It’s been a while since I posted because, you know, life. Family, work and friendships have taken all my attention recently. But a long break over the festive holiday and the renewing properties of the New Year in general have reenergised me design-wise. I’ve increasingly found myself on Instagram, reading more of my favourite blogs and casting a critical eye over the house, seeing scope for all sorts of projects. I’ve found some design inspiration and mojo for 2018, and I’m excited to refocus on making my house the best home it can be, and to share my adventures in home styling with you, lovely readers.
So now seems a good time to reflect on our home decoration project. Since we moved in (coming up for four years ago – um, how did that happen?) we’ve redecorated almost top to bottom. The only room we haven’t touched is the upstairs bathroom which with its roll top bath and plain tiles is completely inoffensive, if entirely bland. This room hasn’t had any sort of priority, because, to be truthful, I don’t use it. It is the sole domain of the boys of the household, and I’m quite happy to leave them to it. Is that selfish? They haven’t complained.
Moreover, if I’m entirely honest, the bathroom (like the downstairs shower room) is too small and narrow to get any decent photos, so I haven’t had the motivating magic of Instagram to spur me on.
However, it seems wrong to leave the house “unfinished”. So I think 2018 will be the year to get on with a ‘light touch’ makeover of the bathroom. Despite being on trend, I’m not overly enamoured of the green tiles that cover the walls to dado height in there. However, budget will not stretch to replacing them, so instead I’ll have to find a way to make them work.
The floor of the bathroom is an unappealing utilitarian grey rubber. Tiling the floor would involve moving the roll top, and again would cost. Instead, I’d love to try stencilling a tile effect on the floor, inspired by @libbyfitter’s beautiful handiwork in her hall. I’m hoping it’s an easier job than it looks.
A year on since my own hallway makeover was “finished” I still have a bare light fitting in the upstairs hallway. I’ve been prevaricating, waiting for the perfect pendant light to present itself but so far to no avail. I’m resolving to take action and DIY another oversized fringed chandelier to match the downstairs one.
I’ve tentatively floated this proposition with the Houses Husband. It would be fair to say he’s not overly excited at the prospect. But I have pointed out to him that as so many of you contacted me to ask for a tutorial in how to make one, it is in fact our duty to create one. I made the classic blogger gaff of failing to take adequate photos of the making of our prototype. To be honest, attempting to shoot the Houses Husband wrestling to twist a curtain rail into a circle and bolt it together, with just the two hands, was unlikely to have inspired any enthusiasm for further assistance. This time I’ll enlist an extra pair of hands.
New Plans afoot
What else would I like to do in 2018? Not much. Only…everything.
Is it wrong that I’m making redecoration plans before I’ve even completed round one? Perhaps, but the fact is that my access to design inspiration, and maybe along with it my design confidence, has grown exponentially since I decorated most of the house nearly four years ago. Those initial projects pre-dated me even having an Instagram profile. Good grief, I didn’t even have Pinterest. I thought blogging was something techies did. And I didn’t have any time for interiors magazines. (That last bit hasn’t changed incidentally.)
When it came to choosing colours for the house, it was one woman versus the Magnolian Empire, my only weapon: a Farrow and Ball colour wheel. I literally went round the house and picked the colours I liked the best in each room, taking account of furniture and art that we’d kept from the last house. Bereft of inspo pics or mood boards to guide me, I just went with my gut. Not surprisingly I found making decisions pretty painful. The process seems as rooted in history as popping down to Blockbusters to pick a film.
Four years on, every day I’m exposed to jaw-droppingly fabulous homes, beamed from all over the World into the palm of my hand. How could I fail to be inspired to start over?
Where to start?
As the first room to be decorated in the house, the living room is shouting loudest for a revamp. I still love the Farrow and Ball London Clay on the walls, but I’d like a fresh look.
I haven’t tired of the Farrow and Ball Hague Blue in the family room yet, but I’m ready to move on from the Cole and Son’s Hicks Hexagon feature wall. And the vintage suite that was meant to tide us over until we could afford a new sofa is still in situ, and smelling as vintage as ever; there’s definitely potential for a makeover in here.
Probably most likely candidate for a makeover is our bedroom. I’ve never been entirely happy with it. It has suffered from being the most iterative of the room makeovers and I’ve never felt that it’s really pulled together perfectly. While in isolation I love the vintage brick red ceramic tiles in the fireplace, it’s not a colour that works for me in a bedroom, and it’s been incredibly restricting in terms of developing colour scheme I’m happy with. So if I can think of a super-savvy way to deal with that, then I can take the bedroom in all sorts of directions. (Preservationists relax: The tiles aren’t original Victorian.)
So, while I’ve no firm plans yet, my head is bursting with inspiration, starting with colours. Which way I’ll go – the ethereal appeal of moodily dusky neutrals, or the sumptuous drama of strong jewel shades – is the dilemma that will consume me – in the most fun way – for the next wee while.
Meantime I’ve put together a moodboard of what’s been turning my head recently. I don’t have any particular project in mind, but this captures my personal design inspiration for 2018.
- Print, Surface View, from £80
- Bird wall decorations, Maisons Du Monde, £15.59
- Parrot coat hook, Maisons Du Monde, £11.99
- Renaissance Cowhide Rug, Curious Egg, £688
- Vintage pink accent chair, Made.com, £229 (in sale at time of writing)
- Downton Abbey lampshade, Lisa Lampshades, £140
- Clay paint in Damson Mousse, Earthborn Paint, from £4.50 (sample pot)
- Globe vase, rose glass and brass, Amara, £30
I seem to be irresistibly drawn to a palette of smoky lilacs and pinks; not a colour scheme I would have considered previously. I’m no slave to fashion, but I have learned that when it comes to colour just as with trouser width, you should never say never. The only question is what will happen first: wearing flares or painting my walls lilac. I can guarantee though, I’ll be looking beyond my trusty colour wheel for inspiration this time.