Ok, first things first – sorry for the loooooooooong break! What’s that all about, eh? I’ve been tackling the living room in the house at the same time as I’ve been moving out of my flat, tying up loose ends at work and packing + planning for a holiday with Mr Man and Bean. My mum always says that if you aren’t busy already, you can always make yourself so. And I definitely seem to operate better when I’m juggling 357827589308 balls at the same time. So. I won’t be able to share the finished living room with you today as 1) it’s full of boxes and excess furniture and other moving-in-mess (the kind that just makes me want to cry) and 2) I’m on holiday (Sweeeeeeeeden baby!) and I can’t unpack boxes from here (which also makes me want to cry, but I am extremely grateful for the break – there are only so many boxes one can handle at once.). So I can’t show you the ‘after’. But I can get you started on the ‘before’! You may have reacted on the poor quality of our living room walls when you saw this picture:
Look, there, above the door! I know – it’s all I see when I look at this picture! It’s been like this for longer than I care to share on the internet (and you know I’m not shy – proof!), but not having much experience in removing wallpaper, but instead having a head full of nightmare-ish ideas of it involving 2 weeks of peeling stamp sized wallpaper flakes off the wall, I simply kept putting it off. But then I started pulling at the wallpaper wherever it looked like it was lose, and soon enough our living room looked like this:
I’m actually getting more and more convinced it’s a minor mental disorder. I would be on the phone and by the time I hung up I’d be standing there with a pile of wallpaper scraps around my feet – and no recollection of how they ended up there what so ever. I’m the same with bubble wrap. Cannot. Leave. It. Alone. I’m great fun at dinner parties. More living room:
So, yeah, I couldn’t really ignore this any longer. The wallpaper would have to come off. But then what? More wallpaper? Paint? As we are always on a silly tight budget, paint seemed to be the best way to go.
I did my research and it turns out that as long as I wash the walls properly, to remove all of the old wallpapering paste, there should be no issue to paint once the wallpaper has come down. We were however a little concerned about the wall behind the sofa as there used to be a fake fireplace there (Why? Just… Why?) which Mr Man ripped out on a particularly frustration-filled day not long after he had moved in to this house. It left behind a fairly bumpy surface, which we would need to tackle before painting over it. We have also drilled plenty of holes in this wall so we weren’t sure what to expect once the wallpaper came down… But, really that is a later problem – and a really boring one, compared to COLOUR CHOICE!
I bought the fabric for the living room curtains on a previous trip to Sweden, and I love it. It’s from Åhlens, but as they don’t seem to be stocking it anymore, here’s a picture I found on the interweb:
I especially love the colour of the ‘shadows’. Look, here’s a close-up:
It’s like a greige. It’s not too dark, but definitely not white. It’s warm without being Cappuccino (barf). It adds enough drama without weighing the room down… So, out came the sample cards and tester pots were ordered online.
We ordered Dulux Chalk Blush 2 (middle at the top, next to light switch), Chalk Blush 3 (you a see a little bit of it right at the top of the picture – guess which one was out least favourite?), and Potters Clay 2. After uhm-ing and ahr-ing for a while, and testing the paints next to the curtains…
… I almost got cold feet and went with Chalk Blush 3 (the lighter one), but Mr Man made his mind up immediately – Chalk Blush 2 it would be. Potters Clay looked too purple in our room (it’s the second one from the bottom) – not sure if it’s just the light or the low-ish ceilings, because a friend of mine has a wall of Potters Clay in her living room and it looks nothing like this. Either way, it wasn’t going to work for us. But I still wasn’t sure about the Chalk Blush 2 – wouldn’t it be too dark for our little room? I slept on it, and the next morning I decided to put my brave girl panties on, and go for it (after much reassurance from Mr Man that we could just repaint it if we didn’t like it). It’s a tiny little bit darker than the ‘shadows’ on the fabric, but I felt that would just bring out the depth in the fabric more, so I wasn’t too worried about that. Decision made. Now the only thing remaining between me and my beautiful paint was one layer of wallpaper and, what would turn out to be, 400 coats of wallpapering paste.
Hey-ho, hey-ho, it’s off to work I go…