Thursday, 27 March 2014

New nest tour - upstairs

Finally, I've organised myself enough to give you a tour of the upstairs. But, before I do, I want to quickly show you the downstairs cloakroom I neglected to include in the downstairs tour post :



Now, on the the tour of the upstairs... This is what our old house was like upstairs:


We had 2 good sized bedrooms and a great bathroom, with separate shower cubicle - we were spoilt, I know!

Now, we have this:

We have 3 good sized rooms, one box room and an ok size bathroom. And we have lots of storage (which I'm very excited about!)! We also have a considerable loft (I think we could fit a good double bedroom with en-suite and still have plenty of storage up there, if we were to convert it).

This is the upstairs landing:




Our bedroom:




The box room is quite small, but because it's next door to our bedroom works really well as the nursery:



Are you loving all the creamy magnolia all over the walls and woodwork? Yep, me neither! And there's more...

Our son's room:




What is now the office (but will one day be our daughter's room, when she's outgrown the current nursery):



The bathroom:


So, there you have it! All of these rooms are going to receive some TLC (or a LOT of TLC, in the case of the bathroom and cloakroom, seen as we plan to completely gut these and start again!) and I can't wait to share the detailed updates as we work through these projects!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Living room - Orange fireplace no more!

As I said in the previous post, we are starting the long road that will be decorating and organising our new nest in the living room. There are lots of tasks to tackle here and I will list these here. However, the 2 main issues for me were the red flowery wallpaper (with matching red velvet curtains) on one of the walls and the "orange" fireplace, which were not to our taste at all. Also, I think they made the room look darker.

Orange gas fireplace
Red wallpaper with flowers and red velvet curtains

The wallpaper can be removed and that wall painted, so no problem there. As for the fireplace... we know we want to have a wood burner installed there - hubby has great memories of a part of his childhood when he lived in a house with one, so he's dead set on it and I would like one too, although I have never had one. So, we know that it will probably be an expensive thing to do, but that's the plan... eventually. Because of the expense, we know that having a wood burner will not happen for a while and until some of the other higher priority (expensive) projects are done, so this had to be an exception to our "Do it once and properly" rule, because I personally couldn't live with it as it is and it wouldn't take/cost to much to change to "match" the planned colour scheme.

Speaking of colour scheme, my love for gray has been growing for a while and having read many design/decoration/organising blogs and looking at a lot of photos online, I have been inspired to go with a black, white and gray colour scheme on this house, maybe with some bright coloured furnishings here and there.

So, the first thing we did was to remove the fireplace mantel, to see how we could change all the parts. Painting the wooden parts white was the obvious thing to do and I already had some wood paint (from painting the doors in the old house).





When we removed the mantel, we had to try to figure out what to do with the plastic marble effect surround...


Fireplace minus mantel. P.S. Chic Shadow is the smudge of paint above the fireplace on the left
We found out that the plastic surround and hearth were double sided, the other side being black marble effect, so we could turn them around and the fireplace would look instantly different! Only the surround was so very stuck to the wall with so much glue, that I don't think we'd be able to remove it without damaging the wall. So then, I decided to just  cover it up with white shelf lining paper (bearing in mind we had no intention of actually using the gas fireplace!).


Now the wall... The base colour all around the house is currently creamy magnolia, which will over time be change to white. In the living room in particular, I wanted at least one of the walls painted gray and the rest white. The obvious choice for the "feature" wall was the one with the fireplace. So, we got a few tester pot paints in different shades of gray and tried them our on that wall. I wanted a contrast between the gray on that wall and the white on the adjoining walls, ceiling, and skirting board, but I didn't want it too dark - the objective was to brighten up the living room afterall! So in the end, it was between Dulux's Night Jewel 5 and Chic Shadow. Night Jewel is lovely, but just that little bit too light and slightly blue, so we went with Chic Shadow.

Even the brown minimalist clock got a coat of glossy black spray paint:



And this is what that wall looked like after all the changes:


Here's another look at before...



...and after...



I love it! And it definitely motivated me to get the rest of the room finished!

So, at this point our To Do list for the living room looked like this:

 - Remove curtains and poles
 - Remove screw plugholes and nails
 - Fill holes and cracks on walls and door frame
 - Paint/line fireplace
 - Spray paint clock
 - Remove wall paper
 - Clean off wallpaper adhesive
 - Paint walls  (decided on 2 gray and 2 white) - started
 - Paint radiator
 - Paint coving
 - Paint skirting boards
 - Paint door and frame
 - Remove/paint wooden boards by doors and window to conservatory
 - Remove gas pipe (for fireplace)
 - Get new lampshade
 - Get floor/wall lamp?
 - Fit skirting board by window to conservatory
 - Replace flooring
 - Get new sofas

A lot of this work in the living room has actually been done, but as always I need to find the time to organise photos, etc, before posting about the rest. It's all, looking great, if I say so myself!