‘it’s got a new lease of life’
Cynthia transformed her tired and bland sitting room into a stylish haven filled with personality and vibrant colour
Period features and rich hues transformed Cynthia’s sitting room
idea to steal ‘A mirror can be used to make a statement and to reflect light into the room, making it feel larger’
Over the years, we’ve renovated other properties with the goal of building up enough money to eventually buy and do up our “forever” home – and this is it,’ says Cynthia. ‘We’d hoped to complete our sitting room by Christmas last year but, unfortunately, we missed our deadline. Thankfully, though, it’s now finished and we’re looking forward to enjoying a relaxing time together in our home this year.
When we bought this house, there was something forlorn-looking about the sitting room. It had so much potential that wasn’t being exploited. We were confident that a few simple tasks like a lick of paint on the pallid walls and shelves, plus painting the wooden fire surround would transform the room – so that’s exactly what we did.
My husband Matthew is a builder, so he’s used to renovating and decorating houses, while I love styling up rooms, so we did everything ourselves. I’ve always enjoyed reading homes magazines and find Pinterest very useful, so I combined inspiration from both and then added my own twist in terms of style.
The starting point was ordering the shutters from Plantation Shutters. We chose shutters not just because they’re so functional – they also make a stunning focal point, and give the room a finished look. They’re easy to clean and maintain as well. Whether you have a period house or modern build, shutters always complement a room, and inject personal style – I absolutely love them.
Once the shutters were fitted, we painted the walls, shelves and undercoated the wooden fire surround. The surround is actually painted in Dulux’s Dark Grey undercoat, but the colour worked so well that we decided not
to give it a top coat. Matthew added a ceiling rose and we replaced the lights. Those few changes transformed the room.
i wanted a stylish yet minimal look, as henry plays with his toys in here every day. it was important to have enough floor space, which meant having to tuck furniture into alcoves or against the walls. The navy blue footstool serves many purposes – as a coffee table in the day when friends are over, a relaxing footstool in the evening or as extra seating.
The flooring came with the house. initially, i didn’t like it, but my feelings changed when we added our furniture. There’s something about the shade of grey of the sofa that really helped to bring the flooring back to life – now, it looks completely different and much more suitable for the room.
The space lends itself so much to the christmas period, which is so much fun, especially with henry. The excitement of dressing the room, which he loves helping with, and his sense of anticipation as he waits for his presents from Father christmas, make for a truly magical time.’
‘BY CHOOSING AND STICKING TO A PALETTE – WE CHOSE GREY, RED AND NAVY – YOU CAN EASILY PULL TOGETHER THE LOOK OF YOUR ROOM’
IDEA TO STEAL ‘If you’ve got young children, choose sofa covers and cushions that are machine washable’
NEW LIFE ‘We inherited the wood flooring and it seemed lifeless until we brought the furniture into the room – now I love it’
RETRO LOOK ‘This iconic phone adds another splash of colour to the room and I love its retro look’
To THE LETTER ‘This light-up H for Henry stays up on the shelf all year round’
SPRUCE IT UP ‘Rather than replace an old, tired wooden fireplace, just give it a lick of paint and it will inject new life into your room’
REAL CLASS ‘Dressing your windows with shutters is not only practical, it also adds a sophisticated feel to the room as a whole’