Lounge Living

One of the rooms that I get asked about most often and which always scores well in the “like”department on Instagram, is my lounge.

Never a picture without a pug in it

We are fortunate to have a very large lounge that runs from the front to the back of the house. We have a bay window to the front

With French doors to the rear garden,

More pugs …….

We also have 4 of these small “slit” style window front and back which as well as being a lovely throwback to the age of the house, also demonstrates the depth of the outer stone walls- reinforcing how houses used to be built.

When we viewed the house the lounge certainly wasn’t a feature in the property.

Photos courtesy of rightmove

With dull grey walls that didn’t work at all, a 60s style tiled fireplace with a thick woolly dark grey carpet and a mish mash of furniture it certainly did nothing to bring out the features of the room.

Photo courtesy of rightmove

We set about revamping the room, looking for it to be warm and inviting. As a room used predominately at night I was less concerned about capturing the daylight , however since the room has been renovated I find myself popping in for a quiet coffee whilst watching the garden outside the French windows and enjoying the trees to the front.

We decided early on that whilst we would retain the Georgian style fireplace, the backboard and hearth would be revamped. We were keen to keep an open fire in the room but this proved problematic when we discovered that we lived in “smoke free” zone so instead we opted to install a wood burning stove (actually its multi fuel, but we only ever burn wood). I will do a blog post to follow on how we chose our stove and benefits and drawbacks of ownership (yes despite their huge appeal they do have drawbacks).

My next must have was wall panelling to the wall behind the fireplace, there were 2 reasons for this choice. One was I just love wall panelling (simples) and the second was that the TV would be sited above the fireplace and I wanted it to sink into the wall and be as unobtrusive as possible, by
building a false wall I could bring the panelling out to meet the edge of the tv and thus reduce the depth of the fireplace ledge allowing the fireplace to blend better with the panelled wall.

That sorted it was down to colour, I wanted a neutral colour that wouldn’t jar with the dining room which the lounge flows from, I love grey but the previous owners had used a grey on the wall behind the fireplace which didn’t work at all, it was cold and flat and made the room even more
depressing. However I know from experience that I’m safe with Farrow & Ball and chose a warmer blue/grey tone- “Mole’s Breath” to use on the panelling and the fireplace.

As it’s a very large lounge I wanted to provide some texture and warmth and opted for a wallpaper for the the other 3 walls. The paper I chose was a perfect blend for Mole’s Breath but has an almost raised tweed effect texture to it that added some warmth to the room.

Albany Linen Plain wallpaper from http://www.wallpaperdirect.co.uk

For the ceiling and woodwork I decided to keep things tonal and cosy and opt for a coloured finish. I chose Farrow & Ball “Purbeck Stone” to do all of the woodwork, cornicing and ceiling. This is a light stone coloured paint that gives warmth but doesn’t detract the eye in the way that a solid bright white would.

Farrow & Ball Purbeck Stone woodwork

The next issue we had in the room was the carpet, which was a thick dark charcoal grey. It may have kept the room cosy but did nothing for the aesthetics in the room and it had to go. Peeling it back revealed almost intact pine (I had been hoping for oak) original floorboards which we promptly set about restoring, finished off with a grey/white wood stain mix to work with the chosen tones in the room. It has ended up being a lovely feature in the room.

Original floors being stripped
Choosing a coloured stain
The finished floor done in a mix of grey and white stain

Next on the list was the radiators, for such a large room the bog standard white radiators just weren’t up to the job. We decided to replace them with original style column radiators however this was a less than easy task, given the size we needed, the output required and then agreeing a colour. We finally found what we were looking for at http://www.onlyradiators.co.uk , where we opted for beautiful column radiators in a raw metal finish. The finish has a nice metallic look to it, almost industrial feeling and we are really happy with them. One word of advice though, when choosing radiators remember to factor in the cost of the valves and for column style you probably also want feet for additional stability. These must have items can add an extra few hundred pounds to your overall radiator bill so tread carefully.

Raw metal column radiator

Next up was a change of light switch and plug sockets. We inherited the standard white plastic that everyone tends to have and I wanted to replace these with something a bit more stylish. I chose to add covers that toned with the overall colour scheme and the new radiators. We went for fittings from http://www.dowsingandreynolds.com

Smoked gold light switch with black dimmer knobs

Next it was time to think abut furniture. This was a big (and costly) undertaking for us , having spent so much time getting the basics of the room right we really needed to make sure that we didn’t spoil all the hard work with the wrong furniture choices. My next blog post coming soon will explore how we selected furniture for the room and decided on the placement and accessories.

I hope this little insight into how we created the bones of our room helps you when you are thinking about starting a room from scratch and I hope you will pop back to find out how we set about choosing furniture.

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