Yippee, another month and another room becomes complete in the house (I’m loving this part of renovation when you get to add the personal touches that pull a room together). This time it’s the dining room which I am decadently referring to as our cocktail room since its the main purpose of the space. I guess this would traditionally be a room for family time, but with a toddler running riot throughout the rest of the house and as we aren’t really formal enough as a family to do dinner anywhere other than round the kitchen table (if that!) I don’t believe in creating a dead space simply out of convention so cocktail room it is!
This room is all about having fun and letting your hair down for me so I went to town giving it a look that was slightly more stylised and grand than our usual fare. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, I wanted a space that was totally adult but also decadent as it seemed such a luxury to have a spare room to play with. The room is supposed to function as an evening space, a place to read, drink, listen to music, just generally unwind and ignore the toy clutter that’s built that day next door. Now, I won’t lie, this space has hardly been used for any of those things yet, I seem to have been pretty busy lately and working a lot of evenings but I know it’s there and that makes me happy. So here it is: our indulgent space makeover in all of its glory.
Before we go any further, a note on the colour, I love it! My friends love it, family love it, trades people have asked what it is, it’s one of those hues that’s both daring and inviting, it’s bold but has a great depth that bold choices can sometimes lack. It’s also one of the few occasions I haven’t used my staple favourites Farrow & Ball. It’s name is Prussian Blue and it’s made by high end paint company Zoffany, I love how crisp the Victorian cornicing looks against it in this high ceiling-ed room. If you are looking for a blue that’s deep but not dark, hints at other tones but is definitely it’s own shade then this is the colour for you. It’s dark enough to make art and accessories pop against it but not so dark that the space feels infinite. I really can’t recommend this colour highly enough.
Another of my favourite things about this room (and possibly one of my favourite purchases ever) is the chevron mango wood sideboard I bought from Swoon Editions last year, if there is one piece that directed the style of everything else it’s this beauty. I can see it as I pass the room from the hallway and it always makes me smile, it’s a great piece of design and was at a pretty brilliant price point too (I think it cost me about £280 including 20% first order discount). Almost every DVD we own is housed inside this Art Deco inspired stunner so it’s a practical choice too. The beautiful picture above the sideboard was a rather fabulous take home treat from when Daniel Heath hosted a bunch of bloggers in his studio last winter to teach us how to screenprint (you can read the article on that here) and I’m so happy to have finally found a perfect space to display it in its phantasmagorical glory. On the table nestled amongst the vintage paraphernalia you will see a beautiful mid-century style brass lamp from Schoolhouse Electric in America, the cutest hand thrown ceramic mug used for housing a succulent from The Future Kept and a fabulous white ceramic pineapple from Pols Potten.
So the look – We are far too fond of laughing when socialising for a Victorian gentleman’s club look but I did want the room to have some elements of this – a comfy lounging chair, velvet on sofas, not one but two drinks units and also to make a play of some of the Victorian features and proportions in the room. After a fair bit of mood boarding (and sympathy to the chevron unit) we went for our take on Art Deco. It’s not in any way a pastiche of Deco (though there are examples of this I love when they are done well) instead it has some of the hallmarks of Deco but in a background context that doesn’t dominate other elements in the room. The Deco comes from the sideboard, the marble and brass cocktail trolley, the chevron curtain fabric, the Art Deco shell-like shape back to the sofa (which I can’t wait to take an afternoon nap on when I get the chance!). But the room is definitely eclectic, the 50’s record table and Crossley player, the sixties ercol lounge chair, the 50’s cocktail cabinet I bought at 17 for £50, the modern copper light fitting, the ikea industrial style medical cabinet, the bookshelves we had built, I could go on…
I can’t believe I’ve ended up with not one but two items of furniture to house drinks! As mentioned above one is a bargain purchase from my teens, the other is a brass and marble trolley made by Madame Stoltz which I bought it through wonderful online homewares firm Rockett St George.
Our room is also a really versatile space, as you may note from the pictures, the seating is somewhat elastic, sometimes the Ercol chair (below) is in front of the bookcase as a reading nook, other times it’s next to the cocktail cabinet and vice versa with the sofa which is small enough to allow for a changeable approach to its use.
What do you think of the Ercol Windsor easy chair? I bought this for a song for £40 secondhand and it was in a bit of a state feeling quite sorry for itself. I sanded back the wood and painted a few spindles on the bottom section white to break up the frame a little. I then spent forever choosing the fabric for it (turns out that just the right shade of peachy-pink is slightly elusive!) and settled on two different designs, one plain, one chevron tweed (again hinting at Art Deco). I think they compliment each other beautifully and I was very lucky when my lovely mother in law offered to get them made up for us as a moving-in present.
This sofa from Atkin & Thyme is just so perfect, it sits somewhere between Art Deco and Mid-Century style wise so pulls a lot of elements in the room together, at the same time it’s sturdy and traditional, it sort of reminds me of a chaise lounge (which probably explains my nap reference earlier) and when it arrived it completely exceeded my expectations. Often things look better in pictures, right? I can’t count the times I’ve bought things after being persuaded by a photo and found them not to be so lovely or such good quality in real life, especially when you mix investments with lots of cheap thrills like I do! But this for just over £500 (there’s usually a first order discount on this site) is a bonafide must have. Just to illustrate my love of investment and cheap thrills further, the sofa is accessorised with a cheap velvet green cushion from H&M home and a certainly not cheap beautiful woven cushion I picked up at the start of the year from Mockerbee & Co alongside a cushion from a company I recently featured in Design Crushes (here) Studio Flock.
There’s quite a bit of vintage in here, the Mid-Century record stand was a Christmas present to my husband from American eBay and lots of the trinkets and accessories have been amassed from flea markets over the years. I hate rooms that are contrived and rooms that work for me tend to be ones that mix old and new, nature & man-made, cheap and high end, timeless and kitsch. I hope you think our cocktail lounge has succeeded in this. Let me know what you think, pop a comment in the box, I’d love to know.
One final hurrah from the cabinet of curiosity. This cabinet was much longed for in this colour way by me, it’s Fabrikor from IKEA but rarely stocked in green so I had a bit of a mission when 3 came into stock one day at my local branch, hauling it upstairs to our apartment on my own when 9 months pregnant wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had but the pay off was worth it, I still love it. Inside you will see an arrangement of kitsch, my mother kindly donated a broken Chinese Foo dog to me last week which I spray painted bright yellow and am really rather thrilled with, the little doll from Lisbon is no longer the scariest thing in my cabinet of curiosity! I do love a bit of kitsch to break up any pomposity in a room, I think that fun is a very underrated visual tool to cut through peoples inhibitions. What do you think?
Shop The Look:
Prussian Blue by Zoffany Paint | White Ceramic Pineapple | Marble & Brass Drinks Trolley | Quinquina Bourin Art Deco poster | Mid-Century Brushed Brass Desk lamp | Mountain Ceramic Mug | Chevron Mango wood Sideboard
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