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Lush living

Corrr blimey - how can I get my living room to look like that? Walnut shelving, herringbone oak parquet floor, a bespoke sofa...

Between binge-watching your fave show on Netflix, entertaining friends or just kicking back and relaxing, I spend a hell of a lot of time in my living room and I bet you do too but its decor pales in comparison to this seriously stylish one.

The entire look has been created by Chapter Seven Design – the inspiring design company is run by husband and wife team, Joanne and Andy Smith. Between them, they’ve got tonnes of experience when it comes to architecture, building, designing and everything else in-between and recently took on a project for a couple who wanted to give their living room bit of a refresh. Having lived in the house for almost 20 years and with two teenage daughters under their roof, they decided the timing was perfect. 

Here, Joanne and Andy talk us through what they did to get the look.

What was the brief that you had from the client?

They wanted a completely different look to the room – a different focal point and a space where they could relax. They liked the colour teal as an accent colour so we accessorised with some teal cushions and re-upholstered their armchair in fabric from Designers Guild – ‘Glenville’ in Ocean.

We chose a grass weave from Villa Nova  ‘Chandbali’ in Platinum for the wall covering. Both the roman blinds and curtains were made with Harlequin ‘Momentum’ fabric in velvet / lead.  They wanted a classic floor, so we selected an oak herringbone parquet floor from Ambience Flooring in Leicester. This looked amazing (as you can tell) but it will last for years and to compliment it all we used fabrics, colours and finishes that wouldn’t date.

A ‘before’ pic of the living room.

It looks like you gutted the room!

Yes we did! We created two focal points which divided the L shape room up into two separate areas. One area now is for watching the TV – the other to sit by the log burner.  We added a bespoke fire surround and fire slips in American black walnut to create a real impact. The client also wanted was a space for their piano – the console in the pics is where the piano will go. We blocked up a door from the living room to the kitchen to enable the piano to be located centrally along the wall.

The ‘after’ pic. Now that’s what I call impressive!

The room looks much bigger now and it seems you changed the entire layout.

The entire room was gutted, nothing was left apart from the log burner. We removed a door into the dinning room and created another focal point with the beautiful fire surround. We wanted to update their storage so created a ‘false wall’ either side of the log burner chimney breast – where the existing shelving was located. In the false walls we created a niche for the bespoke American black walnut shelving with integral LED lighting.  We added logs to the one side of the storage for a contemporary look. The floor was levelled and a brand new herringbone oak parquet floor was installed.

The colours are much softer too, calmer and subtler – what impact do they have on the room?

They’ve changed the whole feel of the room. It feels luxurious and a lot bigger and calming. Wall lights gives a better ambience and we used muted colours i.e. using grey/silver on the walls and there is a grey tint in the floor and used classic colours and finishes so the room doesn’t date. The bespoke sofa will last for years.

What features did they want to emphasise?

The only thing they wanted to keep was the log burner. Also the storage now has LED lighting in it. We advised on a Samsung frame TV because it blends into the surroundings – you wouldn’t think it was a TV. 

What local brands/companies did you work with?

We worked with a local builder, a local flooring company and all trades used were local. Peter Alexander from Birmingham made the sofa, footstool and re-upholstered the main chair.

What design tricks did you use in the room?

Taking the door out gave us more space and also adding storage. We added a bronze tinted mirror from Danish brand, AYTM above the fire surround to give a sense of space. It also blended in with the oversize pendants from Heathfield Lighting. Our client is from Africa so we used artwork of a King Protea flower (often found in Africa) which gave the room personality and a connection to their home.

Chapter Seven Design, The Atkins Bldg, Lower Bond St, Hinckley LE10 1QU.
Tel: 07540 779118

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