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09th Apr 2016

INTERIORS: ‘How We Gave Our Hall A Dark and Moody Makeover’


When renovating a house you make sacrifices – they may be small (Dulux VS Farrow and Ball) or they may be big (Pay troop of builders VS Doing it on your tod). Our sacrifices are many but one of the main ones becomes instantly obvious once you enter our home – the hall. It wasn’t great.

Sure, we lashed a coat of white paint on it and threw up a nice shelf but it had issues let me tell you. As le gaff had previously been filled with three apartments, those apartments ALL had their own electric box thingy-ma-jig in the hall, which were grouped together and ‘hidden’ behind a suitably disgraceful pine-cabinet – see below on the left. Classy right?


Safe to say, one of the first things we did was rip the god-awful cabinet off the wall, which did leave lots of manky exposed wires but at least the pine monstrosity was gone. After this, we were busy demolishing walls and such in the rest of the house so we didn’t really have too much time to pay attention to the hall. Besides, it looked okay if you ignored the wires hanging from the ceiling. Which we did.

That is UNTIL we learned that our lil’ abode was going to be featured on a certain house programme, DUN DUN DUUUNNNNN – we had to fix the hall. So we decided to build in a floor-to-ceiling cabinet to hide the wires – NOT IN PINE. We also decided to go DARK. Lately, dark interiors have become an obsession of mine – charcoal greys and deep cobalts are like catnip to me and on one of my daily pinterest adventures I came across these atmospheric interior images.

hall 5

We decided to ease ourselves into the darkness by painting just the ceiling black but first we had to replace the coving as it was constantly falling off. We chose a new, simple but lovely coving from the Old Mould, knocked down the old one and replacing with the new. Of course, it was not as easy as that last sentence might suggest – putting UP coving is the worst. I have so much awe and respect for people that put up coving as their job because The Bear and I nearly killed each other trying to install it. I think one small (1ft) section took us the best part of a day and a half to install. In hindsight we really should have hired a professional. Ultimately however, we did a pretty good job. I mean, it’s still up there.

Once we were back talking to each other, we decided to travel to our Mecca (IKEA) and buy two doors for the cabinet which The Bear and his Dad would build around to house those pesky wires. We found a fairly basic door with paneling that worked well with the front door design and got to work – this is the result.

hall 6

Ultimately we painted the ceiling AND the new cabinet and the door in black. When that first coat was applied we stood back, absolutely terrified – it looked really patchy and odd. Thankfully, once the second coat went on – it utterly transformed the hall, it’s now one of my favourite spaces in the house. The dark hues have introduced a moody and atmospheric feel, which we love, and the black really highlights the ceiling fan and gold vintage light.

hall 8

Hopefully this encourages you to embrace the dark-side – give it a whirl!

Siobhan Lam is currently based in Portobello, Dublin – where she runs her unique homewares e-store April and the Bear with her husband Jamie and pooch Gizmo. Pop by for a visit at or swing by herFacebook/Instragram or Twitter.