Colin and Justin show you how to lose the darkness, brighten up and create rooms that warm, welcome and delight this season
We loved the owner of this living room and gladly accepted the challenge of updating a country corner crammed full of knick-knacks. In this instance, we decided to focus on creating mood, bringing people together and adding cheer.
The mix of dingy wall colour, exposed brick and honey timber did nothing for the space except for absorbing all available natural light. The solution was simple: lose the dark coloured brick and timber, and paint the walls in a soft, sophisticated ivory. We also smoothed the dated, textured ceiling and painted it flat white to bounce light and increase the perceived ceiling height.
Whiter Than White
To ensure uniformity, we went with a glossy hardwood floor that complemented the entire space. Contrary to the previous floor material that featured several finishes, the single flooring style brought the room together and made it feel much larger. A glossy finish also achieves two things. First, it bounces light to make the space feel larger and fresher, and second, it adds serious wow factor! A wood floor is essential for a country look and this option brings out the stonework of the fireplace to create a luxury lodge style.
The easy part of this look is its casual nature. Don’t be afraid to mix different styles and periods. Here, an antique console works well with an Art Deco-inspired mirrored coffee table, and the modern sofa compliments the two modern armchairs fitted with traditional, turned hardwood feet. Feel free to shop around and mix new purchases with existing items or second-hand buys. When you lose clutter, you can single out the pieces you love and give them the breathing space they need to be fully appreciated.
Keeping it casual, the soft furnishings look is created by mixing both plain and patterned pieces. Try picking your sofa in a plain colour and then adding occasional chairs in a matching plaid or stripe. Here, the soft blue appears in the pinstripe on the chair and the two elements work well together. The colour combination is dynamic, tasteful and very welcoming.
Take a good look around your home and ask yourself if there are any architectural features that you could showcase, such as a hearth or a window formation. Here, the fireplace wasn’t being properly flaunted despite the attractive stonework and fabulous wood-burning stove. Our solution? We disconnected the stove, popped it in a van and took it to a body shop to revamp its colour with fireproof paint.
Even if your chosen look is traditional, try to keep it fresh and new by adding modern accents. Here, a heat-resistant, glass screen adds a contemporary feel to the wood stove while the recessed ceiling lights discretely illuminate the room, adding further novelty. Carefully chosen modern touches will let you keep with tradition but prevent your room from feeling old fashioned.
Colin & Justin