REVAMP RESTYLE REVEAL: My Entertainment Room Reveal
Well, September, you've been a busy month. Since Bianca Hall, Oliver Thomas and I came up with our plan prior to the Summer to launch the UK's first interior blogger and social media challenge, it's been go go go. We've felt like Anna Ryder Richardson, Linda Barker and Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen on speed in a surreal, modern day social media version of Changing Rooms. What was the intention of this madness? It was to challenge ten interior bloggers (including ourselves) to revamp one room in their homes over the course of four weeks, with the support of some amazing sponsors. We aimed to include the lovely public in our challenge by setting up an Instagram feed where you could hashtag your own revamps on the swipe posting, from an upcycled table to a full building renovation, to be included in the weekly RRR Reward prize. You can read about how we came up with the idea and the background to our plans by reading my launch blog.
So how has it gone? It's been lots of work but OMG, so much fun. From hallways to guest bedrooms to living rooms to full blown kitchens, there's been rooms being revamped all over the UK. Our hashtag #revamperestylereveal ramped up nearly 1000 public posts over the four weeks of the project and the Revamp Restyle Reveal feed reached nearly 4000 followers. The website received over 8000 hits and we had hashtag swipe posts from all over the World, from the USA to New Zealand. The YouTube channel received 5,500 views meaning that our objective of a multi platform challenge was well and truly hit.
And today is the BIG REVEAL! Each blogger has posted their revamps on their own websites and you can find the links for all of these below in a blog hop format so you can check out each one. It's been blood, sweat and tears this month so do go and see what they've achieved, it's definitely worth the time to take a look. The aim was to incorporate products from our sponsors, but also to recycle, upcycle and reuse what they already had so that it was not just an aspirational makeover but also an achievable one.
As one of the ten bloggers, I chose to update my living room. I'd painted it Pavillion Grey when we first moved in and the whole room had a monochrome feel to it. There was a huge gallery wall and a cream carpet that was definitely way past it's prime. Quite frankly, I was bored of it.
My aim was to transform it into an entertainment room. My Dad had been madly into music and I wanted somewhere to store and play his (and mine - Wham and The Thompson Twins included) records. I wanted it to feel cool, laid back and most of all super relaxing.
So what did I do?
Ripped Up The Carpet And Sanded The Floor MYSELF
So first of all, the carpet was totally manky. More manky than could ever be imagined. As a result, I had piled rugs on it for the last two years. If you have ever put carpet on top of carpet, you will know that its the worst idea in the world as it moves around and creases constantly. So I needed no prompting whatsoever to rip it up. Unfortunately, I didn't really consider how to get it out of the door after I'd done so (yay for Instagram stories where I received about 20 messages telling me I should have Stanley knifed it first) but I recruited Joe who managed to drag it out the door hitting every obstacle in his way and take it to the tip.
And then I sanded the floor myself. Oh yes, I bloody well did. Girl power and all that. I wrote a blog on what can only be described as a Job of Hell which you can read if you click here. Suffice to say, it was seriously hard work and I would win no awards for it but it looks much better than the dog wee stained carpet. I stained it with Walnut stain to match the floor in the next room but also to keep it looking historically how it would have looked when our Georgian house was built. I went straight on to eBay and bought a revamped Persian rug for £160 from the very same seller on the North Circular that my kitchen rug came from. It looked fab. And covered up all the shit bits too.
Painted The Walls
I wanted the walls to be white (there's a surprise) but I wanted it to be a fairly soft shade. Luckily our wall paint sponsor, the lovely people at Earthborn, had the perfect White in their Claypaint range. I painted the walls and above the picture rails, plus the picture rails themselves and it looked great. It's super easy to put on and I only needed two coats to completely cover the Pavillion Grey. It's a really warm colour and I love it.
Painted The Alcoves
So the alcoves had shelves across and I wanted to paint them in a teal colour that I had seen on Pinterest (see my mood board for the exact picture). I sent the colour over to Earthborn and they came up with a few options including Reading Room, a beautiful blue teal. I knew immediately this was the one so I painted the shelves and alcove from top to toe in Eggshell. It took three coats but looked absolutely how I wanted it to look. I was super pleased. I repainted the central fireplace in Earthborn White Eggshell which really refreshed it. I wanted to update the handles so I went on to eBay and found some gold t bars which were five for £10. A bargain and they totally updated the look.
Revamped The 90's Fireplace
One thing I really didn't like about the fireplace was the hearth. It was a modern speckled beige marble with the original small tiles and concrete in front of it. It needed work. I decided to paint the old tiles and concrete in Frenchic Panther. Frenchic are the new kids on the block - they've been around only a few years but have a really made an impact. Their furniture paint is eco friendly and goes on like a dream. You can literally paint anything with it, from UPVC front doors to garden furniture, so I knew I was on to a safe winner when I had a brainwave that I could paint the marble too. Slapped it on, it looked amazeballs. It went from a 90's beige to a cool slate in a matter of minutes. I washed it down with Frenchic finishing coat which gave it a sheen so it looked like the real thing. I added some new pencil stripe tiles to each side of the hearth (literally stuck on top of the old boring tiles) and it was transformed.
Added The Entertainment Bit
So an entertainment room needs a television. Our headline sponsor, AO.com, came up with the perfect solution with their LG OLED 55 inch TV. Joe got his drill out (not a euphemism) and erected a bracket so that it could be wall hung, although it came complete with a stand that was thin enough to put on the fireplace. A record player was also essential and they provided me with a cool Sony turntable that we connected to an Apple speaker that we already had. It's so brilliant being able to play all our old records - you can't beat vinyl!
Upcycled Like A Pro
I needed a side table so I went to the equivalent of Gods Waiting Room for Side Tables - The Community Furniture Warehouse in York. I immediately spotted a small octagonal side table which after Instagram storying it (Instagram stories are the future) I discovered was a card table. It was really solid in good condition so I painted it in a Frenchic orange called Pumpkin Pie. It took two coats and was really happy with the way it looked against the Reading Room. Again, I finished it off with Frenchic finishing coat to give it a hardwearing finish. Perfect for a lamp and a pile of books.
Brought In The Furniture
So we were lucky enough to have the fabulous Maisons Du Monde as a sponsor and they didn't fail us. The room needed a sofa so they suggested the Kant two seater in Midnight Blue velvet which was ideal for the space. The colour is gorgeous and it's super comfortable with a clean lined look and hardwood legs. I didn't want to cram the room with too much furniture as it was going to be a really social space. I wanted a large coffee table with a shelf beneath for books and magazines and the Metropolis in mango wood was the perfect fit. I put the coffee table together myself and it took about 20 minutes, it was super simple. Both of these products arrived quickly, efficiently and more importantly, delivered by good looking men with French accents. It's the little things that count.
The fantastic Amara were a homeware sponsor. This made it unbelievably hard to choose accessories as there were so many beautiful things to choose from. From wallpaper to cushions to design classics, the product range is amazing and well worth checking out. I eventually chose the Jonathan Adler blue medium lucite pill which I had lusted after for ages. It was coffee table perfect and also matched with the Reading Room shelves. It's a piece that will never go out of style which makes it a really good investment. Accessories wise, I added some old favourites that I already had, including some German midcentury vases and plant pots in red that looked fab against the blues.
Recycled What I Already Had
So furniture wise, I needed an extra chair and I already had one of my faves, a Pieff armchair that I had won on eBay a few years ago. It fitted in brilliantly with the new navy sofa and the Persian rug so I put it in the window. Another old favourite, my mid century Jentique sideboard, was dragged back in and given a polish and it fitted in with the whole look brilliantly. An old cream leather pouffe picked up in Morocco years ago was perfect for extra seating. Lighting wise, I reused two Danish lamps that I had picked up from Gumtree that fitted well with the mid century eclectic feel I was going for.
Sent More Plants To Their Death
Against everyone's recommendations, I did what I had promised I wouldn't do again. I went to the Garden Centre and bought more plants. I wanted some trailing ones to stand on the top of the shelves and the others were all otherwise engaged. They get moved around enough for Instagram photos as it is, they've got relocation issues. So I invested in four smallish ones and a huge Yukka that I bargained with the assistant for. Originally on sale for £70, I managed to convince her that it was looking worse for wear and possibly near the end of life (it would be once it arrived in my house anyway) so she eventually dropped to £17.99. I couldn't leave it behind at that price. I positioned the Yukka in the left hand corner in an old log basket and it looks the part. You'll be pleased to know it's too heavy to drag around for Instagram posts so you won't need to watch it's gradual decline.
Created A Gallery Wall
Of course I did. Despite reading recently that gallery walls are on the out, I stand by my 'decorate your home as you like and not how others like' mantra and I'm sticking with them. I decided against using monochrome prints and instead, scoured my home for all my colourful favourites. I added to them with a few new ones plus a couple I'd picked up in the charity shop and laid them out on the floor to position them. I used Command Strips on the lighter ones and picture nails on the heavier ones. I've learned my lesson that putting more strips on the heavier ones doesn't make them stay up any longer (cue huge hole in dining room sideboard where Bob Dylan fell off in the middle of the night). I added a neon heart and it all came together brilliantly.
And Finally - I Opened The Bar
I'd picked up a gold and smoked glass drinks trolley from the charity shop last year for £10 that I'd been using as a side table. It was such a cool little trolley, probably from the 1980's, that I decided it needed to go back to it's roots and my Entertainment Room was the place to do it. After all, entertainment needs a gin and tonic to go with it. So I positioned it in the corner and went off to Waitrose, the only place to buy San Pellegrino by the small glass bottle. I added mixers, gin and Aperol (what more do you need?) plus styled it up with lemon and limes, a vintage apple ice bucket, small gin glasses (although that defies the object) and stirrers and it looked fit for an immediate drink. So we had one.
I'm so happy with the room and even my family, who are so used to room revamps that they barely even notice, have commented on how great it looks. It has a really warm feel to it which is ironic considering they all moaned about me taking up the carpet as they thought it was 'cosy' (despite the fact it was actually rotting). There's something really cool about listening to old records and the wall mounted TV makes it a room that isn't just used by adults, something I always think is such a waste of a room when you have children. Despite the stress, I really enjoyed the satisfaction of completing the sanding and upcycling and I feel like I worked really hard to create a room that suited us as a family perfectly. The only thing I regret is allowing Joe to drill any holes as he completely ruined my newly painted cupboards by using a drill bit that was ten times as big as was needed.
With lots of thanks to all the lovely bloggers that took part, all the public who got involved and the fabulous small businesses who provided the prizes for the RRR Rewards. And a HUGE thanks to all of our amazing sponsors, without whom this project could not have gone ahead.
Roll on Season 2 in March 2018! We are currently looking for bloggers to take part and you can fill in the application via our website here. We are also taking sponsor and small business (RRR Reward prize) applications so please let us know here if you would be interested in taking part.
RIGHT! Now go and see what everyone else has been doing! Click the links below to take you to the next revamp. Don't forget to leave a comment to let us know how you've enjoyed the project and what you think about the reveals. Thanks so much for taking part!