Of all the home renovation stories, a living room makeover is one of the most impactful of all. Why? Because it’s one of the rooms that people spend the most time. The room that makes a hard day at work melt away, the room where you relax and unwind, or quite the opposite – the room that keeps the party going. So when it’s transformed from drab and dreary into alive and kicking, it says, now this is a room that’s going to do what it does best – be lived in.
See precisely that in this before and after story of a Lincolnshire Georgian townhouse whose lounge renovation in almost unrecognisable thanks to interior designer, Sophie Peckett, of Sophie Peckett Design.
About Sophie Peckett Design
Recognised globally for her ability to capture sophistication and time-travelling expressions of style, Sophie Peckett Design is an award-winning architectural interior design studio that receives commissions for both commercial and residential projects. A graduate of the prestigious Inchbald School of Design, she’s a designer that melds expertise in interior architecture, lighting design, bespoke furniture, fabrics and finishes.
Image Credit: Sophie Peckett Design
About the property
Set in Lincoln’s historic quarter with countryside views, this beautiful Georgian townhouse was in desperate need of updating when it passed into the hands of its new owner. “Our client got in touch because he feared he would turn the house into a, I quote, man cave. He sought our help to ensure it would blossom into a warm, inviting home” Sophie told us.
One of the greatest challenges the team faced throughout the property was the lack of light. The original period features were shrouded in darkness or covered over, and so a core part of the design brief was how to create more space, brightness and opportunity to let the Georgian features flourish, beginning with the living room renovation.
About the living room remodel
Aside from the need to invite light back into the room, Sophie’s living room makeover ideas stemmed from who would be living in the property. “In the studio, how we design is a combination of listening to the client, and what their aspirations are, as well as taking into account the integrity of the building. It’s a sensitive, empathetic way to style an interior – to the property and the people involved,” Sophie continued.
Because the sitting room is the heart of this family’s home, it was key that it was a space that resonated with both the client and his two daughters. Sophie Peckett Design concentrated on the living room becoming a calming space with a feminine touch, ensuring it would be an environment they’d want to spend time in together, as well as to entertain guests. One of the advantages of working with an interior designer is the ability to make your interior entirely unique. Sophie created bespoke pieces of furniture and joinery and used a concoction of materials and finishes from around the world to build a rich tapestry of colour and texture.
In other parts of the house, Sophie carved out more masculine depictions of design, such as in the study and master bedroom to counterbalance the effects of the lounge makeover. “We design by considering the house as a whole, but then nuancing the aesthetic on a room by room basis so that the decoration best suits its use and main user,” Sophie added.
Living room renovation ideas and advice
Sophie shares her five points of consideration for anybody embarking on a living room makeover:
1. Create a layered interior: this involves combining different textures, patterns and finishes throughout the room. Together, they add dimension to a space and prevent it from appearing flat.
2. Prioritise accessories and artwork: so often these are too much of an afterthought or perceived as a finishing touch. But both accessories and artwork are just as important as the furniture, and arguably add more personality to your living room.
3. Remember that lighting is a layer: I always stress to my clients that lighting is far from being all about function. You need to create layers of lighting that combine task lighting with ambient lighting. Most designers, myself included, will always advise lighting on dimmer switches. If you’ve thought through your lighting plan (which I advise you always do at the start of your project), you can achieve different levels of light at different points of the day, and a dimmer switch provides you with that extra level of control. Even overhead ceiling lights can transform into something far softer and more ambient with the help of a dimmer.
4. Always find room for a rug: the bigger the better; smaller rugs tend to look a bit lost. A generous rug will always soften your space, and ideally you should be looking for one that runs beyond the front feet of any furniture. This helps to ground your furniture and bind it with your rug, making the space feel cohesive.
5. Put comfort first: the terms living room and sitting room are used interchangeably. Both imply different things, and both are true of the space. Yes, it’s a lively room but it’s also a serene one, where comfort is king. So you really must try before you buy, because nothing is worse than a sofa that doesn’t feel supremely comfortable.
Sophie’s 2019 trend forecast
Lounge renovation ideas aside, Sophie gives her interior design foresight into the biggest home trends for the year:
1. Sustainability is more important than ever: we have always believed in creating interiors that are timeless, because it means you can invest in a scheme that you know you will love forever. We’re not of the fast consumerism school of thought, our ethos is definitely becoming a larger talking point for the industry where people are becoming more switched on to the sustainable benefit of timeless design.
2. The reign of hand-made: craft is showing no signs of slowing either. Perhaps in line with the trend for investment items, the rise of pieces made authentically is being championed. We love adding hand-made pieces to our client’s homes, because it adds such a personal touch – the passing on from one hands to another’s. Knowing that something is made by hand adds an element of luxury to an interior because of its exclusivity and unique character.
3. Walls go bold: feature walls are becoming a thing of the past, instead we’ll see people embracing wallpaper or statement paint colours on every wall, and possibly even the ceiling. We encourage our clients to be bold with colour and commit to it if using it in a room. Bold doesn’t necessarily equate to brash though, all over colour can lead to soothing and tranquil spaces too.