I’ve had a passion for Art from an early age; I’d spend hours sketching, colouring and painting as a child. I took time researching artists from the past and present and collected a vast quantity of art reference books which I’d flick through regularly for inspiration and enjoyment.
As a child I dreamt of decorating my own room and whilst I had some input into the colour schemes my parents selected, it was always down to them to decide how and where things would be placed, painted and so on. Still, I toyed with decor and design through playing and using ‘The Sims’; I would spend hours building, designing and decorating houses in the hope that one day it would be a reality.
Upon turning eighteen I left for university, it was there that I first had the chance to decorate a room entirely as I wished. Being a student and living away from home, I wanted to keep things colourful and cheery thus opted for a radical shade of pink twinned with groovy, cow print decor. I must admit it was slightly psychedelic but it was far from the dull, drab, nicotine stained walls that most students spent their time surrounded by.
Years later I met my husband Paul and it wasn’t too long before we moved into our first house together. The house was rather dated in terms of decor and I couldn’t wait to put my stamp upon the place by giving each of the rooms a fresh coat of paint and by replacing the furnishings with modern pieces which reflected our taste.
I was young back then and far more daring with the dulux. I began by painting our bedroom in a split rouge red and twilight purple gothic theme, twinned with a brilliant, white carpet and cast iron gothic furnishings. Our bedroom was much like a scene from The Nightmare Before Christmas and despite our family and friends turning their nose up to our taste, we rather liked our garishly, gothic bedroom.
Meanwhile I made a start upon the conservatory and the kitchen by painting the walls with a bright shade of terracotta, which set against the black, granite effect worktops made the house feel much brighter.
A few years down the line I had mellowed slightly and come to realise that brash, bold colours aren’t for everyone and wouldn’t realistically sell a house. I therefore repainted and re-carpeted our bedroom in a pale shade of lilac, I then repainted the kitchen in a tasteful shade of turquoise and covered the living room, bathroom, landing and hallway walls with a pale shade of biscuit.
As a result our house sold within the matter of two days, a few months later we then moved to a larger house which felt rather familiar in terms of decor. It wasn’t until we came across some blue prints in our attic shortly after moving, that we discovered the previous owner of our first house was also the previous owner of our new house! Low and behold he had chosen to decorate both houses almost identically thus we had the same work to carry out all over again.
This time though I was far wiser in terms of decor and design, I had a keen eye for colour and wanted to create a relaxing living space in which we could entertain our family and friends.
We began most importantly with our sons room, to make the move a little easier on him we wallpapered his walls with the same ‘glow in the dark’ navy stars wallpaper as he had in the previous house and laid matching navy carpet.
We then made a start upon painting our own room, once again in shades of purple to match the bedding and accessories we had previously purchased.
Once the bedrooms had been dealt with, we moved onto ripping the bathroom apart. We ordered a brand new bathroom suite with fitted units and a curved bath which we fitted along with cream tiles and wooden flooring.
Shortly after this we began work upon the living room. With the room being open plan and leading to the stairs and landing, we had already anticipated that this would be hard work to say the least. We began by removing the dado railing and replacing parts of the skirting board. We then removed the original fireplace and installed a brand new fire and walnut surround which complimented the dark wood of the banisters, my baby grand piano and the furnishings.
We spent a few days painting the living room and landing in a medium tone of biscuit. My Mother then wallpapered the chimney breast with a floral paper and we ordered biscuit toned carpet to match. I was desperate to replace the living room carpet as the original carpet was sightly! Imagine pub carpet with repeating, multicoloured floral patterns – it was grim!
Thankfully we managed to decorate the majority of our house rather quickly and since then we have gone on to add an extension to the house, this resulted in our children moving into larger rooms which we then redecorated to their taste.
E has a shocking, Barbie pink boudoir whilst J opted for a pale blue ‘chill out’ room. I finally got rid of the purple and Paul and I now have a beautiful bedroom and en suite decorated in a caramel and chocolate theme with matching carpet and furnishings.
I took quite some time sourcing and selecting specific bed sheets (from https://www.juliancharles.co.uk/bedding) and textiles to compliment the colours, my idea being to create a luxurious room akin to a hotel standard, a bedroom in which I could relax and rest. We achieved far more than this and I am really proud of the finished result.
Earlier last year, we carried out some work outside of the house; we moved the greenhouse and shed to the opposite end of the garden, we landscaped and Astroturfed the lawn, created drainage and soaking areas around the border and then added decking to complete the look. As a result, our garden is now a fabulous space which the children are able to enjoy all year round.
We are yet to rip out our rather dated kitchen and whilst I have grown to accept the floral, textured tiles and manky units, I cannot wait to rip down not only the units and the tiles but the walls too! Prior to this, we need to replace our windows and doors around the house, which as you can imagine will be fairly costly though I’m sure will be well worth cost and effort.
Though decorating can be costly and takes a huge amount of time and effort, it’s certainly worthwhile. A house may be made of bricks and mortar but a home is made of hopes and dreams.
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