All posts tagged: before after

Off Black & Shadow White

Following on from Peignoir and Worsted (i’ve stopped crying now btw) i’m going to give you a pre “final reveal” peep at how the living room at the Masonic Villas project is looking…. now it’s gone all monochrome on us. Please bear in mind, the room doesn’t have everything in it just yet. Still some pieces to arrive, lighting to fix, shelves to style and lots of artwork to hang. LOTS. But I already love it. Farrow & Ball’s Off Black and Shadow White have given this Victorian living room, bursting with original period features, a real contemporary, Scandinavian edge. Let’s take a look at how colour alone can transform a space. Before After (with barely anything in it yet) I want to live in this room. Before After See how this space has been completely transformed, without actually changing all that much?  Same furniture, same curtains, same layout-ish. With those Off Black walls, everything that sits in front of them just looks amazeballs. Shadow White, one of Farrow and Ball’s new colours for 2016 was chosen for the woodwork, …

Making Spaces in Print – Pt 3

It’s June! When the hell did that happen? Last time I checked we were all dancing around a maypole. Blimey. So, yeah, May has flown by, and as they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”. And I was. The Houzz UK feature, which was wonderfully confidence boosting, prompted an avalanche of emails. A new project on board already and another consult booked for next week. Making Spaces was interviewed for Yorkshire Living, a complimentary magazine, still available to pick up in and around the God’s own country. Keep an eye out, you can’t miss it. Making Spaces only bloody made the FRONT COVER! Look! Sherwood Forest in all its glossy glory. Then my very first design project from October 2014, before Making Spaces even officially existed was in Homestyle Magazine. Take a look and have a read. It’s pretty cool to think the whole living room was made-over for £1000.   And if that wasn’t enough, i’m currently in this month’s (July) edition of Real Homes magazine. I’m sitting on a chair this time as …

The Magnetic Wall – Pt 3 – Final Reveal

Just over a month ago, I introduced you to a playroom re-design I was working on in collaboration with Thistle Magnetic Plaster, by British Gypsum’s “Rooms Made For You“. The plan was to transform the room overlooking the rear garden into an interactive family space. A room that connected the large, recently completed living space to the great outdoors. Part II, was all about the magnetic plaster going up on the wall, what it was like to work with, how it dried and what was next on the plan of action. Here’s a brief visual catch up… It was now time to start getting the mural i’d planned up on the walls. I’d sourced some designs for the decorator and with the help of a projector, the design went from a 2D image on a screen up onto our magnetic wall. In two days, the room was transformed from a cold white square room to a warm, light, creative space filled with colour and extra special detail. Three window blinds were fitted into the window recess by …

Sherwood Forest – Final Reveal

In October 2015, I had a consultation. A couple had just moved in together into a 1930’s three bedroom semi-detached house in a leafy part of north Leeds. A lovely sized home which held many wonderful treasures. But with all this stuff from two houses being merged together, both with competing design styles… the main living space wasn’t really working. Oh and throw in a new born, just for fun. The living room already had a cool selection of retro, Africana and vintage pieces. A Parker Knoll armchair, taxidermy, old maps, collectors drawers, new maps, pops of orange, brass and copper accents and various pieces of unique, gnarly furniture. It was all there. But it was just a mish-mash. Add in that 70’s tiled fireplace and the room was all over the shop. The colour of the room, I decided upon about an hour into the first consultation. I just knew it would work for them both. A dark, vintage green, using copper and orange as the accent colour was going to make everything in this room …

“Retro Gentlemen’s Club with a Dash of Taxidermy”

Do come in. (And please take off your shoes… new rugs.) A reminder of before: As the project breaks for Christmas, I wanted to show you where we’re at since starting work on it in mid-October. This time next month, we should have completed this room. We are so nearly there. I convinced my clients to bring the piano from the hallway into the living room. Originally a bespoke designed study area was planned for this corner, but i’m so pleased the piano made it into the living room instead. It fits perfectly and looks stunning, but more importantly it brings someone’s great love of playing piano into the heart of the home. The morning after the piano was positioned here, I had this message from my client: “Played the piano tonight for the first time in months, probably over a year. It’s totally absorbing, like meditation. Thank you.” Best feeling ever! Good design, I believe, can change the way we live. Enhance our living and working spaces, make us feel better. These are the things I …

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. …

Sherwood Forest Gets Dressed (a bit)

  I’m annoyed. Annoyed with the weather. The light, to be precise. The light over the past week has officially been rubbish. 1/10. Must try harder. And this, dear readers is why I haven’t posted a blog for a week. A WHOLE WEEK. Unheard of. I do apologise. Sorry peeps. But I’ve soldiered on, taking snaps here and there as the project has developed and here are some i’ve managed to cobble together over the past week. Let me show you what’s new… All of the room has been painted now in Valspar’s Sherwood Forest, except for the skirting boards. Above are the phrenology and skull knobs from Orchard Lane Interiors, now gracing the doors of the cupboard doors either side of the fire. (**rubbish lighting photo) In the right hand fireplace recess we have a collection of gawkworthy items, most of which were already at hand. Stylist’s dream! Anything new has links below. Specimen drawers Phrenology head Lots of bizarre and lovely glassware collected from around the world, including a bottle with a snake in. A cloche …

Home Office in a Day

I was recently set a challenge. Could I update a currently unused third bedroom from a room of storage chaos to a sleek and super cost effective home office? In one day. 8 hours. Let’s have a look-see…. Well yeah, of course I can. They don’t call me Karen “make-over in a day” Knox for nothing you know. Bah! Firstly, this rather large and unnecesary sofa needed to get the hell outta there. The room is about 2x3m so this took up more than a third of much needed space. A “free sofa to anyone that could collect” Gumtree ad worked a treat, giving me a near empty room and someone else a much needed free sofa. Perfik. The CD towers, old cushions and a spare light shade were getting sent to the charity shop but everything else in that room needed a place to live. I had a budget of £150 to spend on the entire room. Eek. I needed to purchase: A desk Filing drawers Drawers for the existing Ikea Kallax unit A chair …

Adios Fireplace

Want to see what happens when a fireplace is ripped out? Do I!!?! Well you’ve come to the right place as that’s what i’m going to show you today. What a coincidence. Fireplaces are ALWAYS the thing that stops a project dead in its tracks. When I hear the words, “I’d like a new fireplace” it fills me with dread. It’s not an easy one to sort. It takes a lot of time. And money. Most people give up and then they don’t move forward at all. Project = stopped. Sherwood Forest Project – Operation “Get that Fireplace Out!” This fireplace was outta here. And the best thing was, there wasn’t anything going back in its place. Apart from a cunning design that comes from inside my head. Project = GO! Day 1. Wooden mantle removed by yours truly. I’m very handy with a screwdriver you know. **Warning** The following poor quality phone camera photos include a shot of builder’s pants.** The surround was loosened away from the wall with a mallet, crowbar and brute …

Midtown Magic Bedroom

My bedroom. As it was a few months ago anyway. It was lovely. Light, bright, clean and simple. Good enough for a magazine shoot might I add… but it never really floated my boat. I’ve been itching to get this room more up my street for over a year now, but every time I even mentioned it to the OH, he would wince. a) It’s a big job to sell all that furniture b) and BLOODY expensive to replace it all. Wardrobes were always the sticking point. The ones I liked were always upwards of £600. And we needed two. So there’s £1200 straight away before i’ve even got all creative with my shizzle. During a quick evening session on Gumtree (am always on there hunting down furniture and decor finds for local pick up, don’t forget those 1930’s chest of drawers I picked up for £10), I came across a brand new in box, never built or even opened, LEDGER wardrobe from Made.com. RRP £600. It was on Gumtree for £300. And it was four …