Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Small living room How to style a small living room.

Following on from my recent post on how to create a flexible Room for Living using John Lewis and Partners furniture, I thought I’d show you how they can be moved around flexibly to needs.

I’ve recently started doing workouts in my small living room, a small but positive step towards getting fit.

To create space for working out, I’ve moved my Design Project by John Lewis coffee table off the carpet. It was handy that the table was light and slim, so fitted perfectly between the rug and fireplace without looking obtrusive.

Talking about the rug, I adore my new Tora rug from John Lewis and partners.

It’s so soft and has made my workout  (especially sit ups) less punishing.

It’s also a great spot for the family to sit whilst playing board games on the weekend. If you recall from my last post, I had a console table where the sofa is now in this small living room.

It’s in my hallway at present, to make room for my Design Project by John Lewis shelf unit. small living room Now back to the shelves.

After work or on weekends , I usually like to unwind by leafing through my collection of hardback books on interiors, travel and food.

I have a huge collection of books ( which incidentally I also use as props for photo shoots). The Design Project by John Lewis shelf is so stylish and elegant. It was the perfect solution for storing and displaying my book collection. Here’s a better view of the shelf. My dining table and chairs are the only pieces that have stayed in their original spot. 

How do you like this new configuration in my small living room?

It’s great that all these pieces of John Lewis and Partners furniture allow for such flexibility in the way we live.

The key to living flexibly in this small space is to buy quality furniture that can have multiple uses, is light enough to move around, and of course looks beautiful too.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Wishing you a wonderful day. x

( All photography and styling are by Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with John Lewis and Partners.)

Room for Living. Flexible living room in a small space.

The whole open plan “kitchen into living room” trend continues to gain momentum, as the living room morphs from its traditional role as a space for just lounging, into one that caters for entertaining, eating and for working in.

However, most houses still have the traditional kitchen and living room split. In addition to that, renovating a new space can be expensive.

With the increasing scarcity of affordable housing, space in homes are also at a premium, so creating a living room that caters for all our lifestyle needs makes enormous sense. Room for living john lewis and partners As a challenge to myself, I decided to style a small living room space with multiple elements of living in mind  (minus the kitchen).

For me, picking the right furniture is key to creating a flexible room for living, and they have to be light enough to move around. 

Obviously, design and aesthetic are also important.

I picked all my furniture pieces for this flexible living room space from John Lewis and partners. It was easy to select the pieces, as there was such a vast choice of furniture range to pick from. Moreover, all the key information I needed from dimensions, furniture weight and delivery times were all clearly available.

When deciding on my Room for Living pieces, I listed out what activities we would use the space for.  The most obvious requirement was a comfortable sofa to sink into, from where we could relax or even work from.

I’ve always had colourful sofas, but this time I’ve opted for a grey one. Grey is actually a great backdrop from which colours can pop. The sofa is from the House by John Lewis range and is called Archie II. It’s really light to move around the room and super comfortable too.

In fact, I’m now sitting on the sofa as I write this blog post on my laptop. I may even consider having a nap here soon too. To keep myself awake, I have a strong cup of coffee resting on my oak Design project by John Lewis coffee table. Isn’t it a gorgeous table?

I love it’s curved body and that extra shelving is just perfect for storing my coffee table books, notebooks and even a jar of treats to go with my coffee. I think having a dining space totally away from the messy kitchen makes dining more pleasurable, so a dining table was an essential.

My selection was the House by John Lewis Anton 4 seater dining table as it was stylish, light and just the right size for our family of 4.

This dining table would not just be for mealtimes. In fact, my husband has started using this space to work from home. I’ve placed the dining table next to a large window with a skylight above for lots of natural lighting.

After school, the table is also a great space for the kids to do their homework. This weekend for the first time, my son used the space for his music theory tuition.

The chairs are called Whistler and are from John Lewis and partners too. As the living room is rather small, I couldn’t fit a huge sideboard into the space. 

I was so pleased to find this elegant Design project by John Lewis console table in oak.  It was just the perfect size for small space living.  

It functions well as a surface for room essentials, such as this John Lewis Myers Banker touch table lamp in gold, a clock, a scented candle and other decorative accessories.

The console table can also function as a work desk, if the dining table is otherwise occupied. Some people worry about using colours in a small space, because it may make it look smaller. 

However, this is totally not the case. Colour to me opens up a space and makes it happy and bright. I’ve introduced colour with some cushions, a colourful rug and a pink armchair.

The soft pink armchair is called Scoop. It is currently out of stock, but I believe it will be back in stock around June 10th 2019. Isn’t the rug gorgeous? It’s called the Tora rug and also from John Lewis and partners. So, what do you think of my flexible Room for Living? It is definitely a place for rest, fun and even work. Most of all, it fits our lifestyle well. Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Wishing you a lovely day.

( All photography and styling are by Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with John Lewis and partners).

Last weekend, I attended Grand Designs Live at London’s Excel.

It was the first time I’ve visited. I was excited to go, as I’ve caught the renovating bug, and wanted to explore what else I could do to my home. If you follow me on instagram, then you would be aware that I have been re-doing my bathroom.

The refurbishment has slowed down a bit, as I’m waiting for a few bespoke pieces to be made. However, I think we will be making progress in the next 2 weeks, and I should be able to show you soon.

Anyway, right now I have another dilemma. Do I redo my kitchen?

My current kitchen was put in around 10 years ago. It is contemporary and very white.

White kitchens may currently be out of fashion, but I must say, white kitchens do sell a house.

I would love a colourful kitchen, and when I saw this beautiful kitchen by Uncommon Projects, it made my heart flutter. Absolutely loving the clean lines, open ply wood shelving for display and those ridged glass doors.

I would go for my usual colour palette of pastel tones.

However, I have asked myself, is this a necessary expense?

I would probably say yes, because you only live once right? Might as well go for something that makes your heart flutter.

I could of course also sell my white kitchen, so there is no wastage.

Anyway, the more I browse Uncommon Projects’ site, the more I want a new kitchen. grand designs live The show was full of inspiration. They commissioned 8 interior designers to come up with ideas for the “under the stairs”  space.

There were so many cool and innovative ideas.

This playhouse is by Chloe Gets Creative, and was the overall winner. Isn’t it just so cute? If you like I, have a teen son who loves Fortnite, then you can probably see the appeal of this under the stairs space created by Fleur Ward Interior Design.

To be honest, I wouldn’t mind moving all that computer gear out of his bedroom.

I can see this stylish space appealing to an adult male too. A den for football viewing with beers in the fridge. What do you think? How about this for a household with pets?

I don’t have pets, but I know talking to those who do, they really do become an integral part of the family.

So, I think they deserve a home indoors too. A little space that is not human space. Agree?

This was created by Kristyna Mc Darby. Lynsey Hoskin from Asheville Interiors Design has created this cool dark room inspired by her love of photography.

That weathered effect wall is just perfect for the industrial vibe that the space exuded. From inspiring spaces, to inspired crafting. Grand Designs had an area this year called “Upcycling Hub” which showcased DIY demos.

This leopard print idea on furniture or ceramics was a winner. I think I need to go get some Sharpie pens this weekend pronto! I already have this thing with concrete basins, but this rounded one with ridges from Kast concrete basins was just perfection.

It looked amazing set against that cute glass backsplash designed by Muck N Brass. Grand Designs Live Last, but not least, I have to tell you about my encounter with Kevin Mc Cloud.

He was as lovely and inspirational on screen as off screen.

I got to ask Kevin a few questions over coffee.

He was truly passionate about sustainable design and the environment. I learned a lot from our short chat together.

I asked him if most new self builds nowadays are embracing the sustainability agenda.

Here’s what he said: ” I can only gauge the mood from the people that I meet. Many people building start off by saying ‘ I want to save money, and don’t want an expensive build, so will super insulate it and because there is a grant for this, will put in some solar panels’. However, they discover in this process that there are other serious issues around this that is to do with climate change and resource management. Usually by the time they finish building they become in their own way, eco warriors. I find it heartening that the design and build process is a route to understanding these issues. ”

He also touched on how he admired the recent movement from the younger generations, such as Greta Thunberg on raising awareness on climate change and campaigning on ways to protect our environment. He said ” I have enormous respect for young people who are talking about this, because it is going to be their lifetimes that is going to be profoundly impacted by our inability to deal with these issues.”

It’s wonderful to hear how Grand Designs Live is doing its part to help the environment. Kevin said “Grand Designs Live take the issue seriously. From the word go, we didn’t tolerate companies who didn’t use FSC timber, who were rip off businesses making copies in factories where conditions for workers could not be verified. We place great emphasis over the years on craftsmanship and the relationship between consumer and the maker. Within the Grand Designs Live fair, is this special zone curated by Kevin Mc Cloud, called ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’.

Here’s what he told me: ” It’s a personal selection of diverse products that address the sustainability agenda, resource use and recyclability.”

I have a selected a few of his curates below to show you. This is called ‘ Eoacoustic material’ and is a noise cancelling interior material  based on Spruce needles.

These panels are a natural porous material that absorbs sound reflections, regulates humidity and temperature, creating a comfortable and healthy atmosphere. These Hemp Fibre Corrugated sheeting from Margent Farm. It’s a hemp based alternative to plastic, metal and cement board.

The natural high cellulose content of the plant makes it a serious, sustainable plastic alternative.

They can be fixed with traditional 60mm screws and used for a wide variety of construction purposes. Finally, this is called Mapuguaquen, the world’s first active sound system made of clay. The speakers fuse the state-of-the-art in electronics and amplification with ancestral craft techniques.

Such interesting and diverse products for eco-living don’t you think?

Anyway, that wraps up my short report of Grand Designs Live. It’s still not too late if you want to go see for yourself.

It is running till May 12th 2019 at London’s Excel, and then will be in Birmingham’s NEC from 9th till 13th October 2019.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the round up. There is so much more than I could share here. I would recommend going if you are thinking of renovating or building a home.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership post with Grand Designs Live, but all opinions are my own).

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