Living Rooms

Closely rivalled by kitchen diners, living rooms still provide a hub for family life in many British homes. Traditional or contemporary, we’ve been commissioned to turn living rooms from the ordinary to the extraordinary; practical, but always with style.

a selection of living rooms - here, a traditional Edwardian sitting room

Living room design

A complete refurbishment gives you the chance to arrange your living room as you want it. You can solve those problems that have been bugging you for years. For instance, we find radiators in the most awkward places; now is the time to put that right.

Any room design starts with the floorplan. Draw your living room plan to scale noting any issues like heights of window cills, and radiator positions. f you still like the look of curtains, fit dress curtains as well – that combination features in the photo above; most of the heat then warms the room.  You can read more about our window dressing ideas here.

A complete renovation is also a good time to install more electric sockets in the right places, fit more lights where they are needed and install a home network.  For clients who love home entertainment, their sitting rooms will bristle with hidden equipment for multi-room music, audio-visual and surround sound systems.

colourful sitting room in bath

living room decoration

The living rooms we design have a neutral backdrop, against which colourful accents punctuate the space. We love to combine colourful, patterned and textured fabrics to create an exquisite ensemble.

luxury cushions

Our accent colours tend to be on the edge of each primary scale:  raspberry, fuchsia, lime, acid yellow, aqua, orange.  Zingy and zesty colours make a bigger impact in small doses. We’ve written a dedicated page to decorating with accent colours.

Don’t forget the ceiling too – it takes up a lot of visual space.  Ceilings don’t have to be white; for a wamer feel to a room, you can paint the ceiling in with the walls.  One tip is to add 3 parts white to 1 part colour to obtain a true tone – but if you do this, mix up enough spare paint for touching up later.

Similarly with the frieze between picture rail and cornice if you have one;  they look good if toned down lighter than the main walls. Remember that if you paint the main wall a strong colour with a pale colour above the picture rail it will make the room feel lower.  The opposite is also true;  painting the frieze (and skirting!) the same colour as the walls will make the room feel higher.

Living room lighting

Living rooms need a good lighting design.  Fit a number of circuits on dimmers, so you can control the lighting around the room to suit the mood.  Remember some dimmers buzz, so choose good quality products. Fit all your table and floor standing lamps on a 5A lighting circuit if you get the chance, so that all lights can be operated from a wall switch near the door.

Living Room Lighting

Look to fit lights in your furniture too. In the living room above we designed the alcove units to house low profile LED striplights in warm white to create a stylish ambiance. We have amore detailed page which you can read on home lighting.

living room heating

You can create a fantastic focal point in your living room through your choice of heating. We were particularly pleased to install this amazing contemporary, designer fireplace which in turn became a project in itself. Our clients wanted to fit it round the corner for additional warmth but we persuaded them to give it pride of place. This photo doesn’t do it justice, I’m afraid ….

architectural gas fire

… but our suppliers sent us this one to show which really makes a statement. They come as gas or solid fuel models.

contemporary designer fireplace

Most of the period living rooms in Bath and Bristol retain a traditional fireplace.  When they have been ripped out, we are often asked to replace them. Some are just for show, but others have a gas supply to use in winter.

sitting room fireplace

Some properties we find have no gas supply, so we fit stylish modern electric fires for that extra warmth.

contemporary wall hung electric fire

Living Room storage

It is important for living rooms to have plenty of storage to keep the space uncluttered.  Storage can be subtle, like this storage footstool …

storage footstool

or more obvious like this stylish sideboard

veneered sideboard

We also look to hide equipment in cupboards so that the room feels homely, but has plenty of gadgets, surround sound, music and TV to enjoy.

audio visual and hi fi alcove unit

For some clients, the issue of an unobtrusive TV in the living room is very important.  We have devised a number of solutions to hide the TV, including this wall unit with sliding doors:

TV in bespoke wall unit

We design and install cabinetry for living rooms and have a separate page on this website for bespoke furniture.

colourful sitting room in bath

Living Room Flooring

Whilst some of our sitting room designs feature carpets to give a cosy feel, we design others with engineered oak floorboards.  Some are natural oak (as above) and other aged (as below). A stylish rug softens the look of a wooden floor and improves the acoustics.  We have a separate detailed page on flooring options for the home.

dark oak flooring

living room furniture

We love to expose our clients to furniture they won’t see on the high street. That doesn’t mean that it is more expensive; just special.  Regularly we team a wonderful fabric with an armchair, or introduce our clients to classic designer furniture that takes pride of place in their living room.

circus sitting room

Living room window dressing

Living rooms usually have a large window to be dressed stylishly.  They form a big part of the visual space, so you need to choose carefully.  You need to think about what the windows will look like when the dressing is open and closed. A fantastic red velvet will look great on a sample cutting and even when drawn to the side;  but when the dressing is closed will you just end up with a big red square of fabric?

In our view, solid fabric curtains are fine if they are a similar colour to the walls or will dress a patterned blind as in the bedroom design below.  Otherwise they should have a pattern to break up the solid look.

roman blinds and dress curtains

We also design roman blinds for living rooms.  You can choose a more expensive and exotic fabric for a roman blind because blinds use less fabric. When lined they offer a feeling of warmth, and make a real statement for the room. It is always good to make some scatter cushions from extra window dressing fabric.

As you may have guessed, we have a more detailed page on choosing curtains and blinds.

living rooms

We have been designing living rooms in Bath and Bristol for the past 12 years as part of our home renovation appointment; ou can read some of our clients’ generous testimonials. Ours is a total service from initial concepts though to delivery of the fully furnished result, including any building work. If you think you may need some help with your design, please look further into our interior design and renovation services.

living room in Clifton Bristol