The Sitting Room: A Lesson In Perseverance
If you are familiar with our instagram account, you are probably familiar with this room. But unless you have followed from the very beginning, you might not know the drama it took to get here. So here we go, long story short (except not that short at all. Sorry.):
When we first moved in, this room was the ‘dining room’. I mean, we had a dining table in it..? In 2015 (a few months after getting the keys) we painted it in a colour that we had mixed at Valspar, from the swatch of our living room sofa. In all honestly, I’m not even sure why we did this. We’d never really even liked our sofas but I do remember that we wanted to go to the dark side and our downstairs is open plan (with an archway leading between these two rooms) and I think, at the time, we thought it would help tie the two rooms together. Anyway. Mr S thought it would be a good idea to use a silk finish paint. It wasn’t. If you’ve never used anything other than a matte emulsion on your walls (congratulations) you might not be aware that literally EVERY SINGLE brush stroke, roller stroke(?) or imperfect patch of wall is visible. It. Was. Infuriating. We eventually ended up painting the entire room again in a matte (same colour).
If you look closely on the first image you can see the silk paint around the light switch. This is an awful photo, imagine in real life.
After living with the room for another 6-12 months (and doing other jobs around the house), we still weren’t in love with it and so we decided to add in coving - a DIY using Polystyrene coving, you honestly can’t tell its not plaster! - and paint above the picture rail and skirting in the same colour, in the hopes that it felt more complete*. Unfortunately there was a bit of an f’ up at Valspar and they couldn’t recreate the same colour in the matte emulsion only in the satinwood. Typically we only found that out after we’d bought two giant tins of the paint and before I could try and return or swap the wrong colour, I managed to knock it over and spill the entire contents (fortunately inside a bag). Now, this will not come as a surprise to any of our instagram followers - the first but not the last in the paint spilling episodes. Valspar couldn’t recreate the same colour at all, due to a change in the matte paint formula and so we had to paint the remaining areas in the (shiny) satinwood. If that wasn’t enough , the satinwood tin was then put onto our newly laid carpet upside down (accidentally and by Mr S this time, we are a clumsy household) and the remaining paint spilled all over our brand new carpet. Seriously. Sometimes you just have to laugh…
*Whilst this didn’t work on this occasion, it’s actually the best decision (one of Mr S’ I must admit) we made. We didn’t commit to it fully in this room but ever since this we have continued to paint the skirting and coving in the same colour as the walls and it’s a look we just adore.
You can see the awful shiny paint AGAIN on the second image - seriously, don’t ever touch silk wall paint. The large white mark in the centre of the chimney breast was our attempt to stick a frameless mirror to the wall. Turns out, 100+ year old walls are not flat and so a very flat mirror will not stick with glue like the guy said it would. COOL. The only decent thing about any of these images is the makeover to the cupboard doors. If you scroll back a way to the first set of images you can see that it used to be pine. I’ll do a separate blog post on those because, well, they deserve it.
Are you exhausted yet?
Even after all this work, or maybe because of all this work, we hated this room. It never felt like us and we never finished it (looking back now I honestly have no idea what we were even thinking but, there ya go!). In 2017, we’d had enough. I found a single image via Pinterest from the Suburban Bitches One Room Challenge that sparked a complete u-turn for the room; I showed it to Mr S and that same day we spent an entire evening moving the furniture around and deciding on a new purpose for the space. In the same evening Mr S found the Margot sofa from Made.com and our moodboard for ‘The Sitting Room’ was complete:
We moved the dining table table to the conservatory, in reality we never really used it anyway and this room would now be a ‘Grown-up’ Sitting Room. A place to sit and chat when friends came over, to read or relax with NO TV. We couldn’t bring ourselves to paint this room ourselves for a fourth time and also Mr S wouldn’t let me even attempt that line (eye roll) and so we booked the professionals in asap. We decided to reverse the black and white from the Surburban Bitches ORC, we would have loved the black ceiling but we were concerned of our already very dark room being even more cave-like and also felt that it wouldn’t have the same effect without the Wainscotting. We opted for two thirds black and one white rather than half and half; it seemed to be more appealing to my eye when we were testing this out, turns out ‘the rule of thirds’ is a whole ‘thing’. Makes sense. A few finishing touches - which I’ll discuss more later - and the room FINALLY felt like us:
I titled this ‘A Lesson In Perseverance’ because sometimes you just don’t get it right first time. It’s so easy to look at someone else’s complete home or room and think that they must just find it really easy and why can’t you? If you are struggling with a project, that SUCKS. So I wanted to show you that we all make mistakes, we all take time to find our style. Just keep going. Or have a break from it, do something else and THEN keep going. And I honestly think the big mistakes are the ones that help you find your true style. Trust me, nothing will make you search for inspiration that you really, truly love more than the thought of decorating a room AGAIN and hating it!
Have you had any decor disasters. How did you find your style? Tell me in the comments!
K, love ya, bye x