Cramped living room turned spacious

By Jimmy Loughran in Makeover on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 16:20

Phil Joyce’s living room was a bit of a disaster area.

With too many doors and windows, it was best described as a ‘corridor’ and not a very good one at that. Phil enlisted the help of Merton Design, and with a little clever advice and some careful spending the room has been totally transformed into a luxury space.


Phil's sitting room was cold and uninviting, with its pale leather suite, garish green carpet and mismatching patterns. “It was a room that was just never quite right,” says Phil.


The people from Merton design completely transformed Phil's lackluster living room, making it interesting and inviting. With not quite enough room for a two-seater sofa, the area in front of the console table had space for this generous one-and-a-half chair from Next.

A glass-topped coffee table allows you to see through it, making it appear to take up less space than it does, but in a narrow room can be a danger for barking shins! This one combines the best of both styles with well-defined visible  edges.

We love the tripod lamp with black shade from Hicken Lighting, and the side tables with pull-out shelves which are ideal for a narrow room, or anywhere that space is at a premium - adding extra area for coffee cups or books when you really need it, and sliding away neatly when you don’t.

Under the console table, these Julian Mc Donald black mirrored storage cubes from Debenhams hide a multitude of doods and ends and are good utilisiation of that otherwise empty unused space. The signature starburst mirror really adds character and interest, but in its original gilt colouring, it didn’t match the colour scheme.  It was easy to repaint in a pewter metallic paint and looks great.

Design tips:

Storage Secrets

Use lots of unobtrusive storage to cut down on clutter and keep that smart living room looking fantastic! The trunk in this living room is compartmentalised with a racheted lid, and home to all the remote controls and magazines, TV guides and odds and ends that proliferate in all living rooms. Smart storage boxes under the console table look good and have plenty of storage space within.

Measure twice, buy once

Measure up the distances around and between your coffee table and sofa carefully, and bring these measurements with you when you are shopping for furniture.  Nothing makes a room more uncomfortable than constantly barking your shins!

Texture Mixture

If you decide to use texture mix it up. Go for silks and tweeds and velvets mixed with linens and metallics. When using silk for curtains always use a good interlining – the heaviest you can. It will make your silk seem twice as luxurious!

Our Verdict:

Phil changed her living room from looking cramped and crowded to spacious and comfortable.

If you have any killer tips and tricks on creating the illusion of space, we'd love to hear them!