By Beth Hastings|

Living Room Refresh

When we first viewed our house in Summer 2021, there were two things that immediately hit me as we looked around: this space is amazing... and everything is so brown! The former owners had clearly loved their house, it was in great nick, but it hadn't had a refresh in twenty or so years and the palette for the whole house really reflected that. Dark brown woods, brown carpets, orangey brown tiles, pale brown walls, all set against a backdrop of magnolia. So not my taste! But as with many things in life, I had to be patient. There were more offensive things to deal with first than brown and magnolia walls!

Estate agent photos

But as time wore on I really found myself resenting the living room. It just didn't feel right, and I think it's a room that needs to work well - after all, it's one of the rooms we spend the most time in! I struggled with how gloomy the room felt, with the horrible old curtains, and I was finding it increasingly hard to make our old furniture work for us in the new room. Eventually you come to a point where enough is enough!

The main focus for this living room refresh was that it had to be cheap. In the next year or so we are planning a large rear extension to the house which will have a big impact on the entire downstairs layout, so I didn't want to commit to spending a ton of money that might eventually go to waste, so I broke the space down and really thought about the things that weren't working:

  • paint colour
  • lighting
  • fireplace

These three elements were my big crunch points. Yes, I'd love a new sofa and would LOVE new flooring, but that was always going to be out of budget. I wanted to focus on things I knew could make a big change - so first things first, paint!

My main sources of inspiration were an image from The Little Green Paint Company (left) and one from Tiffany Masbou on Instagram (right). Both of these blue interiors feel so fresh and bright yet warm and inviting at the same time. It's been said a hundred times before, but remember to get tester pots when you're redecorating, and apply them in large patches in different areas of the room. It's so important to see how a colour looks at different times of the day and in different parts of your room.

Lighting was another big issue I had in the room. I absoluted loathed the browny/black chandelier lighting that was in both the living room and the adjoining dining room, but again, could not justify splurging on expensive light fittings when realistically that's an element I know will end up changing following the extension. So I bought a couple of my go to paper lampshades. A paper lampshade is always a safe and neutral option for softly diffusing light and not being an attention grabber, and at only £2 each it's hard to go wrong! I also found this great dimable floor lamp which at £55 is a great price as it's a dupe on a classic style that you can easily spend £££s on!

The final issue I really wanted to resolve was the fireplace. I'm not a big fan of a fake fireplace in the first place, let alone this not-working silver a gold beauty! But again, without spending heaps to replace the flooring I knew we couldn't remove it. A roll of masking tape and a can of Rustoleum black spray paint later and I think the fireplace is looking as good as it can!

So with a colour chosen, the fireplace updated, and the lighting in hand, the last thing for me to do was sort out those finishing touches! I created a simple concept board to put all the colours in my head together and then got shopping to put it all together!

Overall, this room refresh has cost less than £200, which includes the cost of new soft furnishings, lighting, 5 litres of paint, as well as extras like new light fittings and plug sockets. I shopped around the house for existing pieces, like art work and decor, to finsh the room off and give it that extra warmth and loveliness.

If you would like help refreshing a room, have a look at my services or just get in touch! I'd be so happy to help you update your space!

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