Finally! Our living room is now just about okay to be revealed... Can you remember how hideous it was when we moved in? That red brick fireplace, the cheap, black furniture and the crazy Beetlejuice sofa? Yep, it really was this bad. Here are the before pics to remind you!
So, how did we go from that ^ to THIS:
One of the first things we tackled was that fireplace. After a (bloody amazing) meal at Casamia, we sat thinking about their calm, understated space just across the water. Based in the cellars of an old industrial building meant many of the walls there were also brick, but these have been softened by whitewash to create a much less brash and bold look. So we pinched the idea and did the same.
The brick isn't all bad and we still wanted some of the texture to come through so diluted down a standard white emulsion to one part paint to three parts water. The first coat was a very messy job but we were buoyed up by how great it looked already. Two coats later (of slightly less diluted paint) and the finished fireplace emerged looking much better.
The large metre square mirror came from Katy of Apartment Apothecary (who has coincidentally blogged her living room makeover today!) and bounces light from the window back across the rest of the room.
Working with an L-shaped room was tricky. The dimensions are nearly 6m across by just over 3m along the wall between the fireplace and oriel window which made for a bit of a headache. After much pondering and Pinterest research it dawned on me: zoning the space into two areas with back-to-back sofas.
And it works. Really well.
The far wall is stacked with records - the mister is something of a vinyl nerd - and we also have the telly within that area. So one sofa faces this way and the other towards the fireplace. On top of this shelving, we've run a few of the IKEA picture ledge shelves, with a selection of black and white prints in keeping with the monochrome simplicity of the room.
There's Kate and her cat, who come with me wherever I go ^ (remember her hanging upside down in the old house?) plus some gorgeous Royal Doulton glassware I bought for my boyfriend to make Old Fashioneds with (his transformation into Don Draper is almost complete). He bought this lovely copper candleholder from Hay last week and I love how it brings just a little warmth into the room.
Back over the other side of the room, which tends to be more of a grown up space, two armchairs plus the other sofa make for a comfortable space for four to sit around the coffee table, with the wide views of the harbour behind.
The aspect of this room is gorgeous - the sun comes up over the water and shines right into the floor to ceiling windows, warming up the room and adding shiny, golden light. It's a lovely place to sit.
Sofas - both Karlstad Isunda Grey two-seaters (now sadly and ridiculously discontinued by IKEA)
Winged armchair - IKEA
Wooden framed armchair - IKEA
Coffee table - Habitat
Large photographic lamp - Habitat
Giant blue floor cushion - John Lewis
Peonies - HomeSense
Colourful basket - Hay
Chevron basket - IKEA
Various cushions - from Habitat, H&M, IKEA, Baileys, John Lewis
Various throws - from IKEA, TK Maxx, Toast
Yellow rug - IKEA
Yellow lamp - John Lewis