We bought our new house last August and have been chipping away since then at making over the house. It is none too easy to redecorate as busy parents of four kids, especially with Mr Pict working long hours. It has also taken us a bit of time to purchase all of the furniture we needed. When we emigrated from Scotland, the only furniture we shipped was a dining table and chairs, a coffee table, a roll top desk and two pull-out chair beds.
Our house dates from 1970 and retains all of its original features, fixtures and fittings with the exception of the kitchen which is from the 1990s. We found many of those original features appealing when we viewed the house, they added character and charm, but we also knew we would have to update the house a lot and make it more functional for modern life and more “us”. Initially we made a start on almost every room – and some rooms need a lot more work than others – but that was too chaotic an approach for the time we could regularly commit to DIY. We, therefore, narrowed our focus to the public rooms.
The formal living room was in good condition. The original hardwood floor and fireplace were features we wanted to retain. I quickly grew to like the 1970s fabric of the main curtains. We quickly ditched the net curtains and roller blinds, however. The net curtains were so brittle that the fabric broke to pieces as I folded them. There was also a wooden panel with grass wallpaper attached to one wall, where a piano had once stood.
This is what the room looked like when we had been living here a few months, a view of each end of the room:
The walls needed filled and repainted. We chose a light but warm pale sand colour and hung a mirror above the fireplace to bounce light around the room. The mirror also made the fireplace more of a feature since it does not have a mantelpiece. Then it was just a case of filling the room with new furniture, getting our trinkets and objects out on display and hanging some of our collection of art work on the wall. At the front end of the room, we created a little music corner to house all of the guitars and a library area for all of our non-fiction books. We will eventually replace the Ikea chairs for something with more character and personality but they are comfy and do the job so that is not a high priority. We also want to replace some of the lamps but again that is not a high priority right now.
This is what the room looks like now: