FINALLY I can share with you in full the newest and I pray, long lasting version of the living room. Crikey it’s taken longer than anticipated!
Some of you may have read the last blog I wrote about this room, at that time I was in a pretty awful state of interior affairs…
You can read lots more about that nightmare here. Let me sum it up in a few pictures for you…
Initially I went dark and was really pleased with it…
But then it all went wrong when I bought the same paint to do a third coat and that paint, despite being matt emulsion, was actually shiny like gloss. I didn’t realise this until after I had painted almost the entire room. Long story short, utterly ruined. Read Living Room Update – From almost finished to totally undone for the nitty gritty details.
Look how shiny that ceiling is!!
To make myself feel better, whilst waiting for some kind of compensation/ resolution, I decided to have the ceiling skimmed, to banish the glorious Artex.
This all coincided with the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced in Cornwall and, as we couldn’t light the fire for a while (our main source of heat) because of the ceiling being done, with it getting down to -1 inside at one point, it was a pretty depressing time if I’m honest.
The snow was pretty though…
But, onwards and upwards. I initially tried to find a similar colour, as I had liked the dark contrast, but this proved very difficult. It had to be Farrow&Ball, the paint was being supplied by B&Q as compensation for the awful Valspar paint, but all their ‘similar’ colours just came up wrong in the room.
My lovely friend Rachel came over to help me figure things out, as I was starting to lose the plot, we decided to paint an area white, to stop the original colour having such an effect on the testers. This small area of white turned into painting the entire room and before I knew it (painting with a friend to talk to is SO so much better than a solo slog) the whole room was a blank, if somewhat patchy canvas.
This white canvas confirmed two things for me –
1. Despite my love affair with white walls, this room just doesn’t suit an all white background. It makes it feel like a space full of objects, everything an individual, nothing pulling together to create an overall harmonious style.
2. I did want to go lighter again and I was being drawn to greens.
After many Khaki/ Sludge disappointments, the light in this room seemed to turn all F&B greens bad, I had one last attempt at getting it right – my next move being to just sell the house and run away into the wilderness forever more. Funnily enough, it was a colour Stu had said he liked weeks before, but I had immediately discounted it at the time, because of it’s name – Oval Room Blue.
I didn’t want a blue room.
But actually it was perfect, not really blue at all in this room, just the perfect pale green I had wanted.
A new plan was born and I could feel hope coming back again…
I’m completely in love with this angle, the colours all tie together really well and I’m so pleased I went with the white wall, as the contrast with the prints is just what I wanted. I was mindful that I didn’t want a feature wall feel with the Oval Room Blue, but equally I didn’t want the prints on a coloured wall either. I feel this split colour helps the space blend seamlessly into the extension. Before, with the dark paint, it felt like a completely separate box, away from the rest of the downstairs.
This wall needed something, but initially I wasn’t sure what. Previously we’d had the 2 seater version of the IKEA Stocksund Sofa, which always felt like a bit of a silly size, it backed onto this wall and the room felt disjointed. With my impulse eBay purchase of the 3 seater version (a bargainous £200) and a new position, this left a void to fill.
I have a love/hate relationship with shelves, more often than not they attract useless clutter and certain people within the family don’t understand that they are not the place for discarded apple cores and piles of loose change. However, I stumbled upon these vintage ones on eBay, they’re a take on String Shelving, but not official. They needed a respray when they arrived, but I think they fit the space perfectly. Thus far they haven’t been taken over by anyone else either. In spaces that aren’t huge, having furniture that is on the wall, as opposed to stood in the floor can make such a difference. It can work with leggy furniture too, if you see the continuation of the floor underneath it gives the illusion of more space. This is a trick I use in every room in the house.
The curtain, which I made from a dust sheet, offers some privacy, as well as blocking out the glare of the sun, when you just want to get away from it. You can read lots more about how I made it here.
I challenged Stu to find me a way of spanning the entire opening, without needed middle support for the pole, or by using curtain track. His solution? An old handrail he just happened to have stashed away in the garage. It sanded up beautifully and due to it’s thickness, happily spans the 3 metre opening. This means the curtain can freely move from left to right, be gathered either side and be used as a panel to block the sun in a specific place.
The Ercol sideboard fits beautifully here, housing all the ugly TV bits and bobs. When we’re not watching the television I pop a few prints in front of it, as it’s such a ugly focal point otherwise. Nope, I STILL haven’t haven’t colour matched the new knobs. I’ll be honest, it may never happen!!
We hang washing to dry above the wood burner, so the rack Stu made is in constant use.
I knew I wanted some form of candle sconce and I really love this Ferm Living one, with it’s mottled mirror. Stu, however, is not a fan. Add in the fact that from where he sits on the sofa it reflects the Sofia Bonati Sasha print which he also doesn’t like, making it look like some kind of shrine to her when the candle is lit, it’s safe to say it isn’t his cup of tea. But hey, good job I get the last say really isn’t it.
This Plan Toys Slide n Go Doll’s house was a gift and it’s one of my favourite things on the shelves. The girls take it down to play with, but it gets tidied away to here. I love it’s simplicity and the pale tone of the wood.
This mirror was a lucky £8 vintage find, it’s completely lovely and previously lived in our bedroom, but I felt it should be seen more often, so it joined the gallery wall.
One of my favourite details in this room is the vintage bird embroidery, found in a Charity Shop for £1. I just adore it, the effort someone went to creating it, it’s lovely simple wooden frame and the fact it has nonreflective glass. Perfect.
It’s a really comfortable and relaxing room now, all the trauma it has caused is almost forgotten and sat here, admiring the sun streaming in, the birds chattering in the garden, I am almost thankful Paintgate did happen, otherwise I’m not sure if I ever would have ended up where we are now.
The majority of the picture frames we have in the house are the Habitat Ontario in oak, they’re totally beautiful and great value.
☆In the interest of honesty I think I should mention the fact that 1 print on the wall in the living room is actually still in the celophane, it was temporarily stuck up quite some time ago, until I bought a new frame and there it has stayed. I am yet to order the frame, despite it taking all of 5 minutes to do!