Interiors-wise, top of my list to tackle this year, is our living room. It's currently is a mish of colour and a mash of styles. In photos, it doesn't look too bad. In fact, it looks quite nice. But that's because you don't get the whole picture ... the whole experience ... and see that every corner and every wall is that little bit different. I think that you know when you've got a room right because it's a joy to spend time in. And it's rare that you'll find me in our living room, so I guess that says it all. I'm just not comfortable in there, preferring to spend my evenings in the small sitting area part of our kitchen/dining room, which seems crazy when we've got a great space which can become a relaxing haven once the small people are in bed.
But where to start and what to do in there? I've actually been dithering over this for nearly a year now. In the end, I decided to spend a few nights on Pinterest and simply pin all the rooms or design ideas which caught my idea ... pin them blindly without thinking of a scheme or a colour or a certain style or era.
Prior to doing this, I would have put money on pink creeping in somewhere, and I definitely would have guessed at 'light and bright'. However, it seems my subconscious has other ideas as I basically ended up pinning thirty-four variations of a grey/monochrome room. And the more that I look at those pins, the more my heart sings and I want to light candles, play Edith Piaf in the background and put my feet up in one of them.
So that's the direction we're heading in. Or that's the direction which I'm heading in and Paul's merely looking on at a distance in fear of being asked to assist with the painting.
I've already started switching things around and making a few changes from what you see in the photos below but there's quite some way to go, especially as I only average approximately twelve minutes of spare time per day.
First and foremost, I really need to address the layout of the room. All of the furniture was bought for our apartment in Zürich and we've forced it in to its new home but its not really ideal. Sideboard drawers can't be opened because it's shoehorned next to the sofa, and our TV currently sits atop a coffee table that's way too nice to be wasted in such a role. And then there's a complete lack of storage for the boys' toys, apart from a vile green plastic box. Cool storage is also high on my to-do list for the room!
A bone of contention is the carpet. I. Cannot. Stand. It. It's an awful colour and it was badly laid while we were in Switzerland and not around to complain about it. For some reason, Paul seems to be rather fond of it. I have no idea why. I definitely want to switch to a pale wood but I might have to do it during one of the weeks when he's working away. Sneaky? Or clever? Either way, that terrible carpet is going (even if I have to agree to have the new flooring for my 40th birthday gift).
I'd also quite like a new sofa. I've spent a bit too much time browsing the Multiyork website and have fallen for the Colorado one in Warwick Wolf (such an awesome name for a fabric and colour) but I can't really justify buying a new one when ours is only a couple of years old. I can't even pretend to spill red wine on it as it doesn't seem to show any dirt.
And then there are the walls. I really don't want to reference those dreadful books but do you know how many shades of grey there are?! You can expect to see (and be asked for your advice on) lots of tester pots and samples on my Instagram feed over the coming weeks. I don't know quite how light or how dark to go, just yet. I want to paint the fireplace, too. It's an awful faux-limestone, at the moment. I think it would look much better white. What do you think? There's a photo of it below. It's horrid.
Lastly, there are all the lovely little bits and pieces that make a room come alive ... the accessories! That's the really fun part, right? I can't wait! I may have already ordered a few things. Just as incentive to get the project underway, you understand. A little pre-reward.
So here's to grey, monochrome, lots of blankets, a fair few cushions, probably a new cup and saucer, and most definitely a sulking husband complaining about cold feet on a wooden floor.
This post was written in collaboration with the kind folks at Multiyork.