You can see the the transformation from start to finish below, but I’ll talk you through the process as we move on..
Our first home was a cosy little flat in a little village called Ditchling. It was built in the 1950’s and was in need of some serious modernisation. The flat had its own garden over looking the South Downs but was on the top of two floors so not ideal for a small family.
When we bought it, a little old lady lived there and other than a splash of magnolia over all of the walls, I don’t think it had really been touched since the 1980’s. I remember sanding down the skirting boards and finding all sorts of wonderful colour combinations – such as red door frames in one room and black woodwork in another! I’m quite sad it all got painted over, it would have been a sight to behold!
When we moved in our living room had an electric fire installed and looked a little something like this:
It went through various incarnations as we tinkered about with other rooms, including a store room and carpentry workshop but eventually we started work and began with ripping up the fire place and re-plastering all of the walls and ceilings which were covered in Artex.
There was a little hatch from the front room through into the kitchen which Stu was desperate to fill in and plaster over, but I thought it added character to the place so persuaded him to keep it. There’s something quite magical about original features as I believe they tell a story so I always try to respect them where possible- I love imagining a 50’s housewife preparing dinner for her family and then shouting through the hatch to say that it was ready. I don’t know why, I always romanticise the past but its little things like that which make a place unique. It also ended up being really useful when Ettie was little as I could prepare he food while keeping an eye on her through the hatch.
I could go into detail about each of the construction type phases such as plastering and fitting new radiators but I’m not sure if anyone really finds that interesting so I’ll move onto decor, although do correct me if i’m wrong and I can write another post about all of that later!
Once the room had been re-wired, plastered, painted white and new radiators fitted. We invited a carpenter around to build us a unit to store our electrical items and we had shelves built in one of the alcoves.
I went through soooo many colour options deciding which colour to paint this room. This is just a selection of the sample pots used:
I initially thought I wanted to go for a grey, but when painting various options on the walls, I decided it made the room appear too cold and dark, so I opted for a deep blue instead. I’d been working through a few grey samples from the Dulux Classics collection and found they had a really deep, rich blue called Breton Blue, so that’s what we went for and I was really happy with it.
Whilst not in-keeping with the age of the property, I really wanted a cast iron fireplace with a wooden mantelpiece to display some candles/flowers and the like. We were lucky enough to source one from a wood-burning stove company who were throwing away one they had ripped out and found the mantlepiece on eBay. It arrived bare wood so we treated it and painted it white.
The tiled hearth sort of happened by accident. I’d purchased some tile samples from Fired Earth for a splash back in the bathroom which didn’t look quite right. It was the same time we were working on the living room so I just tried them on the floor to see if they would work and instantly fell in love with the effect.
I originally wanted floorboards in this room but there was a covenant in our lease agreement stating that all upstairs floor areas must be carpeted so we opted for a simple grey carpet and in the end I preferred it as it felt more cosy.
And here it is, the finished result….
Overall i’m really pleased with the result. I love the pop of colour from the blue wall and yellow furnishings. Together with the simplicity of the monochrome decor. I also love the impact of the tiled hearth and am so glad we opted with that design.
I sourced the decorative items from various places. The vintage cameras were found online and in second hand stores. The Spectacles print is a Le Art print available from Rockett St George (now sold out). The lampshade is part of the Coast and Countryside collection by Lorna Syson. The Retro phone is a 746 Phone from England at Home and the F light is from Rocket and Rye. The photo frame and Verveine diffuser are from the White Company and the Soy candle is from P.F. Candle Company.
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