My blog has moved and changed name to DESIGN SODA, I’d love it if you followed along with my new content there.
When we bought this flat over a year ago it was this room that sold it to us, it had wood-chip walls and ceiling (ok most of the flat had that) hideous blue carpet (ditto), plastic air vents, bright orange polyurethane doors, mahogany shelving and a particularly hideous mock Victorian fireplace. Past all the hellish design choices made by the previous owner (& the fact that he was either a dangerous D.I.Y enthusiast or the employer of the original cowboy builder) this room had the most potential.
I am super pleased with the colour, I find choosing paint the most painstaking thing, it has such a massive impact on a space and I have been known to drive myself to distraction trying to choose. At my worst I may have been found mixing 39 tablespoons of one colour into a 5 litre tin of another exhausted trying to achieve the colour I wanted. This green is Teresa’s Green and it’s my perfect green, light, elegant and unlike many sage tones it feels like a really sociable colour.
There’s a lot of other people’s history and my own in this room, it’s roughly arranged around the key pieces that we inherited from my beloved grandma. The chest of drawers (above) were from her spare room and I love them because they remind me of her inter-war girlhood. I have accessorised them with a Corona typewriter (bid for 6 months on eBay before eventually winning one), a really gorgeous 1930’s industrial lamp bought from The Old Cinema before it was so trend and expensive and what I like to think is the best dressed bottle in town – St Germain Elderflower liqueur! The Globe Wernicke bookcase was not my grandparents, but my grandad did have an entire wall of them in his study during my childhood so its both a nod to the period and to my past.
How gorgeous is this old photo? Its of my favourite human being ever, my much missed Grandma Doris (on the left as you view) with friend & parasol on the beach in Wales. There is something so endearing about the way photo’s were such an event in the days before digital. I like the fact that the room is quite mismatched, it is characterised by its eclecticism and is filled it with objects I love and have picked up over the years. The cocktail cabinet behind the chesterfield is my oldest purchase in the room and was picked up for a song when I was a teenager in a now defunct retro shop in Greenwich. Our most recent addition is the coffee table (below) that we upcycled from a wooden pallet at my work. I may have said this before (in fact I’m sure I definitely have) I love industrial and salvage. The extortionate prices of some of it astounds me though, you can buy pallet coffee tables from between £200 and over £1,000. It took about an hour and a half to sand it back, put oak stained beeswax on and attach industrial castors to the bottom. Whenever I see pallets now in my area I can’t help but see pound signs that could be made from them! We have put a piece of glass on the top that is about a third smaller than the table simply because said piece of glass was lying around the flat. My husband thinks it should be full sized but I really like the contrast between the real wood and the gloss of the glass.
Coffee table in its original state: The old standard lamp (above) again belonged to my grandparents and came from the holiday cottage in Oxfordshire we used to stay in when I was small, it has a new lampshade but the wood holds its story. The cushions are mainly Liberty prints (sewn together a little clumsily by me) and a ridiculously expensive Missoni one that I really couldn’t stop myself from buying! Of the new items in the room, my favourites are the wire Ferris wheel, the pocket watch mirror and the mismatched chest of drawers.
But before I get too smug about almost reaching the finishing line with the room I will end with a picture of the reclaimed fireplace that has sat propped up in front of the horrible gas fire for the entire year we’ve lived here – it keeps winking at me to do something about it…