Before and After – The parlour living room after the big makeover!

dark navy walls fireplace and carver chairWhile I was painting the parlour at RedAgape last week, I remembered that I hate painting! I painted the entire inside of my home a few years ago, and I swore I’d never do it again. I guess, like childbirth, the pain of it disappeared quickly and my promise to never paint again was forgotten. The pain of it started to return when i began preparing the parlour for its makeover. The prepping and cleaning time involved with painting is easily equal to the time spent actually painting. Prepping is very important, crucial really, and it’s a big part of why I hate painting. The taping up of skirts, doorways and windows, as well as covering furniture and floors, is super time consuming.

parlour makeover before and afterHere are my top tips for painting –
1. If you can afford it, hire a painter to do the job for you. No, i’m not joking. 🙂
2. If you choose to paint yourself, prepping is crucial for a quality finish and less mess. Use drop sheets and take the time to tape up properly.
3. Don’t paint at night, especially dark colours. After an undercoat and two coats of navy I thought I was finished. Unfortunately, the next day in the morning light I could see a few patchy areas and I knew another coat was needed.
4. Use a cutting in tool for the edges. This saves soooo much time and gives a nice clean edge. I used one of these when I painted years ago, but I forgot this time around. I used it for the final coat and i was kicking myself for not using it sooner.
5. Wear old clothes and a head scarf. I’m still picking blue paint out of my hair five days after the final coat.
parlour makeover before and after

Okay – whinging over. As much as I dislike painting I do love how paint can completely transform a room. I love the new colour in the parlour.  It really feels like it was always meant to be a dark and cozy room. I’m planning on adding more wall decor behind the lounge, but for now I’m completely happy with the outcome. Not to mention, just plain thrilled I’m finished.

parlour gold wall decor hung on dark walls gold antique framed painting

I really love the gold wall decor against the dark navy. There were so many beautiful rooms on pinterest that used the gold and navy combination. You can see other rooms here. I’m going to add more wall decor behind the chesterfield (as i find treasures) to create a wall display.

plate display on dark wallsThis old gold framed convex mirror is definitely one of my favourite things in the room. I love the way it reflects the opposite side of the room almost in entirety. antique gold framed convex mirrorI was pleasantly surprised with how the chesterfield looked against the dark navy. I think they compliment each other nicely. With the gas fire now installed the parlour is now a cozy and inviting room to relax in during the evening.
parlour before and after chesterfieldparlour makeover dark navy walls

A sneak peak – the parlour is getting a makeover!

gold framed vintage lady

I’ve been finding some great inspiration for painting dark walls on Pinterest lately! I stumbled across some inspiring images by accident one day, when i was looking at wall displays.  I was instantly drawn to the rooms that had navy covering their walls….and no, not one feature wall, but the entire room painted in dark blue. The parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse is the smallest living area and struggles to get natural light, so while i thought it would be a good candidate for navy walls, i was worried it might close it in even further. I wasn’t keen to start painting until i was sure.

megan morton home love

Then, browsing through Megan Morton’s book, Home Love, i stumbled across this page dedicated to night time living rooms. She writes about how some rooms are morning rooms or night time rooms. My parlour is definitely a night time room. It’s a room where you want to cosy up in the evening by the fire with a good book and a wine in hand. Or as Megan Morton describes, “some rooms are born for serving whiskey sour, playing backgammon and reading Keats“. The helpful information on this single page of her book gave me the final bit of confidence to commit to a makeover for the parlour. 

megan morton dark room

The first thing to do was get a gas fire installed in the fireplace. I didn’t want guests to fuss around with firelighters and wood during their stay and gas fires are the next best thing, plus so very easy to use. This is the parlour getting a nice new gas fire installed. I know, it looks a little scary, but i can assure you everything is now back in place.
parlour makeover

With the fireplace installed, i headed to the paint shop for some samples. I grabbed four sample pots of varying navy as you can never quite tell what the paint will look like on your wall and i didn’t want to mess it up. I settled on Dulux Harpoon…..a lovely deep shade of navy. If you check out my Navy Wall Inspiration board on Pinterest you’ll understand why i have this gold frame against the wall. So many of the beautiful navy rooms have gold accents which look amazing again their dark walls.

navy paint wall samples

These golden beauties i found in Peak Hill, at two different antique shops. I adore vintage gold frames, as you can see from the gold frames on the wall in the reflection. This painting caught my eye instantly and the round convex mirror will look gorgeous hanging nearby. I’m still searching for some more gold wall adornments as they will look gorgeous on my navy walls. Stay tuned!!

vintage gold frames

The Parlour – Finally Finished

If i had a dollar for every time i walked into the parlour and said, “I hate this room”, i’d probably have enough money to buy another house! It seems crazy that this room has caused me so much trouble. I have rearranged the furniture a 100 times, hung pictures on the walls and then taken them down, added more stuff, taken stuff out, bought new items, moved things around again….nothing seemed to satisfy me. I found this room so very frustrating, but in the end the solution was simple. Stop trying too hard!! I emptied the room and started a fresh. I put back only the basics, a lounge, some cushions, a mat, a coffee table, a mirror, a tiny hall table, some lovely books, a couple of carvers and some interesting items. Then i stopped. I banned myself from adding anything else. And now i am satisfied.

IMG_2980 IMG_2981 IMG_2982 IMG_2983 IMG_2984 IMG_2985 IMG_2986 IMG_2987 IMG_2988 IMG_2989 IMG_2990

Tacky but cool!

20121021-190606.jpg
When my husband and I found this at a secondhand shop in Orange, we stopped short, looked at each other and then confirmed that this was a MUST buy!! It’s awkward, it’s tacky and it’s the coffee table of our dreams!!
Others probably walked past it, ignoring its potential, but even as non gamblers, we knew this was going to be PURE GOLD in the parlour!

20121021-190615.jpg

20121021-190637.jpg

20121021-190621.jpg

Leather Love

I really love leather. I don’t care if it’s old or new. There’s something about the smell of new leather that i love, but i also love when leather is old and worn.  We lashed out on new lounges for the house. They are very different styles. The chesterfield lives in the parlour opposite the fireplace and the other is more modern and belongs in the kitchen/living area. I love them equally. 🙂

The following pictures are of my cowhide, which i love. I know that animal skins aren’t for everyone (my daughter hates it) but i appreciate all of the animal being used, including the skin,  if it has been bred for eating purposes. The black and white contrasts beautifully with the tan lounge. Also, it is durable and easy to clean. Gotta love that!

Alright, so that’s my new leather. Now onto the old. These were all found at the Molong junk shop. Boy do i love that place. I don’t think we’ve ever visited and not taken something home. It is full of treasures!

This beauty was found at the junk shop. The top of the stool is covered in embossed leather. It’s lovely and solid, as most old furniture is.

This black beauty is covered in leather! I adore it. It will probably end up on one of the bedside tables at Winterfell.

I know this won’t appeal to everyone, but my husband loves camels, so when we saw this leather covered one, we had to have it!!

What a funny pair!

Red, the inner critic and a sneak peak of the parlour…

We drove to Millthorpe again today. The short 2 hr drive makes a day trip quite doable, without completely wearing everyone out. Johno planted new hedges in the front garden and hung some more pictures and mirrors in the house. He had to use a drill today! For anyone who knows my husband, this is a big deal. I’m talking masonry drill bits, wall anchors and hooks. He did a great job and it looked exhausting, so i was really glad it was him and not me. That said, i didn’t spend the day lazing by the fire (i wish!). I made beds, unpacked kitchen gear, reorganised the parlour and helped measure out drilling points.

I discovered today that i might be addicted to red. I knew i liked red, but after looking around Winterfell today it’s quite clear that an addiction is forming. There are splashes of red throughout the main living area and parlour. I’m quite conservative, so i guess this is my way of adding some colour. I really do LOVE it. And it was the red door of Winterfell that got my attention in the first place.

My inner critic was louder than usual today, so i had to try extra hard to squash it. Sometimes i wonder why i am so critical of myself and the things i do. I question every little detail in the house and i want it to be perfect. Of course, nothing and noone is perfect, so i reassured myself today with this logic. And really, i’m not an interior designer. I have no skill in this area, so it’s time to lighten up and not be so hard on myself. With all that said, i’ve been completely unhappy with the parlour. It was too busy and was full of vintage and antique gear, which is great, but there was too much of it. So today i did a reshuffle and moved stuff out of the parlour and into the bedrooms and stuff out of the bedrooms and into the parlour. I’m feeling much happier about it now. I just need a nice coffee table….

Here is a sneak peak of the parlour. And where did the kids spend the day?…..lazing by the fire. 🙂

First Furniture Trip to Winterfell

We took our first load of furniture to Winterfell in June. We hired a little truck for the 2hour trip and it was FULL to the brim. But even with a full truck load the house still looks sad and empty. We have a long way to go, but thats alright because it should be a process. I like the idea of starting with a few pieces of furniture and building on them.

I stopped at Molong at a magical secondhand place. This place is packed with goodies and antique dust. Ben or Stuart (he answers to both) is a lovely bloke who said, “The more you buy the cheaper it gets”. I love this motto. My almost 14yr old daughter Rose was almost hypnotised by the place and i had to drag her out in the end. Rose usually hates shopping, but i think i may have just discovered my junkyard partner in crime. She was also able to get a good deal on some old pocket watches, so i may need to take her along next time to help with negotiations. That said, the prices are so fair here that i would feel right asking for a discount.

leather covered stool $70

This will be perfect in the upstairs bathroom as it doesn’t have a mirror $35