I have this inbuilt desire to nest whenever I move into a new place. I am of the renting generation, and that’s something that I have come to accept, but never before have I had decent landlords, that say “as long as you’re happy here, you can do what you like to it”, and that is precisely what I have done with regards to decorating.
Now, the lounge has been painted for a few months now, but it’s taken longer to really piece this room together. It has to be that perfect balance of what is comfortable and what is functional, especially seeing as this room also has to function as a dining area. It also has to be ready to be transformed along with the seasons from a Spring/Summer look to an Autumn and separately Winter feel. In this post everything you see is how it is presented throughout Spring and Summer following the Astronomical calendar.
So let’s talk about the colours. Originally, I intended the lounge to be a very pale grey with contrasting yellow, but that just wasn’t good enough and so I settled on some bolder shades of both, much to mother’s dismay as I decorated whilst she was on holiday. I ended up painting the lounge mainly in “Slate Grey” with “Golden Rays Yellow” both from the B&Q Colours range. I chose these colours because it’s not only modern, but it is daring. Friends, family and colleagues who have seen the decoration have all commented on how daring it is, how they would never think of doing it, but ultimately how it just works.
The ‘Slate Grey’ helps enclose the room in shade that helps when the lights go down and create comfort all through the year, and during summer, gives you that cool touch when it’s to hot outside. The yellow on the other hand, brings little bursts of colour, and it is little. The only yellow in the room is around the window (which helps bring a warm glow when the blinds are drawn) and around the room, to make more a feature of something that sticks out from the normal wall in the absence of a chimney breast.
The decoration in this room is my ode to trying to be minimalistic but also comforting. I have taken great lengths to find the right pieces, and curated them to the point that it feels like things are on display but also that the room needs these pieces to be comforting. The tripod lamp is from B&Q whilst the shade on top is from Wilkos but has two pieces missing intentionally. The sofa is from DFS (Zapp Collection), the two yellow cushions either end of the sofa were from The Range, and the middle cushion was from Next Home.
My big mirror is one I’ve had since my teens, all I did was paint the frame black with some basic Ronseal Ebony wood paint, the two pictures either end were liberated from my father’s house before he moved to Italy, and the other decorative touches are pieces I’ve picked up over time.
The majority of the rest of my furniture in the lounge is the Rio collection from B&M, the coffee table was donated to me by my mother but originally cost £59.99, the bookcases cost £49.99 each, the media unit cost £99.99, and the dining table and four chairs cost £149.99. It may all have come flat packed, but it’s real wood and doesn’t look like the stereotypically cheap furniture you’d expect from a bargain shop. It also lends a warmth to the room, and that touch of nature that I enjoy in any interior.
I could have replicated the black frames all around the room, but there was a certain part of me that just wanted to break away from that and bring a bit more yellow elsewhere, and so I grabbed these two frames, originally white, and sprayed them this Plastikote ‘New Yellow’ colour and they fit the room perfectly behind and above the television (where I intended the tripod lamp to go, but it just didn’t fit in the space eventually). The prints in the frames where intended to be temporary, but I’ve since grown to enjoy them there. The bee is just a drawing of a honey bee from Google and the quote is one of my favourites from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche.
So, there’s the basics of how my lounge looks for half of the year. Stay tuned for the ‘Autumnal’ variation, and then the very special ‘Seasons Greetings’ look.