Interiors: What a difference a coat of paint makes

interiors coat of paint

I live in a two bed flat in central London. Which we’re really lucky to have really, as that extra room really is a bit of a treat – although with a dog, two rabbits, me, all my stuff, the husband and all his stuff… it can still start to feel a bit crowded. When we first moved in the spare room was basically a man-cave. It was where the computer game stuff was, and all of Ollie’s clothes etc were kept in there. At some point down the line we decided to paint it and he wanted purple. I love purple, but when he explained he wanted deep Cadbury’s purple (I was envisioning a nice soft taupe sort of shade…) but as I pretty much had free raign in the other rooms it only seemed fair to let him have his purple wall without a fuss. Fast forward a few years, and things have changed a bit. The spare room went from man cave to my home office over a period of about six months. From June last year when all I wanted for my birthday was a desk area to work from…to leaving my job and it officially becoming a home office…

And as much as the purple was great for a man cave (it really gave that ‘cave’ feeling…) I was growing sick of it – it felt dark and oppressive and honestly made things like photos and videos a bit more tricky as the lighting was quite dark and meant photos never looked as nice as they should. So we went for a re-paint. And boy does a simple coat of paint (and a juggle of furniture) make such a difference. I made sure I took before and after shots, so take a peek at what I mean below (or just have a little nosy at my office space!).

Before: The dark purple wall. Even though it’s only been a new colour for a few days, I still look at this and am a tad shocked how dark and different it looks! The papasan chair (or bucket chair as we call it) currently is in limbo… we love it, but it’s v. hard to find a space for it that works.


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After: I went for a soft shade of paint from Crown called ‘Stepping Stone’ in a matte finish. It looks a tiny bit less blue in real life than in the shots. In real life it slightly leans towards the mint side of things.

Along with the re-paint, I have a move around of furniture. On the opposite wall to the desk we have one of those Ikea bookcases (was called Expedit…now Kallax I think). That’s the same oak/wood colour as the chest of drawers and mostly filled with wicker boxes filled with a mixture of computer games and beauty products (you can guess whose is whose…).  I moved my tall Alex unit (shown next to desk in the ‘before’) to beside the book case along with a small set of metal drawers and my main beauty collection which is just out of shot.

The two lamps – one on top of the book case and one on the chest of drawers – are both from the living room (and both Ikea originally). I’m a sucker for turquoise and a sucker for lamps…so these were no brainer purchases but are both a few years old now so not sure they’re still available. But they’re better suited to this room so moved them over here.

There are still a few tweaks to make – hanging some pictures on the wall over the chest of drawers, possibly getting a second bookcase for the other side of the chest of drawers. I’m um-ing and ah-ing over switching my desk top for a white one. I like how at the moment the room is a mix of wood and white as it feels cosy. But then white would be helpful for blog photos… what would you do?! Am also debating over getting a rug too… I know. Big decisions to be made. I may also now need to arrange regular deliveries of white roses as they do just fit in perfectly! I may also look to get some different storage boxes for on the book case too.

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Just for full ‘before and after’ effect… here are the two side by side…. quite a difference yes?!
before and after


What do you think of this step one of the flat make-over? In terms of cost, this is about a cheap a way to make a difference as any. Mainly just a lot of effort – it cost about £60 total for paints and accessories for painting the wall but that included a 3 for £30 deal on crown paints so also got a couple of tins of a white to paint the hallway too. Quite a bargain I think!



  1. October 7, 2014 / 12:39 pm

    You are so right! It’s amazing the difference a lick of paint makes. I am a purple girl at heart but the green is so much more calming and inviting. I want to spend time in that room.

    You’ve also given me the kick up the bum I need to deal with my own spare room. It currently is a total mess and filled with absolute rubbish. I almost never go in it and keep the door closed at all times. This has got to change!

    Would love to see more home updates! 🙂

  2. October 7, 2014 / 1:36 pm

    It looks so much better! I love the colour you chose!

    My boyfriend and I just bought our first house, and we’re trying to decorate. My only problem is that the rooms I want to decorate came with a dark, chocolate carpet – I’m finding it so hard to decorate how I want to knowing I have to battle the carpet, knowing that I can’t afford a new carpet!

  3. October 7, 2014 / 2:20 pm

    Wow! What a difference. I love what you’ve done, completely opens up the space and makes the whole room brighter. I’ll be taking a few pointers from this I’m sure.

    Alana x

  4. October 7, 2014 / 9:12 pm

    Oh my God I love this! You have gorgeous furniture & things even before redecorating but the new colour has really brought it all together. It must be so nice to work in a room like this, it looks refreshing. I really like your desk and drawers – will look into those myself at Ikea. I think you should stick with the wood rather than just all white as it adds a bit of warmth and character. Well done, I love it!

  5. October 7, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    i think it looks great! much more open and airy, it gives it a simple but relaxing feeling haha! i love the way you turned the bookshelves to the other wall too 🙂

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