The Living Room


We wanted to keep the light and bright feel in this room, so chose Farrow and Ball Blackened for all of the walls which is fresh but not too cold.


The original fireplace was an absolute monstrosity so we took that out and opened the whole thing up so that we could fit in a wood burner. Originally we wanted to create a brick surround with a chunky wooden mantel, but once the floors had been done we decided that we would prefer it without the brick surround, so just plastered up to the opening to give a clean, neat finish. The opening itself was in a bit of a state, so we found some reclaimed Victorian brick slips to essentially tile the area. The aim was to keep it looking rustic and authentic, but smarten it up a bit. For the mantel, we chose a chunky oak sleeper style ledge – just wide enough for my candles! The hearth is a lovely piece of polished slate, and the woodburner is a bargain that I found on ebay – it was unused but around a quarter of the price of the ones you buy in the shops. It had some gold details on it which I thought looks a bit naff, so I just painted over with black bbq paint.

As this room has a rather odd layout, it was quite hard to work out where we were going to put everything.

We decided that the sofa/tv area would have to be to one side of the room, closest to the fireplace with the lovely bay window and an armchair at the other side. At the moment this feels like a bit of a waste of space, but I’m sure we’ll think of a better use once we’ve lived there a bit longer.

I love our sofa, but I don’t think it’s the right shape or size for this room. I’d prefer to have two smaller sofas placed perpendicular to each other in order to really segment this seating area of the room. But at the moment we definitely don’t have the money for new sofas, and I think I’m going to have a real battle with Paul who absolutely loves our trusty old L shape.

To fill the area on the other side of the room, I chose a leather butterfly chair, which is light enough to be moved around when we have guests around. The remaining furniture is just various bits we had from our last place.

I wanted quite a simple, modern pendant light for the centre of the room and chose this lovely glass sphere from We also got the electricians to put in a spotlight over the bay window, as the plan is to get a cushion made for the window seat and make it into a nice little reading area.

We originally hung an old map that we had over the fire, but I felt that something more bright and modern would be better, as with the woodburner and brick fireplace I was worried it was all starting to look a bit twee! We had been on our annual visit to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and spotted a photograph that we really liked, so I contacted the photographer to see where we could buy his prints, and he helpfully replied. I love the way it looks like an abstract print when it is actually a photograph of some sand planes, and I think the colours work well in the room.

Finally, we asked our builder to add some chunky bookshelves to the alcove beside the fireplace. He messed up a bit with the measurements (!) so we ended up with four shelves rather than the five I wanted. Slightly annoying, but I guess now there’s plenty of space for plants / other tall items!

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