It’s called a living room for a reason. But as Gem Adams discovered, it doesn’t become a place you want to relax in without some hard work.
In a previous life, this room didn’t exist. And as a later addition to the home, it had a patchwork hardwood floor and a rather awkward layout. On top of that, when the house travelled from the mighty Waikato to be with us in the sunny Hawke’s Bay, this was the spot where it was cut to make it around the bends. Suffice to say, we had a big job on our hands to turn the living room into something that was actually liveable.
After ripping up the worn-out carpet, chipping away at the lino tar, stripping the wallpaper, re-gibbing where needed and creating a bulkhead to conceal and strengthen the cut, we were ready to get creative. Because, with the width of our lounge clocking in at a mere 2.7 metres and a prerequisite to fit more than ourselves and the dog, there was a definite need to think creatively.
Going for an all-white colour scheme helped to prevent this small space from feeling like one. The subtle flux in Resene Black White makes a perfect choice for a living room; clean and bright without feeling sterile.
To make the most of our stitched-up floorboards, we hired a sander and brought them up to a smooth finish. Priming with Resene Sureseal and finishing with a few coats of gloss in Resene White, we were able to keep the character, while concealing their mish-mash nature.
Injecting a bit of personality into the room was our next quest. Sheepskin rugs, textured cushions, plants, a bespoke tree-stump table and artwork all encouraged a feeling of warmth – leaving us with a living room that is, yes, totally liveable.
GET THE LOOK Striped cushion, $49.90, cittadesign.com. Moroccan pouf, $179.90; lamp, $309, letliv.co.nz. Fifth Avenue couch, $3749, bigsave.co.nz. Tweed cushion, $49, jamiekay.co.nz. Coffee table, POA, blackbird.co.nz. Curio Noir Feather My Tears candle, $165, simonjamesdesign.com. Assorted sheepskins, POA, lapco.co.nz. BUDGET Paint, $500. Gib, $225. Sander, $150. Curtains, $68. Day bed $40. Squab, $20. Fabric, $55. TOTAL: $1058.
Words & photography Gem Adams