Before and After

Before and After Series...Part 1...The Living Room.

Part of Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way Ecourse course is
 to come up with two new feature ideas for your blog and post them this week.
 Although hardly an innovative idea, I find looking at other
peoples' homes and the whole renovating process fascinating,
so I thought I'd do a few shots on Trend Daily
 so that you may follow our little home adventure! 

Back in 2005 we moved from a very pretty 2 bed cottage into a
 relatively un-spectacular 1960s house in the next village. 
What we lost in charm we made up for with lots of light and space
 and the chance to make our stamp on our first real family home.

Fast forward to 2012 and even though the builders have long gone,
 the house and garden are still far from finished-
in my mind at least. My taste is so eclectic, that nothing seems to stay the same
 for more than 5 minutes, as I continually shuffle things around
 or come home with yet another charity shop find! 

I'm quite surprised at how the look is developing. 
I guess I never really had a particular look or style in mind-
it just keeps evolving. Unfortunately my tastes seem to change on a regular basis
 and even so early on in the decorating process,
 there are already some things I wouldn't mind changing again-eventually...!

So, here is our living room for part one of the series.
 Soft yellow walls and blue carpets-apologies to those of you who
 like this combination, but it was the first thing to go for us. 
Isn't there something nice about finding a house that has so much potential!

                                                                 Living Room before shots.

Shot 1. Ok, so they're not the prettiest of windows, but at least they're big!

Shot 2. A very traditional and cheap pine fire surround.

Shot 3. Looking out to the front and our very well worn Ikea sofa bed.

Shot 4. This room is the original extension. You can see here
where the first owners knocked through right next to the chimney.

The first thing I had to change was the layout downstairs. Space planning
is my real passion-I can spend hours and hours on it and I did ,
 amending my plans more times than I care to remember. I couldn't get my head 
around the fireplace hanging on the end of the wall, so 
we literally took the door away from the dining room next door and
put it in here with a new stud wall...
Now we have a completely separate room-much better!

Photograph by Graeme Ainscough

Graeme and I have worked together on many projects over the past 20 years.
He very kindly took some wide angle shots for me for a magazine feature.
 All other photos are by me, either with my Canon Eos 400D or Evie's I Pod Touch!

This wonderful 1960's sideboard was actually featured in Elle Decoration and I had the best luck finding it on ebay for the princely sum of £320!! The Dandelion Clocks wallpaper is by Sanderson.

Photograph by Graeme Ainscough

The wonderful dusky pink armchair in this shot was borrowed from
 a local shop for the magazine shot.
 Unfortunately I was unable to by it at the time, but it did look great!
 We also borrowed the mirror and decorative accessories.
The shelving system was from Ilva, a wonderful Danish furniture superstore
 that made a very brief appearance in the UK, but suffered terribly
 with the location for it's launch. Come back Ilva!

The 1970's Danish armchair and lobster pot stool were
 finds at the vintage fair at Farnham Maltings.

The felt throw and bobble cushion are both by En Gry & Sif.
 The large cushion is an original, 'Seaweed,' designed in 1954 for Arthur Sanderson.
The mustard trunk was made to transprort decorative accessories
 from India-cheap and cheerful and quite handy for hiding
 all our rubbish-of which there's plenty of!

I keep meaning to frame some photos, but I never quite get round to it,
 so this is our current wall display! The beautiful handmade pressed flower paper
 was a present from Jon. The oil painting was a charity shop find for £1
 and just a few photos of our little kiddies Evie and Gabriel!

A huge thank you to 2 of my oldest and dearest friends Gilly and Tish
for making my wonderful curtains for me. I
pretended to help, but I'm really not very good at that sort of thing! xx

I can't quite decide which room to feature next in the makeover series-
we'll just have to see-how exciting! Meanwhile, if you'd like
 a sneak peak at a few other rooms, take a look at a feature by one of my Blogging Your Way
 pals, the very talented Igor at his lovely Happy Interior blog.
 Igor very kindly featured me in
 his Happily Ever After Series-thank you-again-Igor! 

Happy Weekend all! x 


  1. What a transformation! Love the warm and stylish feel and very keen on your mood boards too Xx

    1. Thank you Toni! I thought I might be a lot more Scandinavian-but it appears not in this room anyway!! Have a lovely weekend! xx

  2. I do love a great before and after! The transformation in your home is nothing short of remarkable.

    Your sideboard is so very handsome (as are your other vintage pieces) - I can't believe you got it for £320! What a find!!!

    It's always lovely to hear the stories behind the choices people make in their d├ęcor.
    I can't wait to see the next room in the series!

    Have a lovely weekend! :) x

  3. Yup me too - love real life proper 'before' and 'after's....not simulated, tv makeovers done in 2 days! I really love all the lighting and the feather wreath!

    1. Thank you Car-Jane! I love the wreath but it's a bit tricky to dust!! :-)

  4. Amazing transformation, Caroline! You have such a lovely home, thank you for sharing it!

    1. Oh thank you Deepa! I hope you get some sun over there this weekend!! :-)

  5. Looks so amazing Caroline - I love all the danish touches (we still have Ilva here - so come and visit;)
    Brilliantly done indeed,
    Happy weekend,

  6. Thanks so much Anya! Denmark is pretty much the top of my must visit list-just need to save up for the ridiculous amount of shopping I'll be doing! Xx

  7. Is this really the same room?! I had to check twice to make sure I read that right. I read that right... right? wow!!! Your home is just gorgeous!! And I agree with Anya... you just need to pop over here for a visit. Ilva is just down the street from us!

    1. OOh don't tell me that!!! Don't worry, a visit will definitely be on the cards. We are actually on a home exchange website so I will check out some swaps for next year!! Have a great weekend ! :-)

  8. Caroline, this is great!

    I LOVE that mid-century sideboard. It's truly 'handsome' (as Chi so eloquently put it).

    It's a real honour to see the before and after of someone we know, someone so lovely! You've done wonders....

    Look forward to the rest x

    1. Aw Tina, you are so good to me!! Hopefully not too long before you girls come and see it for real-September? That should just about give me enough time to tidy up!!! Lolxx

  9. AMAZING! Great work Caroline :) I love that how you transformed the fireplace! Your sideboard and Danish armchair are beautiful. Thanks for a glimpse into your lovely home - very inspiring :)


  10. Thank you so much Holly!! Lovely praise from an expert like you!! Have a great week-we're drowning here!! Xx

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  12. Whoa! What a transformation! Big round of applause! That sideboard is nuts! thanks for posting this. So great!

  13. Whoa! What a transformation! Big round of applause! That sideboard is nuts! thanks for posting this. So great!

  14. Lovely to see what a transformation you've made. Your living rooms looks stylish and interesting, you've put the character back in the space with your styling and interesting finds. I love your midcentury furniture, the leather chair is divine. Really look forward to seeing the next instalment.

  15. I love what you've done Caroline, in fact I could just pack myself up and move right on in;) Mel (BYW2 classmate)

  16. This is among my very favorite kind of blog post! I love seeing people's real homes and a love seeing a peek inside their real lives. Your home is stunning and the transformation is amazing! Mid century is one of my favorite periods, but it simply won't work in my home. Oh well. I'll enjoy yours! xo

    1. Thanks so much For your lovely comment Lauren! :-)

  17. Whay-hay - a triumph Caroline! I love peeking into people's homes like this, thanks for sharing. So fun to see all those little bits you use for your styling shots on the blog. Love that £1 painting. Hope to have a day at yours soon! x

    1. Thanks lovely! Yes, I think it will be September... :-)x

  18. Caroline your home is GORGEOUS, what an amazing job you have done transforming it.

  19. Lovely transformation and great pictures. You must be pleased it is all over - renovation etc and time to now enjoy all that hard work.

    1. You are so right-it's all so stressful isn't it!! Thanks so much for commenting! :-)

  20. Looks wonderful - I looove that sideboard. You are truly lucky!!! But you deserve it :)

  21. Love this transformation...It is a definite 180. I love the color combinations, the wallpaper, and the credenza underneath the beautiful paper. Visiting you from BYW 2.0 - Yasmin Hakim

    1. Thank you so much Yasmin! And thank you for stopping by! :-)

  22. Oh wow, I love this transformation Caroline, what a great find that sideboard was! and it looks so good against the Sanderson wallpaper. I love the shelving system too and the Danish armchair. Look forward to following the rest of this series. Thanks for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself to me :-)

    1. You're very welcome Hilary and thank you for your lovely comments! :-)


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