It’s fair to say that our spare room has been somewhat neglected in our house decorations – initially it was going to be the nursery, but a nasty damp problem put pay to that plan. A vast amount of repointing, drying out, and replastering later, it was finally ready for decorating and to become my home office. I work from home and I wanted a space that was bright, airy, and inspirational to work in.
The starting point for the décor was Sian Elin’s Tress Multi wallpaper – as soon as I saw it I knew it was the one. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re going for wallpaper rather than paint it should be bold and make a big statement and this fulfils both those criteria in a fabulous way.
In Sian’s own words
“The Tress design creates tessellating geometric shapes to form a dynamic and engaging pattern. Inspired by Eastern pattern, and hand-drawn in the Sian Elin signature markings, the ever popular multi-colour version will bring your living space alive.”
And does it ever? The colours are great – with the pinks and teal it runs the risk of being a tad overly feminine, but the mustard yellow takes the edge off the girliness and lifts the whole colour scheme.
Sian Elin’s wallpapers are made in the UK, printed in the North East of England, and are ‘paste-the-wall’ rather than ‘paste-the-paper’ which I think makes for a much easier job. The decorating gods must have been smiling on us when we put this up, as all of our other walls have been very ‘old house wonky’, making the wallpaper job particularly difficult, but this wall was (almost!) straight.
A Mid-century Desk
The paper has a very mid-century feel to it, with the geometric design and the mustard colour, so I wanted to keep the theme with a mid-century style desk. Sadly my budget didn’t stretch to the real thing, but Swoon Editions came up trumps with the Jamie desk in beautiful rosewood (sadly now sold out, but similar available here)
We’ve been very conscious to respect the age of our house and keep to certain building methods such as lime pointing and plaster. Our builder recommended Earthborn paints as ‘the only type of paint to use on lime plaster’ as they would allow the wall to breathe. Earthborn are an ‘eco paint’ company, and their paints are zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) so perfect for allergy sufferers. VOC’s contribute to atmospheric pollution when they evaporate (i.e. when you paint) and are present in many items used in our homes, some have a higher level of toxicity than others. As an asthma and eczema sufferer, I’ve made steps to ensure that all of the paints we use in our home are zero VOC to reduce any impact this might have on my breathing and on my skin. The paint is also static resistant, so dust build up is reduced – another win for allergy sufferers! The added bonus is that you don’t get that ‘new paint’ smell that lingers for so long and your brushes are lovely and easy to wash out when you’re finished.
The samples arrived and I decided to really push the boat out and go for … White. Exciting, eh? Except it actually was! I’ll admit, I’m picky about my whites – so many times you get your white paint on the wall and it looks completely different in ‘your’ light to how you imagined / the colour chart / that picture you pinned on Pinterest. Earthborn’s White is a soft, warm white, not too bright and is lovely and calming – perfect for a study and a great offset for the brightly coloured wallpaper.
The only way I can describe the texture of Earthborn paints is ‘creamy’ – we used the claypaint matt emulsion which was super thick and just glided onto the wall. The coverage is fantastic – we’d just had the wall freshly plastered, and so I was super surprised that two coats of the claypaint gave a superb finish. We’d had a unfortunately timed spell of very hot weather straight after the lime plaster went on, which resulted in some hairline cracks as it dried slightly too quickly. We did leave the plaster to dry out a long time before painting, so quite a few of the cracks closed up over time, but the ones that hadn’t were completely filled in by the claypaint – super stuff!
Styling the Desk
I’m a huge fan of having little knick knacks everywhere and I’ve had great fun styling my desk. I love the little cactus pots (Ikea), geometric pencil pots (Ikea), brass ampersand (Oliver Bonas) and Hello sign (West Elm).
All in all, I’m really pleased with my new office – it still needs a few finishing touches but it’s a really uplifting and inspiring place to sit and work, I actually look forward to starting my working day!
What do you think? Do you love a bold wallpaper too?