Having rented a city apartment before moving, this couple were looking for a period home with high ceilings, and that's exactly what they found in this four bedroom Edwardian home. The living room was the first area to be renovated - 'We wanted a place to retreat to when the rest of the house was still such a state.' says the owner, Christine, who blogs at LittleHouseOnTheCorner.com.
'We needed a warm, elegant, grown-up space we could use for entertaining. We ripped out the carpet straight away but, in winter, it felt quite cold.' This led the couple to install insulation under the floor, as well as replace the 1950s gas fire with one that would match the style of the house.
1/6 Be inspired by a living room anchored by a bold blue sofa
The couple already had a black leather sofa and decided to go for a neutral colour scheme. 'After we decorated, the room felt bland and the black sofa seemed cold, so we added warm blues, teals and yellows in artwork, cushions and ornaments. Recently we replaced the black sofa with a new turquoise velvet Chesterfield, which was a brave move for us.'
Steel Symphony by Dulux at B&Q
2/6 Bold blue sofa
It was important to the couple that the seating be focused around talking to one another, rather than looking at the TV, so 'we placed the sofa along the long wall and the armchairs either side of the fireplace. The neutral backdrop needed a splash of colour to really bring it to life. 'The bold colour has enlivened the room, and we're so happy with how the space has turned out.'
3/6 A neutral backdrop
'I wanted to decorate the room with subtle greys and soft textures to create a calm, neutral feel.' By using a soft colour palette on the largest surfaces - walls and cabinetry - the couple gave the space a serene feeling. Accents that feature similar shades, such as the upholstered chair and deep-pile rug - help to pull the look together.
4/6 Old meets new
Dressing a mid-century chair with quirky accessories gives it a contemporary look that matches the scheme in the rest of the room. Co-ordinating bright accessories, such as the yellow radio and a yellow throw, add a pop of colour that give the room some added pizazz.
5/6 Defining features
A 1950s gas fire was replaced wit ha reclaimed fireplace that matched the house's age. This helped make the room feel more homely. 'We chose a reclaimed fireplace as the detail is much sharper than reproduction models. The soft blue tulip tiles in the fire surround match the walls and stained glass in the windows.'
6/6 Before the transformation
From neglected shell to vibrant entertaining space, this project is living proof that a defined colour palette and a bit of confidence can go a long way.
'The bold colour has enlivened the room, and we're so happy with how the space has turned out,' say the owners.
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Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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