It’s been a while since I shared a room makeover with you from within my own home, so I wanted to show you how I got on with recently redecorating our playroom.
Now that my three are a little older, the playroom has become more of a hang out ‘den’ for them, however it’s still a great space for the two younger ones to play with their larger toy sets, such as the lego. (And I can close the door on it come evening time which is an added bonus!) I also have my office corner in this room, where I mainly work during the week, its bright sunny aspect allowing me the ideal light to work in, especially if I’m comparing paint or fabric samples for clients.
All in all it’s been a great room, however it has never felt completely finished to me and has inevitably fallen to the bottom of the priority list, after the kitchen, hall, bedrooms, etc. So, I thought it was about time I gave the room a little makeover, not only to smarten it up, but make it work more effectively as a multifunctional space in our home.
Before I let you know how I got on with the project, let me show you how the playroom looked just after we moved in two years ago when it was our general dumping ground…
As you can see, the room has lovely original features and an original 1930s fireplace, but the brown tiles and heavy surround weren’t doing anything for me, so in an effort to refresh the room, I painted the fireplace surround white (I used Farrow & Ball’s All White), however the tiles I couldn’t decide what to do with, and so they remained untouched for quite a while!
Here is how it looked with the surround painted white… but the carpet and tiles just look a bit ‘meh’.
Finally, this year, I decided it was time to finish (start!) decorating the room, to bring it more into line with the look and feel of the rest of the house. So, I set to work removing all the existing old wallpaper in preparation for painting the walls. Here is an ‘in-progress’ shot… argh, how I HATED this process!!
Once the wallpaper was all stripped off and the walls sanded, prepped and cleaned, I gave them a lick of paint. After much deliberation, I chose Farrow & Ball’s ‘Pigeon’ in the end, for its slightly darker, cosy feel, and because it tied in well with the colours in our hallway rug, thus helping the two spaces to better connect and flow.
I then pulled up the rather grubby beige carpet, only to reveal a beautiful dark stained oak floor in pretty perfect condition… I felt this was my reward for all my hard graft!
Here’s how the room looks with everything in place – I think the dark floorboards sit really nicely alongside the Pigeon walls, don’t you?
Working to a tight budget, I made a trip to Ikea to source some new pieces for my office corner. I picked up the YPPERLIG wall unit (finally in stock!), which is ideal for slotting my paint colour charts etc onto. I also bought a desk, choosing a combination of the LINNMON desk top and the ALEX drawer unit. The grey rug just seen above I picked up in the good old Bargain Corner, spotted by my friend and shopping partner’s keen eye!! It acts as a great surface for the kids to build lego and play on, as this room works hard for a multitude of functions.
Before giving the fireplace surround a refresher coat of paint, I scrubbed clean the tiles and made sure there was no dirt or grease left behind on them, then I coated them with a water-based multi-surface primer sealer. (I used Johnstone’s but you could equally use Zinsser 123). Being water-based has the bonus of being quick to dry, easy to clean up after, and there’s no risk of fumes should you ever decide to light the fire… this is an important point!
Once the primer was fully dry, I applied two coats of Farrow & Ball’s ‘Off Black’, a softer alternative to a jet black, with a lovely blue-grey tint. Again, I had a water-based satin mixed by Johnstone’s. I used a brush for the first coat to ensure I got into all the corners, then a roller for the second coat for a smooth finish. It looks like a new fireplace now and it really lifts the room!
Then for my favourite part – adding some bits and bobs to the mantelpiece, including this Alice in Wonderland poster print from Posterlounge, little metallic cage lights from Flying Tiger and some dried seedheads and branches from a recent forest walk. I always think a little touch of nature, be it a potted plant, fresh flowers or simply bare foliage, goes a long way in adding interesting texture to a room, as well as a relaxed ambience.
I’ve been enjoying having this renewed space to work in, that the rest of the family can also enjoy in the evenings and at weekends. I moved some bookcases to one of the walls (not seen in these pictures) for the kids’ books and games and in the corner opposite my desk is a dark red sofa that we’ve had for donkeys of years! It surprisingly complements the wall colour really well, so as you will have seen, that’s why I dotted some other red accents around the room to tie it all together.
The marble and gold desk lamp is one I picked up in TK Maxx over a year ago, however I have since spotted the same one here.
So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed having a little look around. Completing a project like this definitely spurs me on to do some other decor jobs, so keep your eyes posted for more in the coming months. Will I ever learn to sit back and feel like the house is finished? No, probably not…