Before & After : Our Living Room

Gifted items featured

The living room in our new house is more of a 'formal' living room, as we have an open plan kitchen/diner/living space at the back of the house where our old sofa now resides.

So we practically started from scratch in this room - we had no furniture for it  whatsoever - just four rather sad and blank looking walls to work with.

Here are a couple of before pictures, just in case I haven't quite painted the picture for you of how plain this room started out:


And here was our 'mood board' for the room:

New Summer 2020 Collection

* please note, all images used in the above photo were found on Pinterest and I do not take credit for them. They are used purely for reference of inspiration purposes only. 

And here's what it looked like after the makeover:

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We wanted the room to feel cosy, chic and 'grown up', so chose a colour scheme of grey and navy blue, with gold accents.

The first step for us was choosing a wall colour - and we worked with Valspar on this to create our perfect shade.

They have a really great colour match service where they can create ANY shade, using a special scanner.

The shade I chose was actually very similar to F&B's 'Manor House Grey', a warm toned grey with a very slight hint of blue in certain light.

Often choosing a colour and then bulk buying paint can feel like quite a daunting decision. Thoughts such as 'are you SURE it's the right colour?' are whizzing through your head, as you try and figure out whether you have enough litres of paint to cover the room.

However, Valspar offer a great 'Love Your Colour' guarantee, which means that once you get home and start painting, hopefully you will love the colour you’ve chosen and stick with it. But if not, you can use the new guarantee and twist to a new option!

This takes the pressure off a little bit and ensures you can be 100% happy with your choice of colour!

I was really impressed by Valspar, as it's the first time I've used their paint and the coverage and pigmentation of the colours is fantastic. We used their premium blend, which eliminates the need for a primer (as it's in-built) and dries to a gorgeous chalky matte finish. The final result is very high quality - and I'm definitely going to be using their paint for other rooms in the house moving forward.

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The Colours

The Sofas

As mentioned above, the only sofa we owned had already taken residence in our open place kitchen/diner at the back of the house, so this left us with nothing to sit on in our actual living room. We were essentially starting again when it came to furniture for this room - which seemed daunting financially, but was quite exciting because it meant we could totally make this room into what we had envisioned for it.

I'd always dreamed of owning a velvet navy blue sofa - there's something so luxe and plush about them. So when I visited my Dad's girlfriend's house a couple of months ago, the first thing I noticed was her gorgeous navy velvet sofa - and immediately, I complimented it. As luck would have it, she was re-decorating herself and actually getting rid of it, so she very kindly offered it to us.

The very next week, we sourced a man with a van to go and collect it - and were the proud owners of a navy blue velvet sofa!

Of course, then - I was eager to find another sofa to finish off the room, but they were all completely out of our budget. Many that I loved I think I'd have had to taken a second mortgage out for - so the dreams of a finished living room were shelved.

But an evening spent scouring the internet revealed an absolute bargain of a find - a gorgeous Chesterfield style navy blue velvet three-seater - in Argos, of all places! And under £500!

I previously had no idea Argos even stocked sofas - let alone ones this gorgeous. In fact, since this discovery - I've ordered quite a few bits from the Argos home furnishings selection. They have definitely upgraded their interiors section in recent years and have some incredible pieces, I'd recommend a look! Everything is very good quality and looks far more luxurious than the price tag suggests.

I popped up an IG story about the discovery and as a result, Argos kindly reached out and offered to send me the sofa, which was an absolute dream - and totally made my year!

Overall, I think the two sofas work really well together - providing an eclectic but modern luxury feel.

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David always laughs because I start planning the accessories for a room before I think about anything else - and in all honesty, this is probably not the most productive way of putting together a room, but it's definitely my favourite bit. Accessories can make ALL the difference and I've loved exploring our grey, blue and gold theme!

The little side tables are from Wayfair and fit perfectly in the little nook's beside the sofas. They are big enough to hold a lamp and a couple of accessories, but not too big that they overwhelm the room.

The lamps are from Dunelm, as is the gold leaf vase and faux lavender stems.

The cushions, wicker blanket baskets and faux plants are from Matalan.

Matalan has such a fabulous home-wear section and their artificial plant selection is by far the best I've come across, especially for the price.

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Future plans

We've definitely got the living room to a really lovely point - and I adore the way it looks, however there are a few finishing touches that we are probably a few years off completing due to funds. Ideally, along the back wall (with the radiator) we'd love to have a shelving unit built in there - with a radiator cover and then book shelves/storage either side.

We did start getting quotes for this work, but it was looking likely we'd have to take out a second mortgage, so these plans are on the back burner for the time being. One of the issues with new builds is the lack of built in storage, so it's difficult to de-clutter at times, because everything is out on show.

We're also looking for the perfect light fixtures for this room - as currently, as you can see, we have two blank bulbs hanging from the ceiling. If you see anything that might suit, feel free to send any ideas my way.

Once we've had some of the re-plastering complete on the ceiling (out of shot), we'll start hanging up artwork, which I cannot wait for - as I really feel this finishes off a room. And we definitely need a big gold archway window above the radiator on the far wall.

We've also had some quotes for wooden shutters for the windows too (as currently we have temporary £3 paper blinds from IKEA), so again this is definitely in the plans for the future and hopefully when we're ready to do it - we can keep you in the loop too!

So there we have it, what do you think of our room makeover? What are your favourite bits of it? Please be kind, I'm definitely NOT an interiors guru (and am still very new to it all) but I think we've definitely transformed the room somewhat! 

Disclaimer: this post features gifted items. Items that have been gifted are listed below with the terms I worked with the brands under. 

Sofa - gifted by Argos, I was under no obligation to post.

Paint - vouchers were provided by Valspar, with an agreement to share within a blog post.


Gifted items featured