At last I am able to show you the living room…

So I didn’t get the flowers, the lighting isn’t perfect and there are a few bits left to do but it’s done enough that I feel I can show you what we’ve done thus far…

It’s the first room we really tackled and the only room that’s nearly done.  We’ve lived here now for just over 12 weeks so it’s not too bad going when you consider how many other things we’ve done around the house that I haven’t even revealed on the blog yet!  See, now why you must keep coming back? ;)

Shall we review what’s been done in this room thus far?

The first thing we did was remove some terrible Ikea shelving from the alcoves.  I have absolutely no problem with Ikea shelving – in fact,  we have 2 in our office/guestroom and I intend on hanging two more in the dressing room.  However, for this room, the look I was going for was to be a little more upscale, even on a shoestring budget.

Next came the painting… I went with a soft grey which I love because it sets off the picture rail and the simple cornising so nicely.

It also set off the mirror I purchased from An Angel At My Table which I adore.

Then, the chandelier – previously in my bedroom at my old flat – was hung which involved pulling up carpet in the bedroom above and installing a strong hook from which it could hang between the beams.  And of course, it’s these little jobs that you think will take an hour and take an entire afternoon.

Then came the flooring which I talked about here.  This was by far the biggest job but the results were so worth it.  I can’t wait now to tackle the floors in the hallway and dining room after seeing what a good result we could get with a little hard graft.

After the sanding of the floors but before the staining shown above came the wallpaper.  I fell in love with this gorgeous wallpaper quite a long time ago and knew I had to use it.  It didn’t disappoint because it’s one my favourite elements in the room, adding a touch of subtle whimsey to an otherwise traditional – though eclectic – room.

We hung the curtain poles soon after this – there were horrible plastic tracks up previous to this so we had to fill in the holes and paint of course where these were removed.   I have yet to create the curtains.  I will be sewing them myself because getting them off the shelf is difficult as so few make them to the length I require for these quite large windows and having a seamstress create them will cost a small fortune – so DIY it is.  Therefore, the poles, for now, remain bare.  I am about 85% sure about the fabric so I just need to order it along with the lining, the header tape etc so I can start that project.

I also painted a little coffee table that W had and added a few baskets – reuse and repurpose!  That’s my motto…

We also replaced the previously quite jarring television stand and replaced it with a new piece that cost us under £50 on Amazon even though Tesco currently has it on their site for £200!  Just goes to show it pays to shop around.

The old unit… eeegh.

My previously cream and black vases were spraypainted olive and mustard yellow along with a few other bits and pieces in white (the owls, the fleur-de-lis block, the lantern).

And then we tackled the horrible concrete hearth, left after the carpets were pulled up by the previous tenants…

Mmm perrrty…

We re-concreted and tiled and then trimmed with beadwork stained the same colour as the floors.

And then of course, it was the sofa.  My glorious lovely sofa.  I actually ordered the fabric samples back in September 2009 (!) and started the process of choosing the style, the fabric, the metal studs, the seat cushions, etc etc around May 2010.  It was officially ordered just days after we moved in but beautiful things take time to create and the Handmade Sofa Company did indeed create the vision of my ultimate sofa that had been rattling in my brain for well over a year.  Andrew from HSC was an absolute star, patient with my never ending questions and always available via email seemingly day or night, weekends or weekdays!  It really makes such a difference when making a big purchase to feel comfortable that you are well and truly being taken care of.

And now the full reveal.

This is the real estate image of the room before we moved in – so this is the old occupier’s pleasant but boring living room:

This is what it looked like before we started doing any work on it…

And this is how it looks now:

There are still things to be done in this room…

1.  Curtains (which I will be sewing myself as I said above)
2.  Beading around the skirting board
3.  New cushions (which again, I will be sewing)
4.  Storage unit of some sort in the alcove (I had my eye on a lovely white gloss DVD storage unit from Next and the bastards decided to discontinue it!)… I may go with a chest of drawers/tallboy here… stay tuned
5.  A change to the “hole” where the fireplace would be.  Not convinced by what’s in there at the moment.

Made these cushions from old coffee bean sacks… I quite like the juxtaposition
of the rough jute texture with the softness of the velvet.

Anyway, I hope you like my reveal and again, I must apologise for the lack of flowers… I did buy some today but of course, it’s cloudy – the story of my life in Manchester, England!

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