Adding the finishing touches to a room

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet around here the last couple of weeks as I am struggling with our current round of IVF, which is much, much longer than the previous rounds so it really feels like an endurance test. I don’t know about you but when I don’t feel well I really struggle to think of creative ideas or concentrate so I will try instead to have a practical focus on the blog this week, which might come a bit more easily.

Our living room and kitchen makeover is all finished but dragged on and on because the delivery of a new sofa was very delayed and without that I couldn’t finish off the living space. We are now at a stage where the final finishing touches need to happen and I’ve hit a bit of a wall, mostly because I have felt so floored by all the drugs I am on but also because when so much work has gone into getting the ‘big’ stuff sorted it’s easy to run out of steam doing the smaller jobs e.g. framing art work, deciding on lighting, potting up plants, hanging mirrors etc.

So, I have put together a list of helpful tips if you are in the same situation and hopefully it will help me along the way too!

1. Ask for a trusted opinion

When you’ve been working on redecorating a room for a while it can become all a bit of a blur and you can no longer see the wood from the trees. You can end up having no idea whether the room actually looks nice or not because you have looked at it and studied it for so long! That’s why it’s a great idea to call on someone whose opinion you trust to come over and gauge their reaction. Make a little list of things you have been struggling with – placement of art work, cushion choices, whether the big houseplant should go on the left or the right of the window – and ask their opinion. I did this a couple of times last week and it has really helped me refocus and trust that I am making the right decisions.

2. Make a comprehensive list

I can find it a bit stressful when I think there is still loads to be done and therefore I do nothing. Making a clear list makes everything feel more manageable and can remove some of that stress as more often than not you realise there isn’t as much to do as you had built up in your mind.

3. Plan your budget

If you know that you still need to buy finishing touches for your room/s plan your budget carefully. Perhaps space out the purchases over the next few months and plan towards that.

4. Take your time

I think it can be a positive to take your time on the finishing touches of a room as it makes it feel more organic and a break after doing major changes can be refreshing as you come back to the room with a new perspective. However, you do need to be firm with yourself about what needs to be done and plan some sort of timescale as I have seen soooo many people never ever finish a room off as they just get used to it the way that it is.

5. Take photos to gain new perspective

If you are struggling after working on a room for too long and you feel unsure about what it needs to pull it all together try taking a few snaps. Seeing the room on film can really help give you a new perspective and a bit of distance, which should help you identify what you need to add to make it feel finished.

6. Break it down

Once you have the big stuff in place i.e. new wall colours, furniture, room layout, flooring, it can be helpful to categorise the finishing touches to help you figure out what you need. Think about a) lighting – at least three light sources in each room b) textiles – curtains, rugs, cushions, throws c) walls – art work, prints, shelves, mirrors d) decorative accessories – plants, books, objets d’art. Work through each category in that order.

Adding the finishing touches to a room | Apartment Apothecary

7. Be prepared

Be clear about the colours you want to use in the room and carry a paint colour card as well as fabric swatches for your sofa/curtains/cushions around with you in case you see something you want to buy (yes, I actually do that). It will save you so much time and umming and ahhing if you can make a decision there and then as you come across things you like. Also, always have a few snaps of the room on your phone so that you can reference those if you are in a shop and trying to make a decision on whether to purchase something or not.

I have been choosing between different rugs, lighting and artwork for my living room over the last couple of weeks so I’d like to share that decision making process with you this week as it may provide some good inspiration if you are making changes to your living area.

Hopefully be back tomorrow with lots of lovely lights that I’ve been lusting over.

Katy x



  1. 11th April 2016 / 1:45 pm

    Lovely to hear your rooms are all coming together, albeit at a poorly time for you. Great tips above…love the practical advice. Take care, and look forward to seeing it all come together soon xx

  2. Nichola
    11th April 2016 / 5:13 pm

    I have had the same problem- having had so much redecoration it has taken me ages to decide on next steps. One thing I did decide was to take all the pictures down, patch up those holes and really think about which bits of art work I really like, and only put those up. It is now much less cluttered. I will take my time putting up some of the other pictures and ditch those that I just don’t really like any more.

    I am also struggling with a new rug, just can’t decide- or afford what I really like. So i hope I don’t spend too long and stop noticing I don’t have one!

    Good luck with the IVF. xx

  3. 11th April 2016 / 9:11 pm

    I simply cannot wait to see this room! I hope you are feeling more yourself soon lovely girl šŸ˜‰ xxx

  4. 12th April 2016 / 11:01 am

    I ahev two spaces I am planning at the moment – the spare bedroom and the hallway. Both are currently half plastered and need to be done in order for us to move furniture back into them, but I’m really struggling to come up with the finer details for the spaces. I know what I wan them to feel like but it’s pulling it all together I’m struggling with. I have a vision of a travel inspired room for the bedroom but want it to be classy rather than cheesy. I love the idea of carrying about swatches. I think I might start doing this!

    Hope that you are feeling better soon too. I find puppy cuddles work wonders when I am not 100%. I’d grab Otto and have a good snuggle! x

  5. 15th April 2016 / 3:58 pm

    Lovely Katy! I just wanted to send some love and positive energy your way. I hope you feel better very very soon. Jesse x

  6. Joanne
    15th August 2016 / 9:14 am

    Hi, I have been searching for month for a certain wood burner.
    I have finally found it on your website!!!!! “The Barn at port Farm”

    Please Please can you let me know where i can get one from.


    • Katy
      15th August 2016 / 10:06 am

      Hi Jo,

      I’m really sorry but the barn was just a holiday rental that i stayed in so I have no idea where the stove is from. Hope you find one similar!

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