It’s been 18 months since I last shared our living room space on here and, seeing as I’m writing more about interiors for work these days (including for a brand new interiors site Roost launching soon – sorry, had to crowbar that one in there), I thought it might be nice to reflect that a bit on this blog too.
We were recently sent a Vax Dual Power Pro Carpet Cleaner to review, so it gave me the perfect opportunity to give our living room a bit of TLC. The monochrome rug you can see in the photo at the top had taken a bit of a pounding and was definitely due a clean.
Having ripped out the carpet in our dining room and put down hardwood flooring, it made the state of the carpets even more noticeable. The rug (from IKEA) had been subject to a couple of nappy incidents (thanks Baby Girl!), not to mention the every day biscuit crumbs and mud trailed through the house. To be honest, I was dubious as to whether anything that wasn’t an industrial carpet cleaner would actually be able to do the job.
Set up was relatively simple. It was a case of slotting the pieces together and then filling the top tank with cleaning solution (supplied with the Vax) and water. The cleaner is fairly bulky, so we opted to store it in a dismantled state so it would fit in our cupboard. This obviously means we have to put it together every time we want to use it, but that’s proven to be pretty easy.
Once put together, I simply had to press the “on” switch and get stuck in. It’s pretty noisy, so probably not the best activity for nap time (it woke up our light sleeping baby) but the results were almost instant. Not only did the rug look visibly cleaner but it smelt lovely and fresh too. The hot air from the hoover means the rug wasn’t soaking wet, something I’d worried about, and the bulk of the cleaner meant it was a fairly quick job.
Typically, as soon as I’d cleaned the rug my 15 month old got hold of a tin of grate blackener for our fireplace and proceeded to smear it all over her body, the hardwood floor and – kindly – the newly pristine rug. I’ll freely admit to you I cried. Still, a quick go with the Vax attachment and the rug was as good as new. I like to think she was just trying to help me do a thorough review…
So onto the rest of the room. The deep clean inspired us to rethink the corner of our living room, where we had our TV. It had become a bit of a dumping ground for DVD’s, dusty cables and my discarded knitting. The corner unit was bought for our old house and didn’t really suit the room, plus Baby Girl kept getting behind it to try to pull the wires out of the TV.
I was all for losing the TV altogether but the rest of the family weren’t onboard, so we voted to invest in a wall bracket and put the TV on the wall instead. It instantly opened up the corner of the room, giving us more space and forcing me to do something about the clutter piled up on the shelf behind the telly.
I’ve had my eye on some seagrass baskets for a while and the update finally gave me a good reason to invest in them. This pair are the Murmur Seagrass Baskets at Bedeck and cost £37 for the pair (but when I last looked they were reduced to £29 so grab yourself a bargain, quick!). We’ve used the baskets to house the baby toys that Baby Girl plays with downstairs.
Another declutter session saw our sideboard getting a big clear-out. I still adore my late grandma’s McIntosh 1960 sideboard and it sits pride of place along one wall, underneath my Picasso Girl With A Book print (renamed “The Boobie Lady” by my 5 year old) that my parents’ bought me for my 21st birthday.
We also changed our coffee table a few months ago in favour of the Grayson Coffee Table from John Lewis (£275) which I continue to love.
Back to the sideboard and I found this cool lightbox in the sale at Cox & Cox which I had to have (another thing I’d been wanting for a while). It sits next to a quirky table lamp we bought a while ago from Urban Outfitters, a new house plant, a collection of pinecones my mum found for me on holiday and our bright orange Wild and Wolf retro style telephone.
Finally, the last little addition is a work in progress – a gallery wall of some of our favourite holiday snaps. I need to frame more of the photos and am on the hunt for a couple of appropriate font style prints that won’t jar with the photos. But even with the few we’ve got up there, it already feels like a happier space. Even when it’s raining outside and the summer holidays feel like forever away.
The final verdict comes from the girls. Frog is pleased she can now watch Mako Mermaids on Netflix without her baby sister standing in front of the TV, and Baby Girl is pleased with the extra room to throw all her toys around. Everyone’s a winner.
Thanks to Vax for sending us the Dual Power Pro Carpet Cleaner which inspired the update in the first place. You can use the cleaner on upholstery too, so the next job is getting the sticky finger marks off the sofa! The Dual Power Pro was £299 and is now available for £199 on the website. When you factor in that hiring a carpet cleaner costs around £30 a session, a few goes of the Dual Power Pro means you’ll have made the money back and then some. Oh, and it works on hardwood too, so I guess now there’s no excuse for me not to sort out my dining room floor too…