House to Home

Before & After: Our Grey & White Lounge Needs A New Sofa

We received the keys to our house three years ago. I thought you might like to see some before and after pictures of our slow progress transforming it from an old ladies’ yellow and orange house to a family home. I’ll start with the lounge, as it was the first room we (just about) finished. Here is the ‘after’: 

Now, are you ready for the ‘before’? Brace yourself! Lounge before we moved in

WAAAH looking back on that, I can’t even believe we bought the house! It actually looked even worse when we got the keys as all the furniture and rug had been removed, revealing the true horror of the carpet, lurking beneath.

I vividly remember walking through to the French windows with Ryan and looking at the garden. We told ourselves “Just look at the view, ignore the beams and the smell.” Our house when we moved in

But look at it now! Lounge with patio doors, play kitchen, Ercol sofa adn white and grey rugs on oak floor

So how did we get from there to our current lounge? With a lot of blood, sweat and tears!

Starting from Scratch

We started with a chainsaw. The black beams were purely for ‘decoration’ so were not structural and could be removed, thankfully. My brother in law hacked them off with his chainsaw on day one, and even though the room was filled with petrol fumes and smoke, it immediately looked better! We took out the ratty, faded and stinky old carpet and stripped the wallpaper off.

The walls had to be smoothed over a bit when the ceiling was boarded and plastered. We also had the wall lights replaced with simple uplighters. I got a quote to replace the gilt gas fire with a wood burner. But it came to three thousand pounds, as we don’t have a chimney. So I decided to paint the fire until we can afford to get a woodburner. Luckily it turned out really well, as it will take us years to prioritise a new fire! Before and after painting the fireplace

Since painting the hearth white, I have added a coat of grey paint, and eventually I’d like to add slate tiles over the top. We found some oak from a salvage yard to go over the fire, and it goes well with the LVT oak effect floor tiles we chose. We replaced the grotty 1970s board doors with oak framed glass doors, to allow light to flow around the house. They do work well, but I hadn’t thought about the amount of little fingerprints that would cover the glass panels! We got new radiators and painted the walls in Sail White by Crown. We liked the slightly grey shade of white so much we continued it throughout the house, apart from the girls’ rooms.

Our Furniture

We brought most of the furniture with us from our old house, including the shelves my brother made us. Luckily they fit well, as we have tonnes of books to house. That end of the room is the play area for the girls, so it has their dolls houses, play kitchen and play shop.

Lounge with handmade open bookshelves, white painted fireplace and Ercol sofa

The other end is for sitting, and I got the Ercol sofa set when I was a student. It really needs recovering, and I want to get the dark varnish stripped off. I have a matching chair in the bay window and two more that we can’t fit anywhere at the moment.

We have another sofa opposite the fireplace, but it is very old and sagging and really needs replacing.

It’s a sofa bed and it sags in the middle, and the brown doesn’t go with my grey scheme at all!

Choosing a New Sofa

I actually designed the lounge around a sofa that Ryan spotted at It’s the Ritchie sofa in grey with rainbow buttons for £599. Isn’t it lovely? I think it would go so well with the Ercol sofa as it is a similar shape. It’s also the only piece of furniture Ryan has taken any interest in.Ritchie Anthracite Sofa from made.comWe would get it with oak legs instead of these dark ones. But when I went down to London and tried it out, the back is a bit low. I have a bad back so need something more supportive. So I have been looking at options we can sit on here in Milton Keynes and have found several good options.

Top left: Ellison Grande Sofa from DFS for £998
Top right: Zinc 4 Seater Sofa from DFS for £899
Bottom left: Zuri Large Sofa from DFS for £599
Bottom right: Stocksund 3 Seat Sofa from IKEA for £525

Which do you think would go best in our lounge? I’d love to know what you think! Either way, I don’t think my poor back can take sitting on the sagging old sofa for much longer.

More Before and Afters

If you liked seeing this Before & After, you might like our monochrome bathroom reveal – click on the ‘before’ photo to see the ‘after!

Our bathroom before we moved in

And this the the ‘before’ on our downstairs cloakroom makeover.Toilet before makeover

Thea’s woodland nursery tour featured over on Rock My Family, but it was over a year ago and it looks quite different now she has her big girl bed instead of her cotbed. I’ll have to post about that soon!Thea's Nursery on Rock My Family

Home Etc





  1. Emmerey Rose

    22nd April 2017 at 4:19 am

    What a transformation Becky! It looks so good now. Love how the white dominates the room. How much did it cost your to renovate the living area? 🙂

  2. Jess

    9th April 2017 at 11:41 am

    Oh wow! That looks so lovely! And I love that you “started with a chainsaw” Brilliant! Really beautiful room. Very inspiring xx

    1. Becky Pink

      9th April 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you my lovely. Sometimes you need to get extreme don’t you! xx

  3. Rachael Savage

    9th April 2017 at 11:14 am

    Oh wow!! What a transformation … I detest our 1950s/60s monstrosity of a fireplace, it was going to be the first thing to go … but it’s a working open fire … so 17 & a bit years later (hangs head in shame) it’s still there as it’s around £3k for what I want

    1. Becky Pink

      9th April 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Houses are such money pits aren’t they! We can’t justify £3K on a fire either, so making do! xx

  4. Steph

    9th April 2017 at 10:57 am

    Wow the fireplace make over is amazing, it looks so different. When you’ve finished your make over please can you come and do my house! x

    1. Becky Pink

      9th April 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Ha ha thanks Steph, I need to do the rest of the house first! xx

  5. Lins @ Boo & Maddie

    8th April 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Ooh I just love this!! There’s nothing like a good before and after, great job!!! So glad those beams weren’t structural and that view is just amazing X #HomeEtc

    1. Becky Pink

      9th April 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Ah thanks Lins – I am very glad too, I could have painted them I suppose but much better that we could take them out! xx

  6. Rachel

    8th April 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this, we are in the process of buying a house so I’m always on the lookout for decor inspiration now! Your house looks so lovely, you’ve done a really good job of it. I really like the look of the zinc sofa, might check it out for myself too!

    1. Becky Pink

      8th April 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Ah thanks so much Rachel! I think the Zinc is the front runner! xx

  7. Keira @ Dekko Bird

    7th April 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Hello at last! We have the zinc four seater in the darker grey and love it. You’ll see pics of it on my Instagram. It’s v cool and stylish but actually really comfy too. Very happy with it. We also have two Ercol armchairs identical to yours which I have been meaning to reupholster for about two years!! Just need to take time to look at fabrics and we’d also like to lighten the wood a bit too. Seems we have similar tastes! #homeetc

    1. Becky Pink

      7th April 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Oh thanks Keira, I will go and have a nosey! Good to hear it is comfy as well as gorgeous-looking! Let me know if you manage to lighten the Ercol wood, I have no idea how to do it and don’t want to ruin them! xx

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