If you’ve ever read my blog you would be justified in thinking I have a light, bright, coastal-Australian, farmhouse vibe going on in our home. But I have a confession to make: if you look back at some of our old photo albums you would see that several years ago I had a torrid affair … with taupe.
(The taupe colour chart … rawwr!!)
People, I loved taupe so hard. I painted our entire house varying shades of taupe. I imagined we were living in a Tuscan villa and that my taupe paintjob would be worshipped like a modern-day Sistine Chapel. The lounge room was my piece de resistance – along with the taupe walls I had plenty of heavy, dark furniture and black accents.
Some time later I decided to frame a couple of my favourite photos. I hung them either side of the TV and congratulated myself on my awesome styling job.
The wooden box above the TV is something we found on the side of the road. It used to be crammed full of photo frames until I decided to hang a couple of Ikea picture ledges. I hung them really high so that even when #1 was standing on the couch he wouldn’t be able to reach them (he was an avid climber).
I accessorised the box above the TV with a stuffed owl and some candles and distinctly remember thinking this was the absolute bees knees of vignettes.
Although my hot, steamy love for taupe ran deep, at some point it began feeling dark and cramped. I started to loathe all my dark furniture. I was craving something different, something light, bright and fresh. Part of me wanted to leave the room as-is until we had bucket loads of cash to throw at it for a whole room makeover. The other part of me was keen to do a quick update to freshen the room up a little until we had the time/money for a major makeover. I did what any self-respecting DIYer would do: painted the room white and added a board and batten wall treatment.
Boom! What a difference, right? I had to keep the TV cabinet because we couldn’t afford a different one. I had plans to paint it and add feet someday but now that the walls are white I’m kind of liking the dark wooden cabinet. The wooden box/shelf above the TV looks so much better now that it contrasts with the white walls as opposed to being swallowed up by the dark taupe. I’m currently using the shelf to store my sailboats until market day.
I kept our beloved leather Chesterfield couch but moved it to face the TV instead of sitting against the wall. Then we sold some furniture on Gumtree to finance the purchase of two Ikea Strandmon wing chairs – so comfy!
Before you all point out that we still need a floor rug, don’t bother – we don’t own any rugs. Or carpet. We have wooden floors throughout the house and I LOVE it! So easy to clean.
The two photos either side of the TV are so special to me.
This is my dad when he was a kid. He’s riding a calf on his family’s farm. This photo perfectly captures the quiet yet adventurous nature my dad had.
Then on the other side of the TV we’ve got this masterpiece of a photo. These are four good friends, hanging out together before they were shipped off to war (WWII). They’re all such unique characters and I’d love this photo if I saw it on a poster somewhere, completely removed from our house. But this photo is all the more special to us because the grumpy young man on the right is my partner Em’s grandfather.
While most of the items in the room are neutral colours, I added plenty of blue to liven it up a bit. I like how the blue and white sailboats tie in with my chinoiserie lamp even though they’re such different styles.
The picture ledges got the same white paint treatment as the walls. For a brief moment I was sure it was safe to lower the bottom picture ledge to a more visually appealing height but then we discovered that #3 is also an avid climber. Lucky us. So the ledges remain waaaaay up high for the time being.
This is our entry wall. I added the board and batten to add some architectural interest to an otherwise plain wall.
This jarrah framed mirror is one my dad made. It has pride of place at our entry. As our small lounge room is quite full already, I don’t feel there’s room for an entryway bench or console table but the mirror is perfect and takes up very little space.
So that’s the tour of our lounge room in its current state. I’m so happy with how bright and welcoming this space is now – and we achieved this new look on such a tiny budget (basically a tin of paint). You don’t always need a massive overhaul of a room if you’re unhappy with it. Sometimes you just need a few simple updates to completely change how the room looks and feels.
I really enjoy mentally playing with spaces. The arranging and rearranging of it all is my kind of fun. But if you’re intimidated by the process, lost for inspiration or just plain don’t know where to start, there are some awesome sources on the web for inspiration, such as Havenly. Not only do they have a wide range of interior designers (so you can choose someone who specialises in the styles you like most), they’re also super affordable (so you can have a stylish space even if you’re a broke student) and they are happy to incorporate any existing pieces into their design for your room (so you can keep that ugly leather recliner the dog sleeps on).
Linking up with these awesome parties: