21/03/2011

Home refurbishment: Adding details to the lounge

For me, most of 2010 was about being pregnant whilst living in a house that was undergoing a serious refurbishment. To be honest it was absolute hell and I wouldn't recommend the experience to anyone, but unfortunately we had budgetary constraints which meant we couldn't rent elsewhere whilst the building work was being done... Instead, we lived amidst rubble and building materials for six months and at one point had to cook using a mini fridge and a heating plate stationed in the middle of our staircase (that was during months 7 and 8 of my pregnancy by the way... have you ever tried cooking even an egg with a foot on each step whilst balancing an extra 15% weight-load? I have, it's not easy).

Unlike what someone with a serious dose of insensitivity suggested to Hubby Dearest, the house re-vamp will not stay in ours minds amongst the happy and fun memories, especially as all of the contractors we used seemed to be crippled by some serious incompetence issues. However the effort we made for this project means that it feels even better everytime we look at our house.

We finally saw the back of the last building team in January and since then we have enjoyed adding our personal touches to the house. About time!! Of course having a tiny baby around means that the personal decorating is taking a back seat but now that he is almost three months old we've decided to try and complete one room each week. Here is what we have done to the lounge...


Whilst it would have been easy to buy a TV unit off the rack we thought it would be better to have something made especially for us, so I designed a unit with a lacquered sliding panel that would hide the TV when not in use. The bottom unit holds the laptops, sky box, dvd player etc, and I've now dedicated one of the compartments to hide away little baba's toys and books when he's not playing in the lounge. Of course all the wires are hidden in the wall behind the units, and that alone was a nightmare in terms of project management: we had to get our cowboy builders to do it at least three times as they never got it right, first they built a wire box that was too narrow, then they forgot to hide part of the wires... seriously I know one doesn't need an MIT diploma to be a builder but come on, is it too much to ask that they follow instructions?! What is nice about this pair of units is that they are perfect displays for the little things we've gathered over the years, such as the demon statues from Thailand, the little crystal plate from Prague, and the papier mache frame we brought back from the Galapagos.


To the side of the TV area there is a wall we use to display family pictures, and instead of buying a puzzle frame we created a puzzle of dark grey frames from Debenhams ourselves. I think it looks a little bit more interesting this way. The border is the same shade of grey as the wall behind the chimney and the bannister. Check out picture frames from Betty Jackson Black on http://www.debenhams.com/

For our TV area we got a new dark grey L-shaped sofa from Habitat, in a suede-like fabric which is comfortable and cat-proof. We finished by accessorising it with some throw cushions which pick up on the Moroccan rug design, and flanked it with a large leather box and an Asian stool which serve as side tables. Check out http://www.habitat.co.uk/ for L-shaped sofas. The square cushions are from the Habbous in Casablanca and the rectangular ones from Clarissa Hulse at Heals http://www.heals.co.uk/k.

We also put our vintage pictures of Moroccan scenes up in the staircase. We wanted to achieve a gallery feel by aligning the pictures with the little stair lights. The pictures come from a photography book my mom gave me years ago when I left Morocco. We framed the photographs ourselves using some basic black box frames and white thick paper to create borders.


Finally, we found a big vintage ad poster for safaris in the Serengeti online, and ordered it framed in a combination of grey outlines to tie in with the rest of the lounge.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the colour you used on your chimney breast? could you let me know the name?

Little S said...

It's by Dulux, it's called Night Jewel 3.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I love your blog by thé way

Kat said...

Gorgeous, you have great taste. It looks very cosy and stylish at the same time:-)

Little S said...

Thanks so much Kat!

sammyjoe said...

I have missed so much!! I love the colour of the grey feature wall and banister and the whole look with the sofa etc all just works!!

JA_UK said...

Love the way you can see the Moroccan accents in the decor/accessories! I love looking at interiors and this a pleasure to look at. Im glad the major works have been completed and now you are free to enjoy your beautiful home xx