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Name for me, please, the things that make a house seem "grown up"

(62 Posts)
whiskeytangofoxtrot Thu 06-Aug-15 16:39:01

I was just at the house of a new mate, and though she is younger than me, the house seemed more "grown up" than mine.

There were console tables in the hall and very naice lamps and a proper dining room as well as a kitchen table.

We don't have room for a console table as our hall very small and full of buggy (though I know this isn't forever)

How then can I make our house seem more grown up?
(when it's also full of people who live, work and play here!)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 06-Aug-15 16:42:55

Why do you want your house to seem more grown up?

NotSoFitFlop Thu 06-Aug-15 16:45:46

I think I know what you mean. We've recently moved house and we decided to not have any CD's or DVD's on display, I found myself saying 'not in our lovely grown up house' what ever that means ha. So maybe look at what you have got and what you can change?

thunderbird69 Thu 06-Aug-15 16:47:36

All the sorts of things that you can't have if you have small children or pets

TheOddity Thu 06-Aug-15 16:49:57

By grown up, you sort of mean elegant and finished? I think well framed art, the odd nice antique object or artisan made knick knack, tables and storage that isn't from ikea in prominent places like hall, bookshelves or drinks cabinet. Fresh flowers in the fireplace. Elegant coffee tables. All the things that don't fit with children! Make some mood boards to use in 18 years grin

windfalldilemma Thu 06-Aug-15 18:30:42

I would love to live in an elegant house- I don't know what to do in ours either, OP.

We have more stuff from Ikea than I'd like but some good pictures and even a piano but still more grubby child-be-draggled things than I would like.
I don't know how to get that "finished, I"m an adult now" look.
Whenever I see interiors magazines, the rooms are usually bigger and I used to work in magazines so I know how hard the stylists work to create that illusion.....

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 19:34:13

You can fake a console table by putting a cream painted shelf on the wall, with a matching painted corbel supporting it, and a nice large mirror over the top.

In terms of upgrading a house, phase out most IKEA stuff piece by piece unless it resembles Swedish antiques (Leksvig is based on antique designs, for example). Then go onto EBay and collect things like antique or vintage sideboards, side tables, dining table, single chairs or chairs in odd numbers (cheaper), silver cutlery, vintage china sets, vases, chests of drawers and so on. Check joints don't wobble (massively expensive to fix) and varnish or polish not too marked. Ask many questions of the seller. A lot of this stuff is incredibly cheap compared to IKEA, and there are firms who will quote for Ebay delivery such as Anyvan. Buy things you love in wood such as light oak, walnut, elm and cherry to avoid your house looking too dark. Avoid anything refurbished with Annie Sloan paint as underneath it is likely to be shoddy! Polish your collection with good quality professional polish when you are cleaning, to get the deep gleam and nice smell of treasured furniture.

Silver plated cutlery can almost always go in the dishwasher as long as there is no steel in there. Bone handled knives can't. Dubarry and Rattail are quite contemporary looking cutlery designs and easy to collect. Little boxes of cake forks and coffee spoons are elegant and particularly cheap considering what they are.

Vintage china can usually go in the dishwasher as long as there isn't a gold or silver rim - use Finish products.

Crystal must be washed by hand otherwise it goes cloudy.

Finally for fabrics look at magazines like Interiors and ferret out cheaper copies of stuff that is normally £100 a metre, eg botanical prints and brocades. Dunelm sometimes does copies.

Other things to dress a room include hardback books (charity shops), antique linens and candlesticks (ditto) and glossy magazines.

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 19:38:49

Thinking about it, Interiors magazine might be instructive as they are not all designer room sets in there, the taste is eclectic and sometimes very quirky. I would recommend Wallpaoer as well but this month's edition is about hand made objects such as a bar made from

ItsAll Thu 06-Aug-15 19:39:11

Yes, I think there's a lot to be said for the gradual phasing out of IKEA furniture smile - we're still doing this. I also think that you should just (slowly) accumulate things that you love.

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 19:40:29

18000 year peat bog oak hand frottaged by Swedish virgins or something, that may be less than relevant to the average Mnetter's design ambitions (apologies if I am underestimating anyone).

ItsAll Thu 06-Aug-15 19:41:22

grin Boffin.

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 19:43:41

Key thing is to work out what style of furniture you love and develop outwards from there.

I recently got a Regency dining table for half the price of an IKEA one and matched it with simple fruitwood balloon-backed chairs that are very pretty and well-made. About £20 a chair in a set of 6! Btw avoid reupholstered as again that is v expensive.

Fluffy24 Thu 06-Aug-15 19:46:59

A sideboard.

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 19:50:51

Neolithic bar this one, only 8000 years old apparently.

It's an interesting edition of the magazine, full of handmade items if the highest quality and craftsmanship - half of me was thinking WTAF and the other half was thinking 'these things are bloody furniture couture, amazing!' My favourite had to be the minibar.

Fishwives Thu 06-Aug-15 20:05:06

I'm still trying to work out what you mean by 'grown up', OP. In my experience dining rooms are chronically underused and a poor use of space unless you live in a mansion, while vintage china, little boxes of cake forks and Dunelm brocade sound more stuffy than 'grown up', unless that's what you actually like, in which case you probably have it already.

But then I absolutely loathe the interiors-magazine style of 'dressing' a room. Especially piles of decorative pillows on beds and artful throws.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Thu 06-Aug-15 20:05:49

I think a room looks grown up if it looks like it has been planned. Like each item is there because it is useful, pleasing to the people who live there and fits "the look" of the room.

Mis-matched stuff, badly sized items compared to each other/room and mess on display tends to look student-y. Like you've got the stuff because it was given to you or because you were forced to buy the cheapest not because you chose it.

GetTheFudgeOutOfRodge Thu 06-Aug-15 20:23:07

I understand when people say to get rid of Ikea stuff and hit up eBay for more classic pieces, but I need more storage!
Is there a classic equivalent to things like this?

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 20:33:54

Fishwives, I am wounded now grin

BoffinMum Thu 06-Aug-15 20:34:52

Fudge, triple antique wardrobes, or installing a bespoke storage wall.

ItsAll Thu 06-Aug-15 20:37:03

Fudge, our spare room will remain full of Besta and Billy bookcases grin.

ItsAll Thu 06-Aug-15 20:38:50

And Ketchup, I quite like mis-matched things! I definitely don't like anything too matched - I'm worrying at the moment because I've just bought matching place mats and coasters grin.

whiskeytangofoxtrot Thu 06-Aug-15 20:43:33

Good point - what do I mean? I guess the point is, we ARE dealing with stuff that we were given or have been forced to buy cos it was cheap cf Ikea.

I def think less studenty is a good way of putting it (though we both left university over 15 years ago)

I can't be doing with too many throw pillows either.
Have brocade fabrics and botanical prints but also have IKEA and mess on display blush

Like the other poster - lots of child-related not as "smart" as I"d like.

marshmallowpies Thu 06-Aug-15 20:45:42

Yes to storage. Storage that has been designed to fit in or suit the room it's in, rather than a mish mash of shelving units, cheap drawers, wicker baskets and random receptacles which is what we have in DD1's bedroom right now. It looks 'thrown together' and not in a good way.

I especially dislike a chest of drawers I own which is canvas drawers over a wooden frame with a canvas covering which I put together myself - quite impressive at the time - but it was only ever meant to be temporary storage at my old house until I got something better sorted. 7 years later I am still using it and have no idea what to replace it with!

My other thing for a grown-up house is proper pictures on the wall in proper frames, not clip frames, and which have a sense of being a collection built up over time, not just a job lot of arty posters or IKEA prints. We have been in our current home for 2.5 years and just getting to the point where we have enough 'naice' pictures in the right places that it looks properly lived in.

ijustwannadance Thu 06-Aug-15 21:04:51

I dont care what you all say, my ikea 2x4 cube expedit unit is going nowhere grin
I have it on its side (like a sideboard) the toys all get chucked in the coloured boxes and house looks tidy in minutes.

slippermaiden Thu 06-Aug-15 21:15:11

I don't even know what a console table is OP!!

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