Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Modern Living Room Makeover

Ready for the next makeover just before Christmas? This one's a little bit different to the other rooms so far. We are both big fans of different rooms having different themes or feels to them. Like for example we wanted the guest room to feel like a boutique hotel, we were aiming for a shabby chic restaurant theme to the dining room. What with the technology that will be used in this room though, plus we wanted to put some key pieces of modern furniture that we had collected from Ikea over the years, together in the same room, we decided to go down the funky modern route with our main living room.

This room really put us through our paces as when we moved in there were polystyrene tiles on the ceiling again, a textured and patterned wallpaper and a rather fetching green carpet with a bright pine fire surround over a cream marble fireplace. It had been beautifully decorated once upon a time, but we felt it a little mix matched, not to mention the fire hazard element of the tiles.

With the help of friends and family, we set to work on day one stripping the wallpaper with an electric steamer (only to find four other aged layers underneath - grumble, grumble) which took what felt like forever - it starts out fun as you take off massive great big strips, but the bits left behind... cor blimey, they were stubborn. Once the wallpaper was off, we hit the ceiling tiles hard. They came off easy enough but the glue left behind seemed to be best mates with the wallpaper and had no interest in coming off the ceiling.

So when the plasterers arrived there was a slight change in plan as they had to board over that pesky glue instead of just skimming straight over it. Wetting it reactivates it apparently. Grrrr. But they kindly recommended Dulux Supamat paint which I have mentioned before but is worth another mention - that stuff is awesome! You can paint fresh plaster after just two days and you don't need to water the first few coats down, just whack it straight on - this is one trade secret we are happy to be privy too, it saved us so much time!

We weren't overly fond of the dull green carpet left behind, so once the dust sheets were removed and revealed several dramatic splodges of white paint which had seeped through, we actually did a little dance on our trip to the carpet shop late one evening. It's surprising how inexpensive it is to purchase and fit a new carpet. What's even more surprising though is that when you tell the salesman in your exhausted, paint fume induced haze that you would like a white carpet, nobody stops you, they just snigger as you leave the building.

But it looks awesome though and we're really chuffed with it. Obviously we didn't walk on it for three days for fear of dirt being deposited. We merely stood at the threshold and leaned round the door to admire our new room. On the fourth day we realised that appreciating our new living room from such a distant was bordering on ridiculous, oh alright, we had crossed the line after day 2, so we carefully removed our shoes (and the other half's socks - dark sock fluff is menacing at the best of times) and had a drink of wine (white of course - no stains) to celebrate the latest room to be completed.

The pine mantelpiece was also given a lick of paint. The sofa was bought from Ebay and we decided to keep the white blinds in addition to grey curtains. It still needs a few (salvaged) frames hanging and the TV setting up, but for now we're appreciating this relaxing and soothing space in our home. The Christmas tree is now up and the mantelpiece has been decorated too, so it feels really Christmassy in here. No TV yet though! The LP player is however up and running and currently playing Christmas carols. No surprise there.

Happy birthday Joan!

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