‘The Blue Room’

‘The Blue Room’ renovation started out as a mini-project that we were going to complete on the side, whilst starting our huge bathroom reno. However, once we got started, MrB and I found ourselves spending more and more time on Pinterest and Instagram planning ideas and features, and choosing colour schemes. As a result, our time became solely focussed on giving this room it’s own personality.
It was clear this was rapidly becoming a far bigger project than either of us had planned…and the bathroom immediately took a back seat, whilst we transformed what was the most boring room in house, into one of our favourites!

{I’ve added links to everything we bought at the bottom of this post, in case you fancy adding any of it to your home.}

Where it all began…

The previous owners had already ripped down and transformed the old garage space into a study and downstairs wet room, which saved us a lot of money (and dust!!) from having to do it ourselves when we first moved in. We loved having the extra room downstairs, but it was clear the previous owners had been using the space as a cross between an office and a walk-through to the shower-room, with only a desk and two chairs pressed up against one wall. Being such a great size, MrB and I knew there was so much potential, and I couldn’t wait to inject some love and character into the unloved space.

Fortunately, like the rest of the house, the room was a basic magnolia colour, and had very little attached the the walls – so as far as prepping the space was concerned, it wasn’t too bad.
We removed the shelves, hooks, and monstrous oversized free-standing cupboard {in the right hand corner of the image above} from one side of the room, which gave us so much more space to work with. Annoyingly, the previous owners had also built an unattractive pale blue fitted cupboard around the boiler, with shelving to one side, that we absolutely hated (the colour didn’t help!). It would have created so much more work for us to rip it out and re-build, so we decided that we would make a few changes so that it would work for us and actually compliment the space.

It didn’t take us long to fill any holes that were left in the walls, and we made the conscious decision not to re-plaster any wall as the room was a relatively new addition to the house, and not in that bad condition. Considering we had been using it as a bit of a dumping ground since we moved in {see below}, I couldn’t wait to get started!

First things first…the panelling!

Once the room was clear, and any holes in walls filled, our first main priority was tackling the pale blue cupboard in the corner. We decided to add panelling to the front of the doors, as well as tongue and groove to the sides to give it a bit of character. I was so tempted to fully panel the walls in this room, however we already have panelling in the lounge, panelling going in the new bathroom, and panelling planned for the master bedroom! As we knew this room was going dark, we decided to keep the walls plain and make a feature of the cupboard instead.

For the doors, we ended up buying ready made moulding panels from B&Q, that were the exact size we needed for the huge doors. We attached them with Unibond No Nails adhesive, and held them in place with some tacks, whilst it set solid.
For the side of the cupboard, we bought two huge panels of tongue and groove, that we cut to size and fixed in place with the No Nails adhesive. Again we used tacks to hold it in place whilst it all dried and set. Despite everything now being different colours, we could already see what a difference it made and what an impact it was going to have.

Then came the paint {hooray!}.

I couldn’t believe how quickly we had got to this point with this room – the lounge renovation and re-plastering had taken so long {6 months}, that it felt like we would never get to the painting stage – but this had only taken us a few weeks, and that was only because we both work full time. We were so super speedy, I almost didn’t recognise us…(don’t panic – from this moment it actually did take us a further 6 months to finish!).

I was so excited to finally get some paint on the walls and cover that magnolia! We decided to go with Valspar as we absolutely love the quality and finish of the paint – and they will colour match any shade from any sample you bring to them! We used both their primer and their matt finish walls and ceiling emulsion that we had colour matched to Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue. This v700 blend is quite hard wearing, and because we know that this room is walked through quite often, with people using the adjacent downstairs bathroom, we decided that this would be the best option.

First Stage: Primer

WHITE EVERYTHING! Isn’t it amazing how much of a transformation white paint makes? We painted everything white: the ceiling, walls, woodwork, panelling, that strange blue cupboard…and it looked so much better! To the point that I almost considered painting the top coat white and leaving it bright and airy {the complete opposite to what we actually had planned}.
We used the Valspar wood primer for the woodwork and panelling as it gave a really nice base for the colour to go on. We then also decided to paint the walls and ceiling white too. To be honest, we probably didn’t need to paint the walls as they were light anyway, and Inchyra Blue is a dark shade of blue, however I’ve heard that sometimes the tone of your base can affect the overall finish of the top colour, and I didn’t want to risk it.

It took us a couple of weekends to complete two coats of primer on all the woodwork, two coats of white on the walls, and an undercoat and top coat of white on the ceiling. Despite MrB being totally petrified of ruining all his hard work, I was definitely ready to go to the dark side…

Second Stage: Colour

Now if you’re reading this thinking ‘wow, she loves painting’, you would be horribly mistaken! I absolutely hate painting. Yes, it’s very lovely being part of the process and seeing the finished result…blah, blah, blah… but if I could pay someone to come in and finish everything whilst I’m at work, I would. Unfortunately, MrB is totally against paying someone to do something that we can physically do ourselves, and in all honesty, I would rather spend the money we’ve saved on all the accessories! {Not sure that’s what MrB had in mind?!}

As soon as I put the first brush of paint on the walls, MrB thought we had made a mistake. Our whole renovation colour palette for the house so far had been so neutral, that he thought this was going to be too much. I lost count of the amount of times he asked “It’s going on every wall?…Every wall??”. I however, completely ignored his state of panic and swiftly switched to the roller to get as much colour on the walls as I could – I was IN LOVE!!!

The darker greeny-grey/blue actually made the room feel larger! I was so happy with it, I wanted to paint all the woodwork as well – I love the effect it gives of making the room feel taller. However, I think that was one step too far though for MrB, and we compromised on keeping the woodwork white. As an office space, it felt warmer and much more inviting – finally the room felt like it had it’s own character and purpose.

The paint covered really well, and we could have applied just the one coat – however, I don’t think you see the true tonal elements of the paint colour until you have at least 2 coats applied. We decided on 2 coats for all four walls as well as the panelling, and we were so happy with the finished result. One of the things I love most about Inchyra Blue, is that it looks completely different in different lights, and different areas of the room – sometimes more grey, and other times more blue. It is absolutely beautiful.

…And then we added the accessories.

My favourite part of any renovation is adding the accessories, and I was so excited to start on this one! We had already decided that we were going to use brass as our accent colour against the blue, as I love the contrast between the two shades, and we managed to find the most beautiful sockets and switches from Dowsing and Reynolds {linked below}. If you haven’t used them before, do!!! So easy to install, and they look absolutely stunning. We also decided to buy our cupboard door handles from them as well, and we get so many compliments on them.
I then sourced a brass floor lamp, brass frames, and new brass drawer knobs for my old desk – the space was transformed!

I am usually really cautious with bold colours and mixing different colours together. However, I felt like with this room I could add lots of different textures and colours to compliment the blue. The final decision was between yellow and pink, so of course I chose pink – even MrB agreed that it was the perfect match with Inchyra Blue. I found a round vintage-style cushion, beautiful pink blush eucalyptus stems, and the most beautiful aged rug that completed the room perfectly.

I never thought that this would be one of my favourite spaces, as we initially just wanted to freshen it up from the tired, and forgotten space it was when we moved in. However now the room is complete, I can’t keep out! I have loved renovating this space, and bringing out not only some additional character, but including our own personalities as well.

Another room down…

{I have linked everything below, just in case you fancy buying any of the items for your home. Everything listed is current {as of this post} and *hopefully* still in stock…}

Lamp: Ikea
Switches & Sockets: Dowsing and Reynolds
Blush Eucalyptus Stems: Hudson Home
Cushion: H&M Home
Chair: eBay (old)
Lamp: Ikea
Shutters: Clement Browne
Radiator: Soak.com
Rug: French Connection
Blanket: QVCUK – Bundleberry
Desk: Ikea
Drawer Knobs: Yester Home
Plant Pot: Ikea
Prints: Desenio / Juniqe

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