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It’s just a journey from A to B… isn’t it?

A corridor is really just a means to an end... a long passage way that enables you to get from one part of a building to another without having to go through other rooms.



Here at No 19 on the first floor there's an internal corridor that runs from the pretty spacious upstairs hall to the back of the house. Since we've had the house this passage had no access to natural light, and when I first saw it, this section of the upstairs was the part of No 19 that inspired me the least.



A year or so ago I had a go doing up this corridor and made some real progress. I built a doorway with a window in which let in a little light from the hall and I started to see its potential. It could actually become a nice place to be in and walk though: I think even a passage way should be pleasant.



During the winter I sleep in a bedroom that opens out into this corridor so it's my first view of the world in the morning... and that's really the point: This corridor is a part of the house that I use and see every day and I want it to be an area I enjoy.



I'd always assumed that this walkway through the first floor was a later addition to the house as the rooms surrounding it were newly modernised. But since working here I've discovered that the walls are actually mud bricks suggesting they're original or at least over 100 years old.



The floor was concrete decorated with brown ceramic tiles and carpet, but again I imagine that originally it had been floorboards. Most of the upstairs of No 19 has had its original floors removed over the years and replaced with concrete.



I was fortunate enough to be given a lot of original floorboards from my neighbour's house which I've used here by laying them down like floating floors onto thick batons that sit on the concrete. They're so heavy and solid that once in place and cut to size, they don't move at all and look like they've always been there.



At the beginning of this project when I decided to renovate this part of the upstairs, I though I'd just leave the corridor the way it was. I'd given it a new "old" floor and made the doors look a little more authentic so I felt my work was done.



However, like any renovation program, things start to evolve and your ideas suddenly have to evolve with them. For me this came when I discovered that the corridor wall needed stabilising and I opened it up to what is now going to be an upstairs living room.



Once I did this the light that came into this space from the living room, changed the whole feeling of the area. It suddenly looked larger and started to become a place I wanted to be, with the bedroom connected to the corridor and then through to the living room. An important part of this process was removing any signs of previous modernisation like 1980s plate glass doors etc.



After eliminating meters of old, and now disused, electrical cable from these walls, I realized that to get the corridor back to a state in which it looked good, would take a lot of work which there was no way around.



So I analysed what I needed to do to make it better and that involved looking up. The ceilings were potentially lovely as the thick beams that hold the house together cross overhead every meter, but in between them was just faded white insulation boards.



This is where I had to put my energy if I wanted this passage to look better. I'd already ordered the wrong wood for the new single bedroom floor (silly Nick - always double check!!!) and this kind of tongue and groove was ideal to use for a ceiling and would look pretty good, painted white, sitting between ancient beams.



This paid off as the wood not only looks a million times better than the insulation, but also adds another layer of warmth and calm to a much used area.



Overall the corridor took a lot of work and was disheartening in the way that much of this effort was more about redoing the damaged walls rather than purely improving the area. However, once I got close to the end, the floor was back down and the ceiling was in place, I suddenly felt the benefit.



A few years ago I bought a number of old school maps which probably spent decades hanging on classroom walls. These are pretty big and a few of them filled the spaces between the doorways of this corridor giving it a softer feel without having to endlessly hang pictures. I've used a light up globe as a nightlight, and the colours are all soft blues and greens with punchy brights dotted around.



The ceilings here are quite low so for the lighting I attached metal framed lanterns with inserts of reproduction ancient maps behind the glass panels which give a softer glow.



The walls are white uneven plaster like the walls you get in ancient Scottish castles. This type of finish fits in with the rest of the house and ties in with the texture of the huge whitewashed beams above.



I'd also extended the passage adding an archway and double doors at one end which will give access to a coffee and tea making area, and the bedrooms and bathrooms... but that's work that's still ongoing.



At this time of year it's dark and cold outside, but I'm looking forward to a day of sunshine to see how the area lights up with the new access to windows. Last night before going to bed I stood in this passage, midway between A & B and looked at this almost completed space... and I thought to myself how happy I was to be able to pause, breathe, and enjoy the journey ♥️

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I love the latest blog. So interesting to watch this home evolve. By the way, the maps on the walls are an awesome touch!

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Perfection! 🥰

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