A Black & White Living Room
My blog is always way behind my Instagram, so posting on how my lounge turned out after I moved from the villa into an apartment has been a long time coming. Sorry !
But I’m here now so just for the record this is how it turned out.
I have a tendency to over decorate. Coco Chanel always said to look in the mirror before going out and take one thing off. The same is true for interiors. We all have our go to style that we gravitate towards. And no matter how much I try to remain contemporary, I fight a daily urge to not add the odd wicker basket. But with the apartment I wanted it bright, white and contemporary.
The first thing I do in any room is find the focal point and build the room around that. In a lounge that tends to be the tv or the fire or both. We don’t have a fire. In any good show house you will find a beautifully arranged room, arranged to show the space off to perfection. But they never have a tv because as soon as you introduce it, it narrows your options. This lounge is a thoroughfare between the kitchen and the bedrooms so positioning the tv was an issue. Facing it so that you didn’t have people walking past the tv all the time meant that I compromised on the size of seating. That wasn’t an option. So the sofa opens out into the room. But at least when you walk in you see the whole seating area. I hate walking into a room and seeing the back of a large piece of furniture. Looks pants!
The walls are brilliant white with sheet glass floor to ceiling slide away doors to the balcony on one side. A Black & White Living Room colour scheme made sense. Keep the bright airiness, but ground it with a darker colour.
On the windows It was clear I needed not only sheers ( yes net curtains to us who can remember our mothers) but also some black out blinds behind to stop the glare on the tv. I’m aware I keep banging on about the tv but to be fair we aren’t curl up with a jigsaw puzzle type of family.
Choosing the Sofa
Also knew I wanted to keep the palette bright with a white modern sofa as the base. Not a chesterfield in sight! This was a risk as white can so easily get dirty but I figured the kids are older now and not actually here much. I can manage it through shouting ” Get That Off The Sofa” at regular intervals. Decision made. Also the type of sofa was in question. The one I desperately wanted went against everything I would normally find acceptable. The Cloud sofa is really unusual in that even the base is soft structure. When you sit on it you literally carry on sinking for a few seconds into the duck down cushions. Absolute and unadulterated luxury. When you sit you don’t want to get out, which is just as well as its quite difficult to get up from, in fact it’s downright undignified to be honest.!! But for comfort you sacrifice what it looks like most of the time. An unmade bed. Often crumpled, always needs fluffing. It would normally be my nightmare. But I’m embracing my discomfort zone. Again Decision made, and an extremely long white sectional cloud sofa arrived. In unforgiving white!
The accent colour came by accident. A mustard colour mongolian fluffy cushion sat on a chair next to a black and white geometric one in Marina Home. I bought a few of both and we were off.
Finding a nice black sideboard was tricky. I was looking for something plain, black and long. It was very difficult to find either so I balanced the expensive sofa with an IKEA staple and bought two end to end. Ikea is awesome, unpretentious but does what it says on the box. Ikea pieces are also very easy to customise. Replace handles, add a countertop.
The area behind the sofa was dead space anyway next to the window so I decided on two long console tables to add some interest behind. Finding things to go on the console and the coffee table is a guilty pleasure and I can waste hours arranging and rearranging. Some books always a good start, a plant and lamps.
When I put the lamps in I decided to use the wifi light bulbs. In the villa I couldn’t do it as there were about 2000 of them!
I went with the Philips Hue range online. Then download the app on your phone and all of the lightbulbs sync with the wifi. You can then spend ages playing with all of the settings. From bright to rosy, relaxing to night time. There’s even some very funky blue, green and purple options that make it look like a bordello from outside, but still fun. My only word of warning is make sure that your wifi is strong and stable. When it isn’t, your lights will flicker. Which can be a bit annoying when you can’t find your phone and when you do it’s out of charge, and by the time you’ve charged it all the neighbours think you’re trying to communicate morse code SOS through the windows and you’ve got a migraine.
Furniture wise, only one piece came with me from the villa. I had a lot of choice but in the end I went for the black chinese cabinet from the hallway. Plain, black and a statement piece to dominate the room. That an my gold angel wings, which I swear I love so much I will be buried with them. A bespoke coffin may be required!
I wanted to keep the space as light as possible so I chose glass coffee tables, and my beloved zebra rugs. ( Not real I hasten to add!) Finding a rug to go with those was a bit of a challenge to be honest. For a start it’s impossible to get large rugs. Sofas get bigger but the rug companies ( at least the mid range ones) never got the memo. That meant again a choice of actual carpet cut to size and boded around the edge. A good option but usually only when you want plain. Patterned end to end carpet usually looks like something from my nan’s house. I don’t think I’ve ever found a nice one. I’m happy to be proved wrong if anyone has any recommendations. Or, two rugs together. I went for pattern in shades of grey with a bit of gold/mustard through. Enough pattern to add a bit of interest but not enough to overpower the room.
A the fur throw – hmmm I know its 40 degrees outside, but like the wicker baskets, I can’t resist.
The Home Office
Lastly, short on space I needed a place to work. so a single black desk was dressed up with two black, white and gold chairs in one corner and some shelves, again from IKEA.
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