When we first bought this house and made a Master List of everything we wanted to update / renovate / change, I thought it would take a decade to get through it all. And while we’re not done by any means — this year’s house to-do list has seven projects on it — we are actually very close to finishing everything on the inside of our house. In just two years! This has less to do with the fact that I over-estimated how long it would take us to renovate every room and more to do with the fact that I’m a maniac with a paint brush and unable to just chill while a room has a drop ceiling / bad lighting / dinky trim / dated appliances. That being said, the house didn’t start to feel finished-ish to me until really recently, when we got started on one of our very last interior projects, fixing up our hallway.
Here are some photos that Pierre took of our hallway after we’d bought the house, but before we moved in:
It’s a teeny space — really just a space to house all our doors — but really complicated to renovate because it houses all our doors. It’s the only access to our only bathroom, for example.
We decided to tackle it this year because we’re soon to have a curious crawler on our hands again. Frankie is three and has lived in construction zones all her life. She knows not to stick her hands in the walls, pull at crumbling plaster or touch wet paint. New baby girl? I wasn’t so sure she wasn’t going to poke an eye out on an errant nail while I was making dinner or something. I also knew this tricky spot wasn’t going to get any easier to renovate once we had two kids to keep our eyes on.
So, shortly before my due date (two weeks to go!), we brought our trusty contractors in for, oh, the twentieth time and had them fur out the walls and hang new drywall over the crumbling plaster on three walls. (The wall that houses Frankie’s bedroom door and our hall closet was in good enough condition that I elected to keep the original plaster and trim.)
After two days of work — lest you think hiring contractors makes renovating easy I was also sick, 37 weeks pregnant and suffering from crazy nose bleeds as a result of the dust — we had walls in this area for the first time!
I love these before and “after” photos because they also give little peeks at other afters like our bedroom, Frankie’s bedroom, the living room and all those new craftsman-style doors. Maybe this is why, despite being small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, this hallway project is finally making the house feel finished!
We still have quite a bit of work to do in this small space, starting with taping, mudding and sanding the drywall; priming and painting; then bringing our contractors back in to trim out the doors and baseboards. There’s a small square of original fir flooring in our hall closet that I’d like to refinish before calling this space “done,” too. That’s all on our list for this year, but we’ll wait until we’re well and good into a rhythm as a family of four before starting. In the meantime, I’m really happy there are no more holes oozing insulation!