An empty room in a new house or flat is an exciting thing: a blank canvas; an opportunity to create; a fresh start maybe. But it can be tempting to rush into its refurbishment and get it wrong. At Blackbirds, I intended from the outset for the lounge to be the highlight of our home, and it had to be just right: a good reason for not rushing it. As the ‘before’ photo which I'll add in my next post will show, there was much which needed doing in this room. The carpet was threadbare; the lights, which were either broken or 80s misfits, needed replacing and the wiring, checking. The catalogue of horrors will be continued in the next post, but suffice it to say here that the decorating, and the selection of a new sofa, were going to have to wait until a carpet was fitted; and other work was to take precedence over this..
This period of waiting meant that we had to make-do-and-mend, and whilst during this time it was not quite the perfect mid-century modern lounge aimed for, all the elements were yet coming slowly together. The colour scheme was establishing itself, encouraged by the prominent position of the green blown glass vase and objects on the sideboard. The sideboard was, in fact, the very first piece of furniture to arrive at Blackbirds, spotted in a second-hand shop for just £50. It not only provided a platform for the items which would determine the room’s colour scheme, but also gave the room an instant head start in a mid-century modern direction.
It's important not to fall into what I term 'the Homebase trap': i.e. copying what appears fashionable at the time, but in fact quickly becomes ubiquitous with many households up and down the land looking identical and effectively containing no character. Don't follow a trend, follow your heart - and the heart of your home, which should gently express itself to you if you take the time to listen and feel. Mid-Century Modern is a fabulous framework and helps create a streamlined, sophisticated home which should feel warm, not cold ( it should not be confused with minimalism); but what makes it are the finishing touches, and these should be very individual to the property and be meaningful for its occupants. You will know that you have succeeded when it doesn't just look right, but feels right too!
Snippets, teasers, and details of the completed lounge at Blackbirds can be seen on my Instagram account @blackbirdsandme; the final refurbishment of the lounge in all its glory will be revealed in my forthcoming book, 'Mid-Century Modern on a Shoestring & The Memory of Walls', so I am hoping to have piqued your curiosity! But yes, simple or random as they might appear, there is method in my madness and the humble objects pictured were indeed the starting point for this room. I wonder what yours will be!
Blog : by Blackbirds and Me See also : instagram @blackbirdsandme