After what seems like too long, I'm ridiculously excited to share a cheeky glimpse of our dining room! I don't want to give away too much yet as we're still waiting for our table and chairs, curtains and prints for the walls ;o)
Below's a little reminder of what it looked like before and you can revisit our extensive stripping back process. Hopefully this taster alone proves just how far we've gone to transform what was a depressingly dark room!
Aside from stripping back the old wallpaper and carpet, one of the biggest and most rewarding jobs was getting rid of the cat-puke-yellow which all the woodwork, cornices, door and radiator had been painted in. It took a lot of sanding, multiple coats of white paint and even professional stripping of the door, which we then varnished to match our other downstairs doors.
My personal favourite transformation has to be the fireplace though! We found it quite ugly and very out of place with what we had planned for the room, so my boyfriend came up with an inspired idea to make it look more sleek and contemporary. I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I seriously love how it looks now!
So why has it taken us over two months to decorate just one room? I know it sounds like an age, but we were mostly slaving on it during our free weekends, as we both work full-time. The stripping is relatively fast, but once you get to the decorating, there's a lot of waiting in between coats of paint to dry! And as usual, we had our fair share of disasters that cost us precious time (days) to rectify, including:
- Picking an Exorcist green for the lower walls, but being in denial until one side of the room was painted. We had to wait for it to dry, cover it with white, wait for that to dry and then start again with our new colour.
- Thinking we were done with the mantle-piece only to have to 'peel' off the original five-ish coats of paint we'd applied! This heartbreaking blunder was due to the fact that we thought we could get away with just one coat of undercoat. The wood/varnish kept 'bleeding' into each layer of paint, staining the white. We ended up applying too many coats of paint, leaving the mantle-piece tacky. It took us an entire afternoon to strip the whole thing back again!
- Applying two coats of varnish to our newly painted floorboards, only to watch in disbelief as they turned nicotine-stained. Without wishing to sound too dramatic, this was pretty soul-destroying! We had to sand down the varnish (by hand), spend time investigating better products, spend more money on a more suitable one and re-varnish.
All these hiccups aside though, I couldn't be more delighted with what we've achieved in this room! And I can attest that hiccups make for good lessons learned!
So, what do you think so far? I hope you're as excited as me about the big reveal...