The dining room transformation went down so well, I thought I'd share the story of our living room so far. It is by no stretech of the imagination finished but hopefully it will inspire somebody to create a cosy homely space without breaking the bank.
This was the estate agents photo of the house when we bought it. See what I mean about love of red??!! It's a decent sized space but I feel like the previous owners really didn't make use of the room properly.
The first thing we did was paint! Obviously it had to be grey (I was discussing with my boss the other day whether or not in 30 years time, people will wonder what possessed the grey obsession and put it alongside the avocado bathroom suites and the brown patterned carpets as interior fails!!). I spent about a week when we first moved in painting all the walls I could in the house - many a Friday evening was spent up a ladder with the tiniest of paint brushes trying to get my edges perfectly straight!
The chimney breast was painted in Valspar Bottlenose Dolphin as in the dining room and the rest of the walls are Valspar Weathered Cottage. They are part of the cool grey palette and are the best alternative to neutral white.
For about 3 months we didn't have any furniture in here, we lived in the dining room on camping chairs but that didn't stop me putting up some floating Ikea shelves and placing our collection of prints to get started. The prints are a collection of my photographs, postcards and prints from some of our favourite local artists such as Hugh Winterbottom.
We bought the initials at Altrincham market from Matt at Northern Letters, after a embarrassing conversations about J & B which put the other way means something entirely different (I'll leave that to your imagination). In fact it played on our minds so much we went and bought the ampersand to break it up!!
When the sofa's finally arrived, to much relief they fit perfectly. Having never bought a sofa before, there was a lot of worrying - will it fit, will it be comfy? We got the Copenhagen 3 seater and snuggler from Furniture Village and I love them! Having spent many a hungover day on here, I can confirm they are extremely comfy!
We put the snuggler under the bay window, making the space instantly feel more homely than the previous owners had attempted. We live on a busy road and as this room is at the front of the house, I wanted the attention to be away from the view outside and more focused on the centre of the space. It also provides a great sunbathing spot and lookout for Bojangles, who has adopted the snuggler as his very own throne!
The rest of the room is always being faffed with of course. I'm always introducing new items and moving things around. I really like how the copper stands with the grey and although I was considering swapping everything out for brass at one point, I'm glad I wasn't quick enough as copper is definietly proving to be a timeless metal (at least for now).
The Jack Lloyd prints came with us from our previous rental where we stupidly put them behind the sofa so we never actually looked at them. Now they sit on either side of the fireplace where we can admire them from where we lounge. If you haven't checked out Jack's gallery 'House of Bystander' in Chorlton, I highly recommend it. I started off buying the small £5 off-cuts before graduating to the real deal!
My top tips for making a living room feel cosy are to always have fresh flowers, lots of candles and ambient lighting - we have the cloud light from made.com and a floor light from Ikea that has travelled with us from house to house and is still going strong. I also have a fair few plants (the ones I can keep alive) to add a touch of greenery and life. They seem to do OK in this room as it does get a lot of light.
I'm also a big fan of fairy lights and battery powered ones are great for putting inside lanterns and jars - they are perfect on a winter night to help create that Hygge atmosphere.
The latest addition to the living is the coffee table. After living with the good old Ikea Lack table in various colours for about 5 years, it is so nice to have a proper styled table. We got this from Swoon Editions and it has probably been my most considered purchase. I have been eyeying it up for at least 6 months before we finally took the plunge. It was worth the consideration, although it is a lot smaller than its predecessor so will take a bit of getting used to. I love how it shows off the Next rug more!
So that's the lounge - for now. I'm pretty pleased with how this room is coming along but as always there's still so much more to do. On the list are - darkening the fireplace - its the only piece of light wood left - (having a log burner installed would be the dream) and replacing the blinds with something more classy like shutters.
It's the perfect chill out room for the three of us to snuggle on the sofa and watch endless episodes of Netflix series! And I'm really looking forward to another winter getting all cosy and hibernating here.