Covering older furniture in new fabrics can give it a fresh lease of life as well as creating an individual and distinctive look for your living room.
Try to incorporate and upcycle a few pieces you already have or are in your family. This will add personal history and to avoid a bland characterless look.
4 Living Room Design Ideas to Make Your Space Look Luxe Photo Gallery
Use one or two statement pieces to make an impact. I recovered two Parker Knoll chairs I’d inherited in a lovely new fabric decorated with trees, stags and foxes called Cairngorms by Voyage Decoration. It was great to bring the outdoors in.
The importance of installing the correct lighting in an old building cannot be overestimated – get professional advice on this if necessary.
Get to know your local shops to find pieces which will make your heart sing. I love my own shop Norris Gifts & Furnishing (beaulieugiftshop.co.uk) and also Crestwood Interiors in Lymington.
Work with period details and think about how you can work with them to showcase your own taste.
When the bulk of the work was completed, Paula was able to focus on the decorative side of things. “The schemes I chose were very much dictated by the house, which is basically a simple cottage built from whatever materials were around at the time. The small windows and low ceilings meant that we had to keep things light and unified throughout, while remaining true to its original construction,” she says. “So I chose a colour scheme comprising various shades of white, grey, and green, lifted by a few touches of red in accessories in some rooms.”
But even this wasn’t without its problems. “Before decorating, all the internal walls and ceilings had to be re-plastered as the original had perished,” Paula recalls, although she relished picking out the schemes for the house. “I love decorating and am very much inspired by magazines and trade fairs such as Maison & Objet in Paris, where I source furniture and accessories for the house as well as my shop, Norris Gifts & Furnishings. I also love tracking down unusual new pieces and had a lot of help and advice from the lovely Gemma from New Forest Living who is a specialist in paint colours and styling.”
Now that the property is finished, the couple are delighted with the results. “We love the house and would never have believed at the outset it would scrub up so well,” says Paula. “The place has a quirky and unique atmosphere, today and, although our children, Charlotte, Will and Rose have now all left home, all they return frequently with our grandchildren, Sophie, Algy, Theo and Livy. We hope that the same sense of family continuity is something that we can pass down for future generations and many years to come as the custodians of this character property in this beautiful part of the world.”
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