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any budding interior designers about with cottages??

(11 Posts)
streptococcus Tue 12-Jul-11 20:07:06

so I need to redecorate our living room as its looking tired and dated. and I dont have a CLUE where to start
I've looked in magazines bit feel a bit overwhelmed. I think i actually have very little taste blush and my design "ideas" never work out like i think they will!

its in a cottage with low ceilings and lightish coloured beams. Its north facing with smallish windows so not a lot of light. one wall is old brick with an inglenook type fireplace ( which is currently painted white in the recess) with wood burner.

apart from the woodburner I have a few old prints in goldish frames with neutral coloured mounting that i want to keep. I need to make the curtains. Our sofa needs replacing.... but must not be cream. my budget is think TK Maxx rather than designer.

any ideas where to start??

7to25 Tue 12-Jul-11 20:27:06

if your budget is limited then work out what you are keeping and what is going. your sofa will be a big expense. Are you keeping the current flooring and what is it?
Try and plan the whole room together, even if you don't DO everything at the same time. the last thing to choose is the paint colour. paint can be matched to that lovely bargain fabric that you picked up. the other way round is hard.
Start with the things that you already have and with a smaller room try and use a limited colour palette. make sure that any bits of furniture are not too large and are in keeping with the scale of the room.
if the room is north facing, you could bring in warm tones with accents pulled from the brick wall.
I would aim for a transitional style that is neither too modern or "country cottage" in a horse-brass kind of way. you should be able to mix in sofa/s in a plain boxy shape from IKEA with older wooden furniture.

narmada Tue 12-Jul-11 20:27:24

What's on your floors? If the cottage is north-facing I would go for maximum use of white. Could you paint floorboards white, nice bright rug (with a small pattern) from Ikea or similar? Maybe slightly off-white walls, as all pure brilliant white can be a bit flat in a darkish room.

I would stick a large mirror on the wall opposite the inglenook if poss - it will make the room seem lighter and bigger.

There are loads and loads of sofas on Ebay, some of them quite nice. That would give you more money to play around with for the rest of the refurb.

Ikea have some nice fabrics, which are also cheap, for making curtains from.

By no means a budding interior designer, but am spending a lot of time at the moment on furniture sites!

streptococcus Tue 12-Jul-11 20:37:28

ooo thank you for your replies.

so flooring is currently a neutral coloured cream carpet. it shows the dirt but i dont think we can afford to replace it now.

I had also forgotten we could keep a small rather ancient dark wood coffee table

room is approx 9 by 10 foot so not huge I like the mirror idea but because of the placement of the windows and beams on walls i dont think there is actually any space to hang one.

would ikea be worth a trip do you think? they dont do fabric online do they. it takes 2 hours to drive to our nearest sad
thanks again

streptococcus Tue 12-Jul-11 20:38:56

i am liking the idea of off white walls too..... off to look at online paint charts

narmada Tue 12-Jul-11 20:41:59

ooh goodness, if you're 2 hours away I'm not sure! You can get loads of nice fabrics online so I don't think I'd make a special trip just for fabrics. ahhh, hang on though.... you can view them online and if you see anything that takes your fancy before making a long journey.

Oh see what you mean about beams on walls....hmmm, guess the mirror idea not going to work.

I wouldn't have white walls and cream carpet, scrap my white walls idea.

When it comes to choosing a sofa, I would get one that stands clear of the floor on legs (e.g., you can see right underneath it). I think these work better in small rooms.

narmada Tue 12-Jul-11 20:42:37

I meant, view fabrics online on the Ikea website before making a journey to the store. That was about as clear as mud, sorry.

streptococcus Tue 12-Jul-11 20:57:47

I like the idea of a modern box type sofa with old stuff too....

where is good for online fabric for curtains..... or is it better to go to a real fabric shop?

7to25 Tue 12-Jul-11 21:04:54

I would avoid IKEA for fabrics. instantly recognizable and a bit buy-to-let ish
I will look around and get back.
match or tone walls with carpet

streptococcus Tue 12-Jul-11 21:13:29

ok and I need to apologise for being a dipstick but it actually measures 17ft by 12ft.... i just measured it.

but in my defense it looks much smaller because of the low ceiling blush

Georgimama Tue 12-Jul-11 21:20:32

I have quite good sized rooms in our cottage but low ceilings and small windows. Apart from the bedrooms I no longer have curtains, just plain cream roller blinds (if we owned the house I would have roman blinds) which make everything look much less cluttered.

Do the beams stand proud of the walls are the walls lathe and plaster infills around the beams? If not proud I see no reason why you can't hang a large mirror even if it goes over the beams. I would paint everything an off white - F&B Pointing is good, as is Crown Cream White - I painted our entire house Cream White from bog standard magnolia type cream. I couldn't believe the difference it made - so much lighter.

Agree with whoever suggested sofa on legs/castors rather than a skirt - being able to see the floor underneath it is a good visual trick to make the place look bigger. Also avoid high backed designs which will make the ceiling look even lower.

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