Living room makeover – little changes make a big impact

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

You might have seen glimpses on my Instagram feed, but I don’t think I’ve shared photos here of our living room makeover and how just a few small changes have made a big difference to how the space feels. I had to keep it under wraps for ages as it was part of a style makeover with West Elm that was featured in the AW16 issue of 91 magazine, but now the mag has been out for a few months, I think it’s time I showed you how we’ve updated the space.

My favourite black wall is still here – I’ve definitely not tired of it yet, and still love it just as much as when I first painted it. There are a few more shots of the room before here and here. I’ve mentioned before how I’ve been simplifying the colours in our house, sticking to a more neutral palette with accents of yellow and aqua blue, so although I love the colourful rug that used to be in the living space, it didn’t quite work for me anymore. I replaced it with this large circular monochrome Souk rug from West Elm (the colourful one is now helping to make my home office a little cosier). As soon as we switched the rugs over the room felt calmer. It’s been shedding like crazy (normal in the first three to six months), especially as the twins use it as a gymnastics mat, but I think it’s nearing the end of the shedding stage thank goodness.

The other big change has been a furniture shuffle. The vintage cabinet (from my grandparents’ house) has moved over to sit next to our leather sofa. Before, it felt crammed in on the wall next to our big L-shaped sofa, and moving it has created a bit more breathing space in the room. The car boy jar was given to me by my lovely mother-in-law – I’m supposed to be creating a terrarium in it, but I’ve been putting it off because I want to make sure I do plenty of research before I get started. In the spot where the cabinet used to be is a little set of shelves that also came from my grandparents’ house.

And finally, I wanted a really huge house plant, so I opted for a big Monstera deliciosa (or Swiss cheese plant) which the twins have nicknamed the ‘BFG’. I’d like a larger one, really, but I’ve popped him on a little stool to give the impression he’s taller than he actually is!

You’ll also spot that the vintage lace doilies I sewed onto the arm of the sofa to cover up the cat scratches are still doing their job nicely. Although seven months later I still haven’t got round to doing the other arm (strategically not shown in any of these pictures). It’s probably what I should have been doing at the weekend instead teaching myself how to macrame some hanging planters by watching videos on YouTube. My prioritising clearly still needs some work….

Anyway, here are some more photographs of the new look living room. Any questions, give me a shout in the comments below.

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Living room mini makeover | Growing Spaces

Bits and bobs: Cushions and throw, all from West Elm. LOVE print from Etsy. Sheepskin rugs from IKEA. The white wooden screen is one we’ve had for years from Lombok. Anything I’ve missed, just ask!



  1. Jo
    January 16, 2017 / 5:04 pm


    I absolutely love the dark wall. Am thinking of doing my fireplace a similar shade. Can you tell me what paint you used?

    Thank you

    • Heather Young February 3, 2017 / 10:01 am

      Sorry for the delay coming back to you! It’s La Plancha by Valspar.

  2. Kimberley
    February 2, 2017 / 6:11 am

    Absolutely loving the doilies on the arm of your sofa great idea did you make them yourself or did you buy them?

  3. June 24, 2022 / 12:25 am

    Commendable makeover! Thanks for such amazing ideas with us. The sofa makes the room look even better. From where did you buy it?

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