Home » Living Room Makeover {previous flat}

Living Room Makeover {previous flat}

a modern living room with grey carpet and sofa, blue chimney breast, white fire surround and yellow lampshade I think its still going to be a while before I can share a grand unveiling of any of the finished rooms in this house, so as a little appetiser, I thought I’d show you one of the rooms we made over in our previous flat. I’ll start with the living room as I think it was perhaps the biggest transformation and ended up being one of my favourite rooms!

You can see the the transformation from start to finish below, but I’ll talk you through the process as we move on..

A dated magnolia living room, with blue chairs and brown carpet

A modern scandi looking living room with grey sofa, curtains and carpet, deep blue chimney breast, cast iron fireplace and white fire surround

Our first home was a cosy little flat in a little village in Sussex. It was built in the 1950’s and was in need of some serious modernisation. The flat had its own garden over looking the South Downs but was on the top of two floors so not ideal for a small family.

When we bought it, a little old lady lived there and other than a splash of magnolia over all of the walls, I don’t think it had really been touched since the 1980’s. I remember sanding down the skirting boards and finding all sorts of wonderful colour combinations – such as red door frames in one room and black woodwork in another! I’m quite sad it all got painted over, it would have been a sight to behold!

When we moved in our living room had an electric fire installed and looked a little something like this:


Fancy ey!

It went through various incarnations as we tinkered about with other rooms, including a store room and carpentry workshop but eventually we started work and began with ripping up the fire place and re-plastering all of the walls and ceilings which were covered in Artex.

Here I am having a go at plaster-boarding the ceiling.

There was a little hatch from the front room through into the kitchen which Stu was desperate to fill in and plaster over, but I thought it added character to the place so persuaded him to keep it. There’s something quite magical about original features as I believe they tell a story so I always try to respect them where possible- I love imagining a 50’s housewife preparing dinner for her family and then shouting through the hatch to say that it was ready. I don’t know why, I always romanticise the past but its little things like that which make a place unique. It also ended up being really useful when Ettie was little as I could prepare he food while keeping an eye on her through the hatch.

I could go into detail about each of the construction type phases such as plastering and fitting new radiators but I’m not sure if anyone really finds that interesting so I’ll move onto decor, although do correct me if i’m wrong and I can write another post about all of that later!

Once the room had been re-wired, plastered, painted white and new radiators fitted. We invited a carpenter around to build us a unit to store our electrical items and we had shelves built in one of the alcoves.


I went through soooo many colour options deciding which colour to paint this room. This is just a selection of the sample pots used:

Sample pots.jpg

I initially thought I wanted to go for a grey, but when painting various options on the walls, I decided it made the room appear too cold and dark, so I opted for a deep blue instead. I’d been working through a few grey samples from the Dulux Classics collection and found they had a really deep, rich blue called Breton Blue, so that’s what we went for and I was really happy with it.

Whilst not in-keeping with the age of the property, I really wanted a cast iron fireplace with a wooden mantelpiece to display some candles/flowers and the like. We were lucky enough to source one from a wood-burning stove company who were throwing away one they had ripped out and found the mantlepiece on eBay. It arrived bare wood so we treated it and painted it white.

The tiled hearth sort of happened by accident. I’d purchased some tile samples from Fired Earth for a splash back in the bathroom which didn’t look quite right. It was the same time we were working on the living room so I just tried them on the floor to see if they would work and instantly fell in love with the effect.

Photo 30-10-2014, 07 50 09.jpg

I originally wanted floorboards in this room but there was a covenant in our lease agreement stating that all upstairs floor areas must be carpeted so we opted for a simple grey carpet and in the end I preferred it as it felt more cosy.


Et Voila

And here it is, the finished result….



Overall i’m really pleased with the result. I love the pop of colour from the blue wall and yellow furnishings. Together with the simplicity of the monochrome decor. I also love the impact of the tiled hearth and am so glad we opted with that design.

I sourced the decorative items from various places. The vintage cameras were found online and in second hand stores. The Spectacles print is a Le Art print available from Rockett St George (now sold out). The lampshade is part of the Coast and Countryside collection by Lorna Syson. The Retro phone is a 746 Phone from England at Home and the F light is from Rocket and Rye. The photo frame and Verveine diffuser are from the White Company and the Soy candle is from P.F. Candle Company.

Photo 11-01-2016, 11 51 06

Photo 06-11-2015, 17 49 32 (1)
Cosy night in
Shop the Look

Abbey Tiles (Fired Earth) | Spectacles Print (Rockett St George) | Lampshade (Lorna Syson)| 746 Phone (Trouva)|   F Light (Rocket and Rye) |Soy Candle (PF Candle Co)





  1. 29th August 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Looks amazing!!! Love that you DIY. Beautiful job.

    • 29th August 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Ahh thankyou, I think this and painting was the extent of my manual ability but it was fun to have a go 😉

  2. lovemaisie
    19th February 2018 / 2:28 pm

    WOW such a gorgeous renovation!! I’m envious, I wish our living room looked like yours! x

    • 20th February 2018 / 2:02 pm

      Thankyou it was a labour of love, but we got there in the end! x

    • 5th March 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Ahh thankyou I really loved the colour vxx

  3. Sue
    18th June 2021 / 11:45 pm

    What colour and make carpet is this?

  4. Kate Houldey
    15th September 2021 / 11:24 pm

    Hey, I love the makeover you’ve given this room, the navy paint is lovely! I have a question as we have a similar layout in our lounge that I am preparing to decorate …can you watch the TV from the one sofa on the side wall or only the one directly opposite the TV? I want a chimney breast built (it’s not a period house so hasn’t got one already) but worried I won’t be able to angle TC enough to actually watch it and we have no other option for sofa position! Your answer would really help my planning! Thanks x

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