Chapter 2 – Lounge
So we’ve set the stage for your home’s entrance and now it’s time to get even more vintage chic into your home interiors. A great place to spruce up for impact is your lounge. Imagine your friends and family coming around for a cuppa and seeing your newly refurbished (or even just enhanced) living space and leaving with inspiration for their own homes.
We definitely recommend a mood board before you start buying or customising anything. You’ll want to be 100% sure of everything you’re doing before you do it, so you get the best results possible.
2.1 – Wallpaper
Choosing your colour scheme
The decision you make for your wallpaper can really make a room! Most of the time colours can be picked out of the paper and utilised all across the interiors of your room and maybe even inspire paint choices if you are thinking of a total living room overhaul. (If you have an item of furniture which has inspired your style choices/colour scheme, then be sure to let this help you when choosing wallpaper.)
As we mentioned before, a mood board will prove to be really handy here, as it will help you to remain focused and not get off track or distracted by other pretty things!
Brands we love
In the hotel we have a range of different wallpapers but we always love looking at Anna French and Designers Guild. Vintage florals don’t have to be chintzy, there are lots of lovely examples featuring flowers and birds in soft hues, so they aren’t as intrusive. Also simplified brocade patterns in soft shades are perfect for a vintage chic styled room. Here are some of our current favourites:
We definitely recommend picking one wall to paper, rather than the whole room, to keep things super chic, however if your print is understated enough, you can get away with every wall being covered.
2.2 – Sofa/Seating
Styles and Shapes
Let’s start furnishing with the comfort aspect of the room, your seating! Whether you have the space for a small 2 seater or a gigantic corner sofa, you don’t have to scrimp on vintage style.
When choosing your sofa, think about the style and shape. If you have created a mood board or found things you like on Pinterest, then you will most probably have come across seats like these:
As you can see there are some clean and elegant shapes as well as quite highly decorative flourishes. The choice is down to you and how far you want to take the vintage theme. From superb button backed Louis couches to fantastic leather Chesterfields and all that’s in between.
Re-upholstering your furniture
In the hotel we have a lot of seating. Our reception features a beautiful re-upholstered loveseat; fabric of choice, tapestries! We collected tapestries from the likes of eBay, charity shops and vintage fairs and took them to our trusty upholsterers, Kraftwork, where they worked their magic to create what we believe to be, a work of art.
Another project which is so much fun, is giving re-upholstering with simple fabric a try. We turned an old (slightly battered) sofa into a luxurious, comfortable couch fit for a vintage queen!
The seat cushion is a large piece of thick, squishy foam which was cut into the correct shape using the most unlikely of tools; an electric carving knife, which are in fact perfect for the job. To upholster the seat back we used more foam and a big staple gun.
The trick is to start in the centre and work your way outwards to ensure that you don’t get to the other side and realise your fabric has skewed or you don’t have enough. Make sure you have your fabric cut bigger than you need, the excess can always be trimmed away later and raw edges can be covered using a glue gun and some fabric trim.
This large, wingback armchair was also re-upholstered to give it a new lease of life; in a great atlas fabric with contrasting scarlet studding.
Whatever you choose, make sure you love it so much that you won’t change your mind in a few months time. Stick to subtle and soft hues and if you don’t think you’ll like “that pattern” next month, then choose something else. When it comes to upholstering, the world is your oyster!
Adding throw cushions to your sofa can really add to the vintage chic if you don’t have the funds/time to get a new sofa or pretty one up. Making your own cushions is so much fun too. We’ll be talking more about this in our Bedroom chapter.
2.3 – Lighting
Of course, chandeliers are our first port of call, and as we detailed in the hallway section, you can choose something as elaborate as your tastes desire. But since we’re talking living rooms, we’re going to focus more on the ‘mood lighting’. To most people, the living room comes alive in the evening and so the need for ambient and warmer light is a definite factor to consider.
Free standing lamps
Free-standing are a great way to bring a cosy glow to your living room and brighten up that corner.Again, you can go quite decorative with a filigree brass lamp base, or stay simple with a wooden base. Wooden lamp bases are the easiest to customise with paint to suit your room’s decor.
You can find some great lampshades at vintage fairs which will bring that perfect touch of chic to your room. Lampshades shaped like the ones below are perfect and you can even add your own personal touch with some tassel trim.
Mini chandelier shades are also pretty easy to find, you just have to look. They are a great way of softening the light of the many bulbs on a chandelier.
Make the most of the ability to control a room’s “temperature” through clever lighting tricks. Bulbs with a “warmer” feel tend to be around 2800K, the warmth of a light is measured in Kelvin and the higher the number, the “colder” the light. This again is totally up to you, as it is personal preference.
2.4 – Coffee table
Styles and Shapes
No living room is complete without a coffee table, that place to put your feet up (if you’re allowed) or just somewhere to store your magazines under. There are some fabulous options when it comes to vintage style tables. You can go for more of a minimal look with a simple but luxurious marble top or find a kidney shaped, French renaissance, decorative table. It all depends on what works with the choices you’ve made for your living room interiors.
Make it your own
In the hotel we have an amazing brass legged table for which we swapped a glass top, for a stunning slab of marble. Getting a piece of marble cut can often be cheaper than buying a marble table in the shops. Keep your eyes peeled at vintage fairs however, as you may end up finding one.
A great trick for getting what you want, is shortening the table’s legs. There’s nothing to say that you can’t have an oversized coffee table if you really love that dining table (and it won’t work in the dining room).