Real Rooms – A Living Room Makeover

This morning, I am VERY excited. This post marks the start of one of the things that gets me really excited about Florence Finds… the opportunity to share other people’s Real Rooms. The idea is, you send in before and after pictures of your decoration, renovations and make-overs to inspire our lovely readers with your interiors style. There’s no right or wrong – I’d like to see a real variety of interiors and houses or flats on Florence’s pages, but today’s post couldn’t be more appropriate for the time of year.

Laura Lawson sent in the images of their recent living room makeover and I don’t mind saying I’d like to de-camp there for one winter weekend spent lolling in front of that fire. It’s so cosy!

Thanks Laura!

We bought our house in April 2010 and have been plodding along with its makeover ever since. It’s the first house we’ve owned, and I can’t tell you how excited we get about DIY and making things exactly how we want them! The living room in its former life was a rather dark, carpeted room with a mahogany door and window frame. It’s rather on the teeny side too so squeezing furniture in was going to be a bit of a nightmare.

Step one was to banish the mahogany forever with a splash of Farrow and Ball’s ‘Cooking Apple Green’ (obsessed with it). Next, the old carpet came up to be replaced with some lovely oak wood flooring; the artex (shudder) was smoothed out by a genius plasterer and the walls were given a coat of antique cream. A lovely blank canvas, now what?!

There would be no point trying to make this room bright/airy/minimalist/tidy. We live in a cottage, we like its pokiness, so decided to embrace it! When we talked about our ideas for the living room we landed upon this theme – “the kind of room that you walk in and instantly want a nap”.

So here it is, our cosy, warm lounge full of stuff we love. Somewhere to put our feet up and snuggle. We succeeded in our mission by the way, I fall asleep in here all the time.

I love my Penguin classics!
A lot of photography books (of course!), and a vintage photographer stamp.

We found this fire companion set at a local traditional ironmongers.
Nothing beats a real fire and cashmere socks!

Now a word of warning to those wishing to embark on a land of real fires; they need attention, and if you haven’t used it for a year and it needs a good sweep you may accidentally set your chimney on fire (just a little) and need to call the fire brigade. What a dramatic end to our Florence Finds living room photo shoot; I need a lie down and a cocoa.

  • Sofas, coffee table, TV table, rug: Next. Bookcases: Ikea.
  • Lamp: Laura Ashley
  • Reconditioned telephone: Pedlars.
  • Tub of coasters from a souq in Morocco.
  • The best slippers ever: Ugg
  • Pretty pictures. ’Beneath it all’ by Todd White and an unnamed piece by a student.
  • Photo albums (containing our wedding prints): Jessops.
  • Speakers: Monitor Audio.
  • Tie backs: Laura Ashley.
  • Light: John Lewis.
  • Throw: Laura Ashley.
  • Candle: ‘Nectarine blossom and honey’ Jo Malone.

Super snug – I love.

So, Have you got a Real Renovation to share, a make over or DIY project? If you’d like to share it with our readers, please send in your images and a short write up, including the details of your featured items, to

Please drop Laura a comment if you love her renovation, I for one am after those penguin classics… oh, and the cashmere socks please.


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31 thoughts on “Real Rooms – A Living Room Makeover

  1. Oh I love this. It’s true, in this country, we might as well just accept that most of the year it’s cold and we need to snuggle 🙂 Gorgeous room!

  2. Wow it looks amazing – so homely and inviting!!! I really need some more dedication to get renovating some rooms in my house, this has definitely inspired me. Can’t wait to see more of this feature Rebecca 🙂 x

  3. What a lovely, cosy room. But it makes me sad that real rooms actually look like this. I thought it was the stuff of catalogues and my half-finished messy living room was actually the norm!

  4. Oh my god I love this makeover so much! It’s so cosy and warm, I would love a room like this. My parents have a real fire and it’s my dream to have one of my own.

    Sadly, I live in a renatl flat, so no submissions from me (one day!). Unless you would like a post on Seven Ways to Disguise A Hideous Lilac Sofa. No?

  5. Wow – what a transformation! You must have a great imagination Laura to visualise this! It’s a lovely room!

    Rebecca, I am so nosey and LOVE looking at people’s houses so these posts are great! I would love to send pics in of my abode but I’m not finished yet! 🙂


  6. Totally loving the idea behind the makeover posts! And what a fab one to start with, it definately looks like a fab room to snuggle up on the sofa and read a book. I am very jealous of the real fire, we had one in last house and I miss it sooooo much. Can’t believe you set your chimney on fire though….am I bad cause I laughed?!?


  7. Good Lord, that living room is like Cozy City and I nearly spat my tea out when I saw Laura’s slippers – they are so going on my Xmas list!


  8. I love this series! Nosing around other people’s houses and rennovations legitimately without having to go on Rightmove! What a great job has been done here – wish I had vision like this. My favourite bit is the apple-green front door. Lush. x

  9. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments you’ve made my day!

    I get to see lots of different houses in my job and it’s amazing how many ideas you pick up; I can’t wait to have a nose around some houses on here!

    Roz and Annabel – You’ve got to laugh when your house starts burning down while you’re taking pictures of it. It was ridiculous!

  10. So cosy and so welcoming – I would like to come and live in this house please. We’ve just signed the lease on a flat that hasn’t got a whole lot of natural light in the lounge, so this is inspiring me lots!

  11. LOVE this feature! We’re currently transforming our study (ahem, junk room!) so will send that in when it’s finished – can’t promise to live up to the amazing photography here though, it’s gorgeous! Wish we had a real fire now – we have the place but the chimney’s blocked off – it looks super-cosy!

    Anyway, that’s lunch over so it’s back to the flat-pack and organising!


  12. I love this. We have recently ordered a new sofa, and ummed and arhhed over leather or fabric for ages. I now wish we’d plucked for leather (the striped fabric is on order).

    Could you kindly let me know where you got the coffee table from?

    Thanks, Katie x

  13. What a gorgeous, cosy, and interesting room Laura! Love thebookcases framed by the real fire….plus, loving the sofas and the feel of the room that the photos give us. Wanting a nap there right now!

  14. Completely late to this party, but had to comment. What a transformation Laura!! You have done a wonderful job. It looks so cosy and warm… and weirdly, makes me want to go skiing!!

    Absolutely LOVE this type of post.


  15. oooh! I have design envy! I currently live in rented accomodation and cannot wait to get my hands on a house of my own to renovate. This living room is my idea of heaven… keep the home interior features coming please! 🙂

  16. Wow! This living room is fab. So cozy, it looks like a wee log cabin in the Scottish Highlands. I have just logged on having had a week off to paint and decorate our lounge and dining room so this is perfect timing. Keep these types of posts coming please!

  17. Pingback: Some nice things… | Lawson Photography

  18. OMG love the room- we’ve just had our cottage flooded and we are in the middle of renoavating. Is the sofa the garda leather sofa from next? Also wondering which colour leather you chose-they have choclate or arabica tan but neither seem to look like yours which looks lovely and natural. Real inspiration for a frazzled girl with very little time on her hands!

    • Hi Zheeta!

      It’s the Apartment Grand Sofa from John Lewis, unfortunately they don’t stock it anymore (although I think they might do a special order…) it’s in a kind of sandy brown soft hessian type cloth and the Apartment club chair we also have is in a contrasting but toning almost chenille. It’s woven from blue and brown threads and which on predominates depends on the angle you look at it from. I’d highly recommend the sofa though, it is super comfy and all our friends love sitting on it too, plus it comfortably seats four. There are always a few on eBay too if you want to pick up a bargain, I’d add to ours if we needed more after moving that way.

      Hope that helps!

  19. Just seen your question zheeta. The sofa is from Next – it was a ‘Tuscany’ sofa in (I believe) arabica tan. The Tuscany range appears to have been discontinued though.

    We’re still loving the sofa, but the soft leather does get scratched quite easily. Especially when you have a rambunctious cat called Puddington.

  20. We absolutely love the burner in the fire place (actually the whole wall and fireplace looks amazing).

    We have to know the model/make or where you found it from as we are looking to do exactly the same (cotswold stone wall and fireplace with flanking bookcases) and this mixed fuel burner is exactly what we want but can’t find anywhere. Please please please tll us your secrets Rebecca

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