Before & After: Our Living Room
In May 2016, my husband Steve and I completed on the purchase of our new 1930's 5-bedroom house in a countryside village on the outskirts of Manchester. We loved the house as soon as we saw it, with it's gorgeous original features, such as stained glass doors and windows, wooden floorboards and picture rails, big airy rooms and large garden.
As with a lot of houses, there was work to be done but a lot of this was painting and decorating, as the current style when we bought it was really plain and not really to our tastes. The house was pretty much all white or cream with no colour, there was a lot of pine and we wanted to give it a good refresh in general.
We decided to spend 6 weeks decorating it before we moved in, as we thought it would be a lot easier without all of our belongings in the house, and my husband Steve, who was in between jobs, took the day shifts and then I joined him after work each day. What should have felt like hard work was pretty exciting and I loved finishing work, donning my overalls and picking up a paint brush! It was exciting seeing the house evolve into our style and some colour begin to grace the walls.
The first room we tackled was the living room, as we knew it would be great to have this finished so that when we moved in we had a nice room to relax in each evening. When we viewed the house, this room had lovely light with the big bay window at the front and we wanted to keep this brightness by choosing warm colours.
Before we even got the keys, we decided that we wanted to decorate this room in grey, yellow and blue. I really like the combination of grey and yellow, and blue just blends with the two colours so well, and we felt like this would give the warm feel to the room and it was light enough not to darken the natural light.
Our first job before we even set to work painting was to give the whole room a good clean. We sugar soaped the walls, removed the mould around the windows and gave the glass a thorough clean and then primed all the woodwork. The stained glass window that features in the living room had a pine surround which we just felt looked so dated so we primed that too.
The wall light was not to our taste so we removed that and then took away the speaker brackets on either side of the bay window that were big, black and not pleasing at all to the eye!
After all of that was done, it was time to get on with the fun bit - painting! Now, I hate painting ceilings but I really do think that it makes a big difference when there is a fresh coat of paint and it instantly makes the room brighter.
We chose Dulux White Cotton for the ceiling and above the picture rails, which has a slightly off-white greyish tint to it. For the walls and inside the fireplace we chose another Dulux paint, Warm Pewter, which is a bluey grey and for the woodwork, Crown Period Collection's Sunday School. The stained glass door frame, as with all of the downstairs doors in our house, was painted in Farrow & Ball's Down Pipe. We chose a dark colour as we thought it would enhance the stained glass and really make it shine and it does just that!
The ceiling light is Habitat's Aerial yellow metal ceiling light and the wall light is Kartell for John Lewis E wall light in rose and we chose both of these fittings for their retro feel. You may have noticed yellow in the ceiling light but it may have crossed your minds where else yellow is going to come into the room? Well, if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my love of wallpaper and especially tropical inspired feature walls of pineapples and palm trees. This is the first room in the house that we put wallpaper up in and it's a good one - Matthew Williamson's Tropicana wallpaper in Metallic Silver and Yellow.
And that was the living room finished! Here are some shots of how I've styled the room with our belongings - we went for a modern look with elements of retro and moroccan inspired furnishings along with some of our favourite music artwork.
Even though this is the first room we decorated in our new house, it's still one of our favourites and we love spending evenings in here watching a good boxset in front of the log burner with a cocktail.
How YOU can decorate a room like this:
CEILING PAINT: Dulux White Cotton Matt Emulsion
WALL PAINT: Dulux Warm Pewter Matt Emulsion
WOODWORK & WINDOW PAINT: Crown Period Collection Sunday School Eggshell
DOOR PAINT: Farrow & Ball Down Pipe No.26 Estate Eggshell
CEILING LIGHT: Habitat Aerial Yellow Metal Ceiling Light
WALL LIGHT: Kartell for John Lewis E Wall Light in Rose