Interiors // Transforming our Lounge with B&Q and Farrow and Ball

November 30, 2018

I'm not sure if you remember this tricky area of our lounge? Our lounge is pretty much what sold this house to us, with the high ceilings and huge windows that let in so much light. But it was also a weird set up {you can see this post for the before} with two chimney breasts. We decided to move the log burner which sat in this alcove to another part of the room which was more central for our sofas. But then we were left with this area lacking a purpose. We filled the old fireplace with logs but it mainly just became an area that was cluttered, and didn't really fit with the rest of the room. At first, we just left it, so busy with finishing renovating the rest of the house, but then this summer - now that everything else is pretty much finished - it really started to bug me and I set about wanting to transform it. As luck would have it, B&Q then got in touch to see if I had any projects that would work with their new Farrow & Ball collection. They stock all nine of their new, cult like colours and I was itching to find a way to incorporate one of them into our house. So it all worked out perfectly, with B&Q being the experts in all things DIY and paint. I'd love to share the full transformation below...

The Before //

This was the cluttered, lacking a purpose area of the lounge. It had a mantle but it felt disconnected to the rest of the room and way too busy. It needed more colour to ground it too.

During //

We decided that a proper fireplace, one that would be a similar era and style to the house, would work well in this alcove and to keep the log stack. We wanted this to be a more cosy, purposeful reading corner so bought a fireplace from eBay that we could transform.

Then earlier last week, the full range of Farrow and Ball's new colour collection launched in B&Q stores across the country. My husband and I took a trip to stock up on painting supplies and try and decide which colour would work for the room. 

We're both, weirdly, huge fans of DIY stores, having spent so much time in them over our years of renovating but B&Q seems to top them all and their new Farrow and Ball display was impressive.

We spoke to a member of the paint team who told us that we'd need an eggshell finish for the fireplace and then bought a couple of tester pots home to decide on a colour.

De Nimes, a beautiful blue, and Sulking Room Pink, were two that I was instantly drawn to but my husband wanted to try Paean Black for this project too.

We stocked up on supplies that we'd need for sanding & painting the fireplace, all handily located just the next aisle away along with a primer to undercoat the wood.

Here's our full shopping list for the project;

Brushes of varying widths for all the fiddly angles, we used B&Q's own brand Diall which we were impressed with
Frog Tape for protecting your walls
Harris & Co Paint Guard
Sand Paper
Dust Sheets
Farrow and Ball Tester Pots 

I always feel like I can stare at paint charts forever yet can't tell exactly how a colour would look on our walls/furniture. From experience, I've found that painting big pieces of paper {with at least two coats} gives you a much better understanding, and also crucially leave them in position all day as the light in a room will really change throughout this time meaning that the colour will too. Farrow and Ball paints are particularly pigmented, meaning that you get incredible depth of colour from them, but they also look very different in different rooms, or even just different walls of your room. Seeing a photo of somebody else's walls in one colour won't necessarily mean it will look the same as in your house which might be a different aspect. So buying tester pots, and spending a couple of days seeing how it looks in your room, will save you from any disappointment colour wise.

I was so torn between these three colours and loved each of them for different reasons.

In the end, I narrowed it down to two and although my husband was vying for De Nimes, I was pretty much set on pink knowing that it would tie in so much better with the rest of the room {which has pink cushion accents and grey}. We also wanted to add lots of plants around this fireplace which I thought the pink would look really great against and this room gets a lot of direct sunlight so I thought the pink would stand out a little better. It's the perfect millennial pink and I love the story behind Farrow and Ball's Sulking Room Pink, the idea that a French boudoir would become a sulking room. My poor husband lost a colour battle again but luckily in the end he's more than happy with it.

We set about transforming the fireplace {I say we, my husband did all of the hard prep work and I just did the fun easy painting parts}. First of all, sanding the stained wood back to remove the varnish and key the wood. After that, Ben lined the edges of the fireplace with frog tape to stop any of the paint going onto the wall. We learned this from a decorator a few years ago and have always used it since.

Then it was ready to be primed. I only have a video of this stage, I'll have to share it on Instagram stories if you fancy watching.

Once primed, it was ready for the best bit. P A I N T I N G. B&Q stock all of the new paint colours, although not ours in the eggshell finish that we needed so they ordered it into store for us. 

You definitely need to use two coats to get the perfect finish, letting the first coat dry fully before starting on the second. We used a couple of brushes but this one was Ben's favourite, even for the tricky intricate parts of the fireplace.

It's always so exciting when you see the paint going on but even more so when it's finished and you can peel off the frog tape to see the crisp edges.

Helping with the finishing touches.

Always love a fun project with this guy. Even if he is a million times more capable than me, he still always lets me have a go and doesn't laugh if I mess things up.

The finished fire place! SO in love with this colour and the feel it adds to the room now.

I've only added back in the things that look pretty in this corner too rather than all the clutter that had built up. It now feels more like a cosy reading area with a bean bag and chair.

A huge thank you to B&Q for motivating us to get going with this project, and for all of the in store advice and range of products that we could pick up for this including Farrow and Ball's fab new paint colours. Have you got any projects coming up?

You can find your nearest store here, or shop online.

R <3 xx

{This is a sponsored post but as always, I'd only ever work with brands that I truly love and all opinions are 100% my own}

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  1. I love all x3 colours that you picked out and were deciding between! I am considering F&B's Peignoir (a soft pink) for my hallway and maybe Brinjal for our box room / study which is a gorgeous deep aubergine-meets-red shade. Although pricier than some other paints, I love the coverage that Farrow & Ball offer x


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