Before we had even moved into our new house, one of the things I had decided I would tackle first was the open plan kitchen/living space. We are now three months in and I’ve finally made some firm decisions on the decor, including what colour to paint the 1990s oak kitchen cabinets (I think this colour will be perfect to bounce some light around), as well as what shade to use for the surrounding walls (I’m loving this new colour from Farrow & Ball which looks great alongside the cabinet colour choice).
If you haven’t seen what our kitchen looks like in its current state, I shared some early pictures here. Although it is completely functional (in fact, if I say so, quite well laid out), it is totally outdated in terms of its style and finish, however, as I’m sure you’ll agree, a lick of paint will transform it entirely, as well as open up lots of possibilities for using the space in new ways. In particular, I’m thinking of a blackboard area, some modern open shelving and a gallery wall to display the children’s art in a more modern and creative way than the standard blu-tack on a fridge door. I have come up with some ideas already on the gallery wall front, which you can see here. Just how cool are these colourful frame wall stickers – they are so fun to use and can be moved around and updated as often as you (or the kids!) like.
But back to the job in hand…I have also made more tentative decisions regarding furnishings, in that I would like a corner sofa in the sitting area to make it a defined space to relax, yet remain an integral part of the whole room. It would also provide more seats for bottoms than our current two-seater, thereby reducing the need for having to haul in extra seating for visiting friends, as it just makes the room look cluttered. My aim is for a cleanly laid out, uncluttered space, but with an element of lived-in cosiness too, as it is our main family room, after all.
These are some corner sofas I have been perusing of late…
However, one purchase I did make recently was for six of these dining chairs. I have always loved the look of the Charles Eames designs and although these are a replica version, I’m super pleased with them as they are a very affordable way to brighten up and modernise a room and they seem to radically improve the appearance of my somewhat dated pine dining table, which is a wee bonus! I also envisage using them as spare seating (see reasoning above!) that is close to hand when we have friends over – throw a faux sheepskin or funky geometric cushion on top, et voilà, you have a perfectly comfortable, stylish, occasional chair!
Here they are at our kitchen table…
And for a cosy seat, just add sheepskin…
Above Image: Bee Made
Apart from flooring, which is frankly way way down the line (my husband will be rather relieved to hear that!), the only other aspect of the kitchen/living room that I need to think about at this stage is that concerning the window treatments. I have three kitchen windows; one facing east, which lets in the lovely morning light to be enjoyed at the breakfast table; the largest one, which faces north, but still allows lots of light in and gives a lovely view out over the garden; and finally, a set of patio doors, which face west, opening out onto a patio area where we have our outdoor dining table and chairs.
Apologies for the rubbish photos, but they give an idea of what I’m working with (and yes, these curtains came with the house, before you begin to wonder!!)
Also, above the sink area, which is housed within a ‘peninsula’ unit, as you can see below, there is a pair of VELUX skylights set into either side of the pitch of the roof over the kitchen extension and facing east and west, so they are fantastic for flooding extra light into what would otherwise be the darker end of the kitchen (originally there would have been a window at this sink before the extension was built).
Firstly, I need to consider what to replace the current, rather dreary, curtains with, as they are what people see when they first enter the room. I definitely want to have something to cover the windows in the evenings to keep things cosy, so I feel I have three choices: 1. make some new curtains for the large window and patio doors and a replacement roman blind for the smaller east-facing window; 2. replace all the current window treatments with slim fitting roller blinds; and 3. save up for a bit with the intention of having white wooden plantation style shutters installed.
I want the windows to be as exposed as possible during the day in order to maximise the light coming into the room and privacy thankfully isn’t really an issue as we are not directly overlooked by neighbours, so although I love the idea of wooden shutters, they are an expensive choice and may cut down on the amount of natural light coming into the room. On the plus side, however, they do look gorgeous from the outside in and would brighten up the exterior view of the kitchen from the garden.
The roller blinds, on the other hand, would let lots of light in, however are they a bit ‘meh’? A bit safe? Slightly boring? Soft window treatments, on the contrary, if made with modern fabrics with a nice bit of texture to them (I’m thinking crumply linens in muted colours or fabrics with a subtle weave), might be more aesthetically pleasing and welcoming to the eye. The current sets of curtains in the room have been hung bizarrely low and close to the top of the windows, hence visually giving the effect of a lower ceiling, so even with some added height they would look infinitely better! As for the patio doors, curtains are probably best here, as they can be stacked back when not in use to allow for ease of access outside and are well out of the way when the doors have been flung open on warm, breezy, days.
Oh gosh, how beautiful is this kitchen extension – those windows would be a bother to keep clean though…! (Loving the chairs, obviously.) I like how the curtains are ceiling height, they would create a nice ‘wall’ of texture come evening.
Image: Real Homes Magazine UK
Finally, what about the VELUX windows? I quite like the idea of putting blinds up there to add a pop of colour against the surrounding white ceiling or an interesting pattern perhaps (I love the look of this chevron pattern), but also to add some shade on those hotter days in midsummer when the midday sun is beating down. (As I write this and it’s barely hitting 12 degrees outside, I can hardly imagine needing to do this EVER, however there are few things less pleasant than a baking hot kitchen in Summer).
So, what blind options are there? I really like these pleated VELUX blinds, which can be easily adjusted to control daylight flow, yet still allow a lovely soft light to emanate. They come in lots of colours and aren’t fixed at the top or bottom of the window, so are totally flexible if you wish to control the amount of daylight coming in.
One thing’s for certain, there’s lots to think about in the coming weeks!
Have you any ideas or advice you can share regarding window coverings you’ve chosen in your own kitchen/living area? Or have you invested in a corner sofa that you simply love? Feel free to leave a comment, I’m all
ears eyes! :)
Will be back soon with a further progress update on the kitchen makeover, so do stay tuned!
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This post contains sponsored content, however all views and opinions are my own.