Part One: Living Room Revamp

Part One: Living Room Revamp

Like lots of people over the past two plus years we’ve been doing some home improvements. But with builders and tradespeople few and far between at the moment we’ve had to carry out some of the work ourselves. On the bright side though, it’s definitely kept me from going a little stir-crazy at a time when there was very little else going on!


It turns out there was a term for home renovations during the pandemic; it’s something interior designers and psychologists called ‘comfort decorating’ -  when people went on a mission to make their homes a sanctuary and create spaces where they really wanted to spend time. Over the past year and a half we’ve revamped our kitchen and made some cosy updates to our living space in an effort to finally finish our home (is a home ever really finished though!). And I feel we definitely achieved a cosy haven for the times when we need our home to wrap us up and hug us tight.


I should start by saying that the look of a room has always been hugely important to me. Flipping though interiors magazines, rambling though shops filled with sofas, picture frames and lamps; adorning my make believe 'big' house with images from Pinterest - this has always been my idea of heaven. But during a time when things felt very different, and the important things in life really stood out for me - the feel of the room became so much more important than just the look.


I wanted to make some tweaks to our sitting room but I knew it didn’t need a complete renovation. The first thing we planned to do was replace the existing cream carpet with a herringbone dark wood floor. The original carpet definitely wasnt an ideal choice when we moved into the house with three active boys now running around! A wood floor would be much easier to maintain and would also bring an extra texture and colour to the room. Once the floor went down things spiralled a bit! Our couch looked a bit grubby next to the new floor, the wall colour needed a bit of a revamp, I wanted to add some throws to drape over the furniture for movie nights… and then bit by bit the room needed just one more thing to finish it off. We’re finally there though. Well apart from new curtains… but until I find the perfect neural textured material they're fine for now. 


This is a winter room. This is a room made for hibernating. I'm not sure how it's going to fare yet in summer, I have a feeling though it will always be a room for sanctuary and get-togethers no matter what time of year. I've only really finished it properly in the last few months. Buying cushion after cushion, trying throw after throw - I've bought and returned six but in the end I ended up with three. And what I've learnt is that the feel of a room is always so much more important than the look. I feel this room is right, I feel it's the right room for our family, I feel that this will be a perfect place to set us up and wrap us up for the next few years - before I redo it all over again.


It's grey and cream and herringbone; with plump purple feathery cushions, merino wool and cashmere. Ski lodge style comes to mind but it obvioulsly - with our climate - will never be that so I'm fine with hygge. It's a great spot for a family movie night in front of the fire with it's big comfy cosy sofa, plenty of flickering candles, surrounded by photos of family. Thinking back to a time pre-pandemic I’m sure I wanted a 'wow' room to impress but I'm glad, 2 and a half years later, to be able to have a lot more insight and understanding of what my retweaked sitting room should be.


Here’s a list of resources and notes on our sitting room revamp:

 

Paint colour - Skimming stone, Farrow & Ball

“With its warm light grey undertones, Skimming Stone is extremely versatile and particularly suited to soothing schemes.” 

When we repainted our sitting room I loved the soothing blush farrow and ball colour we used on the masonry on the exterior of our home. It’s one of my favourite Farrow & Ball colours. We’ve gotten quite a few compliments over the years from neighbours and been asked more than once for the details of our colour choice. I wanted to try the colour with the purple tones in our living room and once the paint was on the walls I knew it was the perfect choice. 

 

Cushions - Clara slate, Neptune

I love the way cushions are an opportunity to experiment with colour and texture, and changing them around can completely change the look of the room. Our main colour palate in the sitting room is an assortment of creams and greys, and for now I love the way the dark aubergine cushions with grey herringbone looks rustic and wintery.

 

Floor - Walnut, Herringbone, Tile Style

The reason we started the project! We found the perfect floor in Tilestyle the first day we went to look for floors. 

 

Footstool - Arthur, Neptune

Our footstool doubles as a coffee table which I love. We had a smaller footstool originally but it unfortunately only fit one pair of feet! This one is big enough now for two, plus mugs of tea!

 

TV stand - Henley corner TV cabinet, Neptune

I had my eye on this TV stand for a long time and during lockdown I finally splashed out. It’s amazing quality and like all Neptune products has such a high quality feel. The colour wasn’t exactly the right shade for the room so in the end I decided to repaint the base Tar by Farrow & Ball. I left the top in the original oak and although the floor is dark walnut and the TV stand surface is a pale oak it actually all blends in perfectly in the room. I usually don’t like mixing different wood tones but it definitely works here. 

 

Area rug - Longford rug, oatmeal, Neptune

This was definitely the most labour intensive part of the project for me! I just couldn’t find the perfect rug! I bought and returned three from Next home and two online. But eventually I went back to my original choice - the longford rug from Neptune - and it was definitely the right decision in the end. I wasn’t sure if the rug was too similar to the couch colour, which is why I tried some patterned choices but the cream on cream look is perfect, and creates an overall soothing and calming colour palate in the room.

 

Sofa fabric - Pale oat, Neptune

We’ve had our sofa for almost 20 years. It’s really well made and one of the most comfortable sofas I’ve ever sat on! Instead of making the splurge on a brand new sofa - we really considered this one from Neptune - we decided to recover the existing one in the same fabric as the one we were thinking of buying - pale oat by Neptune. We used upholstery services and they did a fantastic job for a reasonable price.

 

Throws:

Sofa throw - Herringbone, grey. Avoca 

Armchair throw - Grey, cream, lavandar cashmere. Neptune

Footstool throw - Charcoal. Industry & Co 

 

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Furniture and accessories we kept:

Henley candlestick - Neptune

Buttoned Rochelle armchair - Harvey Norman

Grey Amelia armchairs - Neptune

Scented cedar & basil candles - Helen Turkington

Glass vase - Ikea

Artificial willow & eucalyptus flowers - Neptune

Cream floor lamp - Dunnes home

Charcoal table lamp - Meadow and byrne