Planning the living room

I've been working hard to get this old house in shape and I thought I'd share my living room plans with you. This might inspire you and it will give me a mental boost if anything! I find it can be hard to keep the momentum going and a positive state of mind when doing up a house whilst living in it. Seeing a plan and a moodboard puts me in an inspired mood and gives me stamina.

So this is the living room as it stood when we moved in. Yikes!

1950s gas fire

As a reminder, the first thing we did was sand, dye and oil the floors, strip the chimney breast and install a wood burner.


I painted the walls, moved the sofa in, it was liveable. So I got busy elsewhere in this demanding house... But now I need to have this room finished if I want to save my sanity! It is time to plan and decorate. 

1- Plan

In most houses in the UK, rooms are on the small side and it's good to plan ahead to get the most out of your square footage. Especially if like me, you're a bit of a maximalist! 

The room is rectangular with a bay window at one end which is a lovely focal point as you enter the room, so I'm gonna have lots of south facing-loving plants in there and frame it with a couple of armchairs. Opposite, I'll place the sofa. I'll keep it off the wall to facilitate circulation and give an impression of space. This arrangement will make the room look more square as well.

living room plan

2- Define your needs

This is our main living space and it needs to be multifunctional. Here, we play music, entertain, watch TV, read and relax.

We possess a ton of vinyl records and books, so we'll need shelves in the alcoves flanking the chimney breast to maximise the space. We'll have the record player and TV in there too.  This will leave two walls for hanging frames or perhaps some floating shelves. Good enough.

We sourced some raw pine planks a few weeks ago. and my husband has made a good start on those. I have to say I am thoroughly impressed by his progress, as wood is definitely not his favourite material and he's never attempted anything quite so ambitious before! 

living room alcove shelves plan

3- Lighting

Lighting plays a major role in home decorating. I'll have accent lighting strategically scattered to create a cosy atmosphere and tasks lamps for reading corners. already have chandelier on the ceiling but might add more ambient lighting near the window...  It's always good to make a note of where your power points are and perhaps have more fitted in to suit your needs.

Abigail Ahern   Abigail Ahern

4- Colour scheme

The room is south facing and I want to keep the room nice and bright, and the Farrow and Ball French Grey is suitably moody yet fresh and relaxing with its sagey tones. I will have lots of texture, animal prints, subtle purple and burnt orange accents and, of course, a bit of bling to brighten things up.

living room mood

So: classic, boho and rock'n'roll... We shall see how it turns out. I need to start upcycling, making and shopping, yay!


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