Before and after: see how this bland living room has been given a modern makeover

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  • Tired of a worn-out cream scheme, the owners decided it was time to introduce a more lively and contemporary look to their living room

    ‘When my husband and I bought this house, it needed a lot of work, but the living room was one of the first areas to be tackled,’ says the owner. ‘We didn’t have a huge budget, but once we’d stripped the wallpaper and had the walls replastered and painted, it looked much better.’

    The couple kept the walls neutral and already had a beige sofa, so they got some curtains to match. ‘It wasn’t that exciting, but it was an improvement,’ they say.

    Six years down the line, the room badly needed an overhaul. The owners had grown tired of the beige and cream decor and the sofa had seen better days (especially because pale colours are never good with two young children). The only thing they liked was the false wall that houses the fireplace and TV – the rest had to go.

    Spotting a painted wall online that used lots of different shades of paint and big triangular shapes, the owners were keen to replicate the look. ‘We decided on different shapes of white, grey and peachy-pink for something unusual,’ they say.

    Feature wall-SAH-Feb-17-p86-Martin-living-room-makeover

    The old beige curtains had to go and the couple bought some white wooden shutters, which give the room a whole new look. They fitted them themselves, following tutorials online: ‘It’s easier than you’d think,’ they say. A new coffee table was also sought out, as the old one took up a lot of space – the couple wanted a smaller and rounder design to soften the lines of the sofa and the painted wall.


    This alcove makes a great reading spot, as it’s next to the fire for warmth and the window for light. A round rattan chair and metallic floor lamp make stylish additions to the dark blue paint.


    The owners wrapped an existing shelf in marble-look vinyl to get the look at a fraction of the price of the real thing. A white-gloss storage unit houses the router, DVD player and so on, to keep unsightly wires and boxes out of the way, while providing a handy shelf to display prettier bits and pieces.


    The fireplace is a natural focal point, while the stripey rug and cream pouffe add an exotic vibe to the scheme. A shelf along the front of the fireplace is great for adding colourful trinkets.


    Plenty of cushions and throws, plus individual touches such as the brass wall light, add character to the space.

    Cushion-detail SAH Feb 17 p86 Martin living room makeover

    The owners are really happy with their room. ‘It looks much more interesting than before,’ they say. ‘And if we ever get tired of the feature wall, we can just paint over it – but that won’t be for a while.’

    Shopping list

    Corner sofa, £1,699, Dwell

    Peach wall paint, £21.29 per 2.5ltr, Dulux

    Grey wall paint, £24.99 per 2.5ltr, Crown

    Coffee table, £195, Graham and Green

    Shutters, £40.82 for 15cm x 30cm, Web-Blinds

    Floor lamp, £50, Argos

    Posters, from £7.99, and frames, from £9.53, all Desenio

    Wish wall art, £15, Debenhams

    Brass wall light, £76, MiaFleur

    Pink marble cushion, £26, and pink table lamp, £68, both Oliver Bonas

    Velvet and linen blush pink cushions, from £30, Cox & Cox

    This living room originally appeared in Style at Home, February 2017

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