I love makeovers (and makeunders) of any description – gardens, people, but especially interiors. When I saw a truly ugly room online recently I decided to give it a makeover, a few times over.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with any of the furniture or finishes (in fact I’ll reuse most of the pieces in the makeovers to prove this). It’s just that they clash and clamour for attention, while managing to create one of the most boring rooms I have ever seen. The layout is all wrong, blocking the French doors. Someone decided to paint the walls white to “tone it all down” a bit, but the cold white paint just clashes with the warm brick and wood – which clash with each other. The red feature wall doesn’t suit the red in the rug or the curtains! The curtains are skimpy and make the windows seem smaller. The single central light fitting is cold and lonely. And those door and window frames and trim! There’s also way too much stuff.
My first instinct was get rid of everything, but that’s not very economical or environmentally friendly. I love clever re-use of existing items – painting, reupholstering, rearranging etc. Widening the opening was the only structural change for the first redo. Lightening the floor and trims completely opened up the space, as did removing the extra chair. The soft grey walls work beautifully with the reupholstered sofa and the existing fireplace bricks, and the whole room exudes a calm gallery-like vibe.
The next version is cool and modern, while incorporating some classic scandi-style pieces influenced by this wonderful clock. Now the reds (red-oranges actually) all work together, and the rug suddenly seems extremely desirable.
Here are the same kinds of colours with the same kind of scandi feel – but what a different result. The capacious shelving really changes the apparent structure of the room, and the sectional sofa slots in perfectly.
Now we head to the Hamptons. Dark floor, wicker, linen – drool. Doesn’t this room appear about twice the size of the original? It has exactly the same dimensions – with the same amount of seating, more storage and much better traffic flow. There is not much colour – but there is lots of texture and shape to compensate.
I love the industrial loft look, so I had to give that a go too.
This next design builds on the Hamptons one – I call it “neutral-plus” as it is mostly neutral, with some hits of colour. Changing the windows to French doors opens up many layout options.
In this very feminine design a colour takes over the seating, and a desk tucks in neatly beside the fireplace. Loving those shutters!
What would I do if this was my room (and I had the budget to go for broke)? This is how it turned out –
This is the same room, same camera angle, same dimensions, same sofa and armchair. I am amazed by the apparent change in dimensions. Aren’t you?