Hallway: Part 2

As we have previously established:

1. We have a ridiculously long and narrow hallway in our apartment. It has many weird twists, turns, and angles.
2. This hallway was very ugly and very smelly and kind of falling apart when we moved in.
3. I made the front “entry” section look pretty good, added some storage, and generally beautified. Success!
4. Refer to this post if you need to review any of the above.

This is what you saw when turning that corner at the end of the first long section. Crazy square action continues, plus a nice shot of the cork square motif in action. If this picture doesn’t make your eyes bleed and your heart hurt, you’re probably not human and/or should see a doctor.

That window—UGH, that window. It’s one of two original (or old and wood, at least) windows in the apartment, and it’s a mess. The panes are super grimy and disgusting, the top part is all painted over (WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT??), and the bottom sash is rotting and I’m pretty sure the panes are going to fall out. Oh also there are mysteriously (cat pee/water damage) stained floors and a generally very scary amount of grime and sadness. Did I miss anything?

Much better, right? Amazing what a coat of matte white paint can do for some old plaster walls. Since the rest of the hallway is so narrow, I decided that the best course of action would be to just treat it as kind of a gallery space instead of trying to force any more storage into it. This keeps it from feeling completely like the walls are closing in, which is a nice thing to feel? Additionally, it makes for a very good repository for some of the art I hoard.

I’ve had that little Eames wire chair for like a year and a half now, from the wonderful Maya. I STILL haven’t gotten around to having the broken wires spot-welded, which makes me feel like a dipshit every time I walk past it. But it’s also so cute and pretty? I really need to do right by this chair at some point.

The rug on the floor is the one I brought back from Jordan, which turned out to be the perfect dimensions for this section.

I also basically decided to just hang an ENJE shade in front of the window and indefinitely postpone the task of fixing it. Would it be nice to have the window open more than about two inches? Yes and hell yes. Would it be nice for it not to be rotting and totally falling apart? Also yes. But…work. Ugh. So for now I just made it really easy to ignore, which has turned out to be a winning strategy that’s working out great. And by great I mean not so great.

The art was made by Max in college—black and white digital photomontages that are fun and fierce and stuff. I found them hiding under his bed in a bunch of broken frames back in Buffalo, so we took six of my favorites back to New York, reframed them in IKEA RIBBA frames, and put them up as a series. Since the frames themselves are $20 a piece, the project ended up adding up (to the tune of about $130, including tax), but I think that’s totally worth it. I love walking past them everyday.

Looking back from the other side, this wall was the perfect size to plop a huge, glorious HOVET mirror from IKEA. I’d been wanting a HOVET for a long time and was determined to put one in this apartment somewhere, and let me tell you—this thing does not disappoint. It is super huge and super awesome and a good price for the magnificent size (which is about 2.5′ x 6.5′). I’ve never lived with a full-length mirror before and I can basically report that owning one is simultaneously awesome and wildly upsetting and depressing, depending on your mood, but at least you always know more or less what you look like. Which apparently is a good thing, even if it just means knowing with certainty that you look a mess instead of just suspecting it.

Not that I would know anything about that.

Also, somehow people ALWAYS miss that there’s an enormous mirror when they’re walking into the apartment, and then are totally horrified by the shock of their reflection when they go to leave. Which is always fun to witness.

Extra points if you spotted the dog, by the way. Linus is SUCH an attention-whore.

Before, there was this mess…the door on the right is the door to the bedroom, and the open door on the left is the bathroom door. The squares never end, much like my lingering PTSD about removing them.

I moved those two prints from this Etsy store out of the kitchen and put them here. I’m always moving the art around and it drives Max C R A Z Y.

Looking back down the hall, I also moved Matt Uebbing‘s painting into the hallway (meaning it’s to the left of the bathroom door).

From the kitchen, things look like this. Bedroom door on the left, bathroom on the right. I hope this isn’t all horribly disorienting.

That fun weaving I got in Sweden is hanging up between the door to the bedroom and the doorway to the living room, which I love. I gotta get my fiber art in there somewhere.

The lighting, by the way, is the same cheap and easy DIY I did in the bathroom, except with different wire. All I needed were 4 ceramic sockets ($3.50 each), 4 plain black canopies ($7 each), and about 6 feet of cobalt blue cloth-covered wire (about $10). All the items were bought at a couple different lighting stores in Soho and Chinatown, not because they’re hard to find, just because I’m disorganized.

All it took was about 20 minutes to get from the supplies to the final product, and maybe an hour to hang them all and get everything working all proper like.

Maybe I should do a tutorial for these at some point, but they’re so easy. Like seriously beyond simple. I don’t know, I’m scared to do DIY’s on the blog involving electrical crap because everybody will always scream “FIRE!!!!” but these have been hanging for a while and nobody’s dead, so…just saying.

The easiest, simplest pendant light ever, and I love my little bright blue cords (though if I call them “pops of color,” brutally stab me 47 times and throw my corpse off the Brooklyn Bridge). The bulbs are just 100-watt incandescent bulbs, which I’m realizing is a problem now that they aren’t legal in the States and are becoming next to impossible to find in hardware stores. Basically the last thing I want is an exposed CFL, and I really wish they just made these same bulbs as halogens or something, since now I’ll inevitably be forced to reevaluate my lighting decisions. I was considering replacing them with Plumen bulbs, but I keep hearing very mixed things about the amount of brightness/quality of light they actually give off, and I really don’t want a dim hallway. I should really just buy one and test it out already, but I am so cheap.

I guess I’d be OK with replacing the fixtures altogether at some point down the line, but I really do want them all to match and finding FOUR matching pendant lights that are very beautiful and very cheap is basically impossible.

Anyway, I’ll enjoy these cheap suckers while they last. They have served admirably and hopefully will continue to do so at least until I come up with a plan.

So that’s the hallway.


123 Comments

  1. 1. your landlord must LOVE YOU. was the past tenant a crazy tweaker or something? those squares make my eyes burn. It looks like something you’d find in a San Francisco Victorian during the rave 90s.

    2. I’m so, so jealous that you can find stuff like that in general lighting stores. You’re lucky to find a non-plastic outlet cover around here, must less FABRIC covered cord. Sigh. The lights look so, so good.

    3. I make my brother do all the electrical stuff, but really I should make him teach me. It scares the shit out of me, though. Do you have a circuit box in your apartment?

    • HAHAHAHAHA “San Francisco Victorian during the rave 90s.” All this time, I have not been able to place it. You’re exactly correct.

      Yes, we have our own breaker box! It’s really not hard to change light fixtures, especially if your wiring is normal and the ceiling boxes are modern and all that!

  2. OMG, you ARE a magician!

  3. Congrats on a job well done! May I suggest starting an incandescent-hoarding investment venture? You’ll be able to corner the black market on that one next year.
    Great job, Daniel.

  4. Great reveal – I really like the eclectic art that you have everywhere.

  5. It looks amazing!!
    I LOVE all the artwork. Nice job hanging it too (that seems to be a big problem for a lot of people).
    Great job.

  6. Beautiful. I’m sure your landlord is hugging you in tears every week.

    • If by “hugging you in tears” you mean “completely pretending like the janky apartment he rented HASN’T been mostly fixed by a tenant at no cost to him,” you would be correct!

      • But then isn’t there a way to make him at least take care of that rotten window in the hallway (financially I mean- he should probably leave it to you to pick a new window…)?!

      • Yeah, that’s just…reallllly not how our landlord works. If it posed some kind of real hazard or something, then maybe (MAYBE) they’d do something, but as it is, it’s basically just an eyesore that should be fixable, and I’d rather just do it myself anyway (those old wood windows are actually very resilient and repairable, even if they seem far gone). All the new windows in the building are really crappy, really drafty aluminum things, and I’d rather keep the original stuff intact than have it ripped out and replaced, anyway. I’ve also seen some “replacement” jobs that these landlords have done to the same windows in other hallways in the building and…yeah, I’m not interested in that. It’s not pretty.

  7. Your landlord should be kissing the ground you walk on. Or at least paying you to live there. Fabulous!

    Earlier this year, your blog inspired me to spend countless hours over the summer on stripping, sanding and painting my 1930s art deco doors and refurbishing the door furniture. Now I’ve recovered, I’m itching to get going on my weird dark (no windows) hall and buy some art. Thanks for another dose of inspiration!

  8. Amazing. You make me want to paint my hallway white. Why did I ever think taupe was a good idea. (My wife is going to kill me.) I’m also now wondering how hard it is to turn a recessed light into a drop light? I would never be able to do it on my own, but I’ve been trying to think of ways to finally make my hallway look decent, and I’ve been craving an alternative light solution. Might call me crazy, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of boring can recessed lights. This looks so good.

    • While I LOVE the white, it is kind of a pain in the ass to maintain…I scrub the lower half of the walls with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers about once a month or so, but I often fantasize about painting a darker color on the lower half to deal with that…I have a few ideas cooking…

      It’s not too hard to convert recessed to pendant (here are some step-by-step instructions…), I’m sure any electrician would be able to do it for you!

  9. So amazing and inspiring! We really need to start working on our place, and this is definitely motivating, so thanks for that! A quick question — are your ceilings the same as your wall color? Or trim color?

    • No, the walls are BM Dove White in matte, but the ceilings are just an off-the-shelf “white” in eggshell, and the trim is off-the-shelf “super white” in semi-gloss. No advanced thinking went into those decisions…that’s just what I did.

  10. The Ribba frames look really nice! Did you replace the plexi with glass? I tried to frame a piece in one of those larger Ribba frames and it looked awful!! The plexiglass was so thin and poor quality that the whole frame felt unstable. Did you replace the mats? Do you have any tips? Thanks!

    p.s. I would love a lighting/ electrical tutorial!

    • The RIBBA frames all come with real glass except for the largest size! I actually don’t mind the plexi, though (that’s on the black and white piece by Matt Uebbing, and I kind of forgot it wasn’t glass…

      I didn’t replace the mattes on these (Max made them to fit in IKEA frames, so the mattes were perfectly sized!), but I’ve done that before. It also usually looks totally legit to just double-stick tape a piece to the front of the matte and frame it that way, if the matte isn’t a good size for the art.

  11. Your art collection is envy making.Also, I completely believe small white dogs are genetically coded to be excellent photo bombers. Mine is always sneaking into pictures.

    That credenza is GENIUS and I will be stealing the idea for our weird little hallway.

  12. your posts make me want to redecorate my entire apartment. your taste is spectacular.

  13. When can I move in?
    Seriously, you turned a haunted house hallway into a Scandinavian magazine beauty.

    Incandescents are illegal here in Argentina, too. This makes me sad because all I ever wanted in my life were those lamps that you just taught me how to make, and now I’ll never be able to have one (hell of a first world problem right there).

    Anyway, congratulations on an amazing job! Your taste is impeccable

    • Aw, that’s too bad! You might be able to find some kind of halogen alternative that would be low-watt and look just as good? They must make a chrome-tipped SOMETHING, right??

      Incandescents aren’t totally illegal here, just ones 100W or higher. They’re phasing them out slowly…which I support, I guess, but I wish the alternatives were more…appealing. I do like the halogens that IKEA sells, though, which just look more or less like regular lightbulbs.

      • I live in South America, aka, the only Ikea-less continent left (I think), I’ll let you shed a few tears for me. I would stock up when I visit your lovely country this February, but I’m pretty sure they’re incompatible with lights here.

        Actually, I think they’re phasing them out here, too. I’m not too sure of the specifics, I just know little by little all the bulbs in the recessed lights in my house have gotten replaced with halogens, the spirally long ones. Talk about an eyesore.

  14. this is amazing. like, for realz. i didn’t realize when you first moved that the hallway was SO long. i guess i was under the impression that it just had the first big turn and then you were at the bathroom? anyway, awesome job. it’s like your guests get to tour an art gallery on the way to and from your actual apartment. cheers to you!

  15. Looks amazing! Also kudos to giving what seemed like such an awkward space a new sense of purpose with all of the art.

  16. I am beyond astonished at the change. Before I thought there was no way to make that bizarre hallway work but you’ve done it. It is beautiful.

  17. I am so pleased I just read this, we are moving to the US from Germany next year and were debating whether or not to buy some Nud lights (http://us.nudstore.com/collection/classic) now you’ve confirmed that you can make them yourself for half the price or less, I’ll be doing that instead!! Awesome job on the hallway by the way, it looks 1000% better :)

  18. The hallway is gorgeous!! Awesome job. You’ve inspired me to try a few projects of my own sometime in the future, whenever I have money to throw around. (namely the fauxdenza and the lighting-WHICH YOU SHOULD TOTALLY DO A TUTORIAL ABOUT. The bulb-fixture end seems easy enough to me, but the ceiling-fixture end terrifies me. And you are much more interesting/entertaining than a youtube video)

    Also, I’ve been in an office before that had only Plumen bulbs, and they worked great and looked beautiful. I didn’t pay too much attention to the warmth/coolness of the light but they seemed to do the job because I didn’t walk in and instantly cover my eyes from the horrible cold-as-ice-exposed-florescent-bulbs. Plus, there are a ton of different incandescent bulb replacements now…CFLs come in so many shapes and sizes, plus there are the halogen and quartz alternatives. You should be able to find something satisfactory somewhere. :)

    • That’s good to hear about the plumens, Caitlin! I might try to pick one up. And you’re right…there are so many bulbs now, there must be SOMETHING I like.

  19. The hallway is beautiful! Have you seen those funky looking yellow LED lights? I hesitantly bought one for my kitchen pendant when I couldn’t find an incandescent bright enough. When you turn it on, it magically looks like a normal bulb and casts the same warm, bright light as incandescent. Major downside though is their ridiculous price – though they promise to last for something like 10-15 years, so we can pretend the price is justified.

  20. Man, I would love it if you did a wiring or light fixturey tutorial post. Would you take all your magical lighting with you if you moved?

    • Theoretically, I think I’d probably take most of the lighting, yes. I mean, I’d probably leave these fixtures (if they’re still up) since they’re so easy to recreate and aren’t worth much, but we have some other fixtures that DEFINITELY wouldn’t get left behind!

  21. Before & after pictures make me so happy. This is perfection

  22. You have turned a liability (long, awkward hallway) into a showpiece. The art and wall hangings really make it. I know it’s not your ideal apartment layout, but there’s something nice about having a transitional space between the front door and your actual living space.

  23. Someone may have asked this already, but how THE HELL did you get any furniture through there?? (great job, btw. Hi Linus!)

  24. thank you so much for including the etsy link to the posters. I was able to find the perfect poster for my husband’s Christmas gift.

    the hallway is not too shabby either, and by not too shabby I mean absolutely GORGEOUS! I die for that Ikea mirror too.

  25. That hallway is so lovely! You did an amazing job!

  26. You are amazing!

  27. AH-mazing.

    Seriously, what COLOR was that hallway before?! I am beyond impressed that you saw the potential in this place after seeing the before pics.

    • I don’t even know about the color…kind of a pee/custard yellow with green undertones? And then there were the multi-color squares, of course. THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES.

  28. Gorgeous! I’m totally painting my doors black.

  29. i’m blown away by three things… 1.the length of your hallway. wow! 2.how the hell did the tenant before you live like that?! 3.it’s AMAZING what you did and you actually made that long, weird hallway stylistically useful. it’s like a beautiful build-up for what’s to come and it makes it seem like your apartment is some fun hideaway.

  30. Thank you for being a part of the battle against color pop. The best part of this crazy hallway seems to be all of the hanging space it allows. Enjoy it!

    p.s. when I see the MN for Manhattan Nest next to the non-gravatar comments I think Minnesota EVERY TIME. Don’t ya know.

  31. Think on this: considering how long it look you to get rid of those horrible painted squares, someone took just as long to paint them. And why in heavens name would they paste cork squares to the wall? Craziness!

    Nice job! You have now inspired me to paint my hall way.

    • Oh, I’m sure painting those squares was a MASSIVE labor of love and must have taken forever and been a horrible ordeal. It shows commitment, and I have to respect that much, even if the result was a horrible heinous nightmare. In my opinion.

  32. Well done! It looks amazing.

  33. love that you gotta have your fiber art – the hanging is lovely! also love that you linked to a fellow etsy artist – and it looks like the link made a sale for them! whoot!

    cheers,
    karen anne who lives in a really old townhouse and understands their quirks/delights

  34. It’s just wonderful. I love love love that you have transformed it so gorgeously. What pleasure it must be for you guys to walk through (and through and through–I am still reeling from the hallway’s dimensions!) now.

    jbhat

  35. You’ve done a spectacular job on the hallway. Take a deep bow.

    Not being the artsy type, I keep wondering: what is that white (ceramic?) arc on top of the cabinet? Candle holder?

  36. I just love your space. You always motivate me and make ME feel like a dipshit for giving up on my apartment. Can you come to LA and tell me what to do? You’re amazing.

  37. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing, yet again. Also your sense of writing and voice has to be one of the most impressive things about you. I literally laugh out loud every time I read your posts. Great stuff.

  38. “I can basically report that owning one is simultaneously awesome and wildly upsetting and depressing, depending on your mood, but at least you always know more or less what you look like. Which apparently is a good thing, even if it just means knowing with certainty that you look a mess instead of just suspecting it.”

    THIS is why your readers keep coming back. Loved this two-part series on the hallway. You’re a miracle worker, that’s for sure.

  39. Beautiful!

    Wondering how you hung all the art.

    We have old plaster walls and every time I try to hang something the wall just crumbles a bit. The last time I tried to hang art I generated a hole the size of a quarter that’s just sitting there in the wall – staring at me – that I have to walk past every day and cringe.

    • Hm…I just hung the art with regular hooks, which has been fine for us. If your plaster is in rough shape, you might want to try using screws or even anchors and screws—I really recommend the metal (not plastic!) E-Z Anchors, they’re dreamy!

    • Dardar – try putting a piece of tape over the plaster before you nail into the wall. It doesn’t always help but usually it does. Of course if you are going to hang anything that is heavy you will have to use an anchor.

  40. Daniel,

    A little advice from a professional lighting designer. You can get CFLs with covers on them that give them the look of a traditional incandescent. They also make covers in the “globe” style that you are using in your pictures here.(Google: Decorative CFL Globe, and this will show you some suppliers.) If you aren’t super comfortable with CFLs and you are looking to get as close as possible to the quality of light you are getting from your incandescents, should make sure to pick up 2700k (often referred to as warm white). Stay away from anything marked “daylight” or a color temperature above 3500k as these are actually the colder bluer light qualities that many people find unappealing in a home environment.
    Best of luck! The apartment looks lovely.

    • Thank you, I’ll look into them! I didn’t know about that. I’ve only seen those new round CFLs, which I think are horrible! I’m such a lighting grouch.

  41. I want to read the blog post from the person who was proud to show the world the sweet ass squares they painted in their hallway.

    In the meantime, super jealous of your fiber wall hanging. It’s amazing.

  42. Regarding exposed bulb lights:
    I have several original exposed bulb fixtures in my 1926 house and purchased covered CFL bulbs for those lights (like this) Some are the older kind that take a while to warm up, but since they’re in the bedroom it’s usually a good thing – no immediate harsh lights in the morning.

    And for hanging pictures on plaster walls @Dardar, I have had very good luck with those picture hanging kits that have a pin that you hammer though a separate hook at an angle. They leave a really small hole and hold a lot of weight. Because the hooks distribute the weight, heavy frames and mirrors don’t rip large holes in the plaster. The ones with the larger pin like head (instead of just a flat nail head) are easy enough to take out of the wall when you paint then replace when the paint is dry. Sometimes I need pliers to grip the head, but they don’t take too much force to pull out.

  43. This is amazing! I really really want to paint my doors black now!

    Side note: While I love (and have!) that Ikea candle holder, for some reason in your pictures it totally reminds me of teeth- like the bottom half of a giant set of dentures!

  44. Amazing job on the hallway. Perfectly done. I am in awe of the Squares of Dementia left by the previous tenant but in a way, they were a good thing for you because it probably made that apartment harder to rent out. Only someone with your vision would tackle it.

  45. Amazing, as usual, Daniel. I think I’m also going to buy those Etsy prints as Christmas present for my boyfriend. Did you purchase the A2 (16.5″ x 24.4″/extra large) or the A3 (11.7″ x 16.5″/large)? I’m trying to get a sense of the scale and your in-room photos help a lot!

  46. I’m one of those dummies who would absolutely love a tutorial on hanging bulbs… I have a ceramic socket and perfect bulb, and some sorry excuse for a cord (i didn’t know you could buy fabric wrapped wiring? sheesh where have I been.) and I’m too scared to put the things together. The instructions on the back of the package might as well be japanese.

    help!

    ps. please stop being so cool.

  47. It looks awesome. Love it.

    I’ve hung my own light fixtures (5 hanging pendants). It wasn’t easy for me as I had a hard time getting them snug against the ceiling. My nephew had to fix a few of them for me. :)

  48. I am tempted to say that you are a miracle worker. If you ever start a business revamping other people’s spaces I will be your first Portland customer and I will take you out to Tom Yum as many times as you can handle.

    I laughed at the comment above “ps. stop being so cool,” seriously! But, not really because then we wouldn’t have amazing hallways to drool over.

  49. Daniel – sometimes I think that you have two apartments, a before and an after one! You mentioned that the wood floor stunk of pee. How did you get rid of the smell?

    • Lots of scrubbing with Murphy’s oil soap and white vinegar…it took a while for the smell to totally disappear, though.

  50. You are hilarious!!

    “nipple lamp” …..here I’m thinking I was the only one who said that aha!

  51. You have so many gobs of talent! You know how I know this? Because your style is so different than mine, yet I want to live in your apartment every time I see pics. Even your hallway. I would live in your hallway. That’s totally uncreepy, right?

  52. this is so awesome. you are awesome.
    that’s all.
    xo

  53. Love it! I added a green cloth cable to my simple white Ikea lamp and it looks so good, so of course I adore you’re blue lamps. Strangely enough the green cable was kind of too thick for the bulb thingy so we had to kind of strip away the green cloth to make it fit which wouldn’t look pretty exposed like yours but doesn’t matter since you don’t see where the cable meets the bulb thingy, if that makes sense? But so I am a little bit afraid to make a fixture which has an exposed bulb.

  54. I’ve been waiting not so patiently to find out what you did with that hallway. Congratulations on a great job.

    I can only imagine how many hours of work that transformation took.

  55. When you see the “before” pictures, you’re so glad, you don’t life in a place like that. And it’s funny, but when you see the “after” pictures, you instantly wish your apartment would look like this! :-)
    Great job, Daniel, as always! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and you always make my eyes fall out from astonishment!

  56. Stunning…as always! Reading about your renovating adventures is a real treat. I’m always looking forward to new posts. Thanks, Daniel!

  57. Please please please do the tutorial! I have not one, not two, but three horrible boob lights with weird horizontal lightbulb placement, so I can even cover the bulb with some kind of non-boob solution. I’m not even going to bring up my horrible popcorn ceiling.

    My problem is I don’t want to die, so I’m paralyzed with non-action. And I just don’t trust those You Tube videos. So you must do one. I’m begging!

  58. The transformation is truly amazing. Really, taking the horrible closing-in fun-house hallway and turning it into your own private gallery + foyer with storage = fabulous.

    You know, they’re making new florescent and LED bulbs to look more like old bulbs all the time, so by the time they burn out (or your backups burn out) there will hopefully be an acceptable solution. I’ve already seen some decent ones with frosted plastic around the florescent tube, like the globe ones for those “Hollywood” vanity lights. There are already some frosted “bulb-shaped” ones in 100W equivalent, though I’m not seeing any globes just yet. Still, I’m sure they’re coming.

    Finally, I’ll bet that if you just strip the paint off of the window glass, it will allow you to totally ignore that horrible window entirely, or at least until summer time, when you might decide to refurbish it just so you can open it. No need for that now. Who cares if it stays closed all winter? I rented a house once where the people had painted over the top pane of all of the bedroom windows. I wonder if it’s the same people who used to live in your apartment — really, who else would do that crazy shit? Plus they used the same color paint. Anyway, stripping the glass wasn’t hard. We used that citrus-based orange-colored stripper, and it didn’t even smell too heinous. At least you already know that they didn’t replace a piece of glass with a random piece of plastic, like they did at our house — or was it cardboard? I forget, but it was ridiculous either way.

  59. So pretty. So, so pretty. Such good work, Daniel!

    (Incandescent forever! Also, ENJEs forever! Even if the new design is inferior.)

  60. It looks amazing. And I would LOVE to get a DIY pendant-hanging tutorial from you. Seriously, I believe you that it’s easy but I need the step-by-step.

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  61. I feel the same way about “pop of color”.

    It looks amazing! I didn’t realize how massive that hallway was. Awesome work!

  62. That is one crazy hallway. I love the art gallery scene — and it lets you change it up all the time. Am a big fan of black ceilings, but I agree that white was right here. They’ll reverse the incandescent ban, but I am stockpiling my own just in case and think you’re wise to do the same. If you ever decide to experiment with that window-bondo stuff where you create a mold of the original and then create pieces to fill in with the bondo stuff, I’d love to see the post. You can get it in the back of the VanDyke’s Restorers catalog — there’s all sorts of cool supplies in there. I’ve been wanting to try it out but have been too lazy.

  63. What the What? Do your parents read your blog? Do they know how admired you are? They must be so proud. No slacker did they raise. You must have gone to bed awfully tired some evenings working on that monster. Congrats to you and Max (and puppies) for creating a showpiece of an apartment.

    • Of course we read his blog. And are so very proud of ALL his hard work and his superb writing talent. We are hoping that one day he can even figure out how to make some money to keep on doing what he loves.

  64. The hallway looks amazing! I love all of the art. The before and after is seriously impressive.

  65. Hi, amazing results in that space! I was wondering what size Ikea Ribba frames you used for the Etsy prints. Thanks!

  66. Looks great! I am always on the look-out for nice picture frames like yours. Where did you get the plywood (?) frames? I hope they aren’t thrifted because I need a couple!

    • They’re also IKEA RIBBA frames. I don’t know if they stopped making the natural wood/birch color, though…it’s not listed as an option on the US website. That would be really weird…they’ve been making them FOREVER.

  67. Wow, you are an art hoarder! It looks great as usual. I like the idea of darker paint on the bottom portion of the wall, but I think I’d worry a little about it closing in such an already very narrow space. I’m interested to see where you take it.

  68. CRASH! (My jaw just dropped to the floor.) What a fabulous job you’ve done on that hallway!

  69. Once I saw this I knew my life would never be the same. I NEED a gorgeous black door!

  70. You really know how to transform a space – it looks amazing and very inviting!! White paint never looked so good.

  71. Seriously amazing!! I can’t believe the transformation, you are really talented in this.
    I wonder why you haven’t scraped the paint off from the windows? I like the shade hiding the window, but you could still scrape the paint away. Perhaps you know already but there are metal scrapers for glass and tile and with those it’s really easy to get that gunk out from the window. You can also use an old fashioned razor blade.

  72. That backgammon board fills me with sush pleasure, it looks like had it been designed by Marimekko.

  73. Damn! Your hallway is so big it needs two posts!

  74. Your home looks so lovely. I am so inspired to paint my house again. It’s amazing you could see past all of that when you were apartment hunting. I look at that window and think, why on earth would they paint a window, and then leave it like that? They were so meticulous with those weird squares, then got lazy with the window? I sympathize with you and those hallway squares. The school where I teach has a very similar color with circle cut-outs instead of squares, also in a similar color. It makes me physically ill when I have to walk down our hallway to the computer room.

  75. Love, love, LOVE that you made your hallway into a gallery. It’s perfect.

  76. I think you just made a thousand people long for long (he he), weird hallways. :)

    Love Linus in the corner.

  77. what a transformation.
    this post makes me want to hang more art in my home.

    job well done.
    (oh, and happy thanksgiving!)

  78. Thank you so much for including the floor plan, and accenting the hall with that “pop” of magenta. :)

    I’m curious to know what’s on the other sides of the hall, but I guess it’s more crazily divided apartments.

    I think you’re an apartment genius (and an excellent writer).

    • Yes, there are four apartments on each floor, so the weird hallway wraps the stairwell and two other apartments! All the ones facing the back of the building have weird hallways, front ones have slightly better layouts and cost more (but I think are smaller, even though a lot of them have been converted to 2 BR.)

  79. You win the contest for the most improved space. I can not even imagine painting over that bright paint. I bet you’re glad that’s over with.

  80. On switching art around – it is actually a good idea. When art hangs in the same space, it gets taken for granted and forgotten about. Moving it to a new spot lets you love it new all over again and changes your perspective of both the item and the whole space.

  81. This has made my day as your hallway was uglier than mine so it gives me hope where once there was none! We are tackling ours (no windows, argh) over Christmas when I’m off college and the skirting boards are atrocious. They’re original, painted many many times and wires run along top of some of them leaving an odd little gap when vast quantities of dirt/dust collects. Do you have any special tips other than elbow grease for cleaning them? The dirt doesn’t seem to come off the paint and I am loathe to paint them again. It’s like it’s embedded! I understand if stripping is the only way but you’re a guru now so I had to ask.

  82. Hey Daniel,

    Love the pendant lamp innovation. Quick question – are you using 18 gauge wire similarly to your frack hack, or are these 14 gauge wires? Thanks in advance.

    • I have no idea!! It’s just lamp wire from a lighting store…I don’t even really understand what the functional difference is…

  83. Great work, inspiring. Love your Mekko most of all!!

  84. Hi Daniel,

    This all looks great! I, like some others, would really love for you to do a tutorial for those fixtures. I’m sick of paying an electrician $20 per light to change out fixtures.

  85. I’ve been bulb shopping for a new project and I noticed my usual website has a really good deal on plumens right now. 1000 bulbs has always shipped reasonably quickly, and more importantly, the one time I received broken bulbs they were very good about replacing them for no cost.

    They’re about $10 cheaper than anywhere else I’ve seen them. Of course, as they get more popular, the price will probably go down even more, but then they won’t be as interesting and original. Style vs. Wallet Conundrum!

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.1000bulbs.com/product/71567/PLUMEN-001.html

  86. Hi! I Google “The Nest” today because everyone keeps talking about that site, your blog came up instead and I am so glad! Thank you for posting this hallway project, everything looks so clean, modern and inviting! I’ll be spending the rest of the day reading your other posts :)

    PS! I live in Queens and also have two dogs, yay!

  87. YOU ARE A WIZARD

  88. Seriously?! A part of me just died when I saw this renovation. Or maybe peed a little. Or maybe both. Yeah, you’ve got a new fan in me. Freaking brilliant work!!

  89. Whats with those weird squares all up the corridors? Some people have some strange decorating ideas! But holy moly look at the transformation even just with the crisp white paint you’ve made that hallway a zillion times better. Its like an art gallery now with the large artworks throughout. You’ve done an incredible job you should be very chuffed :)

  90. As usual, I love what you have done. Your landlord should be paying YOU to live there :-)

  91. you are amazing. amazing. amazing.
    please, please, please, will you do the lighting tutorial?
    i am planning on doing a variation of your lighting in our tiny, tiny 8 x 10 bedroom. we currently have 2 bedside lamps on our tiny bedside tables and they make my husband and i both claustrophobic. we have no overhead electrical wiring in our old rental house and so what i was planning on doing was getting a hook and screwing that into the ceiling, use fuchsia cloth covered wire (if i can find it as that specific color has been impossible to find), get a socket that has the push in thing to turn the light on and off and plug it into the outlets behind our bed. our light would just hang down from the hook and free up space on our bedside tables which pretty much squishes our bed. the beautiful colored chord would be the focal point of the light fixture since our room is quite bare. (oof, can you tell i was trying super hard not to write “pop of color”?)
    but, i just don’t want to die in flames. so please. can you give the tutorial?
    please.

  92. p.s.
    i know you don’t have a ton of time but i think you could make money with these lights you have been inspiring all of us who love what you have done. i would buy them from you because i want to support what you do given that i love what you do rather than this person.
    check out this link on etsy where someone is selling them for $65. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71238395/design-a-custom-hanging-light-lamp-w

Comments are now closed for this article.

Back to Top