Before and after: A ‘boring’ neutral living room gets a glam and dramatic makeover

The owners took a risk and banished the beige...
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  • ‘This room was all shades of beige and brown,’ says the owner of this five-bed Edwardian house in North London. ‘I had been contemplating grey walls for this room, but got tired of seeing the colour everywhere.’ After spotting the gold cabinet from Swoon, she planned a luxe look with dark walls and pink accents, instead.

    You can find more makeovers in our living room ideas

    She chose Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue. ‘I was definitely the right choice, but everyone else was doubtful!’ she admits. ‘As soon as I saw the first coat go on, I knew we’d made the right choice. I don’t know how painting a room darker can make it brighter, but it has!’


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    ‘At first, we weren’t planning that pink would be part of our scheme,’ says the owner. ‘I was toying with the idea of adding emerald green. However, a velvet sofa had been on my wish list before we even moved in.

    ‘So when I found this one, I knew it would add opulence along with the gold cabinet and dark walls. The blush hue just ticked all the boxes in terms of the look we were after.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Farrow & Ball Hague 
Blue modern emulsion, 
£45 for 2.5ltrs, B&Q


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    ‘I ended up painting the fire surround white, but leaving the rest – picture rail and skirting included – dark blue. Our decorators suggested picking out the picture rail in white, but I politely declined. I’m so pleased that I stuck to my guns, because the walls are a great backdrop for our furniture and accessories.’


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    ‘Before, cabinets and shelves cluttered the alcoves, which made the room feel much smaller 
than it is, says the owner. ‘We are self-confessed hoarders and didn’t want to fall into the trap of having too many places to stash things we don’t need!’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Marble 
foot floor lamp, £69, Barker 
& Stonehouse
    Buy now: Vintage Metal Star, 
£39, Rockett St George


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    ‘We decided not to rush into buying furniture and accessories that might not suit until we’d let the colour settle. It was a pain not to have it all ready immediately, but it saved money in the long run.’


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    Love them or hate them, 
dramatic walls do make spaces 
cosy – and they’ll never 
overwhelm in a big, 
bright room. Honey oak flooring 
cosies up all the 
cool blue, grey 
and pink tones, and brass and gold 
details have given 
the room a luxe feel.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Ziggy brass cabinet, £579, Swoon


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    Ready for another? Before and after – clever use of colour has transformed this living room

    ‘It’s been such an exciting project and has set the tone for the decoration in the rest of the house. I love sharing photos 
of the room on Instagram, 
@my_London_home. My dad is still unsure about the colour and my grandmother hates it, but you can’t please everyone!’

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