Almost 3 months since my post discussing the ‘great decorating project’ and finding the perfect shade of grey for the job, I figured it was time to share the fruits of our labour with you.
I’ve been waiting and waiting because it’s still not finished. The work itself was finished within about 2 weeks, which might seem a long time, but we refitted all the picture rails and installed architrave around the knocked through archway that we did when we moved in. That was a lot of woodwork to prime and paint, never mind the rest. We also had new carpet fitted which added a little more time.
So in that respect it’s finished. We’ve also added a few pieces that I’m quite proud of, new light fittings which I’m really pleased with, a film-set style lamp and a hide rug, now simply known as ‘the cow’ in our house.
What I haven’t finished are the tiny finishing touches that make a room. All the recent series I’ve done on grey with accent colours has been inspiring me to add a few flashes of colour and I’ve found a few bits but I need to actually follow through and buy them. Add to that a lot of weekends away and a ridiculous amount of day time work and I just haven’t gotten around to finishing up. But that could take forever, so I thought I’d jut get on and share the ‘after’ with you all aready.
First up, the befores….
I guess some of you would be thinking that you quite liked it before, it certainly wasn’t a fixer-upper, but the red damask wallpaper felt old to me now. My tastes have changed and although it worked well with the house, I wanted a more grown up take on it 5 years after moving in.
As I’m writing this, it’s turning into a massive post so I’m going to divide up the ‘big reveal’ and start with the lounge. It’s the less exciting of the two but I’m pretty pleased with it all the same and the images illustrate some of the more basic but nonetheless important changes.
We didn’t change that much in the lounge, because it really would have been change for the sake of changing. I liked the muted tones of the room, which although not normally my style at all was always very calming when I wanted to just relax on the sofa. We also had to work with existing furnishings, the hessian textured sofa and a chair we have that is in an almost chenille woven fabric that can look chocolate brown, but is shot through with royal blue. The cushions are also blue/brown and the blinds are similar neutral hessian look material with a blue/brown trim.
Because of all this although I wanted grey, it had to be a softer grey and had to tone with the existing furniture. Whilst it would be nice to start again, I’m guessing the majority of you have to do what I did and work with what you have. That, and I wouldn’t swap my sofa for anything! We decided to choose the paint around it toning with the sofa, and after pinning up swatches on every single wall – the light was so different on all of them and made the shades vary from blue-grey to lilac-grey to beige-grey, we went for the one that worked best with it and elsewhere.
We also chose to go with 2 shades of grey, one above the picture rail and one below, giving a subtle reverse ombre effect rising towards the white ceiling. The last paint effect was a slightly unusual choice, we decided to pick out the relief on one row of our original plasterwork coving. I’m really pleased we did as although it’s subtle, it stands out and makes more of a feature of the plasterwork.
The other major thing we did was re-instating the picture rail. We had to go next door and measure their (original) railing to make sure we got it to the right height and the one room took the best part of the day (between my Step-Dad and Pete.) I’m so pleased we did it though, the bright white really stands out against the grey paint and adds to it, giving so much more character to the room and keeping it fresh.
The last addition was our carpet, a loop weave in dove grey. It has subtle flecks, doesn’t show up the cats hair everywhere and works perfectly with the walls and darker wood IKEA TV unit and side table.
The rest of the room despite being the one with the least change over all is the least finished. Although we had intended to move them to the other room, we kept the prints above the sofa as they were, they just looked right and we love them. Currently obsessing over ceramics meant I also kept my old vases, bought in Debenhams home before we even moved here. I’m also loving the addition of mixed metallics so Mum polished up this brass thai budda that has been lacking in love recently and we gave it a prominent place on the shelf alongside my myriad home and garden books.
It’s the fireplace that is so lacking in attention really, previously with a picture over it, I was planning on buying this mirror and still might, but we’re also debating a picture instead. I also want to add a picture shelf to display books on behind the club chair and find a cushion (I’ve already sent one back!) that is neutral but with a splash of colour, I’m thinking neon pink… In the meantime, it’s just a few bits I’ve picked up stopping the mantlepiece look empty!
Next week I’ll share my favourite room with you, the dining room, which I am so proud of
Do let me know if you have any ideas for the mantlepiece!