A living room I finally love.

Last year my dad (and daughters) helped me paint the living room to freshen it up and make it fit together better. The brown walls had got a bit old and dirty and it all felt too cold and muddied. A couple of friends warned me against a particular brand of paint but of course I took no notice and went ahead. Little did I know that the type I had picked was a ‘flat matt’ which meant within weeks it was fingerprinted, sprayed with furniture polish and generally besmirched in the way that chalky paint gets. It is a wall covering only fit for show homes. :roll:

I finally love my living room.

I finally love my living room.

That ended up compounding general inertia about curtains and we lived with bare poles for months while I failed to get organised until one day I found £10 a drop black out ones in The Range. I hung them, chopped the bottoms and waited for them to drop for a week while I got on with life. They are still hanging, still awaiting hemming and ironing (and may well be for a year or so yet!) but I love the colour and sheen. They don’t close, which is intentional because I love my blinds and the addition of some battery powered sparkly stars looped between them sets it all off perfectly.

New rug for review from #justarug. My living room suddenly feels almost grown up.

Then Daddy came to stay and repainted the wall in the same colour but a much hardier type of paint which inspired me to rejig the furniture, buy a new light and replace my rather dingy bulbs with better quality ones that actually provide some light. A good tidy, a sprinkling of ornaments and flowers and bingo…..

Do you see my lovely new rug? I’ve been desperate for a thick, short pile rug with a modern design in the living room colours for ages and was so excited to get this one sent to us to try out. Picking it was loads of fun as they have a really comprehensive range and you can buy most of them in several sizes – this fossil leaf design just tones perfectly with the room and really draws it together. It feels incredibly luxurious for the price too.

Engrossed in a farm game.

Engrossed in a farm game.

Bene has particularly liked it and on numerous occasions the design has been farm animal pens, parking spaces and occasionally a raised tunnel for bin lorries. It has stood all this with great fortitude. :lol: :roll:

A couple of weeks ago we emptied and removed the desk in the corner which ought to have been a useful space but was endlessly full – and covered – in rubbish. The desk went off to work and the corner is temporarily a toy corner. In a couple of weeks though, my mum will bring the bureau that I used to do my homework on when I was a kid. I can’t wait to have it there. It is going to be MY desk – and from there I *will* write my novel.

Living room

Living room

I’m finally feeling like the room feels the way I want it to. Admittedly the rug is hiding a multitude of ‘horrible old carpet’ sins (another point in favour of ruggy loveliness) but I’ve got some wall decorations under way now and very soon it will finally feel like a room with the personality I want for it.

Little #crochet stars

Little #crochet stars

 Disclosure: where mentioned specifically, some elements of the room refurb were sent to us to review.

Curtain woes.

The windows have been curtainless since our decorating bonanza earlier in the year. Time being the fickle thing it is, I’ve not had time to alter it and anyway, I liked the clean look. This weekend I decided to put up poles (for which you may read ‘beg that Max put up poles’) and try hanging the red voiles I had in mind. I know red looks great, the voile I bought did not.

Hence… This.

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Annoying and far less happy making than the plain window. (The poles need chopping but having reached the point of fabric related woe I did, this seemed less important).

The voiles, to quote Max, looked like a brothel and a cheap one at that.

I’m not sure what to do now; the look I want it plain, dark red and sleek and I dint need to draw them. At both ends the drop actually needs one long and one short; I don’t know if I’m brave enough to do that. I think I’m going to have to make curtains because to get the look I want, it will have to be tab tops.

Grrrr.

I also saw this rug which I like but I’m not sure if I love it enough to spend £65 on it. Hmmmm.

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Any ideas?

(I really want mobile WordPress app to give me back my photo sizing option too. Very annoying).

Follow Merrily Me’s board Living Room Plans on Pinterest.

This is my inspiration pinboard; I’ve been having a quick google… maybe “wine” is what I’m after. Something like these from Dunelm?

Shape Up & Ship Out

Last year I spent a lot of time decluttering and getting rid of junk that had accumulated in the house. It’s made a huge difference, allowing us to focus done creativity on changing the house for the better and actually spend some time going nice things. Inevitably, it needs redoing and with this year looming up and already looking like it’s going to be full of the brim of pressures, getting some space freed up seems like a plan. Then there are things like trying to persuade Bene to sleep in his room, making sure Fran has a quiet study space as gcse’s loom and trying to find enough time and headspace in life to work, play, nurture, create and relax. Gawd.

First things first. Last weeks £50 of paint has transformed the living room and my parents have gifted curtain money to me as presents so next week I can get on with those. But before I can sort out the girls rooms I need to get rid of more junk; actually THEY need to do that but they are hopeless at it. So I’ve started clearing done space to mentally prepare myself for doing theirs. Again. :roll:

Today I sorted and exported a lot of Bene’s baby toys plus all the clothes I am now too thin for. I don’t want to risk growing back into them. I also weeded out all clothes for him and the girls that are too small or won’t be used again. One huge bag us waiting to be dropped off tomorrow, plus some old curtains, a deadly duvet and some bedding. We’ve trimmed back megablocks mixed in with our Lego and stored it and culled cuddlies, emptied bins and reorganised storage. It all feels lots better.

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I can dream ;)

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Once upon a time.

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She was only doing it for her brother. Honest.

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He’s very proud of his new shoes :)

It was a good weekend; Maddy and Amelie both spent Saturday with friends, Fran found out she got a distinction in her first ever pro dancing exam, we got lots done including a small start on something new and exciting for the business. Fran worked hard on revision timetables and even some revision, Bene played happily, my mum visited, Max and I got a birthday meal out, Josie and Amelie played schools a weekend while making PowerPoint presentations.

I even managed a bit of crochet while they went to rugby.

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It’s amazing what fifteen years of parenting can do to your perspective; it was really quite a relaxing weekend :lol:

New living room phase one.

I learned how to do a very speedy room decorate this week. It was fun, fast, furious and the effect is fantastic :) Being our living room it couldn’t be allowed to drag on, plus I had just a day and a half with daylight hours where Bene could be absent (paint and toddlers mix in all the wrong ways!) and we were going to have various combinations of guests too. It needed precision planning.

First the girls and I went paint picking; I had a rough plan and we brought home several tester pots and got samples up on the wall, finding different places to catch different lights where we could. I picked the greenish one (Crown Carnaby) and then saw their Period Classic Duck Egg when I went back to buy it, so got a tester of that too. Eventually I settled on the duck egg and biscotti, but I was REALLY not sure about with of them. It was scary!

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I really only got more confident when I hung a red sheet up to simulate the curtains I want; it seemed to work.

Next up we emptied the room of everything possible. We cleared the room opposite to receive boxes and made sure the living room was already decluttered. With big boxes on standby, we loaded stuff up fast and shipped it out. Curtain pled cane form and at my dad’s insistence, we made sure everything we needed, brushes, pots and rulers for the edges, was all on hand.

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Next morning, willing troops got started in the walls. The apparent yellow of the biscotti got much less scary as the ivory was covered up. I relaxed.

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I’d taken all the sofa covers off to avoid dramas and also brought huge plastic bags home from work for the floor. We managed to avoid disasters. I took the opportunity to wash the grime out of the covers. As they are supposed to be dry clean only, this then involved painful amounts of ironing.

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Having started at 11am, the room was back to a temporary living room with 3 walls painted by 4pm. Not bad!

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We did 2 coats for luck but one was nearly enough. I was even more nervous about this colour (now renamed Ventolin Blue ;) ) but I already feel like it’s been there forever :)

After that, a mad rush to put sofa covers back on, refill cupboards, dress it up a bit and apply some zen and it was ready to receive my brother and brand new sister in law!

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I need to sort curtains and I have grand plans for a couple of the walls but I just love it. Big thanks to my dad, again, my mum for funding the curtain poles that will arrive soon and the girls for willing painting arms :)

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Time to start finishing this blanket.

Last night I finished the 180th square of this blanket.

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If I even mention another blanket any time soon, shoot me. I love this one but two plain granny square blankets in a year is too much. This one has half the squares already in rolls, so hopefully a few evenings will see it finished.

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I have my meagre Rowan Renew supplies left (it’s discontinued, wail….) and I’m hoarding it for a while now.

Meanwhile, the living room is getting a make over. Once you do this to the main room wall, there is no going back.

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I’m a very unsure decorator, there just isn’t enough time to really research. I’m grumpy because I wanted to buy posh paint but it doesn’t look right. And I can’t fathom a look in my head and it’s an expensive waste of paint and time if it’s awful.

However, I’ve hung a red sheet up and now I think my chosen patches may yet work.

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One thing is for sure, it won’t be brown any more!

Ps, Sherlock? What did you think???