We moved into our humble little Art Deco apartment over 6 years ago and we have loved making it a home over the years. We’ve put a lot of time into creating beautiful spaces in the bedrooms and bathrooms, but for the last while our living area has been looking a tad tired. I say tired, because while it still held all its original charm, it simply craved a more refreshing, updated look. 

Our space before was quite dark and for a while I enjoyed the yellow and grey colour palette, but over time we added more colour and it just wasn’t working. I knew we wanted a more mature look but without compromising on our young-at heart style. We love the whole Scandinavian vibe but didn’t want to do exactly what everyone else was doing on Pinterest. I guess that’s always the aim, to use other people’s style and designs as inspiration but come up with something that is still unique to you, something you know YOU will love for many years to come. 

Here are some before and after pictures to start off with. Then I will take you through everything individually.

BEFORE : Nothing was working here! The Coffee table and TV unit were heavy and dark. The art work was outdated, the lampshade and lighting horribly mismatched and the rug and couch old and stained.
AFTER : Completely transformed!

THE SEATING 

So when Hertex invited us to look at their new Carefree Range of fabrics, it was a sign to get moving on creating the space I have longed for. I mean it all starts with a good couch right? And ours was DIIIIIRTY. We had last had it recovered about 5 years ago and it was needing some serious TLC. (Three kids will do that!) At one point we looked at buying a new one, but have you seen the cost of a new quality couch recently? Also we soon learnt that if you have a decent couch (One of the good old heavy ones with a good frame and cage) you never let it go! Well, this is what Damien from Creative Upholstery told me when he collected ours to be recovered. Ladies, rather look at buying a great fabric and having it recovered, it will save you a whole lot of moola in the end and, chances are you won’t get anything nearly as decent if you buy a new one. Our couch has been transformed thanks to great quality fabric and the brillant craftsmanship of Creative Upholstery. I am so impressed with them as a business – from the minute I made an enquiry to collection to drop off. They were quick, efficient and professional and I am so happy we trusted them to do the job!

Our couch was previously dark grey but I knew I wanted to go slightly lighter so we chose the fabric RECKLESS Castle Rock in the Carefree Range from Hertex. For our two arm chairs we went with a slightly darker grey (SPUNKY in Lead) to give them a bit of contrast. We also used the Milk Paint Finish (Eclipse) from Rust-Oleum South Africa, to transform our old and very worn-out brown armchairs into a striking black – something more modern and edgy. We are so happy with how they turned out and how easy is was, we didn’t even have to strip paint and the end result was so effective! 

Milk Paint Finish from Rust-Oleum (Eclipse) was used to achieve this look on the chairs.. Hertex Fabric (SPUNKY in lead) was used to recover the cushions. I also had new dense foam cut.

THE TV UNIT

So the decision to spruce up our entire living area was really all inspired by new seating. The next was trying to convince the husband for years to let go of our TV unit and coffee table which we have had for 10 years, and with much reluctancy he finally let me put them on market place. Truth is it didn’t take him that much convincing when I showed him the TV unit I had my eye on from Eco Furniture Design. I think you will agree it’s a great update from the heavy dark black one and fits our space and style perfectly.

THE COFFEE TABLE

I knew exactly what we wanted in a coffee table ( I say we quite freely but we all know, I had the final say. Brendon, God bless his obliging soul, is pretty easy going with my constant needs and requests) And guys there were literally no coffee tables we absolutely loved for our space. Sure we saw some that were lovely but they were either to high, not big enough, not the right color wood or just didn’t fit with the rest of our furnishings. The ONLY one we were utterly and completely mad about was this one from Saks Corner which ticked off every single one of our boxes. I am absolutely smitten! 

The 360 GLASSTOP TABLE is retro, sleek and modern with simple lines. The glass feature is really what makes it for me though! I couldn’t be more happy with this piece of furniture and it’s really brought all the other elements together wonderfully. 

THE RUG 

Our old rug from Superbalist had served us well, but it was time to find a new one. Again we wanted a rug that was substantially lighter and which would offer some contrast and texture. I sourced this one from the INCREDIBLE Rugs and Such and it honestly the thing that has probably made the biggest change to our existing space. It’s of the highest quality, the perfect size (square, 231×231 ) and I love that it’s light but has some beige undertones so it’s super easy to keep clean! It has a pretty luxurious feel to it which I love and makes me feel like I’ve finally grown up a bit 🙂 

Basket bowl from The Hideaway. Rug from Rugs and Such

The rug is called The Atlas rug 016 in size 231 x 231 and is great for an area like this.

This Turkish Atlas rug is made from 100% Polyester for EXTREME softness, with hand- braided cotton and has fringes. This rug is easy to clean, stain resistant and does not shed.

THE ARTWORK! 

The next thing we needed to focus on was some new artwork and when Natascha Van Niekerk (Natascha Van Niekerk Photography), who we partnered with before for our Bedroom Makeover said she was keen to jump on board I knew we had once again hit the jackpot. I LOVE this woman’s art, a true master of her craft. We were so drawn to this piece of hers from the get go, and felt it really needed to stand out against a beautiful feature wall. We love the simplicity of it, yet how it’s such a statement piece purely in its size and position. She has such an incredible range of framed art, as well as canvas options that are suitable for just about any area in your home. Remember these from our bedroom makeover? Featured here is her Land Ink art print.

Canvas Art Print By Natascha Van Niekerk Photography, Jute hanging Planter By Mia Melange

Then, since first seeing it on one of my favourite blogger’s, Marry Lauren’s feed years ago, I have desperately wanted to frame these “Be still, My Soul” prints for above our couch. And I am so thrilled that we finally have! We bought the downloads off Etsy for only 24 US dollars, had them printed and framed them in back Country Road frames. I love the simple and striking font and these words have become words we have truly tried to integrate into our lives throughout this past year especially. Every time we walk into our living area we see these beautiful words and I find myself putting my hand over my heart and intentionally whispering these words to myself, words of affirmation over my tired and sometimes weary soul. I love words as art and these make my heart so very happy!

For above our TV unit I incorporated both a Mayalief illustration of our three beautiful kids as well as some rad prints from MJ Designs. I was instantly so drawn to Maggie’s prints when I came across her on Instagram page and there is great selection of simple, quirky and classic poster art, which I really enjoy. She has such great offerings which are so versatile and perfect for those little fillers on shelves, in your kitchen or above your bed! And in any size pretty much!

Love this abstract art print. So quirky and adds a pop of colour! MJ designs.

THE LIGHTING! 

The lighting in our place is great in the mornings but by late afternoon, especially in winter, the darkness sets in! And no matter how many small lamps we have accumulated over time we knew we needed to look at something more suitable for our existing open globe pendant. Creative Cables came on board to bring us the most gorgeous three-tiered pendant light (Drop Naked Metal Lampshade Cage) which has added such a beautiful element to our living room. I love the simple sophistication of it, and how the black compliments all the other bursts of black in the room. 

So beautiful at night!

Then for our standing floor lamp we desperately needed to replace our Skinny Laminx shade which as much as we loved was so bent and lopsided after three kids pushing it over too many times over the years. We also wanted something a little bit more sophisticated in neutral tones. I am so so in love with our new one from Shuga and Spice, which ticks every single box. The Shuga lampshade is made out of Steenbuck ostrich leather with a polycotton interior and the white is beautifully striking against the dark wooden stand. I cannot wait to share more about this awesome brand with you!

Basket : Medium Charcoal Round Cylinder Basket, The Hideaway
In LOVE with our Shuga and Spice lampshade!

Lastly, we added a groovy little Pod lamp from The Artisan which sits perfectly on our TV unit, offering some extra light in that corner of the room. I love the retro design of this light and how effective it is, highlighting the other decor elements in the space. 

THE DECOR AND ACCESSORIES 

For decor pieces and accessories we tried to keep with a simple colour palette of greys, creams and neutral earth tones, with pops of black and rust. So I guess no real colour scheme, but more just sussing out as we went. 🙂 It can be somewhat challenging ensuring everything works together when dealing with brands mostly online and, not knowing how everything would tie in, in reality. 

THE CUSHIONS!

Our mud cloth cushions from Top Knots Design are everything! How incredibly beautiful are they? The quality is simply out of this world and I know they are going to bring me much joy for many years to come!

“Each Top Knot Design mud cloth cushion cover is handmade and one-of-a-kind therefore slight imperfections are expected and these unique features only add to the charm and beauty of our cushions! No two pieces are exactly alike and pattern placement will vary.”

Large Floor basket (Right) available at The Hideaway
Mud Cloth Cushions By Top Knot Design

Featured here are also the most beautifully hand-made cushions for Sage and Stone. I met the owner of this wonderful business and she is just the loveliest soul who is so passionate about her business and helping her community! She also supplied our gorgeous rattan tray with lid which is perfect for just about any table or shelf top. It’s made the perfect TV remote storage container, but its uses are endless!

Throw for Wanderlust Collectables

We also included our old cushions form Superbalist as well as two white cushions with tassels from Mr Price Home. As such as I like them, you can see the difference in quality immediately, proving once again that you get what you pay for!

Our beautiful Elma throw is from Wanderlust Collectables, a brand I also recently discovered and have fallen in love with. As someone who has traveled to India many times, I have a deep love for interesting linen, throws and bedding. Everything about these products speak of travel, culture and beautiful art. Most of their offerings are hand-made and unique to their heritage and I love that you feel as though their products have a special story to tell. You will find everything from kantha quilts to embroidery throws and even some vintage decor pieces to add a touch of wanderlust to your home.

THE BASKETS! 

We included a selection of floor and hanging baskets from The Hideaway and Mia Melange. Both these brands are truly remarkable and their products will blow you away.

The Hideaway is a brand I have only recently discovered and I am amazed at their offerings ! I was also interested to learn about their amazing Saturday market hosted in their warehouse. Pre-covid they would serve bubbles and coffee and even have a live band to create a vibey atmosphere for customers to shop. What a rad concept! (I cannot wait to pop in when life resumes to normal in the coming months) We incorporated three floor baskets which we used for bigger plants and one on a shelf above the TV Unit. The dark blue and beige one goes perfectly with everything and I love how it picks up on the colours of the TV unit and dark greys! These floor baskets are ideal not only for plants but can be used to store towels, blankets, toys and even laundry/linen. 

Featured : Medium Cylinder Basket – Black & Neutral, Medium Charcoal Round Cylinder Basket, Small Seagrass Round Cylinder Basket With Top Handles and Metal Inner and Round Seagrass Cylinder Basket With Top Handles – all available online at The Hideaway and Mia Melange and Odi J & Co.

I have been fan of Mia Melange for many years and this hanging basket has found the perfect spot in the corner of the dining area. It sits in front of a dark feature wall with the most gorgeous art work of course! Also featured are their painters in jute and black. Also featured here is one of their planters, perfect for a shelf!

VASES AND TRAYS

Besides the material Planters from The Hideaway and Mia Melange we also sourced this gorgeous Tribal cement pot and White tampered vase from Odi J & Co. Both are perfect to bring more green or natural earth tones into your home. We simply filled the vase with some dried flowers and the pot with some succulents. From Odi J & Co we also received a gorgeous woven rattan tray which has found its home on our beautiful coffee table. You can shop all their products directly from their online shop or visit their Instagram page.

Tapered vase from Odi J & Co

THE PLANTS

Most of the plants and succulents featured here we have accumulated over the months/years but these are two amazing additions from Mother city jungle. I have fallen in love with our 20cm Fishbowl with Philodendron Selloum and am still finding a permanent home for our Hanging Basket with Kangaroo Fern. (I have a few options but we ran into a few delays with COVID before the shoot! Il’l keep you posted once we find it a permanent home.)

These fish bowl vases from Mother City Jungle are so gorgeous for any area in your home!

And that my friends brings you the brands and pieces we used to achieve this more updated living area look. I guess if anything I would love to leave even a handful of you inspired to create beautiful spaces in your own homes, even if it’s one little nook/room at a time. I hope I have also encouraged you to think out the box a little to use what you have and give old pieces new life with a lick of paint or some much beautiful new fabric!

Thanks to all these gorgeous brands who have worked with me on this. I will be sharing more about them individually in the coming weeks as well as launching an exciting comp where one of you could WIN a selection of these incredible goodies from various brands. EEEEK!! A living area makeover of dreams!!

So until then, be inspired and start dreaming 🙂

xoxo

Leigh

IMAGES : Angi Whittle Photography



Hi I’m Leigh! Did you enjoy reading this post? I really hope so and would love you to stick around a little longer! Please feel free to browse my blog for other articles or to keep up with all the latest news and to be the first to hear about some great competitions, come and find me me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also email me directly at leeloobaggins@hotmail.com or simply subscribe below and never worry about missing out!
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