The Living Room is probably my favourite part of the house. It has undergone such a transformation since I moved in and I truly believe that a stylish living room goes a long way. It can be something that people really remember a house for as it’s likely that when you have guests over you’ll all be spending most of the time in the living room. In my case, it’s also where I like to relax after a long day working.
The only photos I have of how it looked when I bought the place in April 2014 are from the information leaflet from the estate agent. Here’s how it was back then…
The layout was horrible, with a table and chair tucked away behind the sofa. The sofa was also rather disgusting and covered with stains, so one of the first things we (me and my parents) did was dismantle it and scrap it. The carpet was also a terrible quality (and stank of cats’ wee in some places, yuck) so that was all ripped up as well. We chose a grey carpet throughout the house and the new sofa and armchair came from DFS.
The curtains were replaced with black ones from Dunelm and two of the three walls remained magnolia, with the wall where the TV was being painted a dark grey. Some furniture was upcycled from my bedroom when I lived with my parents. Here’s how the living room looked in 2015:
Two years later when the inspiration hit me to truly put my own stamp on my first home (which came from my discovery of Instagram) I set about a transformation from ideas that came about from people I followed, plus ideas that came from my own imagination and also browsing on Pinterest. I decided that I really liked monochrome styles and magnolia just didn’t work as well as white. You wouldn’t think going from magnolia to white would make such a big difference, but it definitely does. It works so much better with the style and the room feels a lot brighter and fresher. Some people have said to me before how white can look very clinical and cold, but I think when used in the right way it doesn’t have to be the case.
The wallpaper you can see being put up in the photos below came from B&Q. It is much lighter than the dark grey paint that was there before and instantly makes the room feel tons brighter! We stopped the wallpaper at the dividing line between the living room and kitchen areas.
The “Keep Calm and Carry On” sign was replaced with a custom A3 print from Lauren Loves Prints on Instagram (@laurenlovesprints), who I highly recommend. This one is a word collage made up of friends’ names and memorable dates and places, so my happy memories are never far away when I am lounging in my home.
The last step was to build a “TV Wall” feature in here to provide a focal point for the living room in the absence of a fireplace, the inspiration from which came from Instagram and Pinterest. Prior to the wallpaper going up I tried to experiment with masking tape to determine the best size. The radiator was a problem but me and my dad got around that by shifting the TV over slightly, taking the box shelves down and putting them back up in a vertical line.
The TV wall feature consists of a 6mm piece of MDF fixed to the wall with wooden batons, allowing the board to stand proud of the wall by a couple of inches. This was really easy to acquire and it made for a really quick and cheap way to transform the look of the wall.
After taking advice from a couple of my Instagram followers, I decided to replace the unit in front with a lower one from Argos that I picked up for about £35. It was really easy to assemble and did it myself in no time at all. This allowed the entire TV wall feature to be visible and the items placed on top perfectly hide the wires underneath without the need for conduits. We then just had to put the shelves back up in the corner (easier said than done with shelves of this type) and then we were pretty much done.
I’ve had such great comments on this part of my house, so I hope you like it too 🙂
I wanted something to go in front of the radiator as I felt as if that space needed something (my Christmas tree was there last year) and wondered about putting a beanbag there. I decided to save my money and move the footstool in front of it instead. Draped over it, in the photos above and below, you can see a chunky knitted blanket from Chun-kees (@chun_kees on Instagram). They make chunky blankets, bed runners and cushions, all made to order. I was fortunate enough to get this one in a flash sale and love it, and will be getting others for my home as funds allow. It is very cosy to get under on a cold winter night and they make attractive additions to a home all year round. I highly recommend them!
That pretty much wraps up the living room! There is more that I could do here like various finishing touches and also a round coffee table in the centre like I’ve seen in some living rooms on Instagram, but for the sake of this project I am considering it done for now.
All six of the lights in this room can be set to any colour and brightness using the Philips Hue app. At the time of writing, this particular project isn’t quite finished as there is one more in the kitchen that needs to be installed but when that is done I will write about the lights in each room of the house in detail.
See below for a “then and now” pair of photos. All this was styled by me and I am so happy with how far my home has come.
See you around for the next instalment 🙂
Lots of love,