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Renovation – My Mum’s Front Room

Hi everyone, I’m so excited to share this post with you all as it’s been a long time coming! You may or may not remember that in the summer I began to renovate the living room and conservatory at my mums house. She gave me complete free rein to do whatever I wanted, but we agreed that we wanted a neutral scheme with lots of elements of nature and bringing the outside in. I ordered samples of wallpaper and mum picked her favourite from the options, and we went sofa shopping together at narrowed the choices down to two, which she then chose from. But apart from that I had complete control, and a blank canvas as we agreed that all the furniture, except the dining table and chairs, could go. The room had not been touched for over 10 years since she had first moved into the house, even after the extension and conservatory was completed years previously there was still bare plaster on the walls from where a door used to be! It was extremely tired and dark, as you can see from the before photos:

Before

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After!

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The chosen wallpaper was Summer Palace in Dove Grey by Laura Ashley, and so I used that as a starting point for the room. This was actually my first attempt at wallpapering and it certainly wasn’t an easy task – there was not one strip that didn’t have some kind of socket, light or window to go around! It was trying and I definitely lost the will to live multiple times, but I managed to get it done single handedly in a day and can’t be more pleased with it.

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There was a hideous old gas faux burning stone effect fire in the fireplace before, which we got taken out and the gas blocked off as it doesn’t need to be in use. I painted the opening in a matte black paint and bought a metal log basket for decoration. The mantlepiece and all of the woodwork in the room I painted in Farrow and Ball Strong White in eggshell.

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As the living room is quite long I wanted to help balance the room, which I decided to overcome by having two armchairs next to each other to get a sense of symmetry going down the room.

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I wanted a footstool instead of a coffee table so that it could multipurpose as extra seating when needed and storage. The sofa, armchairs and footstool were all from Oak Furniture Land in Oatmeal/Natural, and are extremely comfortable. However, these were the main culprits behind why the room took so long to be completed as they had an extremely long delivery time, so although everything was painted, carpeted and all the other furniture was in place, we were spent waiting for ages for these to arrive so I could get the final bits to bring the room together. They were, of course, worth the wait and look stunning.

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All of the other walls I painted in Elephants Breath by Farrow and Ball. I love this colour so much as it not only matches the dove grey in the Laura Ashley wallpaper beautifully, but it is such a true, warm grey. It never looks cold or has that lilac look which some greys can have.

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In order to try and cut costs, I decided to keep the original light fittings but update them by spray painting them matte black. I wanted to have a few darker elements in the room to really add contrast to the room, I think that in order to really emphasise how light and bright a room is, you need the contrasting elements. The spray painting of these was so successful, my mum absolutely hated these lights before but now she really likes them! The curtains were from IKEA and are gorgeous, they are a good thickness to retain heat and black out light but drape beautifully, and floor length is always a must.

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The stunning dresser unit I found on a local selling site for the grand price of £30 – can you believe it? It’s so stunning! It was already a similar colour but had a distressed finish so I repainted it to get a more clean look using Rust-oleum Satin Paint in Shortbread. I really enjoyed using this paint because it has all the features of chalk paints like Annie Sloan, so requires no sanding or prep, but it has a satin finish so you don’t need to wax it afterwards to seal it in or give it a sheen. We needed this kind of unit in the room to provide some storage, and also to display some family items to personalise the room and give some interest. The massive glass lamp is from Oak Furniture Land and came free with the sofa (I would not have spent that kind of money for it!), but it is the exact kind of lamp that I had wanted and had seen similar on Laura Ashley.

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The botanical prints are all from Desenio, the frames from Asda and were a key part of the scheme for me. I love how they emulate the symmetry going on in the room and really help to bring the outside and nature in.

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Glass Dome – Homesense | Bunny Dome – Asda | White Frame – Asda |Mirror – Ebay

My obsession with glass domes continues as I love how they look and frame candles. I love these arched beaded mirrors that the likes of Brissi sell, so I found this gorgeous one on Ebay and I think it fits perfectly in place with the wallpaper and scheme.

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Nest of Tables – Gumtree | Urn – The Range | Blanket – Ikea

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The TV unit was another local selling page find which I repainted in the same paint as the dresser unit, I really liked it as it has the cupboard doors which is useful for hiding all the electronics you don’t want to see. The tray, vase and faux peonies on the footstool were all from Homesense. The candle is from Ikea.

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I wanted the garden feel to continue into the conservatory to help bring the two spaces together and create a flow between them. I repainted the walls in Laura Ashley Eau De Nil which instantly freshened up the room. It had previously only really been used a dumping room, the dining table was in here but was hardly ever used, and it had never really been decorated or dressed before.  All of the faux plants and pots were from Ikea, we really wanted to get more greenery in here to make it feel like a garden room, so faux was an easy option.

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I bought the bureau from a local selling site and again painted it in the same satin finish furniture paint. The table runner was from Ikea along with the glass hurricane lamp.

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Lamp – The Range | Flower Picture – The Range | Books – Oxfam | Hare – The Range

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Seat Pads – Ikea | Cushion – Asda

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Canvas Prints – The Range

So, there it is! I’m so pleased with how everything turned out. It was a long time coming and felt like an even longer time during whilst waiting for certain things (sofa-ahem) to come together. I hope my mum is as pleased with everything as I am, it really feels like such a different, light, bright space now – perfect for entertaining, and I can’t wait to see how it all looks with Christmas decorations in a few months!

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