Yes. Grim, I know. But, I did say in my explanation post I was going to post images totally unedited. Mess, yuck, everything. Believe me, it disgusts me too!
It has looked worse...
Lets start with the books. We don't currently own a book case so that's where they live (some of them!) Ranged along the floor and plied against the lovely fire. Half the contents of the mantelpiece end up on the floor because of the least spatially-aware-cat in the world. The CD's all over the place are a product of the cat too. Dirty dishes, cat toys and (clean) potty left out from my boyfriends kids staying over. Just beautiful isn't it?
A large amount of that could be sorted out with an hours tidy up, but between my partner and I we do 100-120 hours a week and sometimes don't fancy cleaning.
Mess aside, the décor is something that needs tackling. This is a rented place and we inherited the wonderful blue carpet, the revolting cold blue textured wall paper. Blue rags of curtains which as a temporary measure for Christmas I stab stitched some calico over the top to try and create some warmth in the room. Ditto for the orange/gold organza draped around. I know it's not pretty, but its a damn sight better that the goldfish bowl underwater effect created by the blue all over the place! On to the furniture. The cabinet and the blanket box were donated by my Dad, the rather basic cabinet the TV sits on was donated by a family friend. The dark wood and chocolate/cream leaf pattern velvety sofa and two arm chairs (you can see the sofa on the right) were already there, and another sofa (in picture below), an attractive floral pinky/grey number was also in situ.
You can see the other corner of the room here with the pinky grey sofa, and my oil heater, which has been converted in to a lamp, with Hobbes the destructor of mantelpieces atop it.
That's my back door too.
More organza, which was originally beautifully draped, but that hooligan of a cat got to that too (he's only 5 months old.) The badly stitched calico coming away. I made the cushions to try and pull together the browns in the sofa, and add a bit of warmth through the reds.
It's a good sized room with a lot of light in the summer. It even looks OK as is when its clean and tidy. But it could be SO much better!
This image, harnessing my fantastic photo-shopping skills.......(this took me 5 mins) shows what some lashings of badly applied colour can do to tidy things up. Lets pretend though that this was done well. With the addition of a warm coloured rug, a splash of warmth on the walls (I'm not convinced by the wall paper or feature wall affect, especially as we rent), finished curtains (gold organza in straight panels appliquéd to the outer edges would look far better than the current embarrassing arrangement)
On the other hand I think this room has far more potential than just a quick attempt at hiding the blue.
My main desires for this room are warmth, light, and cosiness. Although I'd love to reveal the floor boards, and buy a new suite. Hide the TV, move the computer, chuck out the bamboo side table (also not ours) and renovate my pieces of furniture. Much of this isn't realistic in a no-budget, no-time + rented scenario.
So what is? What can I do!?
Well, here are a few ideas that really appeal to me
Although this image has dark walls which due to the light levels in my lounge are not realistic, I adore the neutral nature of the floors and walls in comparison to the ornate, high colour, high contrast, high pattern furniture.
Again, this image isn't exactly right for my own lounge. Too dark. And, yet, it has a dramatic quality which I love. The black background botanical paintings on the wall are so beautiful. The green is really brought out astoundingly by the aubergine walls. I wonder if a similar sort of impact could be created by an image on a pale wall?
I adore the grey-blue-green colour in this room, especially against the neutral colours of the rug and furniture. I wonder if this look could be reversed, and apply a neutral tone to the walls, and a deeper, richer, colour to the furniture. Of course that almost goes back to the first image I shared, but maybe without the pattern. Could I achieve an almost monochrome scheme to the furniture in my rather hectic lounge? I could easily cover the cushions on my lovely rented sofas. Throws ahoy for the pink-grey sofa-bed!
This image has a lot of the qualities that I have been commenting on in the above images. Neutral tones on the majority of surfaces and stronger colour as highlights. I love the brightness of the room, although I would try to create a far more cosy space. A room can be light and airy, but also warm and cosy.
This room is lovely. I really like the colour of the wall. It is light, neutral (rented home remember! I can't go too mad!) but it is also definitely a colour. I don't want to end up with a variation of cream splashed all over the place. I'm just imagining the room with a deep peacock blue sofa rather than beige! The feature lamp shade, yellow chairs and the awesome bird print feature cushion all add interest that become focused upon because of the absolutely matt wall.
Yet again this harks back to the first image, but with a pale wall instead of dark. I also think the addition of mirrors to the wall facing the windows in my lounge would help reflect the maximum amount of light into the room.
So to conclude (for now),aside from a good clean and tidy, sorting the curtains out, I think I have come to some conclusions about what I want to achieve in this room.
Ironically I have decided that blue would be a good choice of colour along side the warm reds, browns and oranges already there. Although I must certainly find an interesting, textural, and above all a warm hue for it to work. I think for my walls, accepting that the textured wallpaper is just the way it has to be, I'm going to try to emulate the penultimate image as far as wall colour goes. I'd love to hunt down some ornate mirrors to hang on the wall, and source an interesting rug to throw across the floor. Then I can look into all the little interesting bits that make it feel homely rather than just a place to live.
What do you think so far?