Now that the days are longer and the weather is (slightly) warmer, I've been trying to make the house feel less wintery and more summery. I've gotten new bed sheets, a new tablecloth and new dining chairs. But now my thoughts have turned to the living room. And I'm thinking of ways to make it lighter and brighter. Obviously there are lots of little touches I can make, but I'm also daydreaming of some big changes I can make.
I am desperate for a new sofa. Although we bought a new one when we renovated the living room, almost two years ago, it isn't that comfortable anymore. Plus the legs have never been that stable. Ugh. But I have seen some lovely leather sofas. The top right grey sofa, from Fishpools, looks so soft. And don't think me crazy for having my eye on a white sofa, but that corner sofa is so pretty. Corner sofas are so good for cuddling. And surely there is only a small chance that my son will write on it in permanent marker. Right? The sofa does come in other colours for people who are more practical.
I'll probably have to be more realistic, and will have to skip a new leather sofa and get some lovely accessories instead. I love cushions, and these coral-red bird cushions are fab. Not only are they bright, but they would work well throughout the summer and into winter. Another item that would work well all year long, are these copper vases. These are absolutely gorgeous and I think two or three displayed together would add quite the wow factor.
I have slowly been decorating my house in a mid-century modern style. Slowly, because when we bought this house just over three years ago, we were faced with a huge amount of renovations. We haven't had the money to fix everything right away, so we have tackled the major rooms. The kitchen/diner was the first project. And I was happy with what we accomplished with such a small space. But I have been unhappy with the dining chairs for a while now. So when Lakeland Furniture asked me to choose some furniture from their website, I was thrilled to pick out some new chairs.
Our previous chairs had started out as lovely. I had sourced some fab original G-plan chairs, which I had upholstered in green to match the other green bits in the kitchen. I had only managed to find four, which meant that every time we have guests, we have to bring out some stools. Also, the chairs were never that comfortable. Plus, Dubz has drawn on them (and there were a couple of wees when he was potty training, eek). The chairs looked nice when we first got them (pics below right), but three years later and they were looking grubby (picture below left).
After we had our living room renovated two years ago, we bought a new sofa to make the room feeling even new. We had previously had a leather sofa, but wanted something smaller and less bulky. But we still wanted plenty of room for sitting. We found the three-seater fabric sofa above and were thrilled. Once the sofa arrived, the living room felt 'complete'.
But lately I have been having serious feelings of dissatisfaction towards the living room. It just didn't feel right. So I decided to re-arrange our living room (I say 'we' but Husband did the heavy lifting while I managed). The main part of this re-organisation is the sofa. I liked that the sofa was the first thing to catch your eye upon entering the living room. But the room did not feel right. It did not feel cosy. I realised that the sofa was critical in making the living room feel homey.
We moved the sofa to the wall closest to the door (we didn't have the option of too many walls due to a window on one wall and the telly and its cables/wires on another). We have spread the furniture around the room. I have also reduced the amount of toys we keep in our two green baskets as they were overflowing. The baskets now fit on the bottom two shelves of the cabinet which helps make the room feel less cluttered. Part of the issue has been that our fabric sofa looks a bit tired. In hindsight I feel that leather sofas are so much better if you have young children (easy to clean and don't look so sad and rumpled quickly).
And I am so pleased with the way my living room now looks. The sofa makes so much more sense on the side wall. I no longer feel like all the seating is pointed at the television. The furniture is distributed more evenly around the room rather than being on just one wall. So how do you like my 'new' living room?
We bought our home about two and a half years ago, and the only reason we could afford to buy in our area is because the house was mostly a wreck. The only room that didn't need major work is the ensuite bathroom in the loft conversion. As it is the guest room, and on the second floor, we do not use this bathroom very often. But every once in a while I go up there and look at it in dismay. It is just not to my taste. It is so beige and blah. So I decided to see if I could give it a mini-makeover for just £70.
As you can see, the bathroom is quite neutral. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of cream. I like things white and bright. And I prefer things squarer shapes. And look at that sad, and dying, plant. Ugh. It's not the nicest bathroom for guests. The main problem with this bathroom is that there isn't a bath screen on the tub. It's fine if you are having a bath, but most guests have showers which makes the bathroom very wet. So we decided to install a bath screen and add some nice accessories. We can't afford to do anything about the tiles, but I have tried to brighten up the room.
There is quite a bit of green sprinkled throughout the house, and I wanted to bathroom to also have green accents. I replaced the tiny blue bathmat for a large green mat from Ikea. It is super soft, and was a bargain at £5.99. I popped into my local Homebase last week and found a lovely little plant to cheer up the ledge. I had an old green pot that wasn't being used. While at Homebase, I also picked up some fluffy white hand towels. I love white towels. It might not sound practical, but I do.
Last, but certainly not least, we put in a bath screen. I had expected the screen to be much more expensive than it was. It was priced at £54.99, but is now on sale for £43.99. It looks to be of a very good quality. The screen arrived last week and Husband (who works in an office but likes to give DIY his best) put it up on Saturday without any problems. The bathroom looks so much better now. I wish we had done our mini-makeover sooner. What do you think?
We were reimbursed by Homebase for our purchases, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Ooh, this living room. Isn't it gorgeous? I've been scouring the internet for home decor ideas for my living room, and I thought I would share some of my favourites. We bought our current house two and a half years ago, and in that time we have renovated about one-third of it. But even the rooms that have been done, like the kitchen/diner and the living room, are not finished. You see, I'm a bit indecisive. So the house is taking even longer to be styled than they were to be renovated.
I have an eclectic style. I love modern but I also love vintage. Husband loves all things modern. We decided on a mid-century modern theme for this house. Some things are old, some are new. But everything is functional, and works well for a family with young children. The furniture is solid. Hard-wood floors can be mopped and cleaned easily. We are keeping things more minimal than we'd like (less furniture to climb), but as the children get older then we can update the look. I love grey and yellow and brown and pink and green. These are the colours that I am trying to weave around the house.
I adore the look of a feature art wall. We have several framed art prints that we are holding onto until we have a decent amount to display on the wall. They add such flair to any room, but I want one for our living room. And I would like to get a monochrome rug for the living room floor. Monochrome looks gorgeous in a modern room, but then so does bright colour. And it looks lovely to incorporate both. Do you have any tips for a fabulous modern living room? Do you use any accent colours in your home? How do you feel about an art feature wall?
Isn't it true that pictures make a house more of a home? We bought our house last year and have spent so much time renovating the property (we're not even halfway finished). But we hardly have any artwork or pictures on our walls. Part of the problem is that I haven't found many pieces of artwork to fit into our midcentury modern theme. The other problem is that I don't have much time to really devote to finding the pieces. That, and I've been really lazy about having photos printed.
The kitchen/diner has been looking particularly pathetic as it did not have one single thing on the walls. But that has changed! I found an A3 poster print for the film Dr Strangelove. Husband loves movie posters, and I am compromising by agreeing to a few nice ones, framed of course. I found this black wood frame from eFrame. It looks simple, yet suits the picture perfectly.
I also had an old collage that I had made a few years ago. These photos are from when Moozles was 18 months old (she is now 6 1/2). Better late than never. *clears throat* But actually, when I had the collage made, I did not realise that it would need a specially made frame. And to be honest, I thought it would be really expensive to have the picture framed. But I found this lovely dark brown wooden frame, also from eFrame, for under £25. Now I need to sort out some current photos of Moozles, and make a collage of Dubz too.
I am quite pleased with how the kitchen/diner is looking. It feels more homely. Especially with the big basket of junk we keep on the sideboard. Please tell me that other people 'file' papers into a basket until it looks like a scary creature. Amazing that a framed print and a framed collage can improve the room so greatly. It's not the clean, midcentury modern look that I would love, but it's the look that works best for our young family. What do you think? How do you make your house feel like a home?
I was given the chance to pick out some frames for the purpose of this review. All opinions are entirely my own.
When we moved into our house last February, the first thing we had to do was tackle the outdated and ramshackled 1970s kitchen. It did not have an oven, and no one would install one due to the unsafe electrics and the wood cladding. There was hardly any storage and it just felt dirty. Another big issue - no plumbing for a dishwasher. Here are some 'before' pics from the day we moved into our house.
It was tough going three weeks without a kitchen (we had a microwave in our living room and ate a lot of takeaways, which was far from delightful). But we made it through and ended up with a lovely cooking and eating space. A small kitchen is the price we pay for living in London. But I don't mind. Our kitchen really is the heart of our home.
Here are some of items that make my kitchen perfect for our family. Some items were sourced after weeks scouring the internet. Some were impulse buys. I found a gorgeous G-Plan highboard from eBay for £50 but we had to push the dining table against it when our two-year old son started trying to climb the highboard. The space isn't entirely as I would like. But that is what happens when you have children. Their needs become more important that your styling needs.