Project by: Karen Knox of Making Spaces
Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire
Karen's clients were ready and willing to do a full renovation of their Edwardian home but wanted to ease into the process with their living room, which only needed a cosmetic upgrade. After talking with her clients about how they saw themselves living in the space, and the type of design they're drawn to, she created this dark and layered space.
From Karen: Upon first glance of this five bedroom Edwardian property in Harrogate, North Yorkshire it was clear to see this property had bags of potential, but it was going to take some bold moves to get the place looking right. The homeowners, a professional couple, were committed to taking on a complete renovation of the entire house, replacing and restoring several period features that had been removed, whilst transforming the back of the house with a large extension and basement conversion.
The first room they wanted to tackle was the front room as, apart from brand new sash windows, most of the work was cosmetic. In my initial consultation, we discussed how they wanted to use the room, who would use it and when. Any design begins around the answers to these questions. They wanted a room to relax in, no TV. Somewhere to unwind with a gin after work, a place to invite friends around and listen to music. They had two mid-century style 'Ritchie' sofas from MADE from their previous home that they wanted to use in this space, but the rest was completely up for grabs. With the sofas being small of scale and the room being rather large with 2.7 meter (8.9 feet) high ceilings, it was clear to me the room needed a large scale, repeat wallpaper that wrapped around the entire space, something dark to give that cozy intimate feeling in the evening. Perfect for gin o'clock.
When we discussed design elements the couple loved, "mid-century, geometric and glam" kept cropping up and within the first meeting, I suggested Ferm Living's 'Lines' wallpaper in a moody, dark blue. The gold geometric detailing was perfect and accentuated on the edges of the chimney breast with gold metallic paint. I chose yellow as the accent to pick up on the gold tones in the wallpaper design, which you can see in the IKEA Stockholm cabinet, Euan floor lamp from Habitat and artwork by Andy Welland in either alcove.
We opted for the traditional front room layout of the sofas facing one another with a large rug and coffee table to connect to seating. Five lighting sources were added to the room to provide soft lighting in each corner of the room.
The homeowners were brilliant to work with, doing a lot of the work themselves during evenings and weekends. Including reinstating the ceiling rose, stripping back the 100 year old floorboards (on the hottest day of the year) then repairing and re-staining them, painting the ceiling and woodwork and fitting the new lights, switches and sockets. In fact, it was only the wallpapering that was sourced out to a professional. By doing so much of the work themselves, it made everything so much more affordable.
Making good design accessible to all is something I'm extremely passionate about, incorporating a few knock-out, key pieces and mixing them with vintage and high street. In fact, we barely paid full price for anything in the room, very nearly everything was bought on sale or with discount codes. Initially the couple were skeptical about wallpapering the entire room, favoring the more traditional feature wall, but I pressed them quite hard on going for the whole room, and they were great. They listened, put their trust in me and went for it. And it totally paid off. The transformation from beige, bland box to stunning drawing room was instant.
Client quote: "If we hadn't hired Karen, we would've ended up with a nice room but it would've been missing something. With Karen's help, we've got a proper 'wow' room which we love! Can't wait for the next project."
- Mid century sideboard - sourced from eBay for £25
- Artwork – Andy Welland
- Rug – La Redoute
- Glass Console Table - La Redoute
- Floor Lamp – Ebay
- Cage Geometric Pendant – Nordium (spray painted gold before fitted)
- Yellow Floor Lamp – Habitat
- Sheepskin – Hide Rugs
- Mirror – Marks & Spencer
- Brass Pineapple – John Lewis
- Gold Trays & Blue and Gold Cushions – H&M
- Woodwork and radiator – Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue
- Coving & Ceiling Rose – Farrow & Ball Pointing
- Ceiling – Farrow & Ball Matchstick
- Yellow Stockholm Cabinet & Ekenesat Armchair – IKEA
- Tribe Table Lamp – Marks & Spencer
- Ferm Living Wallpaper – Cloudberry Living
- Mantel pieces styling and accessories - Homeowners own and charity shop/vintage
Thanks, Karen and Making Spaces !
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Project Submission Form.