, and to compliment Dave, but in amongst some of my unpacked boxes I also found an old gold-pewter vase I’d bought years ago. I’d wanted a taller vase to stand at the edge of the sideboard so this was perfect but, as with Dave in the early days, the colour was wrong. So, out came the spray paints again!
Alongside the revamped vase and other ornaments, I added three other glass vases in the style of oversized light bulbs. I got them from my Dad’s shop, Jachs, and loved them instantly because they were quirky and different. I bought some decorative false white roses from The Range and positioned one in each individual bulb.
The hallway was coming together! There was still quite a bit of space under Dave though. Perfect, I thought, for a statement print. I’d been looking online for some inspiration and managed to find something right up my street.
‘Why hello!’ The image on the right was one I found on Pinterest – I love typography prints and thought the phrase was perfect, what better way to welcome people into our home? After a quick search I came across one from another Etsy shop. It had been done in a slightly different typeface which I loved, and after receiving the print I put it into a simple black wooden frame.
As well as that, we had some previous prints that we wanted to add to the hall too. Rob and myself are huge Courteeners fans, as is my brother, Ben. One year, we bought Ben a pair of A3 silhouette prints of Liam Fray and Michael Campbell from the band for Christmas. We ordered them from Posteritty on Etsy at the time, but they now have their own website at www.posteritty.com – go look! They specialise in simplistic prints and when they arrived, we were pleased to find they’d given us some A4 copies too which me and Rob kept for ourselves. Fray and Campbell had lived on the landing in our old house, but in the bungalow they were added to the wall adjacent to the main hallway wall, so they could greet whoever walked in.
Now it’s almost complete, the hall is a world away from what it was like before being decorated. There were all kinds of dark colours on the walls previously, which made it quite gloomy and it didn’t have the most welcoming feel.
Our landlords Nick and Tracy saved it though, and did a great job of tiling the floor and painting the walls in brighter, neutral colours before we moved in. It helps give the impression of it being bigger than it is and I’m so pleased with it. I love how much it surprises people too, I don’t think they quite expect it coming in from the outside!
However, it’s not quite there just yet. Why?! I hear you cry. Well, we’re getting a new TV in a few weeks which is going to be fixed to the wall in the living room, so the sideboard is going underneath it to replace our old TV unit. Of course, this leaves space in the hall for something new and, fingers crossed, my Dad is going to put together a bespoke console table for us from some old scaffolding planks – I just need to find and buy the legs! I really love the style of black, 3 prong metal hairpin legs at the moment, so I’m hoping I can get my mitts of some of those. Hopefully we’ll then have ourselves an industrial style hall table, so watch this space… 🙂