Orla Kiely Print, a Table, and Some Cows

Like anyone, I imagine, when buying their first home, for me one of the most exciting parts of that otherwise boring and expensive journey of mortgage applications, solicitors, and piles of paperwork (that could have saved a rainforest had it been done by email), was the thought of being able to make a place my own.

After years of renting, staring at magnolia, pictureless walls, my main motivation to get on the property ladder was to find a place I could really call ‘home’, and that reflected my own personality (that, and not having to worry about how much every spilt coffee or scuffed wall was going to cost at the end of a tenancy agreement). I’ve never been one for anything that looked too ‘new’, so it all began with finding a lovely little 19th century terrace, which luckily the previous owner had already done some work on in-keeping with my taste (hurrah! No huge DIY jobs!).

So, it was mostly a case of choosing paint and wallpaper (yes, this may seem easy-peasy, but with a full time job, and very little wallpapering experience, i.e. none, it takes longer than you think). The pictures below show my re-vamped living room (previously a rather dowdy pink colour).

Orla Kiely multi-stem wallpaper

It all started with a print. After weeks of trawling websites looking at wallpaper designs, nothing lived up to this Orla Kiely paper. A little more expensive than I expected to pay for wallpaper, it was definitely worth the investment. It’s of good quality, and as it’s ‘paste the wall’ there’s no need for decorating tables and no rolls of soggy paper to have a fight with. The print is so vibrant I only did one wall, but it injects a lot of colour into the room without being too bright, and maintains a retro feel in keeping with the house.

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The table

This table has quite literally been round the houses. Made around 15 years ago by my dad, a talented welder, who despite his tough exterior made the most beautiful wrought iron work, it’s of immense sentimental value to me. Starting life a metallic blue with a glass top, it found it’s way to me with a rather scuffed black frame and sad MDF top. A bit of bronze paint, some left-over wallpaper and sticky-back plastic (in true Blue Peter style) soon sorted that out!

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Because every home needs a cow wall… doesn’t it?

Something about the inquisitive look cows have made me just fall in love with any ‘cow art’. Starting with an Andy Warhol print (top-left), and then my discovery of Caroline Shotton (bottom-left and bottom-right), and Charlotte Gerrard (top-right) it was my dream to display all my wonderful cow pictures together, and I just can’t help but smile every time I see my little picture of cow Batman and Robin! (and yes, that’s more left-over wallpaper).

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So, a few small  and inexpensive changes can truly transform a room! There’s always bits left to do, but for now I’m pretty pleased with this room. Best get the next one finished now!

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