After months of dust and disruption, which while kept to a minimum by our lovely builders was still fairly annoying to live with on a day to day basis, it felt amazing to get some lovely clean paint on the walls.
We began with the kids' part of the house, as they currently had all their stuff in the living room, and we needed to evict them from the living room so that we could get it renovated in time for Christmas.
Here's the view of the old kitchen revealed through a new opening created from the new extension.
And a closer look at the same room - currently being used as an extension of the new playroom next door but ultimately destined to be a reading room with floor to ceiling bookshelves:
After being inspired by the many gorgeous dark interiors I see on Instagram under the #styleitdark tag I decided to give it a go. We painted the reading room in Sooty Lashes by Valspar, which is a really lovely deep grey that reads dark blue in our south-facing room (we have the same paint in the boot room and it looks grey, not blue). Hence why it's important to try paint in the actual room you plan to use it in! I like to paint large sheets of paper and pin them up on various walls to see how the paint looks in different lights. I love the new dark colour in our cosy reading room but having dabbled with the dark side I definitely wouldn't want to use it in a main living space. What can I say, I'm a summer girl at heart and prefer lovely light-filled spaces. Good to experiment, though, and I think my book collection will look great against the dark paint.
We painted the playroom in Liberty Blue 6 by Dulux - I'd say that Valspar have the best deep colours but Dulux still nail it with their pale blue range. I also painted two grey areas on the playroom walls (we created our own colour by mixing spare Valspar text pots together, including Bottlenose Dolphin and Urbane) that I plan to use as a gallery wall for the kids to display their masterpieces. Watch this space...
And now this:
As well as painting, we installed some lovely Ogee skirting and architrave kindly provided by The Skirting Board Shop. It's amazing what a difference skirting makes to a room, instantly taking it from 'mid-renovation' to 'finished'. Or rather 'nearly finished' as we still need to nail it permanently onto the wall but haven't done so yet as we need to take care of some electrical work to add extra plugs first. Even having skirting propped against the wall looks dramatically better, though.
The Skirting Board Shop has an excellent range of styles and sizes, and I was able to find exactly the right sizes to match our existing woodwork. We didn't have original skirting in the reading room and playroom so during the build we turfed what was in there and have replaced with new that matches the original skirting elsewhere in the house.
We chose a primed white finish, which after recently spending hours and hours and hours priming all the woodwork in the living room, I was very glad for. I was initially sent the wrong sized skirting so I asked for it to go back on the van and swapped - and we had the correct skirting re-delivered the same day without my even having to call customer services (as the driver took care of it), which is fantastic. There are lots of companies out there who make skirting products, but excellent customer service can't be beaten in my opinion, so I'm happy to recommend The Skirting Board Shop and we will be using them again when it comes to installing the kitchen.
A shot of the hallway showing the new architrave around the entrance to the new bootroom. After the partition came down:
And with the architrave (loosely) in place. We used architrave sets that came in three pre-mitred pieces, which saved us a lot of time.
Another set of before, during, and semi-afters - this time showing the knock through from the old kitchen through to the new extension from the other side.
We're currently spending all our time in the living room due to my last-minute decision to renovate the living room with the words "those 80s curtains are not ruining our Christmas photos for another year". So the curtains came down, the wallpaper came off, we sanded and oiled the floor, demo'd out the fireplace, and primed and painted 20 metres of skirting, 20m of picture rail, 20m of cornice, one massive six panelled bay window and a slightly smaller 14 panelled stained glass side window. Now we're wallpapering the entire room with the Hannah Nunn paper that I chose about 3 years ago, and it looks AMAZING.
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Disclosure: I received the skirting board and architrave from The Skirting Board Shop for free. All words and images my own.