At Home with our Modern Range: Ruthie Matthews

At Home with our Modern Range: Ruthie Matthews

16 July 2023

Walls: Oval Room Blue No.85 in Modern Emulsion | Image: Design Soda

The hallway is a place that, done well, can combine beauty and functionality better than almost anywhere else in the home. As the space that welcomes guests and loved ones, we want it to be a place of invitation and intrigue; as the space that sees more than its fair share of muddy boots, dripping umbrellas, and flung school bags, it also needs to be as hardy as they come.

Ruthie Matthews (@Design_Soda_Ruthie) knows this better than most. That’s why she opted for the super-tough combination of Modern Emulsion and Modern Eggshell in her hallway, landing and stairs, and we’re head over heels for the results.

Formerly a place of “mushroom-coloured blandness”, the entrance hall is now cloaked in Oval Room Blue, a luxurious-feeling shade that shifts between blue and grey over the course of the day. Taken across multiple surfaces, it adds a pop of personality to the walls without drawing the eye immediately to the radiator cover.

On her choice of colour, Ruthie says: “The previous owners of our house definitely adhered to the idea that narrow and dark spaces require light colours to bring in more light, so they brought on the tins of mushroom hues. It didn’t work. The look wasn’t in any way offensive, but it wasn’t in any way inviting either.

“I chose this shade because it’s slightly darker than many of the hues that sit between green and blue that I am forever attracted to. But I also chose it because I think it’s a sociable colour, an inviting one, maybe even a disarming one.”

Image: Design Soda

Another of the hallway’s star features (and there are many to choose from) is the staircase. Any set of stairs is bound to see a lot of footfall, so when it came to transforming hers, Ruthie turned to one of our most hardwearing finishes: Modern Eggshell.

So well-suited to the task that we once sold it under the name of Floor Paint, Modern Eggshell has since been renamed to reflect its myriad of uses, but it’s certainly still tough enough to be used on wood and concrete floors throughout the home.

For her stairs, Ruthie chose fresh All White and the softer Shaded White, using the darker shade to create a faux runner up the centre of the staircase. Eye-catching, stylish, and more durable than a carpet runner, this is a trick that ticks all the boxes.

“The paint you choose really matters and investing in a high-quality paint brand is a no-brainer for me.”

“The paint you choose really matters and investing in a high-quality paint brand is a no-brainer for me,” says Ruthie in her post on DIYing painted floors. “In fact, of the four floors I’ve painted over the last decade I’ve never trusted anybody else – I know that Farrow & Ball paint is durable, but I also love the colour options you get.”

Finally, there’s the landing. Sitting atop the beautifully painted stairs, it creates an important transitional space between upstairs and downstairs – but until recently, something about it wasn’t sitting quite right with Ruthie.

Walls: Blackened No.2011 in Modern Emulsion

To create flow between the landing and the rooms leading off it, Ruthie chose Blackened – which she calls “a lovely pastel-like, whispered shade of grey” – from our cool-toned Architectural Neutrals group. With its beautifully matt finish, Modern Emulsion fits effortlessly with the period features and proportions of Ruthie’s Victorian home while secretly boasting a tough, scuff-proof finish, so important in stairways and corridors.

“I’m always so surprised by what a transformation a lick of paint can make.”

The result is a hard-wearing, hard-working space, but one with a discernibly relaxed feel, thanks to Ruthie’s artfully chosen neutral palette and flair for accessorising.

“I’m always so surprised by what a transformation a lick of paint can make to a space, and I absolutely adore Blackened,” says Ruthie – and we couldn’t agree more.

Get the look

To recreate Ruthie’s look, pair these elegant shades with our hardwearing Modern finishes – washable, durable Modern Emulsion for interior walls and ceilings, and super-tough Modern Eggshell for interior wood, metal, and concrete.

A winner for every room

Modern Emulsion isn't just a hard-wearing choice for hallways. Find out what it can do for your home's most demanding spaces, including kitchens, bathrooms and kids' rooms.

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