God, this room feels like it’s been going on forever. I guess that’s the perils of trying to decorate in the weekends and evenings when you have loads of evening and weekend plans that don’t include decorating. We started work on the living room at the start of August and finished it mid September. Oooops.
Before the transformation it looked a bit like this;
That’s right, The walls were a pale yellow with old picture marks on the wallpaper and holes everywhere, the carpet was mucky and the curtains were interesting. Our furniture consisted of items that will be in Jim’s attic man cave – a futon and two lounge chairs that will sit up there for computer game playing, as well as a TV stand. We didn’t bring our old sofa’s so everything was makeshift (although those chairs are so comfy I’m be sad to see them go upstairs!)
Now, four and a half months after moving in, and following nearly six weeks of scraping wallpaper, waiting for the room to be plastered, staring at swatches of grey paint for weeks whilst we decided what to do, some painting, painting and even more painting, some polyfillering, then some waiting for carpets and the sofa’s to be delivered and a little last minute zhuzhing from me, we finally have a living room that we like.
More importantly we have one fully decorated, and almost finished room (just don’t tell Jim I said that – he thinks we’re done with it).
I have to say that the built in bookcases are maybe the biggest impact, after the walls of course. Painting them white from the cream that they were, painting the back of them dark grey and changing out the handles for the crystal ones I found in TK Maxx has done wonders. I love the dark grey – it seems to balance the dark fireplace. I’m still not entirely happy with the fireplace, what you might not be able to tell is that it’s a sort of questionable black, cream and red marble effect. I’m just not sure how to fix it at the moment.
We also still need to fill the shelves above the TV, but there are boxes upon boxes of books of mine at my parents though so I think we’ll be ok. Originally we’d planned to have the sky box, computer consoles and games and things up there but they are all in the cupboard below the TV so the shelves can be used for something else, more interesting!
I’m a bit in love with these little stack of Habitat side tables – It’s so nice to have more than one surface to use as I’m not confident putting wine glasses on the floor with our crazy dog! And those brown cushions you can just see there – they are Habitat too, My dad bought them in 1974 instead of chairs for his flat whilst doing his PHD. They’ve sat in the loft since – but we get them now. They are so comfy, and pretty awesome too!
One of my favourite bits of the room are these Cable and Cotton lights, they look great in the day, but stunning at night! But more to come about those another time.
One of the big challenges we faced was getting the curtain poles to fit the bay window. The pole we bought from Ikea came with pieces that meant to would have been too big, so I called in DIY Dad and we had a little Ikea hack to do. First we had to cut the poles down, luckily my dad has a pipe cutter so it was easy! Then, the bits that go round the corners are a spring in a rubber case, so we sliced some of the rubber off and carefully sandwiched the curtain pole under the rubber and around the spring so they fit the window! I also go him to put up the picture shelves too. He’s pretty useful like that!
Flash seems to have made himself at home, but what do you think?
What we’ve used – the walls below the picture rail are B&Q colours – Grey Hints. Above the picture rail and on the ceiling we used crown white. In the bookcases we used Homebase Colours – Slate. The picture ledge is from Ikea – the frames are a mix of art we already had and stuff we’ve bought for the room. The giant canvas above the fireplace is a DIY project. The sofa from Harvey’s. The big lamp in the corner is one we inherited from my brothers bar years ago, but you can find something similar here. The small lamp is from Litecraft. The 3 nesting side tables are from Habitat. And the magazine box is Ikea. The grey herringbone curtains are from Very. Curtain rail for bay windows is Ikea with a bit of a dad hack and dunelm curtain pole ends. The voiles are also Dunlem.