Living room makeover - Part II - features
As you may have read in the first part of our living room transformation, we did quite a bit to the space, so I thought it best to break up the posts up a bit! This time, I thought I'd focus in on the fixed features of the room - the backdrop to the furniture & accessories....
One of the biggest changes to the room was definitely the floor. Below is the 'before' shot again so you can see the carpet that covered the entire room before. It was old, worn, saggy and smelt!
We decided we wanted the living room flooring to be a big feature in the house, so while it wasn't cheap it will be there for a long time and hopefully should only get better with age. I did consider reclaimed parquet, but after reading up on it, it sounded like it might be a nightmare as the old glue is usually left on the planks, making it more difficult to re-lay. We decided to go for oak parquet made to order, that had a bit of a distressed look in a paler shade of wood. We used a local company to lay it, Surrey Wood Flooring, who sadly, I was quite disappointed with. They started off well, but when it looked like the job was over running, they suddenly sped up and rushed through the finishing. The beading around the edges was terrible (I had it redone, but still a lot of it came away from the skirtings and we've had to re-stick it ourselves.) Anyway, I won't bore you with my complaints, but it's just very frustrating when you spend so much on something only to have lazy workmanship isn't it? Overall, I'm pleased with the floor, but it's those little details that I'm sure no-one else will notice, but I know they are there!
We decided to add an extra radiator in the room as well as replacing one of the old ones. We added this one under the window from Castrads. This is their Grace 6 Column model. Their radiators come in over 60 finishes, including Farrow and Ball and Little Greene colours. We opted for Farrow and Ball in Off Black - it's just gorgeous. It probably sounds weird, but I feel cast iron radiators give a room a bit more credibility, as if it's a bit more grown up.... is that just me?!
At some point the room was two separate rooms, so there is actually two fireplaces in it. We gave both of these a bit of a facelift. I really wish I had a before shot before we painted the walls - the chimney breasts were gold and the rest of the walls dark navy, but you can see how the old tiles looked at least in the before & after above. I repainted the fireplace surrounds in Farrow and Ball Off Black, the same as the radiators to tie these together. It's a really dark navy and is less heavy looking than the previous black paint. Their paint is so lovely to work with I find - easy to apply and gives a beautiful finish. We then replaced the fireplace tiles with these amazing Bert and May glazed tiles. I'm SO in love with them! They look great against the parquet. Below is the other fireplace....
On the wall behind the sofa we put up some Ikea picture ledges. I decided I wanted to be able to change the display here. For example if I change the cushions on the sofa, and could change the display accordingly. It's a really easy way to update the look if I feel like it.
I'm totally in love with this pouffe from Swoon Editions. Would you believe I actually ordered it when I was in hospital in January! I found internet shopping was the best way to distract myself from my nerves about the imminent surgery. I also knew that Swoon Editions don't have items in stock for long so I HAD to snap it up! They don't have them anymore, but it's worth keeping an eye out as they sometimes get items back in stock....
The final addition to the room was some alcove shelving. Our new favourite thing is going to Homebase and getting wood cut to size! ha! Such a handy free service, and saves us a job! So I think these shelves cost us about £10, and I'm really loving their simplicity. I'm trying to keep them uncluttered in my quest for a more pared back look.
So that's that. In the final post I will be showing you the last corner of the room which is Ruby's little play area which we are just finishing off at the moment. Stay tuned!
**Thanks goes to Castrads, Farrow and Ball and Bert and May for helping out with our makeover.""
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