Pattern mix living room

Before

A view of the new fireplace, with existing feature wallpaper
The newly installed fireplace
The old window dressing - a purple silk Roman blind
A view of the second window, with some of the kitchen units being stored in the room
An empty area of the room, with the purple silk Roman blind covering the window
a shot of the empty room, facing the door
An empty corner of the room, with no real purpose

After

The room filled with the newly upholstered furniture
The fireplace, with the rug and foot stool in front of it
The striking curtain fabric, with the Roman blind next to it
The wing chair in a red stripe fabric, next to the blue sofa and in front of the curtains and Roman blind
The new Roman blind, and the piano placed in front of the window
A view of the door with the two re-upholstered sofas in front
A newly built in unit to house the TV, with the sofa and foot stool in front

Brief

The client had bought this spacious bungalow because he loved the area, but the property needed some modernisation. When I met him, the builder had started work and the new fireplace and stove had been installed. The living room is a large one, and is longer than it is wide, so the client wasn't sure what to do with the layout. He has a large piano and was unsure where it would sit best, and needed help to create a cosy seating area and to give the room a focus. The decor wasn't to his taste (purple silk and the feature wallpaper along the fireplace weren't his style), and, as the bi fold doors and windows make up a large element of the room, we needed to find a way to dress them well. The room is south facing, and strong sunlight pours through the windows for much of the day, so we needed to both protect his furniture and provide a screen from the sun. The client had some very well made sofas and a chair which would have been a shame to replace, but he felt the upholstery fabrics were looking tired. He also had a hand knotted rug he'd bought when travelling which he wanted to incorporate in to the scheme, and as this room is so large, it was an ideal chance to use the rug for the first time.

Outcome

I decided it would be best to divide the room up in two zones - one zone for the piano by the window, and one zone for the seating area. The sofas could then be arranged in one half of the room, around the fireplace, and we could use the rug to define this area. The beautiful colours in the rug were the starting point for the overall scheme, and led the choices we made for the rest of the fabrics in the room. The client had decided to paint the walls in a neutral colour, but didn't want the room to be bland, so I chose full length curtains in a striking fabric for the bi fold doors. I picked a tonally similar fabric in a contrasting pattern for the Roman blinds on the smaller windows, as I wanted to create a sense of drama, and felt that blinds in the same fabric next to the curtains would be too much. I also needed to balance the fact that the client's overall style is quite traditional, but the room is in a modern building. I chose co-ordinating fabrics to re-upholster the sofas, wing chair and foot stool, with these pattens being picked up in the cushions. I added a low rectangular footstool (which can double up as a coffee table) in a plain fabric as it sits on the densely patterned rug, chose sheer roller blinds to diffuse the strong sunlight, and finished of the scheme with some stunning lamps.