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House Tour - Hallway, stairs and back sitting room.


This weeks post is quite an exciting one - the first in the House Tour series! We have been living in our house a little over a year and it's all coming together nicely. There are still a few bits and bobs that need doing and things that need buying (mainly rugs) but I am ready to start sharing some before and afters with you all. If you were my client, this is where I would be asking you to fill in my questionnaire so I could get an idea of your likes and dislikes, function of the space and any existing furniture you have that you want to keep. I would also ask if you had any ideas saved on a Pinterest board or photos to send to me - here is what I would have shared.




HALLWAY AND STAIRS.


The hallway was the first "room" we tackled, and actually it was quite a good one to start with, even though painting that huge wall took a very long time! Paint was the only real choice to make and I decided to go quite bold with Farrow and Ball, Oval Room Blue. It is such a rich blue and it really creates the feel of more space in this narrow room. It works very nicely with the warm toned wood skirting boards and floor. The other walls were painted a standard brilliant white which was continued up the stairs and onto the landing above. The white made everything immediately feel much fresher than the off-white cream it had originally been. It also reflects the blue of the opposite wall, tricking your eye into thinking it is actually its own colour. I gave the stair railings a face lift with Farrow and Ball, Downpipe - a very fiddly job that took ages but it was worth it, just a warning though!





BACK SITTING ROOM.


When we moved in, the room to the rear of the house was billed as a dining room. Now, I don't know about you, but most of our meals are eaten in the kitchen so we didn't feel like we needed a specific dining room. When we were decorating the main living room at the front of the house, all of our furniture, and us along with it, ended up in the back room for a few days. Even though the furniture wasn't right, sitting back there in a cosy chair made us realise what we wanted it to be like. It was quite a tricky room to get my head around, positioned at the back of the house means it is quite dark and you have to walk through it to go downstairs to our basement kitchen. It was in real danger of being overlooked as a usable space to spend time in and rather just ending up as part of the hallway. I did however want the space to link to the hallway, so that there was a noticeable flow through the house. This room needed its own function, not just to be another living room with a TV and sofa or a rarely used dining room with a table and not much else.


When I wrote this blog post and designed a garden room based on my visit to the Tatton Park flower show, I decided this was going to be the starting point for the back room. It does not look out on to the garden exactly, because to access our garden you actually have to go upstairs! Instead the patio windows look out onto a very small graveled area and a lovely Derbyshire stone wall. Even though it isn't quite a garden view, the idea was still to bring outside in. Below is the final design board I created featuring some specific items that we already had and others that were going to be bought.





The first thing that HAD to go was the red wall. This was covered up with Farrow and Ball Blackened which seems to glow in the muted light in the room. After this, the next thing I chose for the room was some lovely ILiv leaf print fabric for the curtain as this was going to be a substantial feature in the room due to the size of the window. This particular design has several colourways but the version I settled on, featuring grey and blue goes with my wall colour choices in both this room and the hallway, and the lovely complimentary orange added a little contrast. As this is such a large curtain, rather than have the blind completely matching, instead chose a plain, off white fabric and edged it in the leaf print. The curtains and blind were actually made by myself with help from my Mum, who teaches curtain making (pole put up by my Dad, a real team effort). To link the spaces together, a little left over Oval Room Blue was used in the fireplace.



Furnishing were a little tricky. I toyed with the idea of a small sofa deciding it would be too imposing and block the flow. We tried moving all our existing chairs from other rooms in to see if any looked at home in there instead. When that failed, we ordered several chairs online and tried different options, settling on this blue velvet chair from Maison Du Monde. It is a compact chair but still very comfortable. There wasn't originally meant to be two the same, but after finding a small flaw in the fabric on one, they replaced it with a new one and let us keep the old one (throws are great for covering slight imperfections)! Another thing I really hated about this room was the light fitting. At the end of last summer we were in Cornwall and I saw some beautiful beaded chandeliers in the Cream Cornwall shop in St Ives. Sadly way out of my budget so I put them out of my mind, until I came across this beauty from Matalan. It's as if it was made for this room!



The barley twist, drop leaf table was bought from a charity shop not long after moving with the intention of it being a new kitchen table, but actually it is perfect for this space, acting as a sideboard but lying in wait to become a table if we need it and now home to my pelican lamp too. The tree stump side table was made by my husband and came with us from our old house. The wooden bench in the hall is another example of his handiwork! And can you spot the re-upholstered footstool from my previous post? The inside of the original cupboard was painted the same colour as the walls to brighten it up and now houses all of our books, ready for an evening of reading. Finally a selection of plants were very important to bring the outside in (all ones that don't mind a shady spot), as was the mirror, positioned opposite the window to reflect both light and the outside.



We now love this space and spend a lot of time in it and visitors always comment on how much they love it too. Apart from a few new bits and pieces, all that was really needed to transform this room was a good coat of paint. In all the Pink Couch design packages and bespoke design services, I look at the best way of creating the space you want all within your budget. Interior designers aren't just for the super rich, just think of me as a friend giving you a little advice! In the long run, getting a bit of help with planning your project before you start could save you money as you will reduce costly mistakes like choosing the wrong paint colour or piece of furniture. Click here to see the different ways I can help with your next project.


Rx



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