We've lived in our house for almost seven years, but we've only just created a room that we are completely satisfied with. I've never before felt the urge to share any photos from inside our house, but I've spent the past couple of weeks bombarding my Instagram followers with sneak peeks of our front room as we've been pulling everything together. There's still a few bits to sort out (we've bought frames but need to seek out the perfect prints for the walls), but they say that a room is never complete. So, here is a small tour of our new living room!
We've always had lodgers, and never felt the need to decorate our dark and dingy front room as a collection of friends and strangers resided in it up until recently. The fireplace wall was bright red, the carpet stained and the curtains dingy and black. But, after the room sat unused for a couple of months, slowly turning into a disused junk room, and I sat perched on the sofa with my laptop on my knee, we decided that we should transform the front room into our new living room / my work space.
The first task was to rip up the disgusting carpet and paint the walls. We must have used at least ten coats of white paint to cover up the persistent red shade. Then followed the grueling and deathly boring task of painting skirting boards, window frames and the ceiling. Finally, after a couple of weeks of painting on my days off, we had a blank canvas to work with!
One of my favourite features of the room is that it is the only room in the house with a fireplace. Now it's framed with white walls, the black mantelpiece and green tiles stand out as a feature piece of the room. It's not working at the moment, sadly (although that's something we might look into in the future), so we've placed a couple of candles in the grate for the time being. I'm still working towards styling the mantelpiece, but my peacock feathers are currently sat pride of place.
I'm a huge advocate of Mid-Century design, and knew that I wanted a teak sideboard to sit along one wall in the room. We tracked down the perfect piece of furniture at Failsworth Mill, reminiscent of a classic G-Plan design, and snapped up a couple of stylish coffee tables and a reproduction record cabinet on Gumtree. The beauty of buying second-hand furniture is that we managed to track down some great pieces that we'd never have been able to afford brand new - but nothing looks too dated!
Alongside our Mid-Century pieces, we found a corduroy three-seater sofa (also on Gumtree) that fits in with the loose Seventies theme, and I finally purchased my dream occasional chair from Ikea!
We were feeling a little green fingered and inspired by Urban Jungle Bloggers, so picked up a good selection of plants to place around the room. My cacti and trailing ivy (and their pots) are all from Ikea, the Mother-in-Laws-Tongue is from the local garden centre and the palm is a B&Q beauty - but I'm now keeping my eye out for ceramic and concrete pots and more plants to fill them with.
All of the other accessories are bits that we've had scattered around the rest of the home. A Kodak Brownie camera that Dave once bought me, my collection of Ernest Journals, a good amount of candles and tealight holders, various ornaments, and a selection of my favourite coffee table books and magazines displayed upon shelves.
There's also a fair amount of good old DIY and hand-crafted pieces if you look carefully. Dave has just started his own business selling handmade furniture, lighting and accessories with an industrial edge, and he created several items to fit in with our new room. The copper shelves, copper curtain rail and copper door handle (can you guess what my favourite metal is?) were all made by Dave, and he also built my desk and shelves in the alcove in between the window and the fireplace.
Colour-wise, we've chosen to bring out the tiles on the fireplace by opting for green as our highlight colour. Mixed in with all of the teak furniture, the white walls, copper accents, and grey and black base tones, we've created a room that I like to think nods towards Seventies styling whilst remaining contemporary.
It's hard to pick out my favourite items in the room, as I start reeling off a huge list, but there are a few pieces that I'm especially happy with. Dave bought me a stylish lamp shade for Christmas, and he installed it with a new copper ceiling rose and a large retro-style bulb. My Ikea chair is the perfect place to snuggle up with a blanket and a good book, my feet warm and cosy in my Mahabis slippers. And I really love that I have a designated space to work from.
Head over to Instagram to see more photos from inside our new lounge. And, hopefully, we'll eventually get the rest of the house sorted out so I can share more photos.
All photos are my own.