Decorating the communal hall

We have a grand hallway at the entrance to the house. It’s been sadly neglected over the years, as evidenced by the amount of paint splatterings which I recently did my best to remove. It seems previous decorators not only laid carpet over the original Victorian tiles, happily hammering nails into them all around the edges, then at a later date ripped them up, leaving layers of glue, carpet fibres and the nails themselves. With each slap of paint that went onto the walls or (decorative, original) ceiling, nobody bothered to cover the floor with dust sheets.

The covered porch was recently renovated and repainted, so the entrance hall was starting to look a bit dowdy. Even though I’d done my best to clean the tiles, the green walls were cold and the whole space quite dark. Quick reminder of the green colour…

cleaned and satin finish on

Unfortunately one wall is mostly taken up with a fire alarm control box, installed (naturally) right in the centre of the wall for maximum impact. All around it are various framed fire notices & instructions. The walls are also home to various junction boxes, switches, unidentified cables and holes for said cables. Previous managing agents had insisted on there being no soft furnishings or indeed furnishings of any kind in the hall, as if they wanted the residents to feel they were living in an institution. All very miserable. Someone had snuck in a little side table and a baroque mirror, and there are curtains on the window, but for the size of the space (about 12.5 square metres) it’s not much.

The colour, Farrow & Ball Ringwold Ground, had been agreed with our fellow residents a while back. So last week Nick and I set to on painting. We got out the scaffold for Nick to paint the ceiling, which has the same stucco decoration that continues into our flat. I started on the walls, cutting in around the edges and then rollering. As the green gave way, things already started looking better.

Painting the communal hall walls

Painting the communal hall walls

painting the communal hall ceiling

After three coats with the roller, I then painted the skirting boards with a basic Dulux white satin finish. It’s actually the exterior paint we used on the living room windows exterior. Inside the flat we’re not using any bright whites, because it can be quite harsh. But it’s what was used in the covered porch, so we’ve kept a consistent colour scheme for the communal hall.

Communal hall - skirting boards painted

We then put back the little table, the mirror, the fire notices… and added a mirror and painting of ours, plus a little chair to make things a bit more homely! Although we can’t really spare the chair, so that went back indoors after the photoshoot! Even so, the room seems much warmer and friendlier.

Communal hall - finished

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