Interior design inspiration for dark walls and drama in your living room

Design project

I recently had the great opportunity to work with some lovely clients in Aberdeen, who asked me for help with the redesign of their living room in a ground floor Victorian apartment in the city centre. A beautiful living room is must be said; with the characteristic high ceilings, giant window, wooden floor boards and a fire place. The couple wasn’t keen on the current white walls in the living room and also generally struggled a bit creating a look that felt ‘together’. They clearly liked darker colour schemes, with a deep blue dining room already beautifully decorated, featuring some nice vintage mahogany furniture. The living room was next.


  • Art deco style accessories / furniture
  • Darker, moody colours for the walls
  • Woodwork (window and skirtings to be painted)
  • Mahogany or similar warmer tone natural wooden furniture
  • A new wooden floor
  • Metallic silver/grey wallpaper on chimney breast to stay
  • Black/gold lampshades to be used that were bought already


For their living room I came up with a scheme that tied in nicely with the moody blue dining room next door, but was still providing a contrast. Green. The walls were to be green! With their love for art deco, gold accents and deep, dark colours, we started to gather ideas on this Pinterest board to get a better feel for where the design was going.

I then came up with this mood board:


As the couple wanted their walls to be green (did I say green?), rather than blue-green, I chose to step away from the original art deco colour scheme a little and suggest Farrow and Ball ‘Green Smoke‘. This timeless colour goes very well with metallics so would make a good match with the art deco accessories and any vintage furniture that would be bought. For the woodwork I suggested an off black, which may proof to dark, but certainly adds to the drama in the room!



I love chesterfield sofas, both vintage tan leather ones and modern versions that nowadays can be found in many stores, covered in any fabric. I felt a graphite grey or dusty blue linen would go well with the scheme, especially on top of a lighter coloured rug, to ‘lift’ the dark scheme a little. Some gold yellow accent cushions and foot stool also add a bit of interest. The black with gold lamp shades were already bought by the client and waiting to be used, so I incorporated them in the scheme, combining them with vintage mahogany standard lamps. The chandelier I selected may not be the one they eventually go for, but something along those lines would look stunning in my opinion!


The existing living room currently has no book shelves around the chimney breast, so I felt including built in bookcases with cupboards at the bottom would be a great use of space and adding a sophisticated bit of storage, for any dvds and other bits and bobs you may not like to have on display. A very large painting above the chesterfield would add an amazing final touch. Très chic, this room!

Rockabilly on a budget: room makeover

Design project

As a give-away price on Facebook last year I offered to create a free design for someone’s room of choice and I was delighted to be asked to come up with ideas for a living room in a wonderful old house Laurencekirk. High ceilings, lots of character – and a very inspiring interior already. The owners, artists and musicians, had already decorated their home in a fabulously creative way, colourful and full of vintage finds, including a vintage radio collection and a 1960s record player. I found it quite a challenge to add to this! Probably the most eclectic room I have done so far, I decided to mainly focus on storage and making the room look a bit more ‘together’, using the pieces that were already there. I also wanted to change the wall colour to give the room a bit more wow factor without losing the wonderful bohemian vibe that was present in the house.



  • Colours: duck egg/teal and red (‘vintage rockabilly’)
  • Shelving in the alcoves around existing fireplace.
  • New sofa, table and possible accessories.
  • Storage for kids toys and books.
  • Piano, rug and fireplace artwork are staying.

Have a look at the Pinterest board and what I came up with: Pinterest board


The budget was very low, more like next to nothing, so I had put my upcycling and second-hand buying hat on and do my best to come up with cost-effective solutions. As their old Ikea sofa was really on its way out, I managed to source a gorgeous vintage leather chesterfield sofa in the process for an absolute bargain, which is now taking pride of place in the room. The shelving in the alcoves are going to be scaffold planks. The walls in the design are painted a duck-egg/teal blue and on the wall at the far end I imagined a nice red floral wallpaper, as a contrast with some heavy blue velvet curtains. A wooden crate on wheels holds toys, with a soft sheepskin rug to play on and a couple of knitted pouffes as additional seating, that can be moved around the room. A slim drawer unit fits in between the piano and the sofa for additional storage and to put a plant or table lamp on. The artwork above the sofa could include a changing exhibition of kids drawings, framed vintage fabrics, photographs or prints.


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