Decorating, Design, Home, Interior Design, Interiors, Painting
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The Process

Am going to start this ere blog post with a bit of serious info about my thoughts on work, my ethos and how I run things at Making Spaces. I will put my glasses on so I sound the part…. There.

Interior Design is not just about providing a product or one off service. Re-designing a room and creating a new space which solves problems and enhances the feel of a room is a process which evolves along the way. Inevitably, some of your initial ideas and concepts shift slightly to make sure the brief is being hit bang in the face. As a room develops I often think of alternative, better and more creative solutions. At the end you want the room to make your client ridiculously happy, whilst keeping it all within budget. I also want to be able to show off my work too. After all, this design lark is a labour of sheer love. Well it is for me.

valspar deep shadow dark blue walll

It’s been a mixed week for The Blue Room. The vintage wardrobe didn’t make it up the two flights of Victorian stairs and alas has now been tipped due to the damage is sustained. That hurt. The £10 chest of drawers that were going to be up-cycled with hot pink spray paint have remained sanded and waxed and look all the better for it. Seeing things in situ is the best time to consolidate your ideas. Do things in stages and discover what works best. Having a clear idea of how you and your client would like the room to look, along with being flexible about how achieve it is the best way to work. I repeat, it’s a process.

bedroom before

And so, on to this week’s dilemma, solutions and outcome. One i’m still not 100% about and still need to have a conflab with my client. The alcove. A 2 x 2m space which housed the dressing unit which was initially staying and smallish mirror which was going. The alcove, which was tucked away around the corner didn’t get much natural light. And the way the room is shaped with the sloping ceiling it wasn’t possible to put anything else there, such as the wardrobe.

When the room got the full Deep Shadow treatment, the room wasn’t dark as such, but having an off black/blue in that corner instead of white did make it quite difficult to work in. My client is a hairdresser by trade and so spends a fair amount of time in “the alcove” sorting her hair and make-up before work. And natural daylight is obviously the best light to work in so you don’t end up looking like Dale Winton when leaving the house.

1st thought – Right, we’ll get a full sized piece of mirror and fit it onto the back wall. That will bounce a shed load of light back towards you and you’ll be sorted. Also add a wall lamp to the corner and that will assist for winter morning and evenings.

Then we sourced this beauty.

1960's dressing table

A gorgeous mid-century dressing table, complete with not one, but two mirrors. Add a third full sized mirror and she’d be charging entry into the Hall of Mirrors.

Alcove before

2nd Thought – A reflective surface but not mirror. Something cost effective. Not wallpaper. Not gold leaf. Metallic paint. Yep, that might work.

crown metallic paints striking millionaire

One trip to B&Q later and I was faced with two options. Gold. Bronze. What do you reckon?

I went gold as a) it was lighter and b) it would match the little feet and handles on the dressing table. I’d read lots of reviews online about it being a nightmare to work with, impossible to get a flat, even finish with either brush or roller. But I was curious to see it for myself.

Crown Striking Metallic paint

Crown “Striking”

Crown Striking Metallic paint


Looked khaki green to me. I didn’t have a great feeling at this point to be honest. I wasn’t wrong. It was like working with nail varnish. And just like the reviews had said, IMPOSSIBLE to get an even finish. Each roll left another track. And I started to lose the will to live. WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN TO THE REVIEWS??

Feeling pretty deflated and before it had fully dried, I quickly resorted to plan B. Go textured. Work with it. Use a brush. Vertical strokes. Go for it.

Crown Striking Metallic paint

And here it is still drying. So hard to capture the effect but it looked like wallpaper, quite a retro wallpaper. This might work…. Only one way to tell.

Mid century dressing table and deep shadow

So I started to place things back where they should be as you can only tell what it’s going to look like when large items are back in situ and dressed to break up the blocks of colour.

Deep shadow and upcycled drawers

I’d painted all the woodwork this day too, so it’d been full on. Flippin love this blue door. And I still can’t get over those drawers for just £10. I’d just like to add that this photo is making the room appear much blue’er than it appears to the eye. A friend who is going F&B Stiffkey said it was pretty much identical. A dark, smokey grey blue. See below.

Deep shadow woodwork

A much better representation of the colour.

Deep shadow woodwork

I just hope the paint has the longevity of a wood/metal paint as the Valspar Eggshell dried in 30 minutes. It covered easily in two coats, but I did three to make sure it was protected. We’ll see…

Alcove before

And so a quick before photo before I show you how it turned out once dried with the furniture back in place.

Crown Striking Metallic paint

What do you think? I’m undecided. It feels like buying a new style of dress and building up the confidence to bust it for the first time. Does it work? Does it make my bum look big?

Crown Striking Metallic paint

Still so much to do, lighting, bedding, rugs and stools for example. Not to mention a wardrobe which I think I may have solved with a vintage style and sized flat pack. Jees, they’re hard to find.

And so, back to my intro about what I believe Interior Design to mean. I’ve seen design companies offer a service called “Room in a Box” or something similar. You pay £300/400 and in return get a shopping list of paint colours, furniture and soft furnishing to source and sort yourself. Sounds good in theory, but is that interior design? Not for me i’m afraid. It takes away the important bit. The process and creativity. The bespoke aspect of design, the individuality of the client and their home. A room outside the box is much more up my street.

And just as i’m ready to hit “Publish”, i’ve just heard back from the client about the metallic wall. It’s not for her. And I think I agree. Such a shame Crown. Great concept, but if there’s no way to apply the product and make it look good then it’s onto plan C!



    • Wouldn’t it? I was convinced I could make it work… but it wasn’t to be. It also looked super green compared to the colour on the tin. Not great 🙁

  1. Amanda West says

    Hi Karen, I’ve just purchased a tin of Crown Striking metallic paint to use on feature walls to 4 bedrooms. I’ve been reading up on how to apply metallic paint and websites I visited mention applying a primer first. Another website also mentions mixing another paint with half water and applying to the wall before using the metallic paint and these two things are very important if the walls is porous, whatever that means. I have my heart set on using metallic paint and wished to know if you have had further success. Amanda West June 2017.

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi Amanda,
      No i’ve not used it since this project i’m afraid. The wall I painted wasn’t porous at all, it was already painted with a silk paint. I spoke to Crown who said it should be applied with a roller in one roll from top to bottom (which I thought was virtually impossible to do unless you’re seven foot tall). Good luck with your decorating. If the paint doesn’t work out, you could always opt for a plain, metallic wallpaper!

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