Those of you familiar with my blog, or my instagram account, will be very familiar with my living room and dining room! I’ve written often about various DIY projects I’ve undertaken as I slowly but surely redecorated it over the past couple of years.
When I first moved into my house the living room and dining room were a completely blank canvas and I thought long and hard about how to best use the space. The two are joined by an archway, so they are semi open-plan.
Spoiler alert – there are ‘before’ photos at the end of this post for those of you that want to see those first!
I wanted to try and create a cosy feel in the living room as it is so open on 3 sides so I decided to create a focal point on the long wall by creating a fireplace and grouping the furniture around it.
I do have a TV in there too in case you wondered, it’s on the sideboard where the heart mirror is in these photos. But when I first designed the room I was keen to find a focal point that wasn’t the TV, hence the reason for creating a fireplace and using that as the focus, then adding the TV later.
*Note: the wood burner is not central in this photo and it drives me crazy each time I notice it. I bet it will annoy you too now!
The sideboards either side of the fireplace were my way of creating structure and symmetry in the room – I wanted to create a ‘reverse alcove’ effect. You can read more about them here.
Installing a real wood burner would have cost thousands, but I wanted the look of a country living room so I found an artificial wood burner that I love. I chose one with an opening door so I could pop some real logs in to make it look as authentic as possible. I was worried it might look a bit plastic, but it does actually look pretty realistic.
It also throws out a good amount of heat and has created a lovely cosy focal point to the room. The mantlepiece and surround was from Homebase and I upcycled with Annie Sloane white paint to give it the look of a plaster mantlepiece. I’ve written a previous post about the fireplace and how I upcycled it. You can read more about that here.
I am a big fan of vintage furniture and country style but I also like to keep things simple, so with this room – the same as each room in my house, I started off with a simple colour palette of white walls, natural wool carpet and white or pale grey furniture, then I added warmth and character with vintage pieces, handmade accessories and art.
I’ve used a palette of rose pink, soft grey and metallic gold and copper as accents throughout my entire house to keep the rooms feeling cohesive, so I had fun here with artwork, mirrors and accessories. The heart mirror above is one of my favourite pieces but it is SO heavy I was too scared to hang it on the wall.
The sofa and armchair were my best find. I originally wanted an L-shaped sofa but it would have been too big and blocked the room so I found this one which is halfway between a regular sofa and an L shaped one – it’s incredibly comfy but doesn’t dominate the room or block the view from the dining room.
I did lots of research before buying it and I eventually found this one in the DFS showroom (the Tote range – now discontinued) – it was an ex-display model and had been on the shop floor for a year so I got the sofa, footstool and armchair for an amazing price. It also meant I could have it delivered straight away without having to wait for it to be made.
The dining room is connected to the living room via an archway. I wanted it to feel calm and quiet in here, away from the main living area, so I could use it for meals or for working. (I do have a home office but sometimes it’s nice to work at the dining room table, if I have lots of papers / magazines to spread out or a craft project on the go)
The oak dining table in here was second hand (a gift from my parents), but it was in incredibly good condition and I sourced the chairs from Dunelm. They were £99 for a set of 4 and they arrived flat packed, but I really love them – the combination of wood and white is lovely and really suits the room.
I’ve since added a couple more chairs to the dining room including a chair that I rescued from a skip and a dark wood chair that I upcycled and reupholstered. (you can see the skip chair, back right, in the photo below)
The artwork was crucial to this room – I wanted something peaceful, calm, non-figurative and large enough to make a statement. I’ve long been a fan of Jessica Zoob and when she released a series of limited edition poster prints of some of her popular paintings I snapped this one up immediately. The frame was made bespoke for me online.
So that is the story of my living room makeover – now are you ready for the before pictures? They look scruffy as I had just removed all the furniture and the photos were taken at night with rubbish lighting, but you can get an idea of the lovely blank slate I had to work with.
And finally, here’s the stockist info for everything I bought:
Boston light grey sideboards, The Cotswolds Company
Electric woodburner, Homebase
Silver Woburn wall mirror, Worldstores
Shoreditch wall lights, Garden Trading
Ranarp ceiling pendant light, IKEA
Heart mirror (now discontinued), Rose and Grey
Clarke and Clarke beach huts revival radio, Roberts Radio
Pink cushion, Home made
Cream knitted cushions, Tesco
Large metal hurricane lanterns, Tesco
Laughter copper foil print, Sarah and Bendrix
Glass table lamp (now discontinued), The White Company
Totes sofa, DFS
Totes armchair, DFS
Cream teddy bear rug, Dunelm
Dining table, second hand
Alabama white set of four dining chairs, Dunelm
Boston light grey bookcase, The Cotswold Company
Artwork, Jessica Zoob
Pink floral cushion (now discontinued), Cath Kidston
Marne large white jug, Habitat
I’d love to know what you think of the finished room. It’s changed a little since these photos were taken, so I’ll hopefully do an update soon. But please do leave me a comment below!
Photos: Chris Snook for Victoria Harrison