How to nail it: a stylish living room design that lasts
How do you get a look that's on-trend, fresh but timeless? Bucks-based interior designer, Thomas Tyrrell to the rescue with a scheme that's got wow but will age well... something we all aspire to!
As one of the hardest working rooms in the house, your living room deserves a bit of a spruce-up every now again, but getting a contemporary look without spending a fortune on something that isn’t going to age well (hello, shiny leather sofa), is at art form. Luckily we’ve got Bucks-based and Muddy Award winning interior designer and retailer, Thomas Tyrrell in our armoury. We asked him to cut through the flyaway fashion and nail down a timeless look for a gorgeous living room. Take it away Thomas…
As an interior designer, as much as it’s important to be aware of current trends, I like to give my designs longevity so they don’t need to be replaced for at least 10-15 years. Rooms have got to have mileage.
This is my 3D visualisation of a living room – it is a client’s sun room that I’m working on at the moment and it just needed a bit of zhuzhing up. My stylescapes are basically a harder-working moodboard – more content rich and also the word moodboard just makes me think GCSE! I’ve used wooden panelling on the wall that add texture and warmth and act as a sound dampener. Let me talk you through the other elements…
When it comes to flooring, inlaid flooring is something you see in Victorian and Edwardian properties both outside and in. It was traditionally done with tiles but you see it now with rugs. It is clever because you are using less flooring than you need to as you don’t have a rug sitting on top of flooring, and it works really well under a dining table so you don’t get that uneven level or as a doormat. It has function as well as form.
I get asked a lot about what colour is the colour of the year, but I think it’s a ridiculous idea because why would you want a colour that’s just fashionable for that year? I think a more longer-lasting approach is this key trend of earthy tones – a neutral basis for design.
For the walls I’ve used a taupe-griege. The cool greys have come and gone and are now being replaced with warmer stone and putty. We’re also seeing warm wheaty oatmeal tones coming in, which are great to use on walls and ceilings.
A key thing to note with earthy tones is to know what undertones are in your colour – I’ve used a brown putty tone, some green tones in there and a pinky tone – good to know when it comes to bringing in furniture and soft furnishings. Another big trend I see coming is this coloured plaster trend – it’s a really rustic look to a wall to give it interest, texture and pattern.
Green is a really prominent colour in interiors right now and you can see smatterings of green in my design in the furniture. To contrast I’ve used a brick dust red, which I can see becoming really popular. I’ve reflected that in the ceramics with rusty red pieces and of course the green of the houseplants tones in really well with that. On the floor you can see a tribal print rug – shag-pile to give texture, pattern and interest.
A key metal tone for the coming years is brass – this is a trend that is going to stay. We’re moving away from shiny metals like polished chrome – what I’ve used here is brushed brass.
We’re going to see more warm woods like oak but it will still be lime-washed so you can see the grains and get texture – it’s all about seeing the rawness of the material. It’s rustic, but still luxe – you can see in the chair that it’s rustic but still has that clean upholstery feel to it.
The same with the cabinet – simple materials with brass and lime-washed oak but with bevelled doors to add interest. And again with light switches – it’s the little details. We’re seeing vintage-style toggle switches coming back in – it’s all about having fun with things that can seem quite boring, like light switches, but all give personality to the space.
Industrial style crittall windows are still very much on trend, with anthracite-covered PVC being really popular. It’s an industrial chic look but refined – clean straight lines and it’s dark. It matches in with the almost black paint that I’m seeing increasingly used on trims and architraves, and again, it goes so well with the light earthy tones. Another clever trick is to use crittall screens to break up rooms and divide a space without blocking light.