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Living Room Design Ideas In Pictures Life And Style The Guardian

Living Room Design Ideas In Pictures Life And Style The Guardian Living Room Design Ideas In Pictures Life And Style The Guardian

Fri 15 Nov 2013 16.30 GMT First published on Fri 15 Nov 2013 16.30 GMT

These acid-yellow walls have a distressed effect, which was accidental. “I bought some runny cheap paint by mistake,” says owner Tamara Salman, who has worked as creative director at Liberty and for fashion house Prada.

“It gave an uneven but textured finish, like you find in India.” Heavy black picture frames stand out on the walls (try Ikea’s Ung Drill frame, £25.53). The taxidermy is from Lillie Road Antiques, the rug is by Christopher Farr and an old chaise is covered in pink velvet (try Soho Three chaise by Richard Ward, in Kaleidoscope fabric by Margo Selby, £995 without fabric, from Wawa).

The artwork is by Ray Caesar.

In the kitchen, a magnificent antique glass cabinet, salvaged from the National Museum of Scotland, cleverly houses a sink and dishwasher, as well as serving as a display case for Hills’ snuff boxes.

Pendant lights started life as moulded glass funnels, and a sideboard and dining table are made from wood saved from a science laboratory. Kitchen cabinets have drawer fronts salvaged from the same museum, complete with numbers and handles.

This double-height space is all laid-back comfort. For a white sofa of similarly epic proportions, see the selection at Skandium, or – cheaper – sandwich together a couple of pieces from Ikea’s modular Karlstad range.

You can pick up vintage chests like this at antiques fairs – try Ardingly – and add castors yourself (from The low-slung leather safari chairs are by Kaare Klint: try mid-century Danish specialists Elliott & Tate, Sigmar or Nottingham’s Danish Homestore.

Hung high, to draw attention to the lofty space, are a pair of antique antlers from Canada: try vintage stores, or Pedlars.

These plain white box shelves are made more arresting by colour-blocking its contents. The rug is from Habitat.

This living room is all about showcasing mid-century design, including Hans Wegner’s brown Ox Chair, Wegner’s electric-blue Papa Bear Chair (try the Danish design store), and a glossy yellow coffee table, a one-off by David Restorick.

In need of interior design inspiration for your living room? Here’s the perfect place to garner ideas – the best of the Guardian’s home photography and your instant style guide for the lounge, whether it’s bashed-up vintage you’re after or sleek modernity.


In design expert Cathy Strongman’s minimal living room minimal much comes from London – the Sax coffee table by Terence Woodgate is an ex-display model, the G-Plan sideboard is from second-hand shop Pictures & Light in Stoke Newington and the Van Amburgh side table was found at Thorsten Van Elten.

The black CABI U sideboard is from the Danish shop HAY as is the Little Nobody chair created by Komplot out of recycled plastic bottles. The wooden set of London landmarks on the window sill are from Muji.

It’s hard to believe that, not long ago, this light, bright house was a couple of dank, interconnected ­bedsits spread across two floors; before that, it was a garage. But now it’s a glorious living space in the heart of Camden, north London.

For factory lights like these, try Retrouvius or Trainspotters.

A grey task lamp – Aröd from Ikea – is set off by the white desk and gun-metal grey walls (try Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe). Even the magazine matches the theme.

This is a Polder sofa, by Hella Jongerius for Vitra. It is set with clashing orange cushions and a grey one from Melin Tregwynt.

In this cool, bright living room, a Matthew Hilton chair and ottoman sit alongside a Ribbon stool by Nendo for Cappellini (found on ebay), and an old Habitat rug.

The basement – a garden-facing work space for Dashing Tweed, fabric storage rooms and a kids’ den – opens on to the garden through full-height doors with stained-glass panels; a tiled floor runs from inside to out, blurring the boundaries between house and garden.

A long table used for cutting fabric doubles as a lunch table.

Hills had just one request of Retrouvius: on no account was the kitchen to be in basement. “I was determined not to become a troglodyte,” he says. “So often in these conversions, people turn the basement into a kitchen/living area that opens on to the garden, but that means living underground.

When, in fact, the nicest rooms are always on the ground floor. Having the kitchen at street level means that people walk straight into the heart of the house.” Speake created a balcony off the kitchen for storing bikes, so they don’t clutter up the hallway.

Pictured: printers’ blocks form unusual door handles in the hallway.

In the hallway, Eames’ classic Hang It All coatrack is hung with a Kanken backpack, while Donna Wilson’s stuffed Mono cat sits on the top.

Ikea’s new Fjälkinge shelves are filled with tasteful monochrome accessories, including Muuto’s The More The Merrier black rubber candlestick and felt storage basket. The paper bag on the floor, used here as a recycling bin, is from Merci; and the metal chair is Harry Bertoia’s 1952 Diamond chair.

One of the couple’s favourite rooms is the upstairs bathroom: here, matching wall-mounted jurors’ desks reclaimed from the British Library are now reimagined as his-and-hers bathroom drawers; and the cupboard doors are made from leather-covered panels that once lined shelves in the British Library.

“I don’t live in the past,” says Guy Hills, who opens the door to his Victorian house in north London sporting plus fours, pointy slippers and Brylcreem. Once inside, it becomes clear his statement is at odds with his home, too: it’s furnished almost entirely with salvaged and vintage finds, revived and reinvented by Maria Speake, designer and co-founder of Retrouvius, a business devoted to saving and reusing the old.

The four-storey house is in Primrose Hill, one of London’s most creative neighbourhoods (Nicholas Hytner and Helen Fielding live in the same street and every second house, it seems, sports a blue plaque).

Regent’s Canal flows past the back garden: “We sometimes row to London Zoo with the kids, or to Camden Lock,” Hills says.

Painted a gothic grey ( Railings by Farrow & Ball), with one wall papered in Wisteria by Cole & Son, this living room is filled with battered leather furniture and vintage lampshades, objects and frames.

Ikea’s Karlstad sofa is dotted with throws and cushions in shades of grey.

Not having to worry about wear and tear is, for Hills, one of the chief joys of living with old rather than new. “All these materials and pieces were made by craftsmen, and they stand up to the rigours of modern life.

We can have 200 people dancing in the living room, and the next day I just polish up the parquet and you’d never know they’d been there.”

Rough and ready surfaces, reclaimed objects and quirky touches are the hallmarks of this small Victorian house in Brighton. In the living room, the chairs and sofa are covered in old kilims – SCP sells vintage ones.

A table, made for owner, Stacy Sirk by Baileys combines a vintage mirror top, edged with fluorescent strip, with a dustbin. The photographs are by Sirk’s father, mounted in street-found frames and displayed on narrow shelves made from reclaimed floorboards.

eframe has an online service to create your own bespoke frame and mount.

Painted brick is great for adding texture to a room and dark grey is the perfect foil for bright accent colours, like that red task light on the wall.

Dark vintage: Gunship grey is a great foil for decorative antiques. Try Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe for a similar shade. Rose & Grey sells similar vintage leather furniture, and for a lampshade like this one, try BeauVamp at Not On The High Street.

Or go to Zoe Darlington.

White floorboards and oyster coloured walls give this lounge its washed-and-wan look. All Farrow & Ball’s colours come in floor paint and this is a great way of giving your lounge an easy breezy look inexpensively.

Be warned, though: exposing floorboards can create gale force 10 draughts beneath the feet. For a rose sheepskin in keeping with the one on that pouffe, try Debenhams’ Mongolian sheep wool cushion.

It’s an interior-designed house with a difference: everything is lovingly salvaged and given a new lease of modern life

Owner Deborah Gordon, who lives here with husband Richard, chats with her eldest son Oliver, five, in the open-plan dining/sitting room. Ikea’s Melltorp table is surrounded by black Eames DSR chairs. Habitat stocks a similar photographic tripod lamp.

Fri 10 Jan 2014 16.30 GMT First published on Fri 10 Jan 2014 16.30 GMT

In the snug kitchen, dark grey grouting adds definition to white Metro tiles; and Muuto’s “Bulky” tea pot continues the Nordic feel. Habitat sells the “Flap” analogue clock.

The floating shelves in this alcove don’t quite meet the chimney breast and contribute to a feeling of lightness in this white-washed room. You can buy blocky floating shelves from Ikea, or commission a carpenter to make them bespoke.

Just don’t complain when everything falls off the end…

The building was divided into flats when he and his wife Natasha moved here in 2002. Having bought out the owners of the upper floors, they started work on creating a family home (the couple have three children, Amelia, 10, Hector, eight, and Rex, six), party pad and HQ for Hills’ textile and menswear company, Dashing Tweeds.

They approached Retrouvius because Hills loves all things vintage (he has an impressive collection of snuff boxes). The company salvages materials and objects from schools, public buildings, wherever it can – anything from iroko-wood desk tops and flip-up church seats to factory lights – and its interior design arm works these timeworn pieces into homes.

“I get a great deal of pleasure from being surrounded by things with history, things that were made to last,” Hills says.

An unfurnished, rented Glasgow flat has been transformed with white paint, a strict palette and a distinctly Nordic vibe. Here’s how to get its affordable monochrome look

Architect Helena Rivera lives in this Victorian house in south London with her husband and two young sons. The 50s Penguin armchairs, by Dutch designer Theo Ruth for Artifor, were a vintage find (try The Modern Warehouse for similar).

Rivera re-covered them in 1950s style Kvadrat fabric. ‘The chairs are designed as two interlocking pieces and the 50s sofa is Danish,’ says Rivera. ‘Our house is quite small, which forced me to look at more compact furniture – Danish 50s pieces are a natural fit.

‘ Skandium has similar smaller sofas such as the Poet by One Collection or EJ180 by Erik Jørgensen.

In the living room, both fireplace and walls are strikingly monochrome – painted black below the dado rail, white above. The ‘ABCD’ poster is £35 from Playtype, the armchair is Habitat’s Ella design, and the Asko rug is by Artic Design.

This three-bedroom south London terrace is small and the owners didn’t want to extend. Instead, working with architects Studio Octopi they enhanced what they already had. This open-plan living room has a half-wall into the entrance hall.

The orange chair is from Twenty Twenty One ( Cinema easy chair by Lammhults, from £846). The table is no longer available, but mix and match Serralunga’s Handy 45 tables, £159 each from Made in Design.

By choosing warm colours and materials – particularly orange, gold, yellow, red, pink, teak and exposed brick – the owners have infused this lounge with cheerful zing. Sofas like these can be found at Ikea in the Karlstad range.

The ordinary and the extra­ordinary exist side by side in Isabelle Puech’s Paris apartment – a converted carousel workshop in the 9th arrondissement, where merry-go-round horses were once repaired.

The upper reaches of this vast, double-height space are accessed via a rusting spiral staircase, and three large, first world war battlefield medical kits – found, like much else, in the flea markets of Vanves and St-Ouen – are used as seating.

Metal girders and factory lighting add to the industrial air, which is only ­softened by a wooden rocking chair.

Olivia Brown’s terrace house in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is a home of quirky contrasts. It mixes rich colour and neutrals, vintage furniture with designer paint and wallpaper, and is filled with flea market finds, the dustier and scruffier the better.

Brown, a sculptor, spends most of her spare time rummaging through car boot sales and antiques fairs. As a result, home renovation is an organic process, coming together as and when objects are bought.

Fashion designers Antoni Burakowski and Alison Roberts, aka Antoni & Alison, run their studio from their four-storey Georgian home in Southwark, London – all raw brick, exposed beams and reclaimed furniture.

The house was rotten when they bought it. “The surveyors said, walk away, but we fell in love with it,” says Antoni. A handsome panelled wood front door (from Lassco), which leads directly on to the ground-floor reception, replaced an ordinary-looking door from B&Q.

The green paint on the top 2ft of wall, merging into pale grey, was inspired by the current trend for fading colour. The grey is Cornforth White from Farrow & Ball and the green is Green Parrot, from Dulux.

Instead of picture hooks, slim shelves sit at different heights to display paintings and prints, making it easier to swap and change the pictures. The trio of secondhand Ercol side tables, bought individually and in mismatched woods, are painted in bright 50s colours.

A living room in which pop art meets pomp. The lounge chair, from a house clearance, was once in the bar of the QE2; the Warhol and Edie Sedgwick cushions came from TK Maxx. For a similar rug, try WovenGround’s new Spirale rug wovenground.

com. The lips print is by Michael English try and the “gun” tray, far right, is by Piero Fornasetti – try eBay or Selfridges

The house is cosy and tactile, oak parquet flooring in the hallway and living room exuding a warmth and character you don’t get from new floorboards. Stained-glass panels in the front door cast a yellow glow, and woodwork here and in the stairwell is painted an autumnal claret.

Speake opened up the ground floor, creating a kitchen/dining room at the canal-facing back of the house, and relocating the stairs to the basement to create more room in the hall. Two pairs of slim, barely there glazed sliding doors – found in a French hotel – separate the kitchen from the front living room.

Here, elderly armchairs have been given new life with plum-coloured tweed and moss-green velvet upholstery, and an ancient gramophone sits on the coffee table.

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