From tiny 1970s-themed fourth bedroom to modern his ‘n’ hers home office, our first proper room renovation is now finally finished!! I can’t believe it’s taken nearly 2 years and countless updates on here along the way but hooray it’s DONE and we couldn’t be happier.
So. In the words of Craig David, “Re-Wind” and let’s go back to the beginning. The first post I wrote about starting the work was back in May 2014 and here are some before photos since you must know by now how much I love before photos!
I sometimes wonder whether I use the word renovations too losely, after all we’re not exactly knocking down walls. But stripping wallpaper and replastering, pulling up a carpet, followed by tiles, followed by skirting board then replacing the floor, well it’s not too far off.
And then it gradually started taking shape. The walls were replastered and rewired. A new floor and new skirting went in and it went grey, being bold and picking ‘City Break’ by Crown. We short-listed 3 greys and this was by far the darkest but if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to go for it.
It remained like this for a fair while, decorated but unfurnished. Already it was almost impossible to believe that it was same room. Somehow the floor and paint made the room feel bigger not smaller and I could feel the house sighing with relief that we’d finally started showing it some love after years of neglect from previous owners.
In April last year, we had new windows fitted across the front of the house which included this room. They open fully thanks to the invaluable advice of the company who did the windows – building regs require that you should be able to escape out of the window of any habitable room and since the window opening was too small to achieve this with a fixed mid-bar, the design was adapted.
My neighbours designed, made and fitted the bespoke shelving – white to contrast against the grey and an industrial-style finish to create something even more unique.
Finally, we started to furnish. It’s not that either of us work from home on a permanent basis, but we do both work from home on occasion and what with my blog and business plus Pete’s out of work activities, we really wanted a space we could share. We sourced desks from Dwell that fit perfectly side-by-side and of course mine’s the one closest to the radiator. Our chairs and desk lamps came from John Lewis and a small storage unit behind us also came from Dwell.
The last major addition to the room was the plantation shutter fitting which now keeps us snug and cosy at night-time and during winter.
The pretty tea light holders were picked up on a trip to Ikea and filled with giant tealights.
I’ve loved adding colour with different accessories and using white furnishings to contrast against the dark grey. All our storage boxes and files came from WH Smith, the ‘You’ve Got Mail’ letter sorter from Debenhams and our pen pots are re-purposed hyacinth pots from last year. The copper basket light string is from Urban Outfitter and the star garland via Etsy.
These little prints are gift cards that I came across at one of the markets I used to trade at. One says “So Begins This Wonderful Adventure” and the other says “Shall We Curl Up And Just Stay In”.
Pete’s desk, normally piled high with stuff that I moved out of shot! The coaster and little dishes on the windowsill were gifts from my Mum and the vase is a recycled wine bottle.
Pete bought me this little copper set from Paperchase as part of my birthday present because he knows how much I love stationery! And it’s one of the things I love about grey, there are so many other colours that look so beautiful when paired up together.
The storage unit and yellow waste paper bin both come from Dwell and of course, there always needs to be space for function and not just aesthetics, so we do have a printer and a shredder in this room! The ampersand light is from Iconic Lights and the elephant and turtle are little mementoes from our third honeymoon to Sri Lanka last year and our second honeymoon to Borneo in 2011. We made a pact that every 4 years we take another honeymoon because life’s too short to only have one.
This was the very first thing I bought for the room, an industrial lampshade from Nuvarti. It wasn’t cheap but I adore it, it looks so perfect in the space.
The memo board is the final piece I was waiting for, found on Instagram from Pins & Ribbons – I love the vintage map fabric and reflects our love of travelling (well, my love of travelling anyway!)
My favourite tea-drinking mug which is now a permanent fixture in the office, recently purchase from Ellen Waldren designs. It certainly helps me feel inspired.
This shows how well the new floor and skirting worked. Eventually we want to replace all the skirting in the house so it matches but getting it off in the first place is not an easy job. It’s worth it though to make sure the flooring can be finished up to the wall.
Every work space needs music too, Pete bought this dinky DAB radio with Rob Ryan customisation as a gift when we had the floor laid and the walls painted. It does tend to get moved around from room to room but if I’m in charge then it’s always tuned to Absolute 80s.
My Mum gave us this reverse clock for Christmas a couple of years ago, it took us a little while to figure out how to tell the time but we love it, again because it’s different and quirky (and in one of my favourite colours!)
Here’s my first attempt at a You Tube video too! It’s not brilliant because it’s done on my phone and I’m rambling but I’d be thrilled if you could have a little watch, it’s about 5 minutes long. I’m hopeless at visualising and never imagined for one second that we could turn the room we were faced with when we moved into the house into such an incredible transformation and love it so much. We now know what we can achieve but with 3 more bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen to renovate, plus an extension to build, garden to landscape and outbuilding to convert, you can now probably see why it’s a very long-term plan. One room down…
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There is so much I love about this room! The wall colour is great, and you have great taste in accessories, but is it wrong that the thing I love the most are those little copper lidded jars with the copper stationary bits? Such a small but fabulous touch!
We’ve recently re-done my home offie, but still have a few finishing touches left to do – we had to replace a skirting board after having a wall replastered, and it’s been too cold to paint it up so it’s just sat in our hallway at the moment. We really must sort that out!
I love your office! I’m sure I’ve said it before, but it really looks so cosy and lovely – I would be more than happy to work from home all day, everyday in there! We’ve been in the same position saving to renovate (whilst still renovating) for the last five years, so I know how tough and slow it can be to make progress! You’ve done an amazing job though, such a transformation and well worth the wait! Did I mention I love that grey too?! I can’t wait to see what you do with the next room!
Oh I was so unbelievably excited when the email popped up in my inbox! I love reveals and am so with you on showing the true before – it means you appreciate the full extent of the transformation and every little step that was taken! It looks immense, I’m thrilled for you (and totally jealous you have a finished room). All the finishing touches really make it pop. X
Ooh also I haven’t been able to watch the video yet (meant to be ‘working’) but will def check it out at lunch or this evening! X
Wow wow wow Lins, it looks incredible, what a transformation! I love makeover posts 🙂 Such a great job here. I especially love the copper string lights, they look fab and I’ve never seen those before. #homeetc
I love the whole space, the grey is a perfect neutral, you have done an amazing job of getting so much in the small room without it feeling too much, I am very jealous indeed I want it all xxx
There is SO much I love in here. Particularly love the geometric multi-coloured filing, and the attention to detail with the copper accessories. Even moreso against the grey. Gorgeous! x
Thank you Karen, my only worry is that the rest of the house will take us so long by the time we’re done I’ll hate that grey 😉 Need to speed up I think! X
Your office looks ace. I love the contrast of the dark grey and sharp white and your shelves are beautiful. We’ve recently finished our first room too. It’s great to have something to look at to see what you can achieve when the going gets tough. Fab job #homeetc
I totally agree, I think having at least one room which you can use as a light at the end of the tunnel is so rewarding although I am now increasingly impatient to carry on! X
Oooh a FAB makeover! I love the grey walls, all your brilliant accessories and ooooh that shutter! Dreamy! Especially loving the little copper jars of copper paper clips etc, they’re fab! I’ve got a bit of an obsession with copper myself! xxx Popping over from #HomeEtc
It’s so crazy that despite all the big things we’ve done like new windows and new floors, I love some of the little touches the most 🙂 Off to have a nosey of your blog Xx
What a transformation! It looks great, and I love the lampshade! x #HomeEtc
Thank you 🙂 It was a bit of an impulse purchase but I’m so glad we went for it because it looks just beautiful in that room X
I love it, Lins. I really, really love it. It’s such an amazing transformation and all of your little bits and pieces finish it off so wonderfully well. You must love sitting in there and peering out of the window, too.
Oh Lins I would have no qualms at all about calling this a renovation! You have done a brilliant job. It looks fantastic. I love the grey walls, the lovely window and the shutters. All your accessories and fittings are beautiful – a lovely quirky, colourful mix.
P.S. lovely to hear your voice 🙂
Congratulations on completely finishing a room – looks amazing! You’re totally right about the grey walls – everything really pops against them and I totally think that the room looks bigger. Love your choice of accessories, too. They make it feel homely, but still in and organised and office-y way.
Thanks Christine, I know you out of everyone gets the need for attention to detail 🙂 We may still yet replace the internal doors in the house but I couldn’t wait for that to happen before declaring the office room finished! X
I love the transformation of that room, it does look amazing. I love the grey, I think it really fits the room perfectly.
I like the little touches and details you have put it and the little bits of colour.
My fave are the fairy ligths
Thanks so much Elena, I think sometimes what takes me the longest is all the little touches!! If it wasn’t for them I’m sure I’d be finished sooner 🙂 X
It’s perfect, I love it! The grey is so cool and I love all the colourful accessories. And that mug… I need one!! x #HomeEtc
Aw thanks Lizzie, yes the grey really worked in the end didn’t it? I’m glad we stuck to our guns, even when the guy was painting he was asking if we were sure then when he came back he couldn’t believe how good it looked! X
The before photo’s!!!!!! Eeeek. What a fab job and a super place to work. Great job and all the accessories make it look stylish and practical. Love this. Thanks for linking up – much appreciated. Jess xx
Thanks so much Jess, yes it’s definitely a huge improvement on the before photos that’s for sure! Thank you for hosting Xx
What a transformation. I have to admit our shared office looks very much like those first pictures. Grey and brights are very on trend at the moment or so I have read… I love the attention to detail, from the storage to the stationary it’s so corordanated… A real Pinterest space… Your hard work has paid off… What’s next????
Thanks so much for your lovely words and thank goodness for Pinterest for giving me the inspiration in the first place, where we would we be without it? As for what’s next that seems to change on a daily basis but it’s already nearly March so we need to get cracking! X
Wow, what a transformation! You’ve worked so hard, well done. I love the grey you’ve chosen too.
Thank you Nancy, it’s been really worth it in the end and definitely gives us inspiration for the next projects! x
It looks great Lins – and small spaces can take just as long as larger ones, I’ve found! Total transformation though, love the grey and the pops of colour #homeetc
Can’t they just? I think it’s because I keep fiddling!! On to the next now 🙂 X
Aaaah I think this is my favourite post of your EVER!!! Seeing it from start to finish is SO inspiring. I blooming LOVE what you’ve done — it looks awesome. Love the colour, the shutters, the floor. Love it all. Clever girl 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up! #HomeEtc is live from 6am tomorrow — I hope you’ll be able to join us! xx
I have only just come across your blog & I love it already! We too live in a 1930s semi – with a Springer Spaniel & I have one of those sized bedrooms! I’d love to turn it into a home office but the older 2 keep filling it with their stuff from Uni!!!! Really love what you’ve done with this room – it looks like a fabulous place work in.
Thank you Nicky, such kind words – I’m always touched when someone comes across the blog. Funnily enough whilst we don’t have children to fill the space we seem to do a mighty good job of that ourselves somehow :/ Could definitely do with a purge or two 😉 Xx
Love the grey paint – what is it?
Thanks Beth! It’s called ‘City Break’ by Crowne. 3 years on and it’s still going strong 🙂 X