Home Makeover Ideas: Sitting Room
The sitting room should be somewhere that you feel at ease, a room in which to talk, read or watch television. Often it is the most important room in the house and is used for many different purposes.
This sitting room has an unstructured, impermanent feel about it that does not encourage you to settle down.
• The fireplace has no character.
• A nondescript grey carpet and neutral colour scheme give the room a slightly grubby look.
• There is nowhere cosy to sit.
• The(not shown) is attractive, but the view is not.
• The sill-length curtains (not shown) are limp and skimpy.
A fresh colour scheme with some interesting accents, a different floor treatment, some work on the fireplace to make it a focal point and the addition of some comfortable sofas and chairs, would make this an elegant room in which to relax.
Fireplace will benefit from a complete makeover. Floor can be re-covered or taken back to bare boards. New furniture is needed, but need not be expensive.
Window treatment needs to let in light but cut out, and hide the view.
Walls can be freshened up with a coat of paint.
Accessories should be original and personal to add character.
… to this
The room now looks fresh and uncluttered. It has plenty of personal touches and a colour scheme that is at once bright but easy on the eye — an inviting space to spend time in.
How it was done
Floor – stripped and sanded boards were painted a creamy white, and outlined with a fine-lined red border — this emphasizes the hearth and helps make the fireplace stand out.
Fireplace – given a clean-cut look, with the tiles painted with a special tile paint in pale blue and cream. It is now a major focal point for the room, especially when surmounted by a bold piece of abstract art.
Window – floor-to-ceiling louvred shutters transform the window area. Their cool blue is picked up from the fireplace tiling and matches the tables.
Furniture – a classic sofa and chair provide comfortable seating to curl up in. Choosing plain cream covers has allowed for a jewel-bright collection of scatter cushions.
Walls – a warm cream is just the right neutral as a background for the bright accessories.
Occasional tables – bought cheaply and given a new lease of life with the same paint used on the shutters. The low-slung coffee table was tiled to match the fireplace and to make it very practical.
Plants and accessories – have been chosen for their sculptural qualities.
The bright red adds zing to a scheme that might otherwise be in danger of being a little cold. It would be easy to change to another accent colour, such as sunny yellow or rich green, to match changing moods and seasons. The choice of items to give these brilliantalso adds interest — glossy, fun little knick-knacks that can easily be swapped around or exchanged.
Or try this …
Fireplace – removing the fireplace surround and tiles and having the exposed area replastered created a minimalist, hole-in-the-wall display area for plants and accessories.
Floor – stripped and sanded and painted with a neutral colour floor paint. The bold border design was planned out to scale on paper first, then the pattern transferred to the floor, using pencil guidelines and a ruler and set-square to ensure the angles were accurate. Each colour was created separately, with the surrounding area masked off with low-tack masking tape until the paint was touch-dry. A more free-form design would have called for artistic ability, but geometric patterns, even complex ones, just need patience and accuracy.
Chairs and sofa – kept neutral, with a mix of bright cushions. Some are plain and others were chosen for their woven ethnic covers in colours and designs that echo the floor border.
Window – given a simple treatment — a roller blind (not shown) that tones with the walls and has a broad border stencilled along the bottom to match the floor border. This was done using fabric paints.
Walls – painted a very pale blue-grey. The radiator was painted to match, so that it merges unnoticed into the background.