Good morning, friends!
I am so excited to share with you the next steps in creating a perfect English cottage for our living room. Today we’re going to tackle the brick fireplace wall and mantel issue, add some window coverings, and pull the room together.
Here’s a look back at living rooms in 2018. You could definitely say that this room has a “collected” look, but not in a very good way. Not only have some of the furniture changed, but so have the pictures and lighting.
In this photo, we still have the blue “seashell” sofa and the coffee table we got for free when we first got married. The ceiling is decorated with glitter popcorn and is covered with blue wave wallpaper. The rooms are very cozy and comfortable (great to start there!) but look dated and tired. I wanted to update this space, make it fresh and introduce a distinct and recognizable style.
This is the first stage in the evolution of the living room. No more glittery popcorn ceiling textures or blue wave wallpaper. The spindle bookcase was sold and the coffee table was replaced with an English country ottoman purchased at an estate sale. The ‘seashell’ cot was donated and all walls and ceilings were smoothed and freshly painted. It was mostly hard at this stage as we did all the work ourselves. As a result, the room is much “quieter”. There were a few months between this phase and Phase 2, so he studied the room with fewer distractions, and the items he was looking for to refine his vision for the room and create a more British feel. now has time to shop at his store and marketplace. Rural look.
I sold the Spindle bookshelf for $85 and bought a pair of this bookshelf for $80. The biggest challenge was finding the right size bookshelf. They sat on the hearth, so it was only ten inches deep and only about that high. It took months to find a pair that met these requirements. This pair is a little short and intentionally a little too narrow as we want to leave room for redesigning the mantelpiece. I plan to assemble and expand it to fit the space over time, but for now this is the next best thing.
At first I painted the bookshelves with my favorite grassy green paint called Beer’s Pesto Paste, but after living in the “quiet” space for months on end (and most of my favorite inspirational photos were I found it to be a muted color palette) and settled on Universal Khaki by Sherwin Williams.
This is how the green bookshelf is installed. Before repainting, I first put it in place, decorated it, and let it “settle down” for a few weeks to see what color would work best. The green was nice, but it seemed like it was fighting too much against the strong red brick as well as competing with the pop of blue in the shelf decoration.
There’s just something lovely about this silky smooth, sophisticated color. I love it wherever I put it! This will now be his fourth time using his khaki for this Universal. If you find a color that suits you, use it! The mantel was then painted with a dark chocolate brown satin finish called Behr’s ‘Espresso Beans’ for greater color contrast with the brick. This dark brown color also looks a lot like the mantelpiece I want to put here in the future.
Now that the bookshelf has been repainted, it’s time to focus on the window dressing. Originally, I was going to simply replace the pull cord curtain that hung inside the window seat, but after waiting months for the rod to arrive (and living with black windows staring at us every night) ), cancel the order and go the other way. We’ve used these gorgeous bamboo blinds on a few other windows in our home, and they always elevate a room and add texture and depth. The blinds are high quality, this company does a great job and frequently he has 30% off sales.
The mat has hanging bamboo blinds (custom made for each window). Warm and natural textures add interest to the room and complement the color of the brick walls. The blinds are easy to install by simply screwing the brackets onto the top sheet metal and hanging a bamboo ‘valance’ to cover it. Not only is it beautiful, but it also darkens the room nicely. We currently have these blinds in his four rooms in the house. If I have time, I plan to install blinds on all the windows. Origin of blinds And I picked a color…I have an affiliate link that can save you money…
Now it’s time to clean up your room! Last time here…
I’m happy to share with you the second phase of my UK living room makeover. Both Matt and I are very happy with the results! I really like how the colors and patterns work well together while giving the room a calming feel. A new bookshelf adds great symmetry and an up-to-date freshness to the space. Painted in universal khaki, it ties in with the back door and makes the room flow better. It’s also nice that you can feel the pop of blue from the umbrella stand to the lamp.
When I first evaluated this room, I made a list of things I liked, and coziness was at the top of the list. The next most important question was, “What is the coziness of this room?” He then narrowed it down to four.
- red brick wall
- Comfortable seats, cushions and blankets.
- great book to read
- ambient lighting
Identifying specifically what we enjoy and what we want to continue has been very helpful in knowing how to move forward. One of the words I use to identify my design style is traditional. Leaving the red brick untouched definitely fits my design aesthetic. While most people would paint the walls (and I certainly looked into German smear and limewash!) the brick was a manageable color and how the rich dark brown mantel worked against the brick. I love how it looks.
This room is very cozy, very comfortable and feels like home. With the same amount of seating (actually more with the addition of the popular ottoman), it’s perfect for entertaining.
I still have a lot of work to do to complete this room, but I’m enjoying the slow but sure pace of putting things together. I’m still looking for mantelpieces on the marketplace. In addition, we have received fabric samples for upholstery, curtains, cushions… There may be a lot of sewing in the future.
This gorgeous linen upholstered loveseat is my favorite piece of furniture I’ve found on the marketplace so far. Ever since I donated my blue “seashell” loveseat back in January, I’ve been on the hunt for MP for a suitable replacement. This ticks all the boxes for a high, solid upholstered back, English roll arms, and a single down-filled bench cushion, and the upholstery colors and patterns convince us. It was a lot.
I’ve seen a lot of loveseats in the last 4 months and this one is perfect! I did not know. The woman who sold it to me had another Highland House sofa and could share how the sofa company offered customization of the leg style, upholstery and included down cushions. I was. It was really nice to secure just the right double seat!
I hope you enjoyed this post and gathered some inspiration to move forward in your field, even if it’s in the ‘good, better, or best’ range.