A little bit of upcycling…

Well, maybe it’s not really upcycling. The chandelier in the front room was the one that came with the flat. It’s quite pretty, in it’s way. Or was. A sort of pale green, distressed to see the brassy metal beneath.

I’m not a fan of shabby chic anyway – I think that distressed stuff tends to look uncared for, almost dirty and messy. It’s worse with wood, which I always think looks mouldy and like the paint is peeling. But what felt bad for the chandelier is that it really rather blended in to the walls. Surely the whole point of a chandelier is that it’s a statement? And of course the pale green/brass didn’t go with the proposed yellow and teal theme for the front room.

So I bought a teal enamel paint and set to work.

Of course, I did it the wrong way. I didn’t properly detach the chandelier so I was painting over my head. And, being stupid, I did the first coat at night so I was staring at the lit bulbs. Yes, stupid stupid! I got teal paint on the table, the remote control and my hair.

Worth it though. I think the result looks stunning. Hope you agree!

Now just wondering what to do with the rest of the tin of paint….

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Colour is in the eye of the beholder

You know those conversations you have where neither side can win – and even though its utterly meaningless, you both get crosser and crosser? Well, me and my lady keep having one or two variants on this.

The first argument is the ‘Is it blue or green?’ question. This usually comes out when looking at a bluey-green colour such as turquoise or teal. I’ll say it’s blue, she’ll say its green and before you know it we’re shouting. Of course, as it’s somewhere between, it really doesn’t matter. As long as we like it, who cares what label we plonk on it?

Well, we’ve been together a while and we’ve learned to agree to disagree on that one. But the same argument raised it’s ugly head when we were talking about a colour to paint the kitchen walls. We were both thinking of a really rich, jewel like, delphinium or lapis lazuli blue.¬† And then when we saw examples, we found that she would quite often call them purple whereas I’d be scratching my head to see the red hint in them… Like these gorgeous tiles at North Greenwich station for example.

This is a lovely photo - if you search for the tiles though, you'll see them looking both more blue and more purple - colour is in the eye of the beholder?

This is a lovely photo – if you search for the tiles though, you’ll see them looking both more blue and more purple – colour is in the eye of the beholder?

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A different shot of tiles, looking gorgeously blue here

But when I thought about irises, I could see how these blues could swirl into purples in people’s eyes…and what matters is that we both love the colour!

Heart of a (purple?) iris

Heart of a (purple?) iris

A much more blue - I think - iris

A much more blue – I think – iris

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See – all stormy and grey and nothing rich and glowing… we’re really struggling here!

Of course, now we’re really struggling to find paints in that colour…anyone know any to suggest?

Rugs – they really make a difference

I’d heard a lot about how much of a difference rugs can make, but I don’t think I really understood it. Perhaps it’s the kind of thing you don’t properly get until you try it out.

But the carpets in our house are pretty grim – thin, poorly fitted and ugly brown. We’ve got enough on our plates without trying to replace carpets too, so rugs seemed like a place to start. We had a couple – old and a bit the worse for wear. A quick wash, and one cream rug was in place. It lifted the room to a quite incredible degree. Brighter, more elegant, more loved.

So I decided to take the plunge and buy a really nice, different looking rug for the living room. Rugs can be ridiculously expensive, but once I got myself into stubborn Google mode, it turned out there were actually a few options. I found a fun abstract yellow and white rug, that might have been a bit jazzy for the room. And a lovely teal and yellow poppy pattern that looked lovely, but I wasn’t sure about as a rug – I felt it might dominate – or look odd when half of it was hidden by a table or an ironing board.

And then there was this one. Beautifully matching teal, interesting and yet abstract, and picking up the wood/neutral colours that the room has alongside the yellow. I put it down and immediately I love it. It makes the room feel more together, more part of a scheme. It makes the small kitchen diner look grand and somewhere you really want to spend time. Amazing!

Just look at how great it looks with the sofa – like they were meant to be together…

Rug with the sofa

It does bring into focus how bare the walls are, but that’s an ongoing project….

The overall effect

Busy life – and orange rooms

Things are pretty hectic for me at the moment. I’m changing jobs – this is my last week in my current one – and there’s lots of loose ends to be tied, as well as leaving drinks to arrange! New job starts next week, so that might take up a lot of time as well.

There’s one room I haven’t mentioned much so far – the loft room. It’s incredibly awkward as a space – the ceiling is very low even at the highest point, and all of the widest part of the room is under the sloping ceiling. At the lowest point the ceiling is about 3 foot off the floor, so there really isn’t much you can fit under there. Though that ‘wall’ also has the two doors to the loft storage in it, so you wouldn’t want to cover it anyway.

I’d originally wanted to have the main bedroom upstairs, but you could barely fit a bed in, and certainly not a wardrobe. Remember how much wardrobe space we installed in the bedroom? Yes, well, that would have been impossible. So we wanted a cosy, second sitting room – a sort of library almost – but with a sofa bed for guests.

Most of the colours we’ve chosen so far are a little on the cold side, though quite bright. I wanted to try a dark colour, that would say ‘cosy’ and ‘warm’ and studyish. So we looked at reds and oranges. We did try a few similar to the Colour Of The Year (Marsala), but they were too flat and brown. I loved some deep, almost purple blood reds, but got vetoed in that they were too red.

So in the end we chose a fiery orange red. It’s Cinnabar Red from Fired Earth, and the colour matches the name – spicy and exotic, orangey but still red. In fact it kind of matches a coat of mine…

Close up of the paint colour

Close up of the paint colour

Its a bit brighter than I envisioned originally, but in the sunshine, or with just a side light on it, it absolutely glows and does actually convey the image I wanted of the room – so all’s well that ends well!

Painting in progress - really shows how the sunshine makes it glow

Painting in progress – really shows how the sunshine makes it glow