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How to brighten up a living room for summer

From the curtains to the sofas, here's a guide to transform a dull and tired space into a vibrant, luxurious living room.

Amira Hashish
Friday 22 May 2015 12:58 BST
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The Beatrix cup and saucer from Oliver Bonas, and House of Fraser plastic flutes
The Beatrix cup and saucer from Oliver Bonas, and House of Fraser plastic flutes (Photography: Sky Moore-Clube)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Summer is coming so it is time to brighten up living spaces with vibrant homeware.

For a makeover we have revamped a dull and dreary room with florals, pink hues, smart seating and a rug that really makes a statement, while evoking the impressionist movement.

Here's a five-step guide to achieving the look:

GO BOLD

Sofa Workshop’s Florence range is a great choice for both classical or contemporary rooms. Handmade in a British workshop, sofas and armchairs can be tailored accordingly. “We offer a range of products which can be adapted to suit the needs of customers, be it in fabric, dimensions or cushion fillings,” says the brand’s co-director Ian MacGuffog. For the Impressionist movement, colour was key. Indeed, Monet said: “Colour is my day-long obsession.” The armchair (£719, sofaworkshop.com) in vogue hot pink makes a bold statement while the mole sofa (from £999, sofaworkshop.com) is a cool counterpart. Both are a joy to sink into. Matching cushions in aubergine, white, mole and hot pink sit nicely with Next’s Flourish embroidered and beaded cushion (£16, next.co.uk).

Sofa Workshop’s Florence armchair in vogue hot pink with the mole sofa from the range; Toiles de Mayenne curtains from Prêt à Vivre; Plantation Rug Company’s Impressions rug on Moduleo Verdon Oak flooring; and Tom Dixon Bell lamp and candles from StreetHub.
Sofa Workshop’s Florence armchair in vogue hot pink with the mole sofa from the range; Toiles de Mayenne curtains from Prêt à Vivre; Plantation Rug Company’s Impressions rug on Moduleo Verdon Oak flooring; and Tom Dixon Bell lamp and candles from StreetHub. (Photography: Sky Moore-Clube)

FOCUS ON FLOORS

Plantation Rug Company’s Impressions collection offers a beautiful nod to Monet and his contemporaries. The silky texture allows it to morph in colour. The pink in 150 x 230cm (£550, plantationrug.co.uk) works for this scheme but it is available in four shades. Moduleo makes luxury vinyl flooring which achieves the natural look of wood with depth of colour. Moisture and scratch resistant, it is easy to clean. For this makeover the Verdon Oak 24830 (moduleo.co.uk) works well. CLICK technology makes it easy to install as there is no adhesive involved. However, check that your fitter has worked with Moduleo before.

TIE IN THE CURTAINS

Curtain and blind specialist Prêt à Vivre stocks an extensive range of fabrics, most of which are also suitablefor upholstery and can be bought by the metre. A made-to-measure service is also available as well as a measuring and installation option, which includes a site visit by an expert. For the revamp, founder Joanne Cassabois has chosen Adele curtains by Toiles de Mayenne (from £39.90 per metre, pretavivre.com), one of the last family run French weavers, which is available in the UK through Prêt à Vivre. “Pick curtains that you will not tire of quickly and which will allow you to transform your room with different accent colours and designs,” she advises.

PICK SMART STORAGE

Clever storage can help create the illusion of more space. The white gloss Kubrik cupboard (£395) and AV unit (£295, habitat.co.uk) blend in well and a ladder storage unit (£24.99, argos.co.uk) is useful for display. TaskRabbit offers flat-pack assembly services (taskrabbit.co.uk). An Alyona extending dining table from Dwell is ideal for small spaces (£399, dwell.co.uk). Team it with Habitat’s Tam Tam plastic stools (£15, habitat.co.uk) and Philippe Starck Kartell Victoria Ghost Chairs in solid white (£181 each, heals.co.uk).

An extendable dining table from Dwell, Habitat’s Tam Tam stools and Philippe Starck Kartell Victoria Ghost Chairs.
An extendable dining table from Dwell, Habitat’s Tam Tam stools and Philippe Starck Kartell Victoria Ghost Chairs. (Photography: Sky Moore-Clube)

FINISHING TOUCHES

A print of Monet’s The Water-Lily Pond (from £35, nationalgallery.co.uk) is spot on for this makeover. Modern gadgets and accessories are also incorporated. The Sony W6 BRAVIA smart television (£429 for 40inch model, sony.co.uk) is stylish, streamline and has great picture quality. “You’ll notice the difference of full HD pictures whether you are watching the latest blockbuster or your favourite drama,” says James Glover of Sony. Statement pieces can be found on StreetHub, an online platform for independent home and fashion boutiques. Our favourites include a Mediteranneo Fruit Basket (£89), chrome Tom Dixon bell table lamp (£420) and matching scented candle set from That Design Store (£79.95, streethub.com). Polished chrome switches and sockets start from £7.49 at wickes.co.uk.

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