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Work in progress - living room

Today it's a Bank Holiday Monday here in Ireland [all kinds of yes], so with my extra morning I decided to switch up the living room a bit. Not much, just a little to freshen up what we've been sitting staring at for over five years. 

The wall behind our TV had been bothering me for a while in regards to unbalanced things were at this end of our living room. Bad unbalanced. Not chic asymmetrical. The TV stand is in the same place as when we first moved in - smack in the middle of the wall. So to mix things up, I swapped the TV stand with the bar cart, aligned them a bit better under the shelf, and moved some of our artwork and accessories around ...

So far, this is a temporary set up. A work in progress. There are a few things that still need to be fixed, changed, found and hung. Some of which are ...
- artwork for over the TV
- hang more artwork / frames in general
- hang up our Karlsson flip clock
- possibly find some artwork for behind the bar cart
- paint the TV cable white
- possibly update our landlord's coffee table [that can be easily reversed]
After repainting our living white last week after it being beige for 4 years, my black and white artwork hanging above the TV didn't stand out as much as it used to. I'm on the lookout for adding some big, dark pieces above the shelf to balance the weight of the TV and make this wall feel a bit more finished. I'm half thinking of stretching some velvet onto a canvas, or just painting another piece myself. I also want to get an old ladder to display all our blankets and throws to place on either the left or right adjoining wall, because we have a hella lot of throws. 

With the changes I made this morning to our living room, all I did was simply move around things we already had. To me, the pictures don't look like a big enough change to warrant a blog post, but it definitely feels cosier and a better thought out layout. I find it strange [and disappointing] when you photograph something and it doesn't capture the feeling that goes with a space. I guess you're just going to have to trust me when I say it feels much cosier and put together in real life. Almost as if adults live here xx 

p.s. For anyone who's extra observant today, no, I didn't travel back in time between the before and after photos. Our flip clock tends to show the wrong date, so I made an effort to fix it for the after photos to today's date, the 3rd. Not the 4th. Such detail. Big wow. 

Anybody? No? Dust.

Earlier this week I finally made it in to Dust. After stalking Sarah and Lisa on their Dust journey and updates on all the amazing things they find and stock, I finally stopped in to their shop. And can I just say. Yes.  

Zebras, unicorns, faux hydrangeas and viridian. Dark moody hues splashed with vibrant colours and accessories. High gloss black floors, stairs and banister. I could not fault the place. My eye balls were in heaven ... 

Dust sell the most beautiful [and convincing] faux flowers. Faux-rangements? I love how they've mixed them too in their presentation - not just strictly one group of flowers. 

And can we talk about the colour on the walls? Lisa and Sarah went with Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue that acts almost as a neutral. A deep oceanic hue that makes everything stand to attention and changes so much as the light changes. I'm seriously thinking adding this wall colour to our apartment. Maybe repainting our burgundy wall with it? I now want to change our entire apartment.

Everywhere you turned, there were more gems. It wasn't possible for me to leave empty handed, so I picked out a few things. One of which is a nihilist's screen cloth to perfectly match The Dude's rug mouse pad husband got me for Christmas last year [I painted the final wall in our living room which is behind our desk, so I'm hoping to share an update on that space soon!]. 

I was unfortunately very limited with what I could buy that day as they all had to fit into my handbag as I was on my bicyclette. But I've learned my lesson. Next time I'm bringing the car. 

Dust is located just off of Camden Street on Grantham Street. Don't ask, but for some reason I thought it was nowhere near that. Now that I know Dust is a stones throw from the beginning of one of my favourite charity shop routes, I will be stopping in every. single. time. 

And finally, I am forever reminded of the below whenever I see a Dust update pop up in my social media feeds ... Anybody? No? Dust.

Happy Friday everyone! Why not enjoy some Dust this weekend? It's actually very low in fat, so you can have as much as you like.

The Happiness Planner

I first spied the Happiness Planner on Holly's blog a couple of weeks ago. It popped up in my blog feed at just the right time. Within 20 minutes I ordered myself a pretty pink copy and patiently waited. 

The Happiness Planner is a personal book that is filled out daily for 100 days. You start by listing details about yourself, both positive and negative, personal goals and a few exercises to list out your qualities and achievements. You then start your hundred days by setting yourself little goals or personal daily achievements, just for you. 
" ... I want to help people who are struggling to learn to be positive and happy. I want to help people move on from the past and live in the present. I want to help people shift their focus and mindset from the negative side of things to the positive side. I want to help people stop searching for validation from outside and start looking from within ..."
It's something I am forever debating whether or not to write about here on The Interior DIYer; mental health and depression. I've battled with / against depression for a long time. The truth is I don't like writing about it because I feel people don't believe me*. I think it's because I've become very good at distracting people from what's really wrong with jokes, four letter words, excessive eye liner, big hair and even bigger hand gestures. It's my Chandler coping mechanism

I'm getting a bit older and I'm realising that you have to be your own best friend. Slowly I'm hoping to get into a healthy and daily routine of positive thinking and setting goals for the future. Not only will the Happiness Planner be perfect for this, but it also appeals to my animalistic urge to collect ALL OF THE CUTE STATIONERY.

This week I'm feeling like me for the first time in a long time, and with the most epic of timing, my Happiness Planner arrived yesterday morning. And it's SO PRETTEH. Pink and gold and a solid piece of stationery. But as with most things, I can't help but mess with it a little. I removed the neon orange bookmark that came in the Happiness Planner [sorry, Mo] and replaced it with a dark red velvet ribbon. Yum, yum. 

As someone with a black belt in Self Depreciation, I'm hoping my next 100 days will be a little kinder, more mindful and goal oriented. At the very least, updating my Planner daily will hopefully help me spot my problems and acknowledge patterns, keep me on track of reaching goals, and find that silver [or gold foil] lining. 

*I also don't like writing about it because I have this ever niggling paranoia that if I do write about it, someone / a company won't think me capable enough to work with. It's something I worry about a tremendous amount. I am at my best when I'm busy working and haven't enough time to think about myself, so rest assured that it never effects my work. Or is it 'affect'? I never bloody know. 

Fighting the fight against 'landlord walls'

Another slow but sure improvement I'm making to our apartment is hanging up artwork. I have a hoard curated collection of about 50 picture frames in our hall storage cupboard. Of those, we have at the most 10 frames hanging up. My excuse? I suffer from 'landlord walls' ...

landlord walls
/'lan(d)lo:d/ /wa:lls/
  1. moving into a rented space and feeling the need to conform your artwork to the preexisting nails in the walls left by the previous tenants or the landlord him or her self. 
"Oh look, there's a nail up there in that really awkward place. I'll find something to hang there, even though it's wildly unsuited for my framed artwork. I don't want to disturb the landlord walls.
It's a difficult thing for me to admit, but the first step is to acknowledge the problem and be able to talk openly about it. Our landlord walls were pretty intense when we first moved in. There were nails everywhere. I'd say at least 60 throughout our apartment. In the beginning, I succumbed to landlord walling. With the help of the internet and being bombarded by beautiful walls, I was able to self-diagnose my problem start curing myself. 

For the past few months we've had pretty bare walls. Our hallway, bedroom, and most of our living room are empty. I needed time to mentally wipe the slate clean before I started to reintroduce things back onto our walls. It's a slow process, but I'm considering each wall as I go and ACTUALLY HANGING THINGS WHERE I WANT [which nowadays is easy to undo with a patch of filler and some paint]. So far, Banksy has found a new home in our hallway and I added some of my favourite Instagrams to our kitchen. Slowly, but surely, we're getting there and together we're fighting against our landlord walls. 

So what about you? Are you a fellow landlord waller? Are you guilty of hanging things on random nails just because they're there? It's a tough thing to defeat. But remember, you're not alone. It happens to the best of us xx

Living room update - one wall at a time

Four years ago when I repainted our living room I chose Crown Paints swans a'swimming paint in an attempt to tone down and make the horrid yellow paint on the doors and skirting boards less obvious. In my defense, the monumental task to simply paint all the doors and skirting boards WHITE didn't occur to me until years later, so I basically lathered the living room in beige. It was fine. But now it isn't really. 

Since I'm partial to dark wine colours, the beige-y walls didn't compliment them very well and it gave off a feel of being dirty. You may think from the photo above that our living room looks not too bad. Well, that's because that's the after picture. This is the before ... 

The storage heaters in our apartment cause smoke damage to all of the walls, particularly so in the living room. Due to the vent being in this corner of the room, in the winter all the hot air tends to collate in this corner, hence the staining being so bad. It's only once you really look at it that you realise how bad it is. 

So in my recent burst of painting, I decided to also repaint the living white. It's a daunting task as our living room is on the big side, so I broke it down and painted it one wall at a time, one week at a time. Because to be honest, the idea of painting such a large room in one go is stressful for me. So I figured hey, why not just do one wall at a time?

First up, the small wall behind the single seater couch. Goodbye horrid heater stains.

After two coats of paint and a couple of days, I tackled the wall behind our TV next ...

So far, I've only painted these two walls, but they've already made such a difference. There are things I need to change, such as the TV cable, spray paint the vent which is glaringly yellow now that the walls are white, and one thing I'm certainly avoiding mentioning to people in person, but I'll say it here. The ceiling. It's discoloured from years of storage heater 'smoke'. It's only obvious how discoloured the ceiling is once I point it out. Depending on how long we end up staying there, I may. May. May end up painting the ceiling, but it's the absolute last thing on my list. I have an idea how awful painting a ceiling would be. So let's pretend it looks great, yeah?

I'm itching to mix things up in our living room now that it has some clean walls by rotating the accessories we have to give our living room a newer feel. It's been locked in this layout for about 4 years so it's high time to freshen it up. 

But for now, Mr. Murray is pleased.

Also featured - Bill Murray print - crow globe  
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