Our living room || How to improve on this space?


Good morning! A homey post today all about what the heck to do when you’re just not quite happy with a room in your house, in my case, our living room. 

It’s a room which right now is confusing me, and I’m not really sure why! I think I actually like most individual aspects of this space- the sofas, fireplace, bright yellow sideboard, bookshelf, plus a few of the accessories, yet to me, it doesn’t seem to be quite working. Frustrating, when we love, and our really proud of the rest of the house. It’s just been bugging me for a while. 

So, today I am going to take you around a little tour of the room, what I love, what I don’t love, and the improvements that I think can be made/what we want to do with certain bits, and see if you agree, or can offer me any pearls of wisdom. 

Sometimes you just need the critical eye of an outsider to make things clear, or confirm your ideas! 

On we go…

This room is north-facing, so whilst we get lots of light first thing in the morning (crucial for helping wake us up!), it generally a darker room. I’d read ages ago that when it comes to decorating a north-facing room, you shouldn’t fight that fact, and therefore we went for a cosy dark grey (Farrow and Ball ‘Manor House Grey’). In the winter evenings this is the room we’re in most, and in the summer it’s the garden or our kitchen/diner, so I was always happy to keep this darker feel. The fact we have a picture rail, and above that is painted white, helps break it up a bit. I am wondering though about re-painting the room a slightly lighter shade of grey? Or would that make it too cold? 

Our curtains are also grey, which now I think isn’t ideal, but hopefully in the not-to-distant-future they’ll be replaced with white plantation shutters. We’re lucky that this window is HUGE, so does let lots of light in anyway. I’m generally happy with the sofa (although have been tempted by some rather nice sofa beds lately!) and our other big leather chair, so those will be staying. The printer to the right-hand side will be moving upstairs soon into our office once the furniture arrives, to be replaced by an interesting light or plant (I’m loving my house plants at the moment, as you’ll see in a minute!).


And talking of sofas etc… this footstool is SCREAMING out to be reupholstered! 


It was part of our old set of DFS furniture that we no longer have, but kept the footstool because a. it was useful, and b. I know it will look great once it’s been re-covered. I’ve been shopping around and it’s on my to-do list to have done before Christmas if possible. I’m toying with putting certain aspects of Scandi-style in the living room, not full-blown as I think it’s now too much of a trend that might go out of fashion in a couple of years, but I do love it. So, I was thinking that maybe black and white check, or striped material might work (I don’t like anything too matchy-matchy), just give a nod to it, and I can also add some similarly themed cushions and prints. It’s actually super-comfy to out your feet up on an evening!

I love our yellow sideboard/cupboard that we had painted a while ago, so that’s not going anywhere. I love how it ‘pops’ against the grey. 🙂 We are thinking of having a shelf built in above the telly and just below the picture rail to house a few prints and add further interest to the room- I can’t decide though if this should be painted white, or painted grey to match the wall?


Other accessories that will be staying are as follows:

Anthropologie deer vase- just need to start a collection of new artificial flowers to he’s updated seasonally! 


This fab lamp from BHS, but I’m not sure if it needs to move somewhere else in the room (the table it’s on needs to go, despite Adam’s protestations!). Maybe where the printer currently is?


It’s also not in a particularly safe place considering we have two small children (eek!). I love this Rolling Stones picture we have, the Adam had commissioned even before he was with me, so that’s staying too.


On our mantelpiece we have some much-loved family photos, and this mid-century clock that I found in a charity shop for £3 (I seem to find loads of bargain buys for £3!).


It might only be Ikea, but I love our huge white geometric lampshade, even if it’s a pain to dust!


This Vintage 1960s table used to be my Grandparents, and whilst we love it, I don’t think it’s being shown of at it’s best where it currently is, and is often used as a dumping ground for toys underneath it. 


I think I still love our photo wall, although the pictures probably could do with updating just to freshen things up as we’ve had the same ones in for aaages. I think once we have a few more prints around too, it ‘work’ better in the room. 


I reckon plants really freshen a room up, so will be keeping these and possibly be adding a couple more.


We also love our books, so the bookshelves will be staying too. We recently added this smaller one, as we were running out of space on the bigger one. Maybe we should invest in a Kindle, but I just love to see real books in a home!


So there you have it, a few snippets of our home. And I do really like most of what we have already. 

But is there anything you think could ‘bring it together’ more? Any sites that sell great Scandi accessories without breaking the bank?

Any snippets of wisdom from fresh eyes would be very much appreciated!





  1. October 28, 2015 / 3:42 pm

    Ooo, it all looks lovely but you’re right, there’s something not quite bringing everything together. My husband is a huge fan of symmetry to that features a lot in our house. Maybe if the space on either side of the fireplace was the same or the same height, it would balance the room. But all of your individual pieces are gorgeous.

    • Becky
      October 28, 2015 / 3:53 pm

      Ooh you might be right- I didn’t think of the symmetry aspect. Maybe I do need that shelf above the yellow sideboard to start to balance it out a bit. I’m actually unsure of our current big bookshelf, and whether or not we could get something ‘chunkier’ that fully fills the space. Food for thought- thanks Rachel!

  2. Louisa
    October 28, 2015 / 4:11 pm

    I’m a big fan of mirrors and think that if you had a really big one over the fire place it would make the room seem much bigger. I know it’s a classic look but it really does work!

  3. October 28, 2015 / 9:10 pm

    I really love the grey colour and think that it will make a lot of difference once you get the plantation shutters in, we just had ours done a few months ago and similarly to you have a really big window. I agree with maybe trying to add symmetry either side of the fireplace, we’re thinking of wallpapering ours to add a feature. The website House to Home has some really great ideas. Good luck! X #HomeEtc

  4. October 28, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    That is such an eclectic room. I like the grey and I love all the colours but you need something to tie it all together. No idea what though! x

  5. October 29, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    I too am a lover of books so am particularly drawn to your white bookcases. Personally I’d be tempted to get in a couple of smaller plants and look at fabric swatches to make a unique cover for the foot stool. Have fun now. #homeetc

  6. October 29, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    I love the grey colour and the yellow painted unit works so perfectly with it! Your gallery wall looks fab too and I love the deer head vase! I think you should pull out the yellow of the unit in accessories throughout the rest of the room – look for cushions, throws etc that have that same yellow to transfer that colour across to the other side of the room. Maybe you could even find a scandi fabric with a touch of that yellow for the footstool too? That would be gorgeous. I love when people have bookshelves in their living rooms, I get totally distracted looking through their book collections. I think it tells you so much about people to look at the books they choose to read! #HomeEtc

  7. mummyofboygirltwins
    November 2, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    I love all your individual pieces. that deer vase head is gorgeous and your wall of prints! Lovely! I have a thing for everything matching and so I am the other way – most of my house is the same colour! Or everything is totally aligned ha ha! A little moving things around might help – I love moving furniture!! Thanks for linking up – much appreciated 🙂 Jess xx


  8. Katie
    November 3, 2015 / 11:36 am

    Love the colours in this room. I think shelves in white above the yellow cabinet too but I would also add a round black mirror with a picture or sconce either side over the mantelpiece and maybe some fairy lights on it? I just got a foul brown plastic one from a junk shop and painted it black and it looks tres jolie now. Lovely room though, nice and modern but would look really classy with a few antique items too for added sophistication x

  9. November 3, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    Haha! Great minds — our sitting room is painted in Manor House Grey too — I absolutely love it! If this was my room, I’d paint both sets of bookshelves in grey — to knock them back — and I’d paint the fireplace surround in white. And probably paint your grandparents table in yellow to match your sideboard. That table is SUCH a fabulous shape — I think you should show it off!! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking with us on #HomeEtc

  10. November 7, 2015 / 2:17 pm

    I feel exactly the same way about our living room, there’s something about it that isn’t quite right. I think it’s the lamps but hubby chose them and they were a bit too expensive to justify getting rid of them but they’re just not for me.
    Anyways, enough about my room, I’m a bit of a symmetry geek too (I think it’s the Maths teacher in me) so I think I would have to have it more symmetrical either side of the fireplace. I love your yellow cabinet! xx

  11. Bethany Morris
    November 11, 2015 / 11:34 pm

    I am just about to paint my north facing kitchen in Manor House Grey and I have a bright yellow sofa and a dark grey one. I was in happy to see how well your yellow cabinet worked with the grey! If it were me I would paint all the shelves (existing and new) in the same grey as the walls so the books were the feature not the units, then I would paint the lamp table in the same yellow as the to cabinet. I would find a nice grey tartan with a fleck of yellow for the foot stool and pop some grey/yellow cushions on the purple sofa (John Lewis has some lovely ones).

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