Monday, 15 August 2011

Living Room Lovin'

Oh for goodness sake, its weeks and weeks since I posted, if anyone's counting. In that time, our tiny punk has started crawling, FAST. We have realised our home is full of danger to tiny hands. And we've edged ever closer to our big day, bit by bit, getting things done. But I digress, you don't come here for that, you come here for colour and pattern. Here's some.

With babies, weddings and life, our living room has slowly slowly been changing in the last 18 months, when we moved in it was a riotous combination of flame red and lemon yellow. Not a combo I adored (can you recall the colours in the master bedroom to begin with? This was not a magnolia house people).

Pic from estate agents details of house.

Tidy enough I know, but not really our thing at all. The first thing I felt when we moved in was that the room had no focus, they had their TV in the middle of the room, and that was not my plan, and anyway, I don't love having the TV as a focus. We were in a Victorian living room, and someone had stolen the fireplace. The non-existent fireplace was the elephant in the room, it needed replacing.

So we got Wimbledon Fireplaces in, who knocked a hole in the wall and confirmed that there was indeed a fireplace in there, and it was possible to add a new gas fire to it. Of course a real fire is preferable, and if we had the whole house, and the fireplace was on the ground floor, I would have considered it. But the idea of lugging fuel up the stairs, and a cold house if we ran out (bearing in mind the tiny punk was born in October), meant we went for a gas fire, and I have no regrets.

Pouf by Donna Wilson at SCP, boy by me

We went for a traditional tile surround, but I took a leaf (i.e. stole the idea) from an image I'd seen of Orla Kiely's fireplace. Tiles this shape and size aren't sold in shops, so I had to order a whole bunch of sample square tiles in order to get enough multi-coloured tiles - I'd have had to have bought the single colours in bulk otherwise, and cut them to size myself. I had the fireplace fitters slide them into place according to my planned order, and then I grouted them. I'm still very pleased with the effect.

The red and yellow walls gave way to my favourite shades of sludge or Farrow & Ball's 'Clunch' anyway. And if you can stop looking at the cute punk in the foreground, my Dad built and fitted new bookshelves for the alcoves, plus a low cupboard for TV etc. (Getting doors for cupboard this week, woop woop - was not a priority until small hands started investigating).

The next step was to get curtains, we had a rather chilly first Christmas with only white voiles on the large windows, but our fairy godparents descended in the new year in the form of Sue Foster Interiors. I had chosen beautiful linen curtains from the Manderley range by Romo, and on a chilly January morning, the marvellous Chris turned up and put up new tracks and new curtains, done by 10am. It's such a treat to invest in beautiful fabric, and, especially as I talk about it and look at fabric all the time, it felt like such a risk to choose just one that I would live with for a long time. I'm sitting here beside them now, 8 months later, and can honestly say they are still fabulous. I haven't been able to take a picture of them closed that would do them justice, so you'll have to look at this image to understand the beauty.

Adelphine in Cactus from the Manderley range by Romo

And here are a few more images, showing hold-backs that I made from the offcuts.

If you think the curtains are maybe a touch short, that's my own pre-Christmas-baby-brain-I-can-do-this-measuring-lark-myself fault, but I don't mind, it means they don't collect dust.

As I couldn't decide on just one fabric, I also bought a length of another pattern from the same range from Romo, which I will be making dining chair cushions out of once I get my act together after the wedding. See the beauty:

Manderley in Cerise from the Manderley range by Romo

On the left wall we had new bookcases made to contain the vast media collection. Solid wood and made by some cabinet makers I found online, they were delivered untreated and I painted them pearl grey. You can also see there the most brilliant, massive, relaxing-but-smart-long-enough-for-full-length-sleepage sofa from - brilliant customer service.

All in all, the living room is pretty much there now. Bar the fireguard which I've just ordered, because there are some places you just don't want small hands investigating...

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