We’re so excited about improving our new home but if there’s one thing we learned during our last renovation, it is that it’s really important to get one room completed in order to have a space to close the doors, pretend that everywhere else is finished.
A couple of weeks ago we already shared the mood board for our guest bedroom so it’s high time that we shared some more of our countless home improvement plans!
Renovating our guest bedroom is still our number one priority but the room we’d also like improve as soon as we can is our living room. I’m already getting completely carried away by all of the possibilities!
We’d like to create a living room that’s calm & relaxing, fun & surprising and welcoming & warm.
The aim it to have a space that’s both sophisticated and a bit luxurious but also fun at the same time. We don’t take ourselves too seriously so our interiors shouldn’t be too formal either!
Here’s the living room mood board
We’re really lucky that our whole apartment is really light, bright and airy. All rooms have ridiculously high ceilings and super-sized windows which we love but for the living room, we’d like to create a space that’s cosier which is why we’re crossing over to the dark side!
We loved the dark colour of our dining/living space in our house in Manchester and we would love to create something with a similar feel here.
We’ve already picked up a couple of paint testers but haven’t decided on a colour yet. So far we’re considering Basalt by Little Greene, Black Blue or Railings by Farrow and Ball, Mott or Madison Grey by Abigail Ahern.
As you can see on the mood board, we’ll be rejigging the layout of this room. Together with the dining room, it’s going to be our main entertaining space so we need a room that’s both functional and flexible.
I absolutely hate it when everything is centred around the TV so we’ll be creating a seating area that’s focussed around spending time with each other and chatting.
That’s not to say that we’re completely ignoring the TV. The plan is to wall mount it on a bracket that can be swivelled out so when it’s not in use it can be neatly tucked away in the corner. (We did something very similar in our last home, too.) I also hope that our (almost) black walls will allow the TV to blend in and disappear into the background.
And, let’s face it, anything has got to better than our current solution!
In terms of furniture, we’re only planning a couple of upgrades. We already have our turquoise Chesterfield sofa and our Eames Lounge Chair which will both be staying in this room. We’re still undecided about what to do with the grey armchair (it’s Ekenäset from Ikea). It’s still a great chair but we might move it to another room in the long term.
The main addition will be a vintage sideboard along the large wall. My absolute dream sideboard would be one like this mid-century modern teak credenza by A.H. McIntosh which I’m totally in love with. It would obviously give us loads of storage (which I think you can never have enough of) and it would look amazing in front of the dark wall with some large art above it.
I’ve wanted a drinks trolley for as long as I can remember. Although we’re not big spirit drinkers it would be nice to have a selection of drinks within easy reach for when we’re entertaining. Something like this brass drinks trolley would be perfect.
I don’t want to go overboard and have brass everywhere but I also think it would be nice to have a few touches here and there to match our original brass door handles.
In an ideal world, we’d also like to replace our coffee table which we’ve had ever since moving in together over 10 years ago. I like these two round tables and think that they’d work really well as they have a slightly more relaxed feel than if it was just one table.
With such high ceilings (they’re about 3,6m) and large rooms finding lighting (within budget) is going to be a bit of a challenge. I absolutely love this spectacular chandelier which would be so, so so perfect for our room.
Lighting is almost always expensive and we would be willing to splurge on something we really love having said that, the $10500 price tag of this gorgeous lamp is just way out of our budget. It’s jumped up my list to the number 1 thing I’d buy if we win the lottery but in the meantime, we’ll have to live with our bare bulb dangling from the ceiling a little longer.
Flooring & Rugs
We’re so lucky to have a gorgeous parquet floor in both the dining room and living room. It desperately needs sanding and oiling/waxing/varnishing but I’m sure it’ll look fab when it’s restored.
To zone our seating area I’d like a large rug. I really like this hexagonal cowhide rug. The colour is perfect and it would give the room some much-needed texture and pattern. The only problem is that it’s a bit too small for our room.
Jan, on the other hand, loves this Keshan rug. It has a lovely pattern and great soft texture. Best of all it’s available in the perfect size for our room. I’d go out and buy it tomorrow if it wasn’t for the pricetag!
Finding art is so difficult. I love gallery walls but I feel that this space needs something a bit grander. With our ceilings being so high and the walls in the living room being so large it’s really not an easy job!
Jan’s suggestion is one of the water lilies paintings by Monet which we both agree would be perfect but I’m pretty certain that one of those will be out of our budget and I’m not sure my cat burglary skills would live up to breaking into the Musée de L’Orangerie either! ;)
No matter what we hang on this wall has to be something we really love as it’ll be seen from almost everywhere in the apartment.
I know that some designers stick to their mood boards but for us, it’s more of a starting point. It represents the overall feel and look we’d like the room to have but it doesn’t mean that we’re not afraid to switch things up if it doesn’t feel right in real life.
How do you design your rooms? Do you just let them develop over time or do you have a full on plan that you stick to? Have you ever crossed over to the dark side and painted a room dark? We’d love to know if you have any suggestions for supersized art (that’s more affordable than a Monet)!