When we purchased our home seven years ago, the kitchen was situated in this small dark room at the front north-facing side of the house. With only the space for a small dining table and views of the driveway, we always intended to add a large extension so we could have a bigger kitchen at the back of the house with views overlooking our beautiful garden. However, despite obtaining planning permission for the work in 2021, as mortgage rates and building costs rose, we had a rethink and decided it wasn’t more space that we needed, but to better utilise the space we already had!
Like many families, we found that most of our time was spent in the kitchen, so the living room, which was a lovely large light-filled room at the south end of the house, with views over the glorious garden, only got used in the evenings. And rather than admiring the view, all eyes are on the TV! So earlier this year we hatched the plan to turn the living room into the kitchen, and the small dark kitchen space into a cosy snug. Now you may have seen our dream kitchen reveal already, with it’s lovely big double doors out to the garden and large dining table making it a super space for day to day family life and hosting friends and family. Now it’s time to reveal what we have turned the old kitchen into – a perfect cosy snug to relax in the evenings watching tv!
We’ve kept the beautiful terracotta brick hexagonal tiles from Ca Pietra on the floor, and just warmed it up a little with a gorgeous vintage Moroccan rug that I sourced from Tate and Darby. I’ve stepped out of my usual bright and joyful colour palette and embraced the dark side by colour drenching the walls and ceiling with this deep rich colour from The Little Greene Company, called Cordoba. I looked at lots of chocolate browns and deep purples but this particular hue is perfect. It has warm red tones which makes it richer than a true chocolate brown, and it’s a warm colour so not as cool as a true aubergine. To make the most of the space, I had the sofa made to measure by Love Your Home and upholstered in the glorious Wonderland floral velvet from my Harlequin collection. I’ve still got to sort out blinds or curtains for the windows and this week we had a carpenter building us some bespoke bookshelves, so there are a few finishing touches to be made but so far it feels like a much better use of the space!
Ultimately this is a room with a huge sofa in it! Rather than plan a sofa with armchairs I went full on corner sofa to make use of all the available space and it makes a small room feel much more luxurious. I have got roman blinds on order so these will be fitted soon. but meanwhile you can see how I’ve drenched the colour all over the paintwork. By painting all the walls, skirting, doors and architraves, windows, even the ceiling in the deep dark colour, means they all blend away into the distance. Dark painted windows help to increase the perception of light outside. I love painting rooms dark as it creates a feeling of depth and space which is particularly useful in a small room.
This is where lighting becomes crucial and I have three different light circuits in this small room, as there are no surfaces or floor space for lamps. One light circuit is for the beautiful bronze Pooky wall lights, of which there are three, which cast a warm glow down the walls- looks so amazing at night. I chose the bronze colourway so they blend beautifully with the wall colour and Corston light switches. Next, I have a central recessed spot light which highlights the footstool in the centre of the room. And the third lights up the alcove which has the TV positioned in it. Sorry I’ve not got that photo to show you as, at the time of typing, the new TV still hasn’t arrived! Finally I have all these light sources on a dimmer.
The Wonderland floral velvet is the basis for the colour palette and I’ve pulled out some of the blue, pink and orange tones to cover it in scatter cushions. Most of these are from my new collection of ready made cushions, now available at John Lewis. I love how the diagonal stripe, botanical leaf prints, rich embroideries (can you spot the beetle) all add layers of maximalist interest and delight to this already fabulous patterned print. They all look so inviting and jewel like against the dark wall colour. When creating a cosy vibe it’s essential that you incorporate feel good fabrics. From super soft velvets to embroideries to fringing, it’s all part of the textural layering that creates the feeling of delight.
I have to show you this corner of the room, which was our fitted bench and dining table originally. Here it makes a wonderful spot to display some stunning artwork, this piece by my friend Becky Blair. I love how the jewel like vibrant colours totally sing against the dark wall colour. However, I’ve since realised I need to hand over this part of the room to creating a book case as after turning our previous large living room into a kitchen, I have no where to store my books! So watch this space. You can also see on the right hand side of this picture is where our new TV will be situated…when it arrives! I decided to leave the back door pink- which has always been. A happy accident that it looks super cute against the dark plum colour.
This fabulous piece of art was created by my best friend, Sophie Abbott. Earlier this year we took a much needed girls trip to Marrakech and stayed at the fabulous el Fenn- my most favourite hotel in the world. Sophie’s work is most often sunsets so she was utterly inspired by the Moroccan version! We enjoyed many evenings on the roof top at El Fenn, taking photos and Sophie has used this inspiration to create this painting for me. I love how it anchors all the colours of the furnishings together and has a beautifully subtly lazy hazy vibe about it. It also reminds me of her, our friendship and our amazing trip.
I am so pleased with how this room has turned out and Tom and Arthur absolutely love it too. It really comes alive for cosy sessions on the sofa, watching our favourite Tv shows. Currently we are enjoying Survivor on BBC.
The colour palette works in creating this intimate, cosy and snug feeling which reflects how we use the space. The huge corner sofa and round footstool make the most of the small floor space and so this room now works so much better now. Could you be persuaded to go this dark? Let me know what you think in the comments!