Before + After: Our living room – 6 months on

There are some blog posts which take about 45 minutes to write, and some which are 6 months hard work in the making. This one is definitely the latter! I've been excited to share the progress we've made on our living in one respect, but in another respect... a little scared to share it as there's still a lot left to do. 

A recap on what the living room looked like the day we moved in to No. 42:

What we did first, step by step:

1. Removed all the old fashioned wallpaper
2. Disconnected + removed the asbestos-filled storage heater
3. Lifted the carpets + underlay
4. Installed central heating
5. Removed all coving + skirting
6. Removed the hideous fireplace
7. Lined the chimney ready for a wood burner
8. Rehung a new oak door
9. Moved and replaced light fittings, switches and pug sockets
10. Then boarded over the ceiling, replastering and painting the walls.

We ended up with a blank canvas that looked a bit like this after 12 weeks:


Then, the day we installed new flooring and skirting boards was the day the room began to take shape. Putting our furniture back in to the room, then fitting a wood burning stove, made it start to feel like a home again.  

We also:

1. Laid a new brick hearth – tiles sourced from a local Brighton company
2. Fitted a new fire surround – £30 bargain on eBay
3. I made some new curtains for the tricky large bay windows
4. Bought a new armchair –
5. Bought a new Sonos system – no idea about technology, ask Neil for details :P
6. Fitted a wood burning stove (then had to replace it for this new one as it kept whistling when the vents were shut!) Love our new one now. 
7. Bought a few basic accessories to make it more homely – HomeSense clock, HomeSense wood carry, Sainsbury's lamp

Here's how it's looking now... 

These shots were taken in March during the colder months when the fire was in full swing!

With a lot of grand learning curves along the way (like... don't decide to move your light switch after you've paid £1500 to plaster the room!!) 6 months on the room looks a lot more 'us'. 

We have more to do as it's still very "blank canvas, low colour" at the moment. On our list is:

  • To install alcove shelving and create a built in log section to the right of the chimney breast
  • To install more shelving and a bespoke made unit for the TV as the current corner unit isn't the best use of space
  • To hang a big mirror above the fire... any recommendations? I'm thinking we'll find one in a flea market!
  • To hang photos and art on the walls which will bring our personalities into the room
  • Oh and plants! Lots of plants needed once the shelves are in!

I feel like looking back on the before photos, lots of progress has been made. If it wasn't for the attention needed on our kitchen-diner renovation (which is due to begin soon) we would have completed this room long before now. But hey, decoration takes time. And it's been so fun!

I hope this has inspired you if you're about to buy a fixer upper.

You can read all my house and renovation updates right here, next is our kitchen and dining room! ››