Style stories

How Bold Colour Can Transform a Living Room

When I was asked to create a scheme for this room, the main wish from the owner was that it felt more welcoming. The function wasn’t going to change – it still had to work hard as the main living room for a family of five, have good storage AND be a work-space too. Interestingly, my client was convinced that the width of the room was smaller than other front rooms in the street! Time for an injection of bold colour…

The bare bones of this room were lovely – lots of nice features but rather lost under the clutter!

We went through the early stages of the design process (more info about my services here).

We also discussed this wing-back chair – it was my client’s grandmother’s chair and really important to her… and a little thought immediately ran through my head…

Bam! I had seen this fabric from Linwood called Tango and thought it might be up my client’s street and I was right!

From the Pinterest reference my client and I had put together collaboratively, back at the studio we set about making sense of it, putting this concept board together for discussion. Note that there are lots of the sofas on legs in the images, as they appear to float off the floor and give the illusion of more space (which would address my client’s thoughts that the room was narrow).

The scheme ended up looking like this. 

My client chose the artwork (which are much smaller than what was there before and altogether more punchy!) We kept the layout largely the same but made conscious choices along the way which I will talk you through.

So… as you enter the room, the most important chair greets you and also gives you a little taster of what you are about to experience.

When you have a relatively small room, large pieces of furniture can dominate in all senses. A trick we used was to keep the sofa and chair the same colour as the walls. 

By sticking to the blue, they almost disappear. 

We also repeated shapes through the space (in this case, circles) from the beautiful glass pendant above the marble topped table, echoing the simple round mirror.

We pared back the accessories but still kept a sense of life in the room that reflects its owners.

The soft curves of the Eliza sofa from Love Your Home echo the architectural features such as the bay window and the curved wall.

The artwork is a focal point but not overwhelming on the wall.

A lot of Victorian houses like this have had two rooms opened up and sometimes the redundant doorway has lasted the distance, as this one did. We used the same trick as for the sofa and painted it the same bold colour as the walls to ‘lose’ it.

There had been a lot of clutter at this end of the room but with better storage and organisation the space looks much calmer and inviting.

So there you have it! A room that still functions in the same way but has completely changed the way its owners feel about being in the space. In fact, this is what my client had to say:

"Kate has transformed our home. For years we wanted a change, but had neither the confidence nor the time to plan. We knew we wanted an environment that was peaceful and calm, but also interesting. We didn’t know where to start. Kate helped us articulate what style we wanted, and then took us step-by-step on a journey, from layout, decoration, furniture selection, accessorising and styling. Kate was a joy to work with throughout – so patient with our questions, always painstakingly explaining the more complex aspects and offering options. She seemed to "get" us from the start and her creativity and ingenuity constantly amazed us. We love our revamped lounge, bedroom and kitchen – we finally have the space that is right for our family."

You can see the project in full here and if you think that you may be ready to change a space (possible with a bold colour?!) so that you can love it once again, please take a look at the services I offer here or get in touch via email at I’d love to hear from you!

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