How to create two rooms in a kitchen/diner
I’m the sort of person that when they get an idea in their head, they don’t really stop thinking about it until that very idea is in progress. Are any of you with me on this? I think it most definitely runs in the family as my sister is exactly the same. Bees and Bonnets are very much our best mates.
Rewind a few months (can I get a rewind… sorry) and this was me with our kitchen. In our kitchen, we have a dining area which is where my hubby Steve and I *mostly* (*read on) eat our meals. We have a separate dining room but we only sit in there on fancy occasions, like when friends come to stay, Christmas, family Sunday roasts etc. I love our dining room but it feels a bit posh for us to sit in there eating a baked potato and beans at lunch. I’d also be tempted to get behind the boat and start mixing up a cocktail or two and then I’d never make it back upstairs to my desk to work would I?
So back to our kitchen. We revamped the space quite a bit when we moved into the house by having the kitchen units sprayed dark grey, with the doors and windows to match, and also painted the whole space in a light grey. You can read more about that here. I was happy with the overall look but something kept niggling at me. Come lunch or dinner, Steve and I often said to each other ‘shall we eat on the sofa?’ instead of sitting at the table, which we all know is the right thing to do. It’s more sociable, you focus on your food and most importantly, you minimise the risk of spilling beans off your baked potato down your top.
Being the over-thinker I am, I considered why this was (other than wanting to get through as many episodes of Suits as possible in a day) and came to the conclusion that the dining part of the kitchen was just a bit boring and wasn’t appealing enough to want to spend hard earned lunch breaks and post-work time in. It was time to get the paint brush out and bring a bit of pattern into the space. I mean, it was the only room in the house without wallpaper (apart from Steve’s office but that’s not really a room I go in so doesn’t count) so it was only a matter of time.
Luckily for me, Manchester based British paint manufacturer Little Greene got in touch with me about working together so it was perfect timing. I love Little Greene - our front door is painted in their Mister David bright yellow - so I was excited to work with them and fortunately spotted some wallpaper I knew was for us right away! So, here is what we did to create two spaces in one room…
PAINTED THE SPACE A DIFFERENT COLOUR
I knew I wanted to make the dining part of the kitchen feel more intimate and I think going a darker colour is a perfect way to do this. It creates warmth, especially in the evenings, and has immediately made the space feel so different to the other lighter adjoining room. I chose Little Greene’s Air Force Blue, which is a dark blue with hints of teal and turquoise, and it is a really rich colour. It’s a bold statement to make but I honestly think that Little Greene is the best paint we’ve ever used. Our front door paint went on brilliantly and this was the same and only took two coats for great coverage. This paint was also the ideal match to the wallpaper we chose to create a feature wall, which leads me onto…
CREATED A FEATURE WALL
We all know I love a bit of pattern as much as I love a pop of colour. This is mostly what was lacking in this room for me - it was too plain! I never walked into the kitchen thinking ‘I love being in here’ and that’s what you want to feel when you walk into any room in your home. But, now I do! Infact, I’ve literally just walked out of there, in between writing this blog post, and gazed lovingly at our brand spanking new pretty wallpaper.
We chose to create a feature wall with Little Green’s Great Ormond Street Tropical wallpaper and I love it! I really, really do. It has a vintage feel, whilst also being very modern, and having birds printed onto the wall in a room which looks out onto the garden is rather lovely.
RE-PURPOSED WHAT WE ALREADY HAD
We already had some open shelves on the wall in the kitchen but they never really stood out on the plain light grey wall. Next to the pattern, they really pop. I have of course re-styled these, getting rid of any glass jars I no longer liked and re-shuffling my beloved Orla Kiely and Hemingway design nic-nacs.
I also re-organised our cookbooks, and only included the ones we use the most, and the bookshelf looks much neater and less like I’ve flung books at it. Oddly, our ‘Proper Northern’ print, which is my husband’s design, matches the paint pretty perfectly and we’re added some more pops of colour with bright postcards on our Ikea pegboard.
I’ve kept the table simple. Alongside our treasured House of Hackney palmeral placemats, which were a wedding gift, I dug out an old vintage style glass jar vase and filled it with some bright yellow sunflowers - simple, cheap but a great way to add more colour to a room and make it feel welcoming right away.
Since we’ve decorated the space, we’ve eaten in here at both lunch and dinner every day we’ve been at home and we really are enjoying our lovely kitchen diner space. Although, I can’t say I’ll never again venture to the sofa with my baked spud for a quick Suits fix…
*This post was in collaboration with Little Greene and I received the paint and wallpaper as gifts. As always, I only ever work with brands I love and want to showcase on this blog!*