Makeover - The Snug

September 01, 2017

The snug/library type room was the last for us to finish downstairs. When we bought the house this room was a formal dining room with swirly funky red carpet and gold yellow wallpaper {see the before photos below!}.
We filled it with boxes and furniture for a whole eighteen months whilst we did up the rest of the house, a poor neglected room sitting off the hallway. Literally everybody that came round was visibly shocked at the boxes just piled high in there, even blocking all the light from the window but at least it saved us money on storage. Once the kitchen was finished and we found homes for all the stuff we'd dumped in there we finally set about giving this room the makeover she deserved.

We had plans originally for a dining room but then thought who are we kidding? We're never going to be formal dining room people, with a table in our kitchen and me not wanting to cook in a separate room to where everybody else would be sitting, it's just not the modern way? So then the snug idea came about, a space for all the books we had in boxes - a library type feel and finally a space for all the paperwork my husband has scattered around the house. {What is with men and post/paperwork?!} Our house is very light and neutral so I knew we could get away with a bold colour in here. We'd used Farrow and Ball Downpipe on our utility cupboards and kitchen island, I'm a bit obsessed with it so that formed the start of the room. 


We stripped all the wallpaper back and smoothed the walls ready to repaint them. I think that Downpipe offsets other colours so well against it. Especially mustard so we went on the hunt for a mustard coloured wingback chair second hand from eBay {such a bargain compared to the price of new chairs} and have just ordered this sofabed of dreams for the back wall so that guests can use it as an extra bedroom. 

We had the marble fireplace that was in here when we bought the house removed - it wasn't our style. Instead we had the wooden/cast iron fireplace that we'd used in our lounge before we installed our logburner fitted and we painted it dark. We'd love to have a real fire in here but we've already used this chimney breast in our lounge the other side for a logburner. The alcoves are very narrow either side of the fireplace but Ben still managed to create built in shelving and cupboards that are deep enough to fit our Penguin book collection in without sticking out into the room too much. We painted all of this Downpipe too and then fitted antique brass hardware that we had left over from our kitchen cupboards.


And then finished it off in the same Farrow & Ball Downpipe in an eggshell finish.

I've collected Penguin books in job lots from antiques markets and eBay over the years and I love the look that they give in here. We used to have them on display in our old house in the lounge, they'd been boxed up for a whole eighteen months since!

 On the other side of the fireplace I found a home for the Rifle Paper Co travel prints I've loved forever and a day. They're quite bright and colourful, possibly too so for the rest of our neutral house, but in here I think they work well especially with our love of travel and the Globes on display. The prints represent our favourite holidays and Ben surprised me by having them shipped from America for my Valentine's present this year.

Flooring wise the original boards that we've had restored elsewhere downstairs had been replaced with thin pine boards in here already so we just went over the top of them with this interlocking vinyl in a dark oak effect - it was SO easy to lay, it just clicks together. And then I added a rug I picked up a few years back from a shop in Rye to make it feel cosier. I adore the original sash window in here and it has shutters built in so we don't need to worry about window dressings.

I'm in love with the desk and filing cabinet in here that gives the room a really grown up kind of office feel! We were looking for a piece of furniture that would give this room a purpose and this gorgeous set from the Cotswolds Company  - the Abingdon pine range - seemed perfect. Especially with the brass hardware which matches so well with the the rest of the room. I'm ridiculously happy to have a filing cabinet and now keep our mail in here with the wire holder. Above the desk we've hung the penguin postcard print frames we'd made for first flat together. They're just postcards blutacked together. 

Shelves in progress..

To finish the room off I just added a log basket {that somebody down our road was throwing away!} some botanicals, a coconut palm from Bunnings in a brass pot and a Monstera plant from a local garden centre in a gold sequinned basket I bought from Liberty London - similar online here. Continuing on the brass and gold theme I found this big Barn star from Culinary Concepts.

The leaf print on the fireplace is from Desenio and the other botanical hanging above the radiator is from a Scandi shop we found in a Norfolk beach town. I've ordered a brass shield mirror for above the fireplace but it's taking forever to arrive - six weeks for a mirror?!! 

To give the room a more grandeur feel in keeping with the age of the property we've hung a chandelier I got from a local antiques shop when we very first bought the house - it gives such a pretty light shadow out when lit. Lastly, I can never resist antlers and these were from an antiques shop in Norwich that sit above the chair. The grey and mustard cushion is from Matalan. And I've since just updated the chair with this botanical cushion of dreams online here.


I'll take some more photos once our sofabed and mirrors arrive. Also Rock my Style came to shoot this room a couple of weeks back so all of Adam's professional shots are over on RMS online here!

R <3 xx

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  1. Yes!!
    I love this black wall and I have this at home too:-)

  2. Why have a basket of logs by a boarded up fire place?


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