Renovation Ruminations: The Living Room

The longer we are in the house and the more I immerse myself in interiors inspiration, the more I’m finding the creative juices are flowing for our decoration plans. I’m really starting to gain a huge amount of respect for people who take on full house renovations as there is so much to think about beyond the paint colours. At the moment we’re just at the ‘getting quotes’ stage, to get a better idea of the funds we need in place for each room. As much as I would love to get on with the living room/lounge, we’re limited as it’s going to be another whopper of a room to do properly, as it needs amongst other things, new windows, the chimney breast knocking through so we can replace a salvaged fireplace, new flooring and potentially new furniture as the current sofa isn’t ideal for the space.

The perfect living space for me… but is ‘warm’ enough for winter?

Decoratively, my biggest concern and challenge is to make this room work both in summer and winter. I’ve been through two big phases of decor in the last house, initially going with an industrial ‘period’, (when I had red damask wallpaper in the cosy dining room and the vintage salvaged photos on the wall.) Then more recently I moved to wards lighter, brighter interiors. This time, I want some colour and some warmth that will lend itself towards long winter nights but I want that colour to work equally well with brighter colours for the summer.

Office space // Selina Lake // Formal living space

At the moment I’m hugely drawn towards moody blue interiors. Not anything as dark as navy but no coastal or country-ish lighter shades either. I’m looking for the perfect smokey blue, inspired by many of the Bluebellgray images I have seen online. (Fi the creator of Bluebellgray uses Pointer Blue from Farrow & Ball in her home.)

Bluebellgray via Bright Bazaar

I’ve also fallen in love with Bluebellgray‘s fabrics. Previously I thought they were a bit too floral for me, with such a summery vibe, but having seen the latest fabrics and some abstract patterns (Via Bright Bazaar,) I think they could work season-round with toning blue shades and splashes of my favourite yellows and pinks.

Fireplace // Light Fitting // Paint swatches, all Farrow & Ball // Sofa // Floral fabric Swatch and room set, BluebellGray via Bright Bazaar // Gold Table Nest, Zara Home // Gallery wall

We’re planning to source a salvaged Victorian white marble fireplace to restore into the room, which I’m hoping will really pop against the blue. Despite my infatuation with the blues, I’m going to try and balance it by only having it on one wall, and keeping the rest grey. Other ideas include a mix of furniture, something in the bay window like a window seat or pair of danish chairs, splashes of warm gold or brass and some way of including the TV amongst lots of art on a gallery wall so it doesn’t take over the room.

So what do you think readers? Have you got any ideas? I’m really enjoying sharing my plans here – it’s proving really useful to think through all the design elements before actually doing anything!


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24 thoughts on “Renovation Ruminations: The Living Room

  1. I’m loving the moody blues and think they work really well with splashes of brighter colours. I think your room is large enough to carry it well.

    Also loving the camouflaging of the tv! Wish my hubby would agree to that look but sadly he really can’t/won’t get on with so many pictures on one wall.

    L xx

  2. Ooooh, I am really loving the moody blue – not a shade I have thought of before!! And I particularly love it with the bright colour snaps. I also really love the idea of a royal blue accent wall for a lounge…I saw it when trawling RightMove once but have never quite had the balls to do it xx

  3. Reading this made me realise I was unsure what colour our future living room should be and I have just decided on grey, so thank you for that! I’m loving those fabrics and the gallery wall TV idea.

  4. I love those moody blues too – I’ve long been a fan of Bluebellgray’s styling, ever since my friend Sophie did Fi’s wedding flowers. (Have you seen her wedding? It’s here, I LOVE it.) I’ve always imagined it would be a great colour for our bedroom, if we ever had our own place. I once read that, for the best sleep, a bedroom should be like a cave: cool, dark and quiet, and since then I’ve been obsessed.

    I think you should be bold and just go for blue in the whole room – in for a penny and all that. I actually think it would make it *more* balanced – instead of the blue being a feature wall that jumps out at you, it would lend the whole room a cool, cosy vibe and let the art and accessories be the focal point. Do you read Emily Henderson’s blog? I think you would love her style, it’s principally based around dark blues, hot pinks, brass and quirky arrangements.

    Personally, I’m always drawn to warm tones in living rooms. I’ve tried to fight it, but I can’t. It’s just such an easy shortcut to cosiness (and summer is so short up here, there’s not much point in decorating for it). But clearly you’re drawn to cool tones, and I have absolute faith in your ability to make it work and be cosy for winter – can’t wait to see where you end up!

  5. Loving the moody blue a lot. Gorgeous fabrick picks too.

    I had my heart set on the statement light you’ve included in your mood board, but decided £200 was beyond our budget. FYI Next have an almost identical one for £50 less, although it was OOS last time I looked!

    Franky xxx

  6. Oh good, I was hoping for another house post today 🙂 I’ve also pinned the first picture on my living room board as it’s the identical size and layout of our front room. I think white rooms can be warm as long as they have plenty of texture and warm colours like the raspberry sofa – but like you, I’m contemplating going in a smoky blue direction and papering the entire room with Hannah Nunn’s new Meadow wallpaper in teal blue, you might have seen it at the Interiors Show? I love your mood board, it looks like a beautiful development of the style from your first house.

  7. This sounds pretty much like the list of things we want to do to our living room. At the moment I’m just trying to get used to how the room works in terms of light which will influence paint colours. I’m leaning towards a neutral which can be warmed up or freshened up with coloured accessories. The room is East facing so any light in the evenings (of which there is none at this time of year obviously!) will be non-direct. So I need the colour to work in the morning light & the evening shadow…no biggie!!

  8. I’m kind of on the fence. I love the blues (LOVE) but I definately have my reservations about the one wall. I don’t know what it is but I guess I prefer a more classic finish and I worry that the “feature wall” is kind of a bit early 2000s. I guess maybe if you had your photos and pictures on THAT wall then it would look less striking as a feature wall and less what everyone else had – but I guess you’d have to go for lots of photos like the picture above rather than one big picture.

    I think, if I’d not seen the house, I would be tempted to paint the whole room blue (I know…daring or what coming from me?!). It would definately be cosy and lovely and warm. But then I’d be worried about going from a darkish cosy room into a lighter brighter house…particularly if the hallway and other reception rooms were going to be white or paler colours. And I’m also not sure if ALL BLUE would go with all the windows…I think maybe the grey is needed around the smaller window at the side? Love the bright splashes and gilded accessories though.

    I do think that all blue would look awesome in a dining room – somewhere you went when you wanted to be all cosy and candlelit and then you’d have less of the “dark to light” feel.

  9. I would have never picked blue, I’m more of a white person. Like to play safe when it comes to interior decorating. But smokey blue looks good so thank you for introducing this to me. The marble fireplace is an awesome feature.

    I agree with Kirsty and think you should go all blue, looks better than grey.

    Naaj Ronas Lifestyle

  10. I love these ideas, and I think your white marble fireplace will look great against one of the darker blues. We have a white marble fireplace too and I now wish I’d thought of this – I’m so flaky!

    Our living room is F&B Print Room Yellow – it’s on all the walls, it’s quite intense and I’m soooo not used to it yet. (That awkward moment when visitors say “It’ll be great once you get it painted!” as the new paint is still drying…) I think it will be better once I get pictures and textiles sorted out though.

    I think a feature wall in one of the dark blues could work really well. I have a Down Pipe wall in my kitchen (spot the F&B addict) and love it. I love that painting only one wall allows you to use darker moodier colours!

  11. I love dark blue schemes. We have Farrow & Ball Drawing Room Blue – – in our lounge, which has its original picture rails, so these and everything above them are white which means the blue doesn’t dominate. We also have a large bay window and (mostly) original fireplace (in a warm pale wood colour) that takes up a big chunk of one of the walls.

    It is a colour that looks amazing in sunlight and wraps you up nicely when watching tv/films in the evening.

    Loving your accessories with this. We’ve gone simple, with cream carpets and curtains, which keeps the dark blue fresh.

  12. I think this looks great but sadly just seen how much bluebellgray fabric costs – is there anyone else who does ‘similar’ but cheaper?

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