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Colouring in my home

Colouring in my home

by Kelly Sparkes on October 24, 2012

Wedding DayMy house is white, very white, with a touch of pale grey.  It has been likened to an ‘ipod’ (a white one I’m guessing) and to be honest it desperately needs some colour.

There is a reason for this,  back in 2009 I thought it was a good idea to plan my wedding and totally renovate our house in the same year.  I remember gushing to people about how romantic and wonderfully old fashioned it would be to move into our new home on the first day back after the homeymoon.

It was as lovely and romantic as I’d hoped, but the process to get there was torture and in reality organising a marquee wedding and doing the house at the same time was way too much, especially for a perfectionist like me (note to any other engaged, hopeless romantics obsessed with renovating houses – DON’T DO IT)

White Marquee Wedding Decoration and Ghost Chairs
About a month before the wedding I got to the point where I couldn’t make any more decisions.  I’d had to choose every detail of the wedding reception, right down to the wallpaper in the porta-loos and also everything in the house, flooring, kitchen, tiles, layout, carpet etc.  So in a fit of indecision I decided to paint the house like my wedding, completely white.

Exhibit A, the lounge, guess which bits Mr S chose…

White Cinema RoomThis room, although cosy with the lights off snuggled in the fur throws and cushions has always seemed way too bland and dull.  I bought this fabulous print by London artist Mr Go to brighten it all up. It’s called ‘A lesson in mind expansion, part 2′, part one is a little darker…

Mr Go a lesson in mind expansion part 2It’s a big picture and I love the neon colours but it doesn’t do much to change the room, so last weekend Mr S and I decided to paint the wall a dark grey.  It is amazing what a difference something so simple makes, the room feels cosier and it works well with the projector.  I know grey is technically not a colour, but stay with me here ;)

Bowler Hat Grey Cinema Room WallWe chickened out of painting the whole room dark a la Abigail Ahern, but I still have three quarters of a tin of paint left so who knows!

Now we just need some new speaker covers as the white ones ruined the look and apparently using fabric dye to colour them is not an option because of the ‘acoustics’ or some such geekery.  Then lots of neon cushions and a couple of interesting side tables to complete the room.

I’ve already bought the first cushion below by Laura Oakes and I’m in the process of ordering the rest. I might also treat myself to a nice furry dark grey throw to finish it off (and put grey fluff all over my cream sofa).



I haven’t found any side tables yet, I could get two mismatched vintage ones and paint them in a co-ordinating colour, but we shall see.

Do you know of any lovely neon side tables or cushions that would work?




{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Passey October 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Ooh I want to see the finished result! How exciting! The painting is a fab source of inspiration. I am about to buy a sample pot of Zoffany’s purple tulip paint as I’m considering dark colour options for my new hallway (with no natural light). Will I be brave enough? The dark wall definitely worked out for your lounge!

It’s so nice to see a picture of your wedding! Awww do you think all designers are big romantics? I’ve realised in recent years that I am! Your marquee looks so stylish!

Laura xx


Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm

You should go for the dark purple paint, especially as you don’t have any natural light! It will look fabulously luxurious in a deep purple.

Ha ha you are a romantic :) I’m not sure about all designers but I definitely am! A friend asked for the link to my short wedding video today as she wanted to see the work of the guy we used, so of course I watched it and cried my eyes out, three years later! xx


Sam Lennie October 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

What a transformation, the wall is amazing. You’ve got to do the back wall too, behind the sofa, then the sofa will ‘ping’ and the neon cushions and artwork will too x

Is it just the photograph or is the wall colour an exact match for the rad ?



Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

The paint is an exact match for the rad, but the rad has a slightly sparkly finish.

Now I’ve lived with it for a few weeks I think I’m ready to embrace the dark in the rest of the room, I’ve even convinced Mr S! You are right it will make everything pop x


Laura Drago October 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

A touch of colour is always welcome in every interior. The print is truly inspirational in terms of colour and together with the dark accent wall, will make the room look “not dull at all”. No need to worry about that anymore :)
I hope you had a lovely weekend and I’ll be very glad to see you on Wednesday. x


Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Thanks Laura, lets hope so! Hope you got your final module handed in, looking forward to celebrating with you tomorrow xx


annie October 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

ahhh the famous cinema room! Yes I’m with Sam, paint it all! It looks fab, what a difference. the tv just disappears doesn’t it?

Lovely wedding picture! and your marquee is stunning, you are so good with discipline. I wouldn’t have been able to help putting something that looked wrong in there!

note to any other engaged, hopeless romantics obsessed with renovating houses – DON’T DO IT – ummmm OK! I shall take note, although I’m not sure I could ever be described as a hopeless romantic!


Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

It is all going to be painted! Really appreciate everyones comments, I find it quite hard to decide on things at home, it’s so much easier looking at other peoples rooms objectively.

Yes you take note :) mostly because it’s so stressful trying to work with builders who don’t listen. Two weeks before the wedding Mr S and I got to the house at 11pm after a night out, excited to see how the bathroom tiles looked and we ended up pulling off every other line and scraping all the fixer off as he had totally ignored my instruction (and drawing) to lay them brick style. We finally got into bed at 3am. he then tried to charge me to lay them again, annoying.

I guess when we are ID properly we will have a list of people who are reliable and good to work with. x


tina October 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Nice bit of storytelling, as always:)

Hmm, yes, all too white. You MUST go to AA’s house. It will help you with many dilemmas and also show you how to use neon in an effective way. It’s not that easy to pull off.

Personally I would stay away from too much neon imagery and concentrate on a pop colour. You’ll see what I mean when you get to A’s house. Boys with their toys. That unit would be enough reason for a divorce:)

I do think you’re superwoman for organising wedding and house simultaneously!

Hope all is well. See you at Holly’s do x


Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Ha I know, in the end I got sick of saying no, I managed to get hidden/discrete speakers in the rest of the house.

Would hate to go from ‘too white’ to ‘too neon’! Can’t wait to see AA’s house, I’m sure I will get loads of inspiration.

Looking forward to seeing you at Holly’s do xx


Tracey@chalkboard living October 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I have that first cushion too and generally always follow Sam’s advice…most of the time so i say paint it too! ;) x


Kelly Sparkes October 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for visiting Tracey, lovely to have you here :)

Sam is a very wise woman and her lounge is gorgeous enough to sell going for a dark colour all over to anyone!



Toni October 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

Your wedding photo looks amazing well done for arranging it all so perfectly!
As far a the cinema I’d say paint it dark all over, it’ll look great xx


geraldine November 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

Your wedding picture is gorgeous. The grey does make such a huge difference. I’m with you about taking a cautious approach to painting the room. I haven’t seen Abigail’s house yet – maybe I’ll do her December course and explore.


Alex Parker November 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm

What a gorgeous home cinema room! Your sofa looks so cosy with all those textural throws and your cat looks very happy there! The dark wall colour looks great against your sofa and the lighter flooring. I agree go for it all over. I adore that Clarissa Hulse cushion :-)


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