Hallway Inspiration

Our house is very very skinny (our property alone is 12.5’ wide, and after walls we’re left with less than 12’). I know what you’re thinking, how on earth can we live in such a skinny house? As many other Torontonians know, size isn’t everything, layout is. The people who renovated our house prior to us, did an exceptional job with the layout. On the main floor they squeezed in an open concept 35’ long kitchen/dining/entryway, a compact but cozy living room and a powder room. On the second floor, we have three bedrooms and an 8×8 bathroom. The one problem with the second floor is to make that layout work you need one big long hallway. It is long, and skinny, and dark. It is currently painted (you guessed it) beige, has two “spaceship” lights for lighting, four doors to the bedrooms and bath, one skylight over the staircase and a strange little nook. I have been trying to come up with solutions to make the space feel bigger, lighter, and more polished.

Hallway Nook (Outside Master Bedroom)

Here are some of my (hairbrained) ideas:

  • Cut out the spaces above all the doors, and install transoms. The bathroom & office each have large skylights, the front bedroom has a big bay window and our master has a glass door and large window. I think that with transoms all this light that is usually kept captive in the rooms will spill out into the hall. I think it will also make the ceilings feel higher.


Source: houzz.com via Kristen on Pinterest

Source: google.ca via Kristen on Pinterest



  • Paint the walls white, trim white, and the doors gloss black. Wait wait wait, before you have me committed, hear me out. I think the contrast of the dark doors, light walls and all the natural light will actually make the space feel bigger. Contrast does wondrous things.


Source: houzz.com via Kristen on Pinterest



  • Replace the lighting. This one is a necessity. There are two forms of cheap flush mount lights from the big box stores. They will hereafter be known as boob lights and spaceship lights. My metaphors are pretty straightforward. One looks like a boob, and the other like a spaceship. They both suck. Cant anyone make cheap attractive flush mounts? I would love some schoolhouse pendants in the hall space.


Source: google.com via Kristen on Pinterest



  • Large scale artwork. The one problem is that it needs to be thin. The hallway is incredibly narrow, and already the walls get bashed with elbows when you try to carry anything down the hall. The artwork needs to not get in the way, and be well secured to the wall, and it needs to break up the large expanse of space. This is the only part that is still stumping me. You will only be looking at the art while walking down the hall, and even if you stop and look at it, you will be a foot away, so its not an ideal gallery space. May be a good candidate for some Blik vinyl wall art. Graphic and impactful, and gives definition to the space.
Blik Fox


Blik Birds of a Feather
  • Bigger mirror for the nook, small artwork and a nice large plant, preferably of the citrus tree variety. I love the thought of having a lime or lemon tree in the house, and think this would be a great place for it.



So what do you think? Have I won you over with my black doors?

The Chair Hunt

Two years ago, El Granto & I were walking through the Junction headed for an Americano @ Crema, when we spotted a great worn black bankers chair outside the front of a reclaimed architectural salvage shop. The chair was great. It was worn in all the right places, had fabulous old castors, and was a steal for $25. Problem was, we were still living in the loft, had no place for it, and were walking about 3km from home. We decided to pass for now. El Granto sat brooding over the chair for the next day, and decided to go back to see if it was still there. Alas of course it was gone. Someone else had the same vision we did. Since that day, we have regretted that decision, and have been on a hunt for another bankers chair. Skip ahead to last spring. We were at my favourite place on earth; The Aberfoyle Antique Market when we spotted a guy selling not one, not two but THREE bankers chairs. He had stripped and refinished them all with an (ugh) honey oak finish, but they were in excellent condition. We could either live with the colour, or refinish them to something darker. Problem was, we were at Aberfoyle with El Granto’s Mum, and were driving a small car. The chair was not going to fit in the car. We visited Aberfoyle a month or so later, and (of course) all of the bankers chairs were long sold.

Now that the office is progressing, we really really need a chair. Do you think I can find one? Not a chance.

I could buy gorgeous one new at Restoration Hardware for $495. Uhhh no, that’s out of the question.

Restoration Hardware 1940′ Banker’s Chair Weathered Oak Drifted

How about Pottery Barn’s Swivel Desk Chair? Oh wait, $533? HA.

Pottery Barn Swivel Desk Chair

So I will continue to haunt Craigslist & Kijiji in hopes of finding one in my price range (aka free – $40). I know, wish me luck.

Our other temporary option, is buying a $35 Ikea Ivar chair, and giving it a paint job. Then finding another use for it once we finally find a bankers chair.

Ikea Ivar Chair

Why is it that every project always has one sticking point? One missing piece of the puzzle?! *sigh