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My newly painted living room - part 1

It is finally time to reveal my now very dark living room. This freaking room took me FOUR weekends to complete. What a pain in the arse. And I didn't even sand the trim like I should have. The result is pretty dramatic and I absolutely 100% love it. Farrow and Ball's downpipe is the most beautiful colour I have ever used and it exceeded my expectations. I used it in estate emulsion (flat) on the walls, full gloss for all of the trim and I used plummett in estate emulsion on the ceiling. I wanted to go with downpipe on the ceiling too but my husband was already losing it over the choice of such a dark wall colour so I caved. They are the perfect combination though as both have hints of green. 
I took tons of photos so I thought I would split this post into 2. This post focuses on one side of the rather long space, where my workspace is located. And I should point out that aside from buying a new desk (my previous one was rickety and too small) everything in this room is from my previous home, so it's a bit of a work in progress although all the major pieces are staying. (And note that I have alot to learn on photographing such a dark space. It's so tricky!!!)


The photo above is the view from the foyer. TV watching/hangout area is to the left of the fireplace (the next post).

I have rugs all over the floor because the terrible orange/yellow stain on the hardwood makes me pukey. The cowhide needs to be replaced with something darker. 

Oh - how about a before shot for impact...

Better now? I would say so!

Conveniently, the curtains I bought at Ikea when we first moved in turned out to be almost identical to the wall colour. I came across the desk on my last trip to Ikea (it's the Alex) - I wasn't really looking to buy a desk there but it was too perfect in style and size and there's that same grey again! I liked the idea of going monochromatic in the space. The table in the corner was found at an antique shop in Almonte a few weeks ago. I haven't figured out what colour to paint it yet. I think it needs a touch of fluro pink. 

Opposite my desk was supposed to be a cat corner but I decided to hell with that, my Panton chairs needed a new home (the chairs always have faux sheepskins on them and as I look behind me right now, both chairs are kitty-occupied so it's the cat corner after all!). I'm not happy with this corner so I will be giving it more thought. It is a great place for one of my husband's revamped vintage radios - gutted with new speakers and bluetooth so I connect to it from my PC to play music. (Hubby is leaving his job after the holidays and doing this and other projects full time *GASP* so do have a gander at his shop - Daff Design)

My favourite plant, Mine Design candle from Style Labo and Ikea box. 

Blanc de chine lamp from eBay I just unearthed from the basement (glad I never had any takers when I was selling this pair) and a doily bowl I made that stored my phone cable and lip gloss. 

My beloved 2 arm Jielde lights up the corner beautifully. 

Reader Comments (25)

The dark paint is beautiful- well done Kim!
About the floors, Can you stain them? We recently took our oak
Floors to an high gloss espresso stain and it really
Made high impact. Our were drab and now they're gorgeous!

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Bravo, Kim! it's


13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdesign elements

Well done Kim! F&B Downpipe is the most sublime dark grey ever put into a pot, but I think your husband was correct. I used it in a hallway INCLUDING the ceiling, and it felt like a cave. Only when I brought the ceiling back up a few notches to a milkier grey did the full fabulous kick in.

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJared Hayden

Wow. Thanks for mentioning the exact paints you used. I'm inspired!

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

It's absolutelly astonishing! But... the question is: doesn't such a dark color "eat" to much of daylight?

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkeklo

It's amazing. Love that colour. Must google if you can get it here in New Zealand!. You've convinced me to do the same. Our whole house is awash in whites and pale grey but this is so much better. Thanks for sharing.

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered Commenterannie

Do they sell Xanax tabs with the pot ?

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpolarbear

I love this colour, you have done so well to paint this room it looks great. I am struggling to paint my brown wooden doors white-it takes so long with the sanding, but it's worth the effort.

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Room is beyond! Just gorgeous. And your husband's business is so great! I've already sent the link to a few of my friends....beautiful pieces and an ingenious idea. Wishing him the best of luck.

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

what type of succulent is your favorite plant? i like the needle like leaves

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered Commenteramy gerber

Looks sooo much better than before! About the small table you plan to paint pink. Wouldn't it blend better in if you went with some of the reds/oranges you have in the carpets instead of pink? Of course it would be even better if you could go darker on the floor too.

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBara

Great work! I love your desk. And that Eames chair in green fits perfectly!

Your living reminded me on this:

Great photos! And great light!
Could you show some daylight photos as well?

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOmbia

Love the moody greys!

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa T.

Thanks everyone :)

anon & Bara - dark floors would be amazing. or grey-washed. dark floors in a house with 5 cats would be a nightmare. and the whole idea of dealign with the floors is daunting, again because we have 5 cats and no where to go with them while the floors get done.

Jared, my thoughts were go big or go home and that cave-like would work, but I think it would have been overkill. plus this plummett colour is gorgeous too.

annie, my last house was painted all very pale grey (might as well have been white) and it was SO BORING. the drama a colour like this gives is SO worth it.

thank you so much Jenny!

amy, sorry I don't remember what it's called. :(

Ombia, those photos were taken in the middle of the day. (But because alot of the good angles meant shooting towards a window, I had to close the curtains for several of them).

13 Nov 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

Oh, boy. Beautiful Kim. Lovin' the dark walls. Really fantastic transformation. Wow.
Just did a master bedroom - the walls in Benjamin Moore Jet Black and Ralph Lauren Metallic Silver Plated (now at Home Depot in Canada. Olé!) on the ceiling.
p.s. Your lovely succulent is a Euphorbia tirucalli

13 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAMR

Thanks AMR! (ohhh - black and silver!)
YES! Pencil cactus!!

14 Nov 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

Grey is beutiful, I really love it. The thing is that it gets too dark with such colours and the paint absorbs all daylight turning the flat into a claustrophobic and dark place. What I did in my flat is to paint parts of it in dark grey/blue paint, like one wall in the living room grey and the rest white or the walls right next to the windows grey making sure that the surface where the sunlight falls is bright white. This way you get a fantastic contrast and keep your flat luminous especially in countries without much natural light during the day.

14 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPSC

I have large windows on either end of the room so I wasn't overly concerned about the light situation. And I figured why paint a room dark if you don't want it to be dark. The whole point was for it to be moody and enveloping (which you wouldn't get with contrast).

15 Nov 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

Very sophisticated. Wonderful! The shades of that color are perfect with fireplace, etc. Can't wait to see what color your corner table winds up. A pop of pink would be fun for sure.

17 Nov 2014 | Unregistered Commentertrav

Thanks trav! I guess I better get going on that table...

17 Nov 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

Wonderful job!!! And I really like the cowhide in front of your desk, it gives the room an eclectic feeling! But if you feel you need to replace it with something darker, why don't you replace it with the one under your Pantone chairs (and try placing it under them instead)? Just an idea...

21 Nov 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDespinach

I can't switch the rugs - the brown spotted one is too big small for the dining room and the grey is too big for my office :(

23 Nov 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

SO GOOD. Ever since Abigail Ahern said that Downpipe is her go-to gray I have hoped to use it one day. Your use of it is absolutely perfect and I love how you used it in a different sheen for the trim. Genius. There's an exceptionally high chance I will do the same thing in a future living room. I do agree that the finish on your floors is unfortunate, but it's nice to see how someone with such good taste deals with an issue like that. :)

5 Dec 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

awww, thanks so much for the kind words Christina!

6 Dec 2014 | Registered CommenterKiM

isn't downpipe just addictive though ! once you paint once place the other rooms just look so boring so you have to go for it everywhere

this living room is beautiful :)

13 Apr 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFiona Duke

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