We put the new carpet down on the landing a little over a year after we had moved in, this space remained untouched for another two and a half years. Like most areas in the house I have utilised it for a practical purpose (In this instance for my dressing table!), as we are short on space, so it seemed like the perfect solution to not having enough space in our bedroom. The light is also so much better, so it makes sense for when I am doing my make-up!
When we first moved into the house I made some roman blinds for several of the windows, and they had remained in situ since. Slowly I have been replacing them with shutters as and when we could afford it (which was usually whenever I had a commission pay cheque in my old job and was feeling flush!). The landing window became the only window (apart from the downstairs kitchen and dining room windows, that will soon be going) that had escaped shutters. It had been very much on my to-do list. When California Shutters got in contact to see if I wanted to try their shutter ordering service, I jumped at the chance (some things are just meant to be?).
I thought I would use this as the perfect excuse to refresh the whole landing area, and finally create a little space I was really happy with. So I set to work on ideas whilst I was waiting for the shutters to arrive.
California Shutters worked a little differently to the other companies I had bought shutters from previously; this time we did all of the measuring ourselves. Using their online measuring guide were able to measure the shutters accurately to ensure they were a great fit. We then used the online tool to select our shutter style, slat width and colour. I wanted them to match with the ones in the rest of the house, so I did some research and managed the get the details of those.
We went for “tier on tier” shutters, meaning they are separated at the half height of the window and you have two sets of shutters that can open independently. This means that I can have the top half open, and leave the bottom ones closed but tilt the slats so that they still let the light in. I chose 64mm slats as the window wasn’t huge, so I wanted the slat size to match those in our bedroom. Then finally selected a colour Silk White; a softer white, not too bright, but also not too creamy in colour. You even pick the hinge colours, to make sure you get everything to your exact specification.
I was pretty confident that we had measured everything well, but just to be sure, the team at California shutters called the following day to check over the measurements and finalise the order. I selected Express Delivery for our shutters, and I couldn’t believe when they arrived to us within 3 weeks from ordering. This was so much better than the service I had received from another company (on two occasions) where I had waited over four months for one set, and nearly six months for another set. I was spun lines about “breakages” and carriage problems and even a fitter who managed to measure two windows completely incorrectly?! If I am honest, it had really put me off ordering any more. Safe to say I was never going to use that company again, but I was blown away at how quickly the California Shutters arrived, and how brilliantly and safely they were packed. The quality of service and continuity was just brilliant.
I had to wait a few days until my glamorous assistant was available to install the shutters for me (He had an awfully boring prior engagement known as work that week!), but I was so excited when we finally got to install them that weekend. I think my husband was definitely worried about whether we had a) Measured correctly, and b) Whether installation would prove to be a far trickier task than he had anticipated. He printed off the easy installation guide from California Shutters online and they are installed within an hour. It also helped that all of the pieces were clearly marked with stickers for top/bottom etc.
I couldn’t have been happier with the whole experience or how they looked. They brought so much more light to the landing space. Now I just needed to bring the rest of it up to scratch! I started by ordering a new radiator for under the window (let’s face it, the other one was killing the whole vibe?!). We went for the same ones that we bought for the living room earlier in the year, from Soak. We have been really impressed with them and how they looked (I love the traditional style), and also knew that the delivery time was super quick (I didn’t want to hang about!). The plumber installed them the following week, and it definitely brought the whole window area together. I’m sure that it will feel a lot cosier up there in the winter too as the shutters are definitely better insulation on the window and the new radiator really packs out a lot of heat!
While all of this was going on I decided to refresh my dressing table with a sand-down and a coat of Farrow & Ball Calamine paint. It is a colour I had been dying to try out somewhere in the house and what better place than a dressing table? I used a wood primer and then two coats of the Interior Wood & Metal paint. I changed the ornate branch handles (which I had put on myself during it’s last re-vamp!) to plain, brass cup handles, which I found online at All Handes and Pulls. I replaced the old stool and mirror with some new bits I found online. The chair was bought from Maison Du Monde (after much searching!). I was really impressed with their fast delivery as I had never shopped with them before, so didn’t know what to expect. Finally, the mirror I found is a Nkuku from an online shop called All Things Brighton Beautiful.
I needed to find a better way to store my “bits and pieces” (namely hairdryer, brushes and extra bits of makeup that don’t fit in the drawers). So I picked up two baskets; one big for under the table, and one small for the top. Both were from Bohemia Design online. I added a giant pink tassel from Gift Pop Boutique to the big basket, to add a bohemian vibe! I also found a cute little tray for my bottles from Punica when I was at a Brocante fair in June, which I absolutely love and it gives another fabulous pop of pink!
The walls definitely needed some new additions too. I had been dying to get my Sketchy Muma prints framed. I finally bought some gold frames from Desenio and put these up on the opposite wall. I am so happy with how they look there and can now admire them every morning when I sit down. For the wall above the dressing table, I ordered some hanging brass frames from Nkuku online to house some of my favourite snaps; one from our wedding and one of Boris being his happiest on the beach in Cornwall. I also used one to hang a beautiful painting of our house that was kindly sent to me as a gift.
I couldn’t be happier with how it has all come together. It looks so much lighter and brighter with the shutters on the window; they really have made the world of difference to that space. The only regret I have?…. That I didn’t do it all sooner, of course!
California Shutters provided me with the shutters for this window at no charge, and I have written an honest review of their service and product.
They would also like to extend an offer to my readers until 30th September 2018. Quote “FEATHERINGSHUTTERS” when you order and receive 25% OFF (RRP) your California Shutters.