As soon as the days started getting darker we realised that they soft Grey we have on the walls in our hallway really wasn't cutting it. The lack of natural light in that section really means that any colour on the walls is going to look duller than it really is, so Grey was of course looking pretty drab! We decided we needed a new colour to give the hallway a bit of life. So it was down to choosing between an olive Green and a moody aubergine. LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE!

First I ordered sample pots of my two choices from Designerpaint. I was debating between an olive Green (Citrine from Little Green) or a lovely moody aubergine (Pelt from Farrow & Ball).

Here's a bit of colour inspiration behind these choices.

I took my own advice on testing paint colours and painted two A4 pieces of paper so that I could move them around the sections of the hallway and see how they faired in differing light conditions. Of course I was being impatient and knew I had a few precious moments of hubby's actual interest in what I was doing so I had to act fast, therefore I only did one coat of paint. I wouldn't advise this, you need two! But I was rushing (as usual)...

farrow & Ball pelt
Farrow and Ball purple paint
painting hallway

The first test

How did the colours look with the existing finishes and accessories?

Pelt looked great with our faux bamboo plant from Ikea, and really accentuated the brass finishes...

testing new paint colour ideas

Citrine not so much. It made the faux plant look REALLY faux! But on the plus side it too worked nicely with the brass. Maybe not quite as nicely but close.

testing out new paint colour ideas

Pelt 1 - Citrine 0

*Notice the yellowy light that's occurring in the photos... I'll get to that in a minute but it's important!*

The second test

Next I tried out the options against one of the main pieces of artwork in our hallway. Our other pieces have a similar palette of soft yellows, pinks, black and white, so this was a good tester.

olive green walls

Arrrgh tough one, I think this is a tie. They both looked good an accentuated the artwork in different ways. One point each.

Pelt 2 - Citrine 1

The third test

This was against the existing turquoise door colour. I'm not opposed to this being changed to fit whatever colour we end up going with, but if it's one less thing to worry about doing, then great!

testing paint colours

No brainer - Pelt gets it!

Pelt 3 - Citrine 1

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The fourth test

This was against our recently sanded, stained and varnished floors and the adjacent carpet. Would one colour beat the other?

testing paint colours

Again I don't think there was a clear winner, both worked well!

Pelt 4 - Citrine 2

The final test

This one was about tuning into everything I've learnt about interior design, lighting and spaces. Unfortunately, even thought Pelt was the clear winner from the tests the most important test of all was whether it would work in the size of the space with the lighting that currently exists, and the answer, sadly, was no. Even thought I love dark walls and am always willing to try stuff out that 'shouldn't' work, in this case I had to listen to logic (and my husband) and just accept that pelt is too dark for this small space that barely gets any natural light. 


I actually love the colour. I wish I could use it somewhere but I just don't think this hallway is the right space, sadly. Anyone care to let me redo a room for them in Pelt?! Go on.. you know you want to!

The outcome

The outcome of this whole experiment has been two things. Firstly I've realised the lighting situation is worse than I thought and needs to be taken care of with more priority than changing wall colour. I think we need some LED strips on top of our picture rail to uplight the ceiling area, and at least one or two small table lamps on the sideboard and on a side table in the corner (which I'll need to get). 

cow art
grey hallway

Alse, clearly that rug doesn't go with anything there at the moment and will need to go in the future. I might swap it in for the black and white polka dot rug that we used to have in the bedroom (but hubby is not so keen). 

polka dot rug

The perfect choice would be this Merida Rug from Made.com. It's the right colour palette to go with our artwork and also it has a really original Art Deco feel, perfect for our flat. Think we'll be saving to get this one!

Anyway I digress. I was left wondering if we should just stick with the Grey and perhaps going a shade darker to give it more depth? For once I'm so confused!

What do you think? Which colour would you go for, or would you suggest something TOTALLY different?! Share your opinion below... help a sista out!

S x

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