Friday, 12 December 2014

House update - furniture

by Bex

We've made some excellent progress in the house with all major work now done.  I'm so glad we organised that as soon as we moved in!  It's meant we could get on with the more fun side of moving - decorating!

I had some great ideas for certain rooms thanks to my brilliant evening at Hege's Pinbassador event and I have definitely utilised the colour scheme from the left of my mood board for the living room.  I'd also planned on a 'seafoam green', champagne and gold scheme for the master bedroom but this has been adapted somewhat to include more grey and less gold although we still have some metallics in there, they're more of a cool gold and pewter idea than full on gold.

The rooms we were most desperate to change before babies (luckily their room was left untouched paint-wise as it was perfect as was) were the living room and master bedroom (not counting the more drastic changes in the kitchen/dining room).  There are still quite a few finishing touches to make to these rooms so the proper before & after pics will have to wait a while (I'm afraid I have no idea how long what with imminent twin arrival as I write this!) but for now, here are a few of the little projects we've been up to in some of the rooms...

First of all, none of this would have been possible without Mum's help!  She has not only been amazing at helping out with general chores, cooking, washing, ironing while I've been beached on the sofa growing these hefty twins, but she's also been working on a few projects for us using skills we don't have and saving us loads of money!

Unfortunately I've been a bit rubbish with the before photos here but we had a storage footstool/seat in our old living room from TK Maxx (I think it was about £50) which was covered in a lush olive green raw silk.  As I used this almost daily to put my feet up while watching TV/blogging, the cover had become very worn and torn over the years and looked horrendous (one of our removal men thought a cat had been at it!)  I always planned to get it recovered but it was never a priority with everything else going on.  As the living room colour scheme has changed though and we bought some fabric to make roman blinds for this room, we bought some extra and Mum has transformed the footstool!  It looks fab and the dark plum ties in perfectly with the subdued heather and grey tones in the room.  She also had enough left over to make two new cushion covers for our new sofa (replacing green ones which I have now stored as I still love them!).

Not content with just covering this little stool, Mum has also managed to breathe new life into our old brown leather ottoman.  I bought this about 8 years ago with my old brown leather bed for my flat in Edinburgh and we've had it either in the living room or hall in Glasgow since (as it would no longer fit the end of the bed due to the shape of our bedroom in Glasgow).  The bed has since departed our world and I had intended the ottoman to be sold with our similarly aged brown leather sofas once we had new furniture down here.  They're all still in great condition, just not our taste any more and we fancied a change.  Mum had suggested that the ottoman could now go back at the foot of the new bed as there is plenty of room there but the brown leather just wouldn't go at all.  I didn't even think of covering it until the stool was done!

Only just remembered a before pic.
(After the lid and feet were removed and Mum was just about to start stapling!)

After another trip to our new favourite fabric store, C&H Fabrics, and approval from Nik on the fabric I fell in love with (which quite surprised me, I was ready for a debate!), some more sewing/stapling magic from Mum and the end result is this fantastic piece of furniture...

The butterflies are the most prominent but there are some 
huge dragonflies amongst all the other bugs too!  :)

We love it!!

With some help and extra bits n pieces from our lovely new neighbour who makes blinds for a living, Mum is also making the blinds for our bedroom (we're leaving the living room until last as the bedroom ones are clearly more urgent) using a different fabric from C&H but they're not quite done yet so watch this space!

Another fab bit of furniture I'd planned to get was a settle or monk's bench for the hall.  I know Sarah has one and I've always loved her little pew inside her door.  It seemed like the perfect solution for us as a place to sit to take off shoes (or kiddies wellies!) as well as storage for all of the twins' inevitable collection of scarves, hats, gloves, etc. as they get older.  We very nearly got an amazing bargain in the Friday ads down here of a beautifully carved oak version for just £135!  Unfortunately someone else had beaten us to it.  It might have been a little out of place with our modern grey hall now anyway though so when we spotted this more simple pine design in a second hand furniture shop in Haywards Heath, we snapped it up!

It fits the space perfectly and is a great size for the twins to sit on together :)  Although it does go with the doors and oak floor pretty well, I think it would look nicer painted in a dark grey just to really modernise it.  Plus I am just not a fan of pine furniture at all.  Again, watch this space as we have now got a few projects which will certainly be longer term before they are done.

Another one being this AWESOME chair we picked up at a different second hand furniture shop (we've been hunting for a bookcase for the living room but finding other fab things instead!!) in Crowborough.

It's in pretty good condition, the man in the shop thinks it's walnut and from around 1900.  The fabric is a bit worn and the trim coming away a bit at the front but the cushion pad is perfectly fine and the only repair needed is the left arm is slightly wobbly.  All we plan to do with this is clean it up a bit and recover with the same fabric as the ottoman above.  We could paint the wood but I think that would be a shame with this piece as the wood is quite lovely.  It will either end up living in the corner of our bedroom or in a corner of the living room, we've yet to decide.  After some haggling (as we also bought a few other bits there so drove a hard bargain), we paid £65 for the chair.  We just need to get a reasonable quote for the upholstering now as this is a little beyond Mum's skill/comfort zone.

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