Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stairs and Hallway: Way Before, Before and After

Have you ever had a design project in your house that had you totally stumped? 

It took me ten years to figure out what to do with my stairway and the upstairs hall. 
Ten. Years.

I had no plan…I kind of stumbled along. Now, it is finished, and I finally have an "After" hallway. 

But prior to the "Before," I had a "Way Before" hallway. 

"Way Before," when we first moved in, the space was -- what's a word that's worse than "drab?" 
All of the above?

Think white that's turned shades of gray-ish. Scuffed wood floor and stairs.  An oversize bulb for a light fixture. Horrid closet doors.
And it echoed-echoed-echoed-echoed...

It gave me the heebie jeebies every time I walked through it.  

Which was like a thousand times a day.

I wish I had some "Way Before" pictures, but it was "Well Before" the days of blogging.

We had to do something to make it liveable, so it got a fresh coat of linen white paint, and a new (boring) beige carpet. 

The carpet was as much a toddler-proofing necessity as an aesthetic one. We had just moved from a New York City apartment, and Junior Goo Shoes (who was three years old at the time), only knew how to get from floor to floor by elevator. He was completely clueless as to how to navigate stairs. 

He could, however, hail a yellow taxi on the corner of 86th and Madison. 

I thought that hanging up a gallery of family pictures would decrease the "blah" factor. What was I thinking? It looked like someone's grandmother's house. Not that there's anything wrong with that…

Hellacious, as my mother used to say. Very Bad.

I took them down almost as soon as I put them up.

Several years, and hundreds of magazine clippings later (oh, to have had Pinterest then!), I decided I wanted picture frame molding. We had it done professionally, but I'm sure many of you DIYers could do it on your own. But not Moi.

It looked amazing…but I was still at a loss as to what to do next.

I finally found a great carpet, which was crazy-expensive. I hemmed and hawed for so long, that when I finally went to buy it, I was told it was discontinued. However…I got lucky, because they had a remnant just the right size, which I got for a greatly reduced price. Sometimes it pays to be indecisive. Literally. 

Forever and a day later, I found a yellowy-gold wallpaper that looked like grasscloth. I didn't know that it was exactly what I was looking for, until I saw it. It looks much more yellow in these photos than it actually is. Four pictures down (with the three mirrors) is pretty close to the real color.

I changed all the doorknobs to brass. Just that little thing made a huge difference.

The large mirror on the right is from TJ Maxx. I bought it at least a year before I found the wallpaper, but I knew it was going to have a place in my hallway, someday.

The small mirrors came from my neighbor's yard sale. The photo below shows a more true color of the wallpaper.

After searching for something with a little bling, I found these great light fixtures. There's one at the top of the stairs, and one at the other end of the hall. 

So there you have it. I had no plan for what I wanted the hallway to look like…just some vague notions. Step by step, I figured it out. 



Not bad, for winging it every step of the way.

Oh, and I'm happy to say that eventually, Junior GS did master the art of stair-climbing. You should see him now…bounds up three at a time, and jumps down from midway. Oy.  

Linking to:
Pinterest Blitz Party at Debbiedoo's and On Sutton Place   
Metamorphosis Monday on Between Naps On The Porch 
BeBetsy Brag About It Tuesday Link Party 
Throwback Thursday         

Until next time…
Ms. Toody


  1. Hello! Your link is before mine at the Pinterest Party so I came over to visit. I'm so glad I did because I got to see your awesome hallway! You are so right. Sometimes it really does pay to be indecisive.

    1. Thanks, Jane! I stopped at yours, as well, and how lucky for you to be part of the faucet promotion! It looks great, by the way, and I would love a faucet that goes on or off with just a touch anywhere! And I love Lucy! I guess you get that a lot ;)

  2. You did a beautiful job with the hallway. You have a real knack for turning the ordinary into extraordinary. I like to decorate but I'm a cheapskate and I hate spending the money associated with it - lol..

  3. What a terrific job you did and the hallway looks inviting and bright! Total make-over!

    So glad you linked up with us at the BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Link and Hop.

    We'd love it if you would link back to BeBetsy at the bottom of your post.

    Have a terrific week~xo
    Sharon and Denise!

    1. Thanks so much! I've linked back…I moved it up before my signature. It was there before, but may have been down too low. I really appreciate that you've stopped by my blog!

  4. Oh my, I love the light fixtures! Blingy but elegant. Love the gold mirrors too.

  5. After searching for spiral staircases and not finding anything that would work for my situation I decided to try and create my own. I stumbled upon the countertop at Ikea and Knew they would look great as the treads and they are decently cheap as well.

  6. You transformed the hallways into a beautiful place to linger. I love every single thing you chose! We moved into our house last year and kind of like you's a sea of beige and lots of empty uninspiredness. I'm working on it in a stumbling way like you described.

    1. Thanks, Stacey! Good luck in your new house, and I hope that inspiration strikes!

  7. Well, I have to say it was worth the wait! Beautiful job - so warm and inviting. Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday!

  8. Amy, you did a great job on your hallway. I love the texture of the wallpaper. Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.


  9. Love the light fixture! Would love to know where to get one like this.

    1. Thank you, Marian! I got it at a local store, Krell Lighting ( I cannot remember the name of the manufacturer of the light, but I will see if I have any info in my files, and if I find something, I will let you know.


PRIVACY POLICY: I will never share your email information with others. I use your email to respond to your comments on my blog, or to interact socially with you.