Before and After

First of all, happy Tuesday y’all.  I don’t usually get to say that to you, so today I am making the most of it 🙂

First thing this morning, we took delivery of a few new exciting items, which will be making their way on to the internets in the not too distant future…but the one I really wanted to show you, and the one that delayed the blog writing yesterday, isn’t even for sale.  It’s just for us, and it was the missing piece in our (drumroll please…..) Living Room Makeover!  I’ll fess up right now and tell you this blog post is a pretty selfish exercise – an excellent excuse for me to enjoy the fruits of my labours – but hopefully, you’ll enjoy them too.

We’ve lived in this new house for exactly 81 days.  11 weeks and a bit.  Sometimes, it feels like we’ve hardly scratched the surface of the the to-do list, and that progress is unbearably slow.  Other days, it feels like a great deal has changed already.  There is, as usual, a lot going on – exciting business things (which I’ll tell you all about June ;)), exciting home things, like upcoming birthdays, non-exciting home things like garages that won’t stay watertight… and when you’re in the middle of all the happenings, it can be hard to see how far you’ve come.  Which is part of why I love a before and after – so here goes…

The living room. What is that shade of brown? Apart from unpleasant, I mean?

Quite the difference, no?  So, for those of you who like to know the details… The chimney breast is painted in Farrow and Ball ‘Hague Blue’.  Our TV is resting on an Ercol Butler’s table, and on the other side of the fireplace stands a vintage medical cabinet.  Peeking in at the bottom corner is an Ercol studio couch, and in the bay window is the long awaited, freshly delivered, Greaves and Thomas sofa bed.  Taking centre stage is a beautiful coffee table from Cathedra – more on him in a moment.  Rug, lampshade and curtains all courtesy of Ikea.  Who says you can’t mix vintage and highstreet?

Beautiful, beautiful arms… and also somewhere for guests to sleep, but whatever. Arms…
Look at those folded corners! How? How did they do that?

The walnut coffee table is a bit special, I think you’ll agree.  Purchased from the ever stylish Whittaker and Gray, he’s one of those rare pieces that we don’t actually know a huge amount about – and we’ve never seen another one like it, which makes us love it all the more.  Whittaker and Gray have a huge selection of equally gorgeous pieces to peruse, both online and at vintage fairs around the country – check them out.

So, facing the other way down the room to the dining area used to look like this:

Oh dear.

But now looks like this!


Bookshelves were a key factor in actually being able to unpack some (most) of our boxes, and for value you can’t beat a Billy.  Again, rugs and lampshades from our local Swedish home furnishing store, plus a generous smattering of Ercol – Grand Windsor extending dining table, a mixture of dining chairs and a super useful sideboard all thanks to Mr Ercolani.  You can also just about see our Strand theatre lamp and in the corner, the Hans Wegner J16 rocking chair that we still haven’t refurbished…

A view of the whole shebang, including our radiogram from the clever bods at Retro Bazaar. It plays our iPod 🙂

So there you have it.  81 days has brought about some pretty significant changes after all, even if it hasn’t always felt like it.  I’m slowly learning that everything will get done, when it needs to, and there’s no point in stressing yourself out trying to make it happen sooner.  I’m also learning that with a house, nothing is ever really, truly finished.  This room will change (that brown carpet’s going, for sure) and grow and evolve – but we’ve made a pretty good start.  And in the interests of honesty and blogging truth, this is our real house and all our real furniture, but of course I made the kids hide all their crap before they went to school this morning.  That’s what the sideboard and medical cabinet are for.  I love interior design shows but I always wonder, where the hell is all your stuff?  So I’m telling you now, it’s all rammed in the cupboards.

Have a great week vintage fans, normal blogging service will resume on Monday!

H xx



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