Sunday, 12 May 2013

Updating the living room ~ Fifty shades of brown

We've been in this house for 18 months now and the living room is one area we hadn't touched. We moved our furniture in on the day and kept the previous owner's curtains as a 'temporary measure'.

That's always a trap isn't it? Keeping something to tide you over and having to explain that "they're not our choice of curtain, we inherited them with the house" every time someone comes to visit. It'll only wash for so long before they become your curtains.

So, time for a change but I didn't want to have to redecorate the whole room. I don't have the time, energy or money for that right now as it'll be a big job:  the ceiling needs repainting and every wall needs stripping.

What? So I like sitting in an
armchair. Get over it.
Apart from that, the room didn't really work for us. The seating arrangement was awkward and the dog's chair (ok, it's not actually the Tessie's chair.....she just happens to sit there a lot!) was the first thing anyone saw as they walked in the room.

Nope, instead I decided to do a bit a lot of furniture moving and put up some new curtains! Yes, you hear that right: brand, spanking new curtains! Hurrah!

The living room is long and quite dark at one side despite having two large windows. It's a nice enough room but pretty bland due to the many tones of beige, brown and....more brown. The carpet cam with the house and our sofas are the same sort of colour.  Plus two of the walls are painted - guess what? - brown. Not good.

The Teenager helped me move the furniture but she Could. Not. Wait. to take the curtains down. I went to iron the new curtains and when I came back in this had happened:

We put the new curtains up and moved the furniture around to make it easier to watch TV and sit and talk to each other. This L-shaped arrangement works much better for us.

The other side of the room is still a work in progress - the two armchairs are next to a reading light, but the the blank wall is crying out for some artwork and the corner needs redecorating where the wallpaper is missing.

And now the dog's  armchair is hidden behind the door so it's not the first thing you see.
M&S curtains, Orla Kiely box, TKMaxx cushions

The curtains are from M&S (Simple Leaf Eyelet curtains/£55 a pair) and were pretty good value for money considering how long and wide they are. I think they add a different tone and pattern to the room without being overpowering. (Oh, and the Teenager wants me to mention that she chose them.)

I bought the cushions from TKMaxx a few months ago, and I've the lamps for about 5 years.

The Orla Kiely box is my inspiration for the room and I'm hoping to use more of the colours for other accessories and soft furnishings.

The bronze figure is a favourite and I bought it many years ago.

This is what you see now when you walk into the room. I think it looks brighter and has a bit more of a colour scheme going on. There's still more brown than I'd like but not bad considering the only thing I bought was the curtains.

In the summer I'd like to strip all the walls and redecorate, making the walls lighter and brighter. I don't think a new carpet is in the offing, so I might consider a rug to break up the sea of brown.

Are you doing any updating, furniture moving or decorating?