Making a home for Christmas • Featuring Farrow & Ball
Christmas this year felt like a sprint to the finish, which should have been a marathon. We really wanted to be at home for our first Christmas in the new house, and invited our family and lots of friends, who are yet to visit before the holiday period is over, to come and stay. It's felt like we have spent almost every spare second making the house feel like home.
A happy home.
When we first viewed the house, we didn't actually go inside. I knew as I tip toed past the front gate, that we were going to live here. The lovely lady who owned the house saw me snapping a couple of photos and popped her head out. 16 hours later, 2 hurried house tours and a frantic set of phone calls to the estate agent, and we knew we had found the forever house we had been searching for.
It feels like a good house. It has good sturdy walls, window ledges that are begging to be filled with the photos that are buried in a box in the garage somewhere, it feels like a grown up house. A house that has been standing for 300 years and will still be standing in another 300 years. But I didn't want it to feel as though we were playing house, if that makes any sense?! I wanted Christmas at Charters to feel like everyone was coming home.
To be looked after, to make some new memories. To want to come back again next year!
We have been working hard to get our living room finished, a space for Rich and I to sit in and read, watch an episode of our favourite series, and entertain. No toys, nice sofas for sitting on, not jumping on! That goes for boys and dogs!
So when Farrow & Ball got in touch, I was thrilled to feature them and their beautiful range of paints. I adore their colours, their ability to develop exquisite finishes and depth to colours that can often feel flat. We knew we wanted a grey palette for the room, and Farrow & Ball's grey colour choices are inexplicably not cold. They give out warmth even though they are traditionally cool tones.
I loved the chalky grey of the Blackened paint. I knew it would work well with the pinks in the accessories around the room and the undercoat was like painting with milk. Creamy, smooth and helped to hide the lumps and bumps in our very old walls.
The room is quite a big square with windows and a door on all 4 sides and a wonderful inglenook fireplace with the original bread oven. A traditional drawing room which we wanted to respect, but also have a contemporary feel.
Under the carpet was the original herringbone oak flooring which had been carefully preserved for over 50 years! We love having hard floors downstairs because of the 2 sets of mucky paws that run around the ground floor and the next job is to polish and seal the wood and fit coconut matting to the french doors. We are also going to order the same striped curtains that frame the doors for the window seats to the back garden but have chosen to have grey linen roman blinds at the front windows.
The colour changes with the light during the day, starting off with a more blue tone and then ending the day when the sun is low in the sky and streaming through the windows with a creamier tone. We used 2 coats on each wall and still have almost a whole tin left, which I have saved for a few other projects around the house.
Now I get to add all the little pretty bits, and when the cards and decorations come down next week, I can start adding our lovely accessories that have been stored away for over a year. A vintage window frame mirror, all our family photos (Which may need a little updating now!) and trinkets.
Farrow & Ball paints are distinctive and well respected. They set the tone of a room, they make it feel slightly more special because you know it's a Farrow & Ball colour. They have a great set of advice guides online for preparing your rooms, which undercoats to use to get the best finish possible and you can order a FREE colour card of their 132 colour options here.
The room looks so different now, I'd love the previous owners to come back one day and hopefully love the love we are pouring into the house.
Their paint has brought my vision to life. The soft chalky grey hints of the Blackened colour is the perfect backdrop to the wool mix sofas and I now need to choose a complementary colour to paint the very old dark wood furniture that has been unloved after 3 house moves in 1 year!
What do you think? Go for a neutral or go for a colour, like my beloved Edwardian sideboard which sits against the back wall to the hallway?!
In collaboration with Farrow & Ball