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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