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Sherwood Forest is coming together nicely…

I love seeing how a design project develops. A before and after is great, but how about the middle bit? The real life stuff? Like mess, design changes and sometimes even mistakes.

As ever, lots to do still. Joinery, sofa, floorboards and skirting boards painted, but we’ve started getting things back in the room to make it feel more like a family home over Christmas. Then we’re right back on it in the new year.

Before and after of the fireplace:



It took some work to get the fireplace looking like this. You can see it being ripped out here. Warts and all. Everything went, apart from the original concrete fire insert. I wanted to give the impression of a fireplace without actually having one, so I created a fire surround with a special mix of paint (eg. I wanged a load of different paints together to try and produce a darker version of Valspar’s Sherwood Forest). I chose a gloss finish to  add a textural contrast. The concrete fire was painted in Valspar’s Storybook Sundown. In gloss again. The orange adding the Retro pop this room needed.


The faux surround gives a focal point to the room, balances out the chimney breast wall and lifts the eye upwards away from the small orange fire. The original brass mid century clock doesn’t do any harm either does it?

Sherwood before

Just to remind you, this project is about getting a couple’s stuff, that lived in two separate houses to co-exist in one lovely three bed house. They’ve recently moved in together, have a 6 month old baby making this house their family home. This room design needs to keep everyone sweet meaning the left alcove is housing a rather enormous TV (much to the dismay of the lady of the house).


Originally, the man of the house was leaning towards having the TV mounted on the chimney breast wall… but after some gentle coaxing (frowning, shaking my head and whispering “nope”), I persuaded him to sit the TV in the left hand alcove.


We all have a TV, but personally, from a design perspective a TV shouldn’t be the focal point of any room (except a cinema room. Obv.) Anyway, that sun burst clock looks loads better there.


The right hand alcove is a treasure trove of goodies.


I want to steal these drawers. Lovely.


We are still waiting to order a sofa, mainly to spread out the cost of all the work, but also because we are searching something very particular…. and something cat scratch resistant. Bloomin cats.


The dining room end of this huge open plan space is only just beginning to get its stuff back in place. The old fireplace will have Vinyl storage built inside. Each time you take out an LP, you’ll get an orange flash. Cheeky.

The huge mirror you can just about see there, is/was a 1m diameter Ikea birch plywood special. Gorgeous, but didn’t go with the vintage vibe, so I painted it gold on the inside and dark green around the edge so it sank into the wall. Looks hot.


And these guys are sitting on the inside of the mirror frame. Looking creepy as hell.


Before: The dining room wall.

Valspar undercoat

Mid decorating.


And now. Time to start work on the enormous, slightly insane gallery wall. Our 1972, vintage world map, was another purchase from The Whole Kit and Kaboodle. Taken down from a school in York. Ace.

Gallery Wall Tip:

If you’re planning on hanging a gallery wall, hang your largest piece first then radiate outwards. There are loads of articles that will tell you how to do it online. I tend to have a play with shapes, sizes and colours by laying them out on the floor first and then get going. Don’t overthink it. But do use a spirit level.


How gorgeous does that copper pendant look against that green wall? And so onto the picture (and skull) wall.


This is just a snippet of the entire wall. There are more pieces left to hang, but need framing first. Oh and there’s a piano coming too. My god, it just keeps on getting better and better.


Mixing framed vintage art with a 1970’s painted canvas.


More creepy stuff.

And that’s it for now. I promise to get photos of the whole room asap. But for now, you’ll have to make do with these snippets of design goodness. I hope you’re enjoying watching this room progress peeps. Let me know what you think!





  1. it looks amazing! Glad the TV is in the alcove, good job on convincing Mr. of that. Love the dark color and how the metallic touches make it pop. Can’t wait to see the whole!

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