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An Eclectic Living Room – Final Reveal

Ages ago, back in April, I introduced you to some of the projects I was working on. I can’t always feature every project on the blog. Not because I don’t want to, but time doesn’t always allow me to. Well, that…. and an angry dog that didn’t really like me being in the room I needed to work in.

This is the room, on my first visit:


It had a great log burner, original chimney breast and stripped floorboards, big bay window and some lovely pieces of furniture. The homeowner’s love of white, vintage finds and Scandi design (baskets) was more than apparent. But she just wasn’t feeling this space at all and couldn’t quite work out why.


It’s a north facing room, so doesn’t get the best light. Flat white and grey weren’t doing this space any favours.


Their plan was to keep it minimal. But it kinda just felt a bit cold and unfinished. The two seating areas felt disconnected and the L shaped sofa was awkward in the space.

So how did I make a north facing room feel warm and family friendly? How did I keep the eclectic mix of furniture, add detail whilst still retaining their love of all things Scandinavian?


The homeowners were keen to inject some colour into this room. Every other room in the house is white, or a version of. It was time for them to experiment with the darkside and I was more than happy to lead the way. Valspar’s Mountain Midnight floated their boat and each wall got the dark green treatment whilst the woodwork, ceiling and coving remained white. The contrast of this warm green and crisp white now being the backdrop for everything that followed.


We joked about adding some Viking horns somewhere, but the faux antler light from Next (now sold out) added the touch of rustic, Scandi-style this room needed. That and the rare breed sheepskin from Hide Rugs sitting on the chesterfield. This is actually where the dogs  hang out, so the sofa is pretty battered, just like a good chesterfield should be. The sheepskin adds some shape to this area of the room whilst covering up the scrapes and scratches in the leather.


The Aula copper coffee table from  gives this living room the large family of five sized surface it needs for everyone’s drinks, books and stuff. The coffee table, along with the 2x3m rug from La Redoute (bagged with 30% off) both work really well to connect the L shaped sofa to the rest of the living space. The rug is also the best colour for their two black dogs. Although it does make them a bit of a trip hazard.


Hanging over the bookcase is an original art deco mirror which was picked up on one of my charity shop hunting sessions. The black and copper Hoxton wall light from Blue Sun Tree gives this corner of the room some height and light whilst the copper framed printed maps from Desenio highlight some of the homeowners’ favourite places.


Remember the Geometric Light from Dowsing & Reynolds? That hangs over the ridiculously kitsch (and totally unnecessary) gold bar cart which I rescued from a house clearance. The trolley gets wheeled out on weekends just in time for gin o’clock. Noice.


The gallery wall is a random mix of second hand finds, holiday momentos, family hand-me-downs and some faux antlers from Greige. Oh and the old white radiator was removed and updated with something smaller, more efficient and a little prettier.


The Bow floor lamp from swoops over the back of the sofa casting light below, perfect for book reading and cocktail sipping. And the new cushions from La Redoute and Greige (both now sold out) add some texture and colour to the large grey sofa.


The old Ikea TV unit was sent to furniture heaven. It was a little battered and didn’t really help to hide the number of cables there were down the back of the unit. (Man, i’ve never seen so many cables). My fave joiners, Bare Joinery and I designed a bespoke unit which was built and fitted into the alcove along with floating shelving above to house the oodles of books rescued from the shed.

Some before and afters:













I’d absolutely love to know what you think about this project. The homeowners were more than happy to experiment with this room and i’m pretty certain they’re not lying when they say they love it. Although one of their daughters said it looked like i’d bought a load of stuff back from the “junk shop” which made me laugh. Because it was true. I’ve always said, i’d rather people either love or hate my work. Indifference is the worst.

So, let me know. You like? Not sure? Spill those beans…




  1. Hilde says

    I absolutely love it! You made a huge difference with not too many well chosen changes and elements… Love the wall colour, the nutrir, the tv solution, the fur blanket (I have a lovely one, too!)… Only one little detail for discussion: the pictures over the green sofa are hanging too high for me… But that’ only a personal ‘phobia’ 😬
    The rest, just perfect! Congratulations!!!

    • Ha. You spotted the bit I wasn’t 100% happy with. The story with that… the decorator (not mine) painted over the existing picture hooks, so to prevent making a whole heap of mess, pulling them out, filling, sanding, repainting and refitting picture hooks, the new pics sat over the old ones. Not ideal I know. But now you’ve mentioned it, I shall have to go back and adjust as they were too high for me too. Gah!

  2. Sara says

    Absolutely stunning room. What a transformation. Inspired me to go darker with paint colour even though ive just painted. Oops.

  3. Lovely to see the full photos of this room…it’s cosy and just fab. I love the colours and the carefully selected pieces work so well. I adore what you’ve done.

  4. Once again, you’ve knocked it out of the park, Karen! Beautiful job! I love the wall colour and well, everything else you added to the space. The clients must be delighted! You’re developing quite a signature style. Each one has it’s own personality that works for your clients’ requirements yet I’d easily recognise a room designed by you (that’s a compliment!) 🙂 xxx

    • Wow. That’s so lovely of you. Thank you. It’s funny you mention the “signature style” thing, I was chatting to my OH about it a few days ago as I was a bit concerned it might be seen as just doing the same thing. I guess it’s good to have a style though. Just need to make sure everyone doesn’t want a dark green room 🙂 xx

  5. Gorgeous! That wall colour was an inspired choice, and I love all the other items you chose for the room too. I’d love to crash on that couch in the evening with all those lovely lights and a cosy fire!

  6. Lesley says

    Very cohesive Karen, like the rug, just had a look at the brown/cream version very nice. Also thank you for bringing to my attention Desenio, just the site I’ve been looking for.

  7. Karen, you just get better and better! I want to know how you convince all these lovely people to paint these colours on the walls. You should have seen my mum’s face when I tried to suggest something similar in her massive house. She’s picked beige instead. CRY.

    • Ha. I have no idea. Deep down, people already know they want to go dark, they just want me there to tell them it will be ok. And it always is. So far…. Shame your mum couldn’t step out of her comfort zone a little. Beige… well, it’s beige init! 🙂

  8. I love it Karen! You have a real talent for pulling rooms together. I love all of the artwork and that TV stand is such an improvement. Well done. x

  9. I always love seeing your work and this is no exception. What a brilliant transformation! It looks grown-up, sophisticated, personal and elegant.

    • Well I don’t think i’ve ever heard those words used to describe anything i’ve done before. But I like it! Thanks Rachel 🙂

  10. I don’t know what magic it is you do, but somehow you’ve made a darker, more filled up room look larger than before?!!! I’m really tempted to try this colour in our front room (the one with the black wall which was inspired by you too!). Like the mirror above the unit so will be pinching that one too 😉 Well done you on another great design. Xx

    • Ha. Thank you. It’s a lovely colour for 1930’s rooms. Just sets all the wood furniture off beautifully. And yeah, you need lots of mirrors and reflective surfaces when using a colour like this across a whole room. Mirrors all the way! 🙂 xx

  11. Heather Edwards says

    Hi love love the room it’s fabulous came across your post looking for a dark green or blue Valspar paint for my living room, notinced that you have painted two other walls in a blue colour alongside the midnight please could you tell me what colour you used
    Many thanks

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks Heather, all the walls are painted in the same colour, Valspar UK’s Mountain Midnight 🙂

  12. Caroline Byrne says

    Oh this is just perfect.
    I love your styling.
    Just painted my bedroom Inchyra blue and had a little cry because it is too dark but now I see how to style it complete with gin bar!
    Really weird I just found your blog now.

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