(All photos: Painthouse)
In the same way that most families have an awkward uncle, stubborn aunt or uncooperative cousin, most homes have a room that’s just plain difficult to decorate. In The Pink House’s case, this room is the Family Room.
To understand its awkwardness, you need a bit of background on my house’s construction. When we bought this Edwardian semi last summer, the previous owners had added an extension at the back, which contains our kitchen and dining area. However, the existing kitchen was left untouched in the centre of the house. We use this old kitchen as a utility room/place to store random crap so it is semi-useful, but because it’s in the middle of the house it means the route from our front door to the bright, south-facing extension which is the heart of our home, is through what we call the Family Room. Here’s a floorplan to demonstrate.
As you can see, the Family Room’s location means it has the following less-than-ideal characteristics:
it’s a thoroughfare
it has no windows
it’s a fairly awkward shape
I’m hoping next year we’ll get started on some serious structural changes to our house, including the reworking of the Family Room so it makes better use of space and light and ceases to be the corridor from front door to kitchen. In the mean time, though, I’ve been trying to make this rather odd room look as good and work as well as possible.
And I have to say I’m pretty pleased with its most recent incarnation. Why? Partly because we’ve made best use of the space to create a cosy room that allows the Pink House Dwellers to chill out (spill their drink)/play games (top trumps AGAIN)/watch telly (watch grown men in America play computer games on YouTube) while still feeling in touch with what’s going on in the kitchen.
And partly because I’ve gone BOLD in this room, thanks to some stunning pieces from the new Shrimps for Habitat range (which is the coolest, most fashwan thing to happen to home décor since, well, their collab with Henry Holland!). Who needs to cheat on fashion with furniture when we can have BOTH?!
I’ve also added some beautiful bits from Habitat’s current collection for extra wow-factor, and all of this gorgeousness looks lush against my newly painted peachy-pink Painthouse walls (the colour’s called ‘Ida’). Scroll down for pics and credits/click-through links at the end…
My 6 favourite things about the family room:
The orientation of the corner sofa. It’s set up so you get a view directly out to the garden and can catch a glimpse of anyone (PHH) cooking (making soup) in the kitchen
That Shrimps for Habitat rug. It’s completely fabulous - like strokeable art for your floor. I especially love the use of gold thread and the blue sheep. And it’s 100% wool so super luxe and cosy underfoot, and perfect for sitting on for the 1045th game of football top trumps. Every family room floor should have one
Pink and red. I’m often wary of putting these colours together but the Shrimps for Habitat collection proves how fabulous it can be, especially with…
Pops of blue. Again, this was inspired by the Shrimps pieces, and I decided to run with it by adding a blue-and-green Habitat vase and some blue delphiniums so the colour carried into all corners of the room
The peachy-pink walls. And how they pick up on similar colours in my dining room wallpaper and kitchen breakfast bar tiles, tying the whole open-plan space together
Plants. They pull the outside right into the darkest corner and bring it to life. These are all real plants but faux ones would work well too. And don’t forget the plants in the pictures - they count as well
RUG: Shrimps for Habitat ‘Doodle’ hand-tufted wool rug - click here for rugs
CUSHIONS: Shrimps for Habitat ‘Bridget’ faux fur large and medium cushions | Shrimps for Habitat ‘Viola’ pink and red embroidered cushion | (blue faces cushion, out of stock) - click here for cushions
VASES: Perola white iridescent squashed vase | Robyn blue and green ceramic vase | Jeju green ceramic vase - click here for vases
CANDLE HOLDERS: Sachi black and gold candle holder | Newstead black and gold candelabra - click here for candle holders
SIDE TABLE: Black and gold side table coming soon - click here for side tables
If you’ve got a difficult room you’d like help with decorating, please tell me your issues in the comments below and I’ll give you my thoughts on how to whip it into shape.
This post was sponsored by Habitat, but - as always - all thoughts, opinions and obsession with shiny studded shoes are entirely my own. I only work with brands I genuinely love and think you, my readers, will love too.