our living room – a work in progress

29/12/2018

our living room – a work in progress

29/12/2018

Hello lovelies! I hope you have all had a fabulously festive Christmas. I’ve have been taking some time off from work and the blog and have really been enjoying the down time with no deadlines. I’ve been spring-cleaning the house and getting myself ready to face the new year with a clean(ish) slate. That said, there is one post that is long overdue and that I wanted to publish on here before the year is through. We shot the images when the Christmas tree had just arrived so it’s not going to look relevant beyond the next week or two – although I would be happy to keep the tree in there all year long. So, without further ado, here’s a look at our living room.

I’ve mentioned on my social media that this living room has been waiting to be ‘finished’ since we moved into this home a little over two years ago. The delay in finishing this area has been a combination of (a) me being too busy with work projects to focus on it, and (b) a case of designers block in my own home (didn’t see that coming!?)

In my defence, it’s honestly a bit of an odd space to work with and I have really struggled with the layout. Aside of the fact that its an unusually long space (8 meters), it has a few problem areas for me and I’ve put together a floor plan to show you what I mean.So, the design dilemmas we’re faced with in here are:

1 – the strange alcove at the end of the room. It’s the obvious place to hide a large TV but it’s orientation in the overall space is really awkward because it dictates that the sofa be pushed all the way down to that end of the room in order to make TV watching possible. And as much as I would love to say, sure we could live without the TV – that is realistically just not happening.  So this asymmetrical dilemma his was a mental block for me for a long time, but we have eventually just given in to that being the TV position and have embraced this resolution with a semi-built-in custom TV cabinet and floating shelves above. I opted for a simple white finish with a raw plywood top.

This really is the nicer end of the room with the two large windows that look out on to the garden so having the living space pushed down to one end is not all bad. To make this layout work however, we had to sell our old furniture (one two-seater and one three-seater sofa with a single armchair & ottoman) and replace it with one sectional L shape sofa. The search was long and exhausting, but we found one that we loved at Home & Soul and it’s the perfect addition to this space. We paired the sofa with two Lo Rider armchairs from White Moss (currently on sale, by the way) and the rug that I had purchased from Overstock a few months prior to the arrival of the new seating.

I created gallery above the sofa with a selection of art prints from one of my all-time favourite Etsy shops for affordable artwork. I discovered Hearts In Colours when I was scouting artwork for our holiday apartment in South Africa. The shop didn’t have a huge selection at the time but the owners have been consistently adding beautiful new pieces ever since then so there is always something new to choose from.

2 – the second feature that makes this room difficult to lay out is the huge 3 better archway into the dining area. Don’t get me wrong, I love a large wall opening but given the length of the living room – it just plain odd to have it bag in the middle of this elongated space. With the new layout, the two armchairs line up with the middle of the arch which is not ideal but I’ve already become accustomed to it.

3 – lastly, this strange little open corner at the end of the room is another mind boggler for me. Given the huge arch right alongside it, and that fact that it really doesn’t lead to anywhere, it seems to serve no obvious purpose. I still haven’t quite figured out what we will do here, but for now, I have installed some BESTA cabinets on the wall and I am searching for some great artwork to put above it.  I’ll show more of this side and take some more pics when the rooms is complete.

Probably one of the biggest improvements to this room was painting the walls a new colour. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of white, and I’d convinced myself that I really wanted white walls in this space, but after living with it for a while, I realised that I was desperately missing colour on the walls. After seeing Jotun’s new colour 2019 colour collection, I was more convinced than ever that I needed to paint, but the colour choice was tough. I settled on Soft Grey and have no regrets. It’s honestly pulled the space together.

Consider this a ‘progress post’ but I am so happy with the way the room is shaping up. I’ve included a shop the look board below, but if you have any questions, please send them to me via the comments section.

1 art prints | 2 similar wall light | 3 cushions | 4 similar coffee table | 5 rug | 6 sofa | 7 armchair | 8 pendant light 

all images by Marli Smith 

Kathryn Hawkes

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Hi, I’m Kathryn


House of Hawkes is a boutique interior design studio based in Dubai. This website is where it all started and remains a creative space for my love of design and decor, and for sharing awesome everyday things. More about me & the team

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  • While the kids and I have been enjoying some quality time with special friends and fam in South Africa, the orders and enquiries over at @fronteriors are coming in thick and fast. @liveloudgirl and I couldn't be more grateful for all the love, support and enthusiasm shown towards our new venture. 
We are so excited to be sharing the next installments to our collection of doors, sides, tops and accessories for your much-loved IKEA frames. This cane cabinet (constructed with 2 x 128x60xm Besta cabinets and supported on our custom leg frame) is proving to be a firm favourite. Talk about 'furniture in disguise', eh!? image by @marli_smithphotography 
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