Changing Room; WANT to Transform Your Living Room but Not Sure Where to Start? Lifestyle Editor ZOE CHAMBERLAIN Put Interior Design Services from Three Stores to the Test in a Sunday Mercury Makeover Challenge

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), May 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

Changing Room; WANT to Transform Your Living Room but Not Sure Where to Start? Lifestyle Editor ZOE CHAMBERLAIN Put Interior Design Services from Three Stores to the Test in a Sunday Mercury Makeover Challenge


Byline: ZOE CHAMBERLAIN

LAURA ASHLEY

HELEN Porter, interior designer for Laura Ashley stores in the Midlands, says: 'It's a shame so many people feel restricted to only using magnolia in a small room.

'I recommend injecting personality and fun into your rooms by choosing a strong and sumptuous colour. You can always repaint with magnolia if you come to sell. 'This room seems to lack purpose, so it's good to give it an atmosphere all of its own. I see it as a great room for evening soirAes, so I'm giving it an Oriental theme. 'First, I'd get rid of the fake beams and rip up the carpet. If the floorboards are good, I'd varnish them. If not, I'd lay an oatmeal carpet.

'I'd paint the window wall and two end walls cherry and the back wall a charcoal colour with a red armchair or chaise longue on that wall, and a charcoal sofa against the end red wall.

'The window is clearly the main focus as you walk in, so make a feature out of it with long

light-coloured, patterned curtains and dark Roman blinds behind to add a real wow factor.

'The trick is to go for an even balance of lighting, with lots of mirrored furniture to bounce the light around the room and create a feeling of space.

'Accessories are very important. You need rugs, mirrors, cushions and pictures to finish the room off

MAKEOVER BUYS

FULL-LENGTH, lined curtains in Erin cherry for dress purpose pounds 475 Pewter pole and ball end finials pounds 140 Double tassel tie backs in charcoal pounds 50 Four blackout Roman blinds in charcoal with cherry beaded edge on bottom of each blind pounds 320 Jessica chaise longue in Villandry cherry pounds 850 Montrose two-seater sofa in Villandry charcoal pounds 1,050 Westwood chair in linen with contrast piping pounds 700 Two Henley side tables pounds 400 Henley console table pounds 300

Ella floor rug pounds 275 Seriana round mirror to sit above console pounds 225 Seriana rectangular mirror to sit above chaise longue pounds 350 Five cushions from pounds 25 Sharifa chandelier pounds 125 Two Battersby lamps pounds 125 each Two Rivett tall lamp bases pounds 80 each and Chrysanthemum shades pounds 25 ESTIMATED TOTAL: pounds 5,795 (not including paint or flooring) l Interior design service costs pounds 150 for up to three rooms. Call 0870 562 2116 for further details

HABITAT

NATASHA Bruce, interior designer for Habitat, says: 'It's important to give the whole room a light, bright feel when you have little space.

'Roman blinds will keep the large window looking sleek and tidy without too much bulky material.

'A sofa with slim legs will look as though it takes up less space than a bulky sofa with a solid base.

'Wallpapering just the end walls will give it a cosy feel without making it feel that the walls are coming in at you. The room will look more finished with just two accent, feature walls. Paint the other walls with paint in the same background colour as the wallpaper. …

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