I was delighted to do some design work for a lovely reader recently and as it’s something I’d really like to do more of in the future, I thought I’d share the boards I did for her here. Perhaps it’ll give you some ideas on how to create a really fabulous space on a budget!

The brief was for a complete overhaul of a living room that hadn’t been touched since they’d moved in. Because it needed so much work with outdated wallpaper and carpets, the space had become a bit of a dumping ground as we probably all can relate to! My client is lucky enough to have a separate play area for the kids in a recent open plan renovation at the back of the house, but for the front of the house, she wanted a grown up retreat and somewhere her and her husband could unwind after the kids have gone to bed.

When I asked her what words she would want to use to describe the finished space she said, “dramatic, theatrical, cosy and grown up”.  She also loved the idea of using a dark paint on the walls with bright pops of colour (she particularly liked teal, mustard and bright pink) and touches of brass (right up my street!) and the space needed to include plenty of storage.

The budget, while healthy, was tight because it needed to include absolutely everything from floor to ceiling – so we were looking at creating big style on a budget!  As she’s not afraid of getting her hands dirty, I incorporated a few DIYs into the design to save some money.

Her Pinterest boards showed lots of gorgeous rooms in dark dramatic colours so I chose a lush deep teal colour – Hawaiian Blue 1 from Dulux – to be used all over, creating the most gorgeous backdrop for the neutral chesterfield sofa (something else that was a reoccurring theme on her boards) as well as those stunning pink tufted chairs.  The cushions of course, are from Stuck on Hue – Swoon Worthy favourites for sure!

Looking to make a statement and create a dramatic living room? Take a look at my moodboards featuring a dark tea, pink and mustard design.

The wall lights in brass will create subtle pools of light above the sofa and the art above it will use Ikea Ribba Frames (always a staple) along with DIY monochrome art – inspired by Shannon at Burlap and Lace (a recent bloggie find and oh so good!).  You can see Shannon’s art in her living room below – fab, no?

Create a dramatic living room design using brass lights and monochrome wall art.

The coffee table you may recognise as a gold leaf Ikea hack ala The Hunted Interior – genius! Talk about elevating a piece, eh?

Create a dramatic living room by using stand out furniture pieces

On the other side of the room, she had an existing oak fireplace mantle she wanted to use and flanking these were alcoves which have been called in for storage of a vast collection of books.  Lining the alcoves is a wallpaper I’ve been dying to use somewhere – Thibaut’s Tanzania wallpaper.  The star of the show will be that stunning ornate mirror that I recently added to my own bedroom. The built in cupboard and floating shelves will be painted out in that lovely dark teal colour.

My dramatic living room design moodboards

And finally, a large sideboard (for more required storage) from eBay (the one in the moodboard is from here to provide her with a look to go for) that she’ll be painting in mustard.  We’ll create a gallery wall using some of her existing pieces and we’ll flank it with two simple white and gold based lamps to add some more lighting. The barrel shades are DIY as well – using one of my favourite fabrics, Dara in Noir from Manuel Canovas to tie all the colours together.

Create a dramatic living room design by using bright and colourful patterns

Happily, my client really loved the look (oh the relief! yay!) and so is itching to start the makeover although hubby remains unconvinced by the pink chairs ;) So we may still do a bit of swapping around and then I’ll be helping her to accessorise the room as well once the main pieces are in place. Obviously, there’s quite a lot of work to be done here but I’ll be sure to share the before and afters with you to see how it all turns out.

Personally I think I’m going to be very jealous of her new digs!

What do you think of the moodboards? Would you be brave enough to try this look yourself?

If you are interested in hiring me to create your own moodboard and source products via an e-design service (and you are located in the UK), get in touch – I’d love to help!

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