Muddy Makeover: clever lounge update
When I moved house a few years ago our lounge started as pretty much a blank canvas. ‘Brilliant!’ I thought. How wrong I was. There’s only so long you can sit on a tired old sofa that clashes with the dark inherited walls before you have to start making some quick decisions. The trauma of applying four coats of paint to cover what there was before means we’ll not be redecorating again any time soon and the new sofa we bought under time pressure doesn’t ‘go with anything’ as I’d first thought.
Since then I’ve been tweaking and tweaking, trying to bring colours and styles together. So I was relieved when Ali over at Muddy Stilettos Kent made me believe that if you get it right, a few well chosen accessories really can totally transform a room.
She had a splurge in Ensor interiors, a Muddy Stilettos Awards finalist, which has shops in East and West Sussex – one at Frant, up near the Kent border, and another at Cuckfield, near Haywards Heath. Read on for her makeover tips…
I’m usually the great procrastinator when it comes to interiors. Sometimes the indecision is related to the cost – sofas, for example, are a nightmare and can only be attempted as new purchases once every ten years for fear of totally doing my head in – but other times it can just be the feeling that my potential purchase has such longevity that I must research all possible angles. Like, forever.
But last weekend I totally bucked that trend when I dropped into Ensor Interior Design in Frant, near Tunbridge Wells, confident from the enticing window display that there were things here that could transform a room without major surgery.
Now if you, like me, have whizzed past before and thought that looks classy – therefore pricey – you might be pleasantly surprised. There is a real variety of bits, depending on your budget, but it all looks equally on trend and high end. Instead of replacing the whole sofa I figured I could get away with adding in a whole load of soft furnishings and revamping it that (cheaper) way. Well, judge for yourself. Here’s the room BEFORE, (below).
Then I came away with new luxe cushions (Velvet Cushions, £65 and Concentric Dove Grey Cushions, £90) and a throw (knitted pompom throw, £120), a super cool Madoura Black & White vase (£29) and lots of ideas on how I want my sitting room to look. See the AFTER photo (below).
I’m so pleased to have an injection of colour in what was becoming a very cream and slightly dull palette of cushions and one which picks up on an accent colour in my picture. Unfortunately my purse wasn’t wearing its elasticated pants so I couldn’t reach in to grab the credit card for this lot below, but I did take some snaps to remind me for next time. I’m particularly taken with the grey Beaded Chandelier, (top right, below) which, I’ll be back for when I’ve saved £324.
This interiors store is a great find. It’s wonderful out-of-the-way location means easy, free parking outside (except at school pick up and drop off times as Frant Primary School is nearby) and that you can browse the shop and ask the staff (who all have professional design backgrounds) questions at leisure without queues or crowds. The layout is conveniently divided into little stylized spaces to give you ideas on colours, what goes well together and how a room might look.
They also have a workroom out the back which a slightly magical library of fabric books, (below), so you can select the material for your soft furnishings and curtains/blinds projects in-house. It’s increasingly rare to find all this expertise and inspiration on offer under one roof these days. Friends who have used them have commented that their prices are really competitive for such a bespoke service.
In the meantime I’ll be enjoying my new cushions and dreaming about the day I’ll be swinging off that Beaded Chandelier.
Ensor Interior Design, ensorinteriordesign.co.uk
37 High Street, Frant, nr Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex, TN3 9DT Tel: 01892 750101
45 High St, Cuckfield, West Sussex, RH17 5JU, Tel 01444 417000