The living room is a special room to me, it’s the room where the reinvention of the Peach Palace began. It’s the first room where I was bold enough to take a few risks which in turn gave me the confidence to do the same throughout the house. Despite resistance from Mr Peach we tackled this room before any of the major build began and as transformations go, I’m pretty darn pleased with this one. It’s on a par with the time I caught viral meningitis after a holiday in Ibiza and left hospital 2 stone lighter and with a healthy tan making it look like I’d spent 3 weeks at a Mediterranean Juicing retreat. I had never looked better just like my living room.
Those of you who are new to my blog and insta might wonder why I call this place the Peach Palace. Well, here you go, trust me, this is a fraction of it’s full peachiness and here is how the living room used to look. Have to say though, maybe they were ahead of the times in painting the ceiling darker even if it’s is still Peach.
The Smith family had been using the room as their formal dining room which was likely to be its original use. There was entry via a serving door from the pantry as well as the hall and no real focus to the room. Seeing as though dining in a house with 4 kids is an experience akin to feeding pigs on a farm I was confident we wouldn’t be requiring a place to formally dine so nabbed it for our living room. After a quote to replace the windows made me do a little bit of sick, we decided it would be way cheaper just to keep the heating on constant until we are finally taken out of the house in a box. Wanting to do our small bit for the planet we thought installing a fire might be a little less excessive. Thankfully it was a relatively straight forward process seeing as though there was an external wall. False chimney breast, external flue and a wood burning stove all done in a few days. We also bricked up the doorway from the pantry as this was to become our new office.
Then came the fun bit. There was always going to be blue and it was always going to be dark but committing to the actual shade and brand cost me a small fortune in samples and nearly a husband. Little Greene Hicks blue got the ticks and Mr Peach was finally happy I’d stopped haemorrhaging money on tester pots. On our decorators advice due to it being scrubbable we colour matched with Valspar. Wrong choice due to the whiff but don’t want to bang on about it too much as still hoping Valspar will answer my emails and put it right! Until then it may look lovely but in the hot weather it’s like relaxing in a litter tray!
I committed to 5 treat pieces, things that I knew I would never fall out of love with.
Treat 1 Pink neon
My birthday and Christmas present to myself came in the form of an amazing neon sign from @bagandbones. Gigi was a pleasure to work with and the result is a corker of a sign that transforms the look of the house from the outside from ‘vicarage’ to the site of a secret rave. It’s definitely a rubber necker for passers by and I love that it probably means diddly squat to anyone else.
Treat 2 The Loaf Bagsie blue velvet sofa.
Now, Mr Peach is extremely sensible, he’s the kind of guy that keeps the protective film on his iPhone and he has actually lined the seats in our VW transporter with old carpet to protect them from the attack of the kids in the form of yoghurt, snot and Happy Meal grease. As you can imagine, velvet ain’t the most sensible choice with 4 kids 6 and under so I literally had to put the thumb screws on to persuade him on this one. I can’t tell you what he was promised in return but safe to say, I succeeded and I ‘bagsied’ myself a gorgeous sofa. Seriously though, i don’t really believe in waiting for something you love because it’s not practical, you’ll probably have gone off it by the time it’s suitable for your lifestyle so just go for it and settle on the fact your kids will get yelled at more!
Yorkshire has many things, puddings, rain, the best tea bags in the actual world AND a Bert & May yard. I got to go and have a proper mooch, I totally think this is where my tile obsession began. I’d seen a few fireplaces tiled but the majority were on the hearth or around the mantel. I wanted something that would that would make you look make you stare, make the barber cut yer hair as my kids would say. I chose the Flecha tiles in black and Brighton stone which I think look the bomb.
Treat 4 Colour pop chair and footstool
There isn’t a thing I don’t love about the colour pink, millennial, fuschia, calamine, I’ll take them all. Thankfully I have another half who is totally in touch with his feminine side and doesn’t mind a splash off any shade of it so happy days. The pink needed a friend though and MY friend @mayskiesstudio convinced me that emerald green was to be it’s buddy. So there I am again attracted to inappropriate velvet like a wasp to jam so sod it I thought, we can make the lounge child free yah? Well, the pink came in the form of the Descartes chair from sofa.com and its amigo the green ottoman from footstools and more. The fabric is a clarke&clarke green velvet and before you say it, yes I know I should’ve take my shoes off.
Treat 5 Bar Cart
As the invoices came flooding through on this whole project, a bar cart seemed a decent investment. It was clearly going to get used a lot whilst we got bat faced to forget about the cash flow right? I convinced myself it was a necessity and here she is, my 5th baby. Still got a way to go with the styling but with a one year old whose favourite Â game is let’s smash mum’s favourite things. It’s low on the priority list!
So all was looking good until my pattern itch just didn’t feel scratched. I’m a pattern junkie, I would love to be all scandi hygge and feel calmed by being bathed in whitewash walls. The opposite is true for me, I literally can’t get comfortable unless there is print around me so House of Hackney stepped up to scratch that itch. The Palmeral midnight did it for me, the perfect shade to go with the Hicks Blue (valspar colour rip off) so that was put in the alcoves.
The windows were a little trickier, the peach swags that had adorned those windows nearly decapitated the decorator on the way down and there was almost a ceremonial burning of them in the garden after I struggled to even give them away. Those beasts are now gone thank goodness but that left a budget busting problem. The windows are 4m x 2m and blow a gale through them as if they were made of cling film. Whilst I would have loved floor to ceiling curtains the sheer amount of fabric and the costs meant dress curtains and blinds were marginally less crippling. Without being able to resist a bit of pattern I went for this subtle gold toned animal print for the blinds and a deep blue silk (disclaimer totally not silk) fabric for the curtains.
My lovely lighting pal lovefrankie (yes frankie, I really do love you) sorted out both the pendant and the camouflaged print on print drum lampshade. Some Abigail aherne toucan lights and swing arm wall mounted lamps finish off the lighting.
Without realising I have become a hexa-addict and couldnt resist this hexagonal mirror. I’d initially planned to put it above the fireplace but it just looked too much with the wallpaper and tiles so moved it to the opposite wall.
Throughout this renovation I fell a little bit in love with my joiner. Not in a fanny gallops kind of way, just in the PHWOAR, how can you make no job unachievable way. Go check out my secret bookshelf door on Instagram and you’ll get the picture. Anyways, after knocking up a fireplace from a quick sketch on the back of some mdf I asked him for some shelves in the other alcove. Contrary to Mr Peach’s belief we genuinely don’t have enough ‘stuff’ to fill them so these remain empty right now. I’d love to fill them with all of my books but I’ll be honest with you, a tattered copy of a Marian Keys novel and Adrian Mole isn’t the shelfie dream so naked shelves are the way forward for now.
So there you have it the, there is the kid free living room that the kids go in ALL of the time. They go in there with chocolate all over their cute (said through gritted teeth) faces. They bounce on my velvet sofa and probably wipe bogies all over my cushions. And yes, I yell a lot but oh my it’s worth it.
Thank you to @melissaphotographyleeds for the photographs and to @mayskiesstudio for all the help and advice.
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