This post is going to be basically a bunch of rambling thoughts I’m having in terms of decorating this house. It’s something that I feel like is on my mind a lot, especially as we are in the middle of this renovation project (catch up here) and I’m trying desperately to make 30,000 decisions all at the same time. So you’ll have to excuse the stream-of-consciousness format of this one but perhaps it’ll give you a little insight into my head right now!
The start of my new home’s colour palette.
It’s funny when you move into a new house (well, not ‘new new’ in our case, it’s a really old house but you know what I mean) that suddenly you have this whole blank slate to start all over again. It’s partly super exciting but also kind of terrifying, knowing just how many decisions will need to be made.
When we moved into our last house, the idea of coordinating the rooms didn’t feel as hard or perhaps it’s something I’d not even considered. Of course, the blog was in its infancy and there was less pressure in terms of finishing spaces but it was likely because we began with very little in the way of nice furniture or accessories and so we just purchased and replaced things room by room until the whole house was completed. Of course, during that 8 year period, I felt like I finally really discovered my own personal style which genuinely helps a whole lot when it comes to choosing things (read how to find your own style here). By the time we moved out, despite the fact there were a few rooms I would have liked to redecorate, I felt each room had its own function but still managed to coordinate pretty well with certain themes running through each room.
The colour palette of my previous home.
Kate from Mad About the House talked about ‘the red thread’ on her blog not too long ago and it’s a concept that made a lot of sense to me but I’d not heard it referred to like that before. Essentially there should be certain elements – whether that’s a finish or a colour that extends to each room of the home. This ‘thread’ allows each space to feel a connection with every other.
I’ve been trying to take a more holistic view of my house since we moved in – viewing it as a whole rather than a bunch of separate spaces. I spoke about this concept recently when coordinating your accessories in this post but what about the bigger things like furniture, colours and flooring? In my old house, there were certain accent colours that were used over and over again – stark black and white, gold finishes (always gold for me), greenery, pops of mustard yellow and over time, a touch of pink or burgundy too. I talked more about creating a colour palette in this post.
My previous home’s living room – you can see how the colour palette is tied in with the other rooms as shown in the moodboard above.
Moving into this house, I knew I wanted to create a similar thread by way of colour but I didn’t want to use exactly the same combination as I’d done before.
My current home’s living room – as you can see, the palette is much softer.
One thing I’ve realised is that I’m starting to shy away from that stark black and white contrast. It was something I really truly loved for a very long time. Part of me wonders if it’s simply a sign of getting older and I’m just craving something a little softer and calmer now. Or, perhaps, I’m actually bucking against something that I used to love that ended up becoming a huge trend and now I want to head in a different direction.
The dining room in my previous home in 2014.
And I’m wondering this because it’s happened to me previously. Really bold colour, pattern mixing and maximalist design is a really popular look now but my home was all about that style back around 2013-2015 as evidenced by my old dining room circa 2014 above. It wasn’t as popular back then but once it became more mainstream, I began to pare all that colour back. It’s not that I feel pressured to stay ahead of the trends (hell, perhaps I do?!) but I feel like it’s a look I loved, tried out for some time and now I want to move on from it and evolve my style.
The kitchen in my previous home.
And maybe that stark black, white and gold combination is starting to feel similar to me – it’s everywhere at the moment and black kitchens with gold hardware are so much more popular now. Now, in my mind, I feel like it’s time for something different (although I can’t see me ever giving up gold so that’s definitely staying). So once again, I’m bucking against what’s a big mainstream trend in design. It’s not that I don’t like it, of course, it’s just that I’ve done it and enjoyed it and now I crave change.
My current home’s living room – I’m loving this palette.
And so in my mind, I want rose pink and peach tones to be that ‘red thread’ for me along with touches of green, gold (always gold!) and a bit of warm beige shades. The flooring downstairs will be a soft natural oak parquet which should add to that feeling of warmth. The new look of the living room captures this palette quite well but I may go even warmer in terms of the paint colours in the rest of the house.
So, I find myself shying away from black at the moment even though I still think it’s so grounding and beautiful but too much of it is getting in the way of that soft warm feeling I want. My initial plans for the kitchen were going to be black cupboard doors and that went out the window once I realised how I wanted my home to feel.
My bedroom contains quite a lot of black which I love but in time, I may lift and soften that darkness a bit with a new rug and new bedside tables – not right now, of course, but someday maybe.
The bathroom, of course, was painted black and at the moment, it really does work well but when we finally get around to tackling this space, I may end up doing something completely and wildly different in much softer shades and tones.
As for the decisions I’m making now, I’ve chosen white coliseum radiators throughout the downstairs because as much as I adore seeing beautiful black or slate grey ones in other people’s homes, it’s just a safer option to make right now when I’m still deciding how ultimately I want the house to look 5 or 10 years down the road. Honestly, I have no idea what I’m going to do with my downstairs hallway so making permanent decisions like that is always going to be difficult at this early stage.
That similar warm palette is also in my little makeup room.
The challenge, of course, is that in trying to consider the house as a whole rather than individual rooms, it means I need to have at least an idea of how I want to decorate each room and in turn, what the ultimate vision of my house really is. We don’t have the budget to do up the whole place at once (nor, to be honest, would I want to – I prefer slow decorating) but I do want the house to feel connected from room to room as we work our way through each space. Of course, I’m only human here. I’m just as indecisive as the next person. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay to change my mind and that the plan can be fluid in many ways. I can make decisions as I go, it doesn’t all need to be done right now. All the things I’ve said on repeat on this blog over and over again to you which now I’m trying to remind myself.
So I’m also sticking to what may feel like some safer options in the meantime – oak parquet flooring is a beautiful classic design that won’t soon date, white Victorian-style radiators are timeless, shutters in my windows will always look good. I can bring everything else in over time and none of those ‘big’ or more permanent style decisions will interfere with my plans, no matter how many times I might change my mind.
A sneak preview of some of the colour and finish choices I’ve made for the kitchen that I shared on Instagram.
Of course, a kitchen is a more permanent option and can’t really be changed too much once it’s in place but thankfully, I feel really quite confident of the direction it’s gone in terms of the design now and we’re getting close to finalising everything. The dining room at the moment is still a bit undecided – I know what pieces I need in there and it’s one of these spaces that I’m sure will all come together nicely in the end but decisions on some of the larger pieces (like the dining chairs, counter stools and the sideboard) are still not finalised and this is where I’m concentrating my efforts in terms of planning at the moment.
And perhaps the biggest thing I’ve decided on, after all is the way I want my home to feel. It’s not about individual objects or specific paint colours. Those can and probably will change. But that feeling of being in my own personal haven is what’s most important to me. Softer shades, gold accents and a feeling of enveloping warmth and light along with a touch of eclectic boho and glam are what’s going to drive all my decisions.