Hold the Front Page

As those of you who follow me on Twitter may know, there’s something rather special on the newsagents shelves this month (well for the next few days at least), nestled away in the Homes & Lifestyle section. It’s, um, my FACE! And the rest of me. Standing in our finished* living room! (*OK it’s a tiny bit pretend-finished – more on that later…) Let me explain…

Having worked on several issues of budget-savvy, real-home-loving interiors mag Style at Home last year (and luncheoned with the lovely editorial team many a time), when I heard way back in June that they were looking for a living room makeover to feature for their Christmas issue, up shot my (virtual) hand to volunteer my own blank canvas of a room. They were keen to feature a space that had a fireplace and bay window that we could decorate in one of this year’s top festive trends. At this point, the room was still white and empty bar one solitary sofa, but I knew I wanted to paint it dark grey and had fallen madly in love with the gorgeous Harlequin Zosa fabric which I was desperate to make into curtains. I figured the bright pops of colour within its lovely botanical print would work brilliantly against dark walls and, having seen lots of rich, bright festive decs at the Christmas press shows (yep, these happen in the middle of Summer) I could see a way to tie the whole thing together. Luckily the Style at Home team thought so too, and wanted to know if I could turn it all round by the end of August ready to shoot. I agreed, then promptly spent the remainder of the Summer in a decorating frenzy (you may have noticed a rather lengthy lull on the blogging front…)

… until the shoot day arrived and we made it all look like this!

The shoot itself wasn’t without its difficulties (including having no Christmas tree for the bulk of the morning due to a courier blunder) and as we were facing a small room/big sofa/nowhere to put the camera situation, poor photographer Jamie Mason spent much of the time squashed into a corner barely able to fit his head behind the lens. Not to mention quizzical looks from neighbours wondering why the new girl on the street was putting up her Christmas tree on the August Bank Holiday weekend. But in the end, we managed to pull it out of the bag, aided along with a few festive nibbles.

And here’s a little glimpse into the organised chaos of the day:

Far be it from me to burst the bubble here, but I think I’m not giving away any spoilers when I say the festive decs duly came down straight after the shoot, and due to my severe lack of furniture some of the items in the room were borrowed from PR’s. So like a whirlwind from the future giving a tantalising glimpse of a finished, cosy space, some CitySprint couriers promptly came and whisked much of it away again, leaving the room as it stands today looking much like this:

The coloured table nest (the Kilo, from Habitat) is doing a sterling job, though ultimately I’m hoping to source a circular coffee table to better fit the space so that these can pop back into the corner next to my as-yet-non-existent armchair (I’m on the lookout for a snuggler or loveseat as this would be a great fit for the back wall). And much as I love my wooden floors, it sure was nice having a rug for a few days so I’m also keeping eyes peeled to find something similar to the Dunelm Mill rug I borrowed to shoot. The blanket box in the window (just seen) is actually a vintage Ikea piece that’s been gracing my parents garage for the past few years. I’ve had some foam cut to fit the top and thrown this Next blanket over it all, but ultimately I want to paint it (possibly the same colour as the walls to vaguely make it look built in) and fit some fabric properly on the top. Still, it makes a handy perch for those times when we have multiple guests. The tall lamp is also an old piece from Next which was being chucked out from a Next Directory photoshoot – not only did we manage to fix it, but I used an old pompom trimmed pelmet picked up at a sample sale to recover it. Oh, and that newspaper bunting? There’s a little story to go with that too – all will be revealed in Dec!

{Images} All the well shot ones are copyright Jamie Mason for Style at Home magazine. The dodgy iPhone ones are all copyright Joanna Thornhill. If you’d like to blog or pin any of them, please include full links back


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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

14 responses to “Hold the Front Page”

  1. eloisebarrett says :

    Hi, who did you contact to get an article written? Looks cosy by the way!

    • Stylist's Own (by Joanna Thornhill) says :

      Hi Eloise – I pitched and wrote it myself, it’s one of the many facets of my job! Just been checking out your blog, looks like you’ve got quite the project on your hands – should be fab when it’s all done! If you like, drop me an email and I’ll explain a bit more how it all works – jo (at) joannathornhill.co.uk

  2. H is for Home, Adelle says :

    Hi Joanna – Fabulous house! I love your colour scheme – pink, purple & grey is one of my favourites!

    Where did you get the figure of the old man – the one on the left of your mantlepiece? He’s gorgeous!

  3. secretgardenhome says :

    Hi Joanna,

    I bought a copy of the magazine few weeks ago, and absolutely loved your living room. I was looking through Heart Home and I just realised you are one of the contributors:).

    Thank you for sharing more pictures from the photoshoot.

    Merry Christmas!


  4. Susan Gurney says :

    Your house is looks lovely, you’ve done a great job, love the colourful accessories in your living room.
    We’ve just bought our first home & starting our Victorian Terrace Refurbishment, so hoping to pick up some tips from your blog.

    Great Work


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