Un-styled Reveal: Our Reception Rooms

I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks, but kept finding reasons to wait. I was holding out for the perfect ‘after’ shot, but our furniture hadn’t arrived, and we hadn’t put art up. Then I realised that sharing the un-styled ‘bare bones’ of our house might actually be more interesting than just the finished article. So here we go – reveal after phase I of work (floors and walls finished, key furniture purchased). I’m going to go room by room so that I can do justice to the decisions we’ve made without writing a small book in one post. So keep checking back – I hope to do hallway next and then work my way through each room upstairs.

So, a little reminder of where we started.

Before Reception Live-Style.co.ukThere wasn’t anything specifically wrong with the room – it just didn’t suit our taste and was definitely in need of a refresh. The walls themselves needed some love and attention, and the surface was peppered with sun marks and dust spots. If you’ve been following along, you’ve noticed we had quite a few discussions about colour. The original plan was to go with a bold, moody grey. As soon as we took up the carpets and finished the floors, we knew we wanted something fresh and warm to come home to – especially in winter when both Liam and I are craving the sunshine. Which brings me to my after:

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In the end, we went with Little Greene Deep Space Blue, and we absolutely love the colour. During the day it reflects light and makes for a very bright, happy room. At night it goes dark and moody, which creates a really cozy feel. We ended up painting all of our doors Farrow & Ball Off Black, which adds some drama to our pale grey hallway, holds its own against the darker colours of the rooms, and picks up a lot of our other design choices (for instance, black pendants upstairs).

With regards to furniture, we decided to keep it quite sparse – especially while Freja is little and slamming around the place. So the front reception room is our chill out zone and the second is a bit of a work/play area. The sofa and desk are both from West Elm, and the leather chair with matching footstool is the Mariposa from Cuero, which we bought at SCP. It is the most delicious thing ever and I already love curling into it with a glass of red. The media unit is a clever little cabinet from Habitat that fits the space perfectly. We’re talking a pinky-width of room between it and the walls and plugs we have to deal with in that corner. And of course the desk chair is a classic Eames Dowel Armchair with Walnut legs. The pendants we also picked up from SCP – they’re the Caravaggio Pendant by Light Years in light grey. The silver light is an Ikea purchase from our last home. And the black light next to the Mariposa Chair is the Funiculli Floor Lamp by Lluis Porqueras. The design of it is so clever and utilitarian that it was an instant ‘yes’ from both of us. Finally, the rug we found at Heals. We actually originally purchased it for our bedroom, but decided that the colours helped to pull all the dark wood, greys and white together. Plus, the pattern injects a bit of texture and pace.

Changes that we’ll make further down the road include some simple curtains for the french doors, a new coffee table (this one is too short for the new sofa) and a piano. We will also be swapping light switches and electrical sockets for something less plastic-tastic. And art – we WILL be hanging art in the next few weeks, as the bare walls are kind of starting to freak me out. But we’ve made a rule that we have to absolutely love anything that goes on the walls, so it might be a bit sparse for awhile yet.

I’m surprised about how much dark wood we’ve ended up with, but the contrast against the blue is lovely and warm without being too masculine or heavy (which is what I worried about in the past). Looking back at our old flat, it feels completely different but still like ‘us’. If I had to articulate it, I’d say our style has softened up a bit. Could be parenthood, or maybe it’s just us growing older and more comfortable with being comfortable.

So what do you think? I’d love to hear your first impressions – drop me a note with your thoughts or questions. Otherwise, back soon with a little update on our hallway.

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