This stunning DIY hallway transformation is full of Victorian charm

Annika and Rach Overton-Hope transformed their fusty carpeted hallway into a Victorian dream, befitting their elegant home

victorian hallway after with original tiles and black cat
(Image credit: Annika and Rach Overton-Hope)

If you love Victorian hallways as much as we do then you're going to adore this hallway makeover. A combination of hard work, a few lucky discoveries and heaps of vision helped Annika and Rach Overton-Hope transform what was a drab and dated hall into a stunning entrance for their home.

From original floor tiles to the perfect colour combinations, the couple combined lots of period hallway ideas which are sure to inspire. 

annika and rach overton-hope

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

Stunning Victorian hallway renovation

Hallways are one of the most beloved features of a Victorian home. Characterised by stunning hallway tiles, generous proportions and light flooding in through the stained glass front door – when done correctly it can make for a stunning entrance to a home.

This was the dream that Annika and Rach Overton-Hope of @VictorianAdventure envisaged when they first stepped into their 1875 Victorian semi-detached home. However, the reality was quite different. The hallway was quite a dark space and where there should be tiles was a drab and worn carpet.

'The house had been renovated in the 1960s, but over the last 60 years everything had just fallen apart,' says Annika. 'We weren’t looking for a project house, but as soon as we walked in the front door we knew that we weren’t about to let go of it.'

victorian hallway viewed from living room

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

Hallway before

victorian hallway before with carpet

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

When the couple first moved in, the hallway was high on the list of priorities. However, it was also one of the most challenging. 'We both work full-time, and a hallway isn’t like a singular room that you can close the door to and contain the mess. We started in November 2019 and for over six months everywhere was just covered in dust. I would get to work and the shoulders of my suit jacket would be filthy where I’d touched a wall on the way out of the house,' says Annika.

close up of victorian hallway tiles during restoration

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

However, a lucky discovery would more than makeup for the months of dirt and dust.

'After we moved in we visited our neighbours, who opened the door and revealed that they had stunning original Victorian tiles throughout their hall. However, they said the previous owners told them that ours were covered in concrete so we never got our hopes up,' says Annika. 'We lifted the edge of the carpet to peak and discovered that we did in fact have some floor tiles, but we didn't get our hopes up.'

spindle before

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

Hallway after

When the couple removed the carpet, they discovered that they did in fact have the same beautiful hallway flooring, but the tiles were in bad shape. 'Rach was convinced that they were unsalvageable, but we researched online and bought a special cleaning fluid – Lithofin KF Tile Restorer on Amazon – that doesn’t damage Victorian tiles,' says Annika.

'I did a patch test and the results were incredible. They have only had one full clean all the way down the length of the hall, which took me a weekend on hands and knees with a ventilator mask. We are yet to replace the damaged tiles, secure the loose ones, do a final clean and seal them all, but we’ve discovered that Victorian tile restoration is a slow game.'

If you're facing a similar renovation challenge, then learning how to clean a Victorian tiled floor is a good place to start.

victorian hallway after with original tiles and black cat

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

The original features were one of the qualities that drew Annika and Rach to the house in the first place and the couple took their time in order to preserve them. 'I’m not sure how you could buy a period property and not want to keep the original features – they are what make it so unique,' says Annika.

completed victorian hall tile restoration

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

Though often overlooked, bannister ideas play an important role in the overall look and feel of the hallway.

spindle after

(Image credit: Rach and Annika Overton-Hope)

'The staircase spindles took Rach months to individually hand sand, fill, stabilise, prime and paint. So many people asked us why we didn’t just rip them out and install new ones but I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse. Those spindles are 145 years old, they have witnessed two World Wars and the invention of the light bulb – we just couldn’t do it,' says Annika.

Holly Reaney
Content Editor

Holly is one of Ideal Home’s content editors. Starting her career in 2018 as a feature writer and sub-editor for Period Living magazine, she has continued this role also adding regular features for Country Homes & Interiors and the Ideal Home website to her roster.  Holly has a passion for traditional and country-inspired interiors – especially kitchen design – and is happiest when exploring the countryside and hills of the Lake District. A keen gardener, she is a strong believer that you can never have too many houseplants.