For anyone that’s thinking about painting any room in your house black, just go for it and go bold.
I’d always had this vision of a beautiful contrast between the chairs and accessories we’d chosen and the darkness of the walls. I’d first gone for Midnight Sky by Valspa as it looked super dark on the swatch card. After painting a layer, it looked completely different to the swatch we’d originally done and ended up looking like a very dark version of royal blue. At this point I’d already opted for the teal chairs and knew this would look completely wrong.
Second choice was Farrow and Ball Railings, which I thought was going to look too dark, actually ended up looking too chalky and a lot paler than some of the images I’d seen online. We’ve actually since ended up using it for the ladies toilets, and it suits that perfectly. There’s a mixture of Railings and White in the space, so the use of white makes the darkness pop more than it did as a blanket of the dining room!
After going back to the original references and inspiration we’d gathered for this room, we ended up going for the Farrow and Ball’s Pitch Black, and decided that if the worst was it didn’t work, we could always try another, after all it’s just paint! This colour couldn’t have been more perfect.
The dining room is super bright, so the blackness of the paint doesn’t really darken the room until evening, and even then it adds a real richness and regaleness to the room.
The dining room, named The Cure All is one of the oldest rooms in the house here at the Manor. The original wooden panelling is far from pristine, but it has real character. We’d debated pulling this room apart and starting from scratch, but we decided that loosing its imperfections and charm went again everything we were trying to add back in to this space.
On some of the bottom walls, the paper and wood has started to bubble thanks to central heating being added to the building a few decades ago. It buckles and moves throughout the year, dependant on the weather!
In one area, we’ve layered over a 3mm sheet of MDF to attempt to smooth it out. Whilst it’s worked really well, we’ve said we’re going to leave the rest of the walls until a quieter time of year and redo them all then.
The history behind Healing Manor has a real richness and a little raucousness to it too. The name of the lounge, The Cure All, actually came from the name of a horse which was stabled in the village in 1845 when it was walked to Aintree, won the steeplechase at the Grand National and then returned home.
We opted for brass finishing on all of the accessories and chair legs to add some warmth and richness to the room. This is complimented really well with the warmth of the floor and stops the room feeling cold with the starkness of the walls. Whilst it might not be the most practical, we purchased the most beautiful bar cart from Atkin and Thyme. The base is marble and the top tray is glass. It now gets used for all sorts, and mostly plays host to cakes when it’s hired out for birthday’s, but otherwise it sits pretty with candles and glassware.
I’d toyed for weeks over the bar cart, before finally opting for Odyssey from Atkin and Thyme. It was one of the more indulgent and not-needed peaces of the room. I’ve stopped running my overthinking by Steve, as he’s very savvy when it comes to spending and budgeting and I’m not! The bar cart was one of those pieces that we didn’t need, but it completely makes the room and I haven’t regretted this splurge one bit.
When we took over at the Manor, we found piles of antique mirrors hiding in storage. We added one above the fireplace and another propped against a wall, just to add some perceived space into the room. It doesn’t quite feel right hanging the other one up, so it’s staying on the floor for now.
I have toyed with the idea of adding some modern prints to the room, and they might come in time, but for now the walls are staying bare and really making a feature of all of the furniture.
Chairs - These were the starting point really. Whilst I’ve never bought anything from Cult Furniture before now, I’d seen a few images with their furniture featured and heard some glowing reviews. I’d settled on the blush pink before anything else and originally thought we’d go for forest green velvet chairs and sofa’s. I’m holding off for the green when we redecorate the restaurant. Sticking with jewel colours, the teal works perfectly. Whilst these didn’t come officially flat packed, they did take a little assembling, but were easy enough for a girl with an allen key to put together.
To add a complete contrast I’d seen the most beautiful newspaper rack on Zara Home with brass finishing. Opting for this, we threw in a couple of orange cushions, a pop of leopard print and some beautiful and very expensive looking monochrome printed cushion covers to break up the solid colours in the room.
The lights were from Amazon, which I now can’t find online anywhere. They were about £45 a pop, and a completely bargain, as they look super expensive. I’d originally seen some on Made.com which I was set on, but when you’re working with scale, everything multiplies and budgets quickly go out of the window. The only downside with the lights we did choose, is because the glass is heavily frosted, the light isn’t quite bright enough come evening. We go all out with the candles and there’s a lovely ambience in the room, but it wasn’t the most practical lighting over winter. It’s on the to do list before the nights start getting darker later on in the year! We’re going to look if we can feed some electrics through to add a candelabra to the centre of the room and drop it low over the table.
For the floor, we ripped up the carpet and evened out the original floor before opting for a chevron style, hard wearing flooring by Amtico which would be suitable for commercial use, due to the amount of movement that happens in this room. I’m a big advocate for working with local companies where possible. The flooring was supplied by Allenby Stevens who are based in Grimsby. We’ll be carrying this floor throughout the hallway and downstairs toilets, when we finally get around to refurbishing that area later this year, or just after Christmas.
Every part of this room refurbishment, was either bought online, or in the hope that it would match everything that we’d ordered. Being completely honest, it was a little stressful at times, especially when we were three paint colours in. Whilst Cult Furniture are amazing value for money and provide incredible online customer service, don’t do a ‘me’ and order with out checking the products availability. We ended up having to wait 8 weeks for some of the 14 finings chairs to be ready so ended up having to push back the whole room refurbishment two months! All I can say is, read the fine print and delivery times with everything you order, and don’t be afraid to over order and send back what doesn’t suit, or if you’re worried about a colour match, request some fabric swatches and place everything together in the room you’re redecorating for an honest light, to see how the colours are all going to work together!
Flooring - Allenby Stevenson’s
Mirror - Antique