In the last couple of weeks I decided to repaint my sitting room. It has been the same colour for ages, and I felt an update was in order. I am getting very drawn to orange at the moment, and as the room has a lot of light and high ceilings, I felt that it could take a dark tone and create a different feel to the existing colour. This is the room as it was…
It was originally painted in Drab, a now discontinued Farrow & Ball paint. I chose a strong orange by Valspar called Storybook Sundown to replace it. I have orange elsewhere in the room in the rug, upholstery and cushions and this colour complimented them the best…
So with 5 litres I started to paint. You know that moment when you think ‘Hmm, not sure if I am liking this…?”, well it came pretty soon after the first coat. I have been so used to the previous colour and this is so out of my comfort zone that I started to to think I had made a mistake. But I decided to continue to see what would happen.
BUT… once it was done I loved it. Really vibrant, rich and cocooning.
Now this is where the chaos started… when I say chaos I mean a nuclear chain of events starting from the initial one pot of paint. My sofa now looked really insipid against all of the other bright colours. The room needed something stronger/darker in colour/tone to work with these walls. The current sofa is a Wesley Barrell Knole, and cost a huge amount when purchased. It is quite tired now and has been an old faithful for over a decade, so I thought this would be the time to revamp it. Investigations into re-upholstering it revealed it costs as much if not more to do as getting a new sofa. The seat cushions alone cost £500 for new inserts, not to mention 15m of fabric and upholstery costs.
Egged on by my daughter we set out to find a new sofa. On my wish list the main priority was NEVER HAVING TO EVER PLUMP ANOTHER CUSHION AGAIN. This has been the bane of my life with sofas, and actually if I add the hours spent doing it I could have learnt a new language or trekked across a country instead. So number one priority was a sprung seat and back sofa.
Research then ensued; size, shape, fabric, finish, durability… The internet is great for hunting, but I want to see them in the flesh too and sit on them to see if they are comfortable. A bit like Goldilocks and her chairs – too firm, too soft or just right? A sofa is a big expense as well, so once a shortlist had been made we set off in the car on a sofa bouncing mission.
Stop one was a high street store that had not been on my wish list, but was on the way to another shop. As we mooched about I spotted the perfect sofa; sprung, buttoned and available in the fabric I wanted. It was in DFS, is called the Trafalgar and is a modern version of the chesterfield with buttoned seat and back, plus proper springing. The shape is more angular than the traditional rounded chesterfield but that is why it looks so nice.
The detailing is lovely, with upholstery studs along the front:
But this colour is too pale and I wanted a richer more textural fabric. And voila, in their books I found:
The perfect velvet; not shiny like a lot of modern versions but lustrous and deepest black. And so reader, I ordered one.. and it comes in about 6 weeks to reface the old faithful Knole sofa (which incidentally is going to a very good home where it will be loved for many more years).
So that was Chaos Element No 1. This pot of paint has now cost me a new sofa.. but it doesn’t end there. I like the idea of adding in more black to define the room, so black lampshades have now been ordered for the lamps around the room in black, and passementerie trimmings have been ordered to jazz them up. That’s Chaos Element No 2.
On top of that I have now started hunting for new curtains to add more drama and tie up the room visually as the current ones are lovely, but look quite pale now compared to the other colours going on in the room, and that’s a 10ft tall bay window to negotiate as a starter. Not something you can use readymades on easily… so let’s call that Chaos Element No 3. I’m thinking watered black silk puddling on the floor would be a bit special…
With that I will sign off, as I need to plan how to create these curtains on a budget, but so they don’t look it. All this from just one pot of paint…