runninggirl488

How to decorate north facing lounge diner

Running Girl
last month
last modified: last month

Hi all, I’m really struggling to commit to what to do in my lounge diner. Furniture is new so I don’t intend to replace but I am struggling on a colour and accessories to pull the room together. So far I’ve swapped the dresser and mirrored console table around and plan to move the mirror so that it’s above the mirrored console table next to the tv. I think I’m struggling as what would be a “feature” wall is actually a very long thin wall with no real focal point, hence my plan to move the mirror.

It’s a large room and has both a dining abed lounge area. It’s north facing but does have light reflecting back in from the garden patio.

I loved a wallpaper sample for behind the sofa but I’m just not sure. I’ve also tried paint samples but even the ones I loved, i had my heart set on little greene slaked lime as it worked so well in my north facing bedroom, originally I’m a bit “meh”. I’m also conscious I want the house to “flow” as it isn’t a huge space and I’ve used slaked lime and light peach blossom elsewhere, and also intend to use Portland stone in the hallway on a feature wall. Any advice would be appreciated ☺️









Comments (22)

  • Laura
    last month

    My friend has an identical room - barratts/David Wilson and she’s forever playing around with it to try and make it work.

    I think you should leave the mirror and mirrored condole where it is in the pictures. If you put them next to the tv then it’ll look too busy.

    I’d try and centre the tv on that wall between the window and patio doors. The tv unit looks too small for the tv too so it’s too heavy.

    The chair is totally lost sorry. It look like it’s been plonked there temporary as extra seating. If you can move the tv to the left I’d possibly put it where the tv is now.

    The colours and wallpaper you’ve sampled are ‘ok’. They’re a bit meh to me but life would be boring if we all liked the same thing. In don’t think they go with the navy you already have at all though. If you want to use that wallpaper I think you’ll need to remove the chair and navy cushions. If you want to keep the navy then I’d team it with blush pink if you want something light, but you’ll need more navy too to tie it all in

  • Laura
    last month

    I’m using my phone which won’t let me look at the pictures and comment at the same time. Looking back at the pictures the wallpaper does have navy in it, but I can’t give you advise on how to use the wallpaper as I hate all wallpaper and therefore have no thoughts on how you can use it. The houzzers are a useful and helpful group though so I’m sure someone could advise on that.

    I still think the paint colours aren’t right though.

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  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thanks for your comments... Yes I totally understand the point about the chair but unfortunately it is non negotiable as it’s the only thing my other half picked and wanted in the room. I did try lol. I’ve tried it in other places either side of the sofa but it either blocks the walkway or the other side of the sofa means you can’t sit on the furthest part of the sofa and blocks the patio doors.

    Originally I tried the tv in the middle of the room but hate TVs as the main focal point, plus the plug sockets are all in the furthest right hand corner so I had loads of wires and it would look awful without having the sockets moved (it’s one of those huge media plates and other sockets) so I would be paying out to move it to somewhere I also don’t like.

    Its so hard as the room itself works for us but decorating/accesorizing is causing me a headache!

  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month





  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month




  • Kiwikate
    last month

    You have a lovely room. Have you considered using a mid-toned colour for all the walls? My North facing living room is sage green and the depth of colour and warm undertone has really lifted the space. Also being able to hang nice art without the risk of sun damage is a definite bonus!

  • minnie101
    last month

    It’s a lovely room, just everything feels a bit pushed back onto walls.

    could you use the mirrored console in a bedroom? I think the chair is fine but it needs to sit on a rug IMO. You could add a set of 4 art behind the chair, just be careful of it balancing with the window and perhaps a tall plant to the left of the chair to zone between dining and living. I’d also add a round glass coffee table and pull the sofa away from the wall a little. You could wallpaper there or hang art.

    I’ve no idea what way the joists run but is there any chance of moving the pendants over the dining table and coffee table/centre of the living area?

    maybe a couple of table lamps for cosiness? I like the idea of a dirty peachy pink, is the peach blossom the darkest one? I’d try some much larger testers?

  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month

    Wow thank you all for taking the time to give me some advice. I really appreciate it.

    I’ve now painted a larger sample of the of the peach blossom behind the sofa and have ordered some navy tester pots to try too. I’ve tried green and whilst it really suits the room, I am not a huge fan of green and have another green room I’m planning to repaint, so I know I’d end up doing the same here.

    I‘ve moved the sofa and side tables further forwards, they were already a little way off the wall and will look to move the tv unit across when I can face emptying it. Most probably a rainy weekend task! It is like a tardis in the cupboard.

    Unfortunately I’ve already investigated moving the lights but it seems that due to the joists they can’t be moved into a sensible position. I’ve had spotlights suggested instead but I don’t think that will suit the room. I am planning on changing the light fittings to flush ceiling lights as they actually hang down quite far currently. I’ve done this in the hall and it makes the ceiling look so much higher!

    I really want to get some lamps and I’ve planned on buying some the last two winters, but then I panic that I have a lot of ornaments and no where to display these and lamps would take up even more space. Ideally I would like two table lamps either side of the sofa, and a floor standing lamp by the chair as we use this a lot for reading. Although any other suggestions would be appreciated?

    I also agree with how everyone’s said it feels like everything’s against the walls. One thing I was thinking of was instead of a coffee table maybe an ottoman or something similar? When we have friends around (sadly not the last few months) it would be handy to have some extra seating and I thought that may do the trick?


  • Sonia
    last month

    I’m so glad you like some of the suggestions. I am a great fan of floor lamps and have one by a sofa and another by a reading chair near my bookcase, and another near the tv. I have only one table lamp as I don’t have many surfaces for one. I’m also a great fan of ottomans and I have one with storage - i can get loads in it! You can use them as a coffee table as long as you use a tray, and the best bit is putting your feet up at the end of the day! Good luck with your sample pots.

  • Vicky Pow
    last month

    Hi running girl
    I grew up in a house with a long thin room and agree it’s hard to make it look right even if the room actually works well!
    Would a rug help to zone one of the areas? Ideally something cosy in the sofa area but would have to be big enough for furniture to sit on? Or something smaller with the dining set on it?
    I agree with previous suggestion of a floor lamp near the chair or sofa. I think the trick is to make it feel like 2 rooms

  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi all, I’ve tried a navy tester and some larger samples but it’s now led me to becoming even more confused. I’m so glad I didn’t do the wallpaper but it has reminded me that I actually don’t like colour that much which is a slight problem haha and I am on the verge of thinking should I just keep the room white. My thoughts are...

    Navy - I really like the colour... but i don’t think I like navy for the room if that makes sense? My other half has also vetoed this as he thinks it’s too dark

    Peach blossom - love the colour (I have it elsewhere) and feel it’s a good colour to connect with the garden, but I don’t know if it would be too dark

    Slaked lime - so I have the normal slaked lime 105 which I am tempted to do the entire room in as I find it’s a warm white without being yellow and even then I worry if it is dark. Or another thought would be to do the wall behind the sofa in the slaked lime deep colour but even with this I worry it is too dark



    I am very confused as you can see

  • Sonia
    last month

    I think painting a variety of colours on one wall does lead to confusion. Far better to paint onto A4 sheets of card, then placing one colour on the wall with blue tack and view them in different lights. Putting them all together on one wall does not allow you to view them properly... that’s what I found anyway!


  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month

    That is a good tip for the future!! Thanks Sonia

  • Michele McManus
    last month

    Sonia, what colour are the walls in the picture you posted? I LOVE this look for my north-facing living room

  • agnes_dewhirst
    last month

    It’s so easy to get confused! I would try “zoning” the space, so you have your dining area and then your relaxing area. If you love slaked lime, you can use this in the whole room and then use the deep version for the wall behind the sofa. You could also have a couple of wall lights above the sofa? Opposite I would suggest some sort of media/bookcase unit the TV can sit in so it doesn’t dominate. You can fill the rest of the unit with decorative objects or books to add character and personality. Regarding the lighting, an idea could be to use one of the pendants near the dining table, you could get a hook and a longer flex to loop the pendant over the table and get a statement shade. Ideally then a couple of spotlights on a dimmer to replace the other pendants, or if there is a technical issue, plus you don’t seem keen on spots, then some flush inconspicuous lights would be better. Then you can add table lamps or floor lamps to give you options for lighting.

  • churchdownhouse
    last month

    With north facing rooms you have to accept they will never be light and cheerful so it is better to go for warmth of colour with layers of textiles to create an inviting space in which you feel coddled and comforted.


    Looking at your photos and where you are in your thinking I would use your favoured peachblossom but perhaps zone the dining area back wall and cupboards to the side with the slaked lime to keep the rear of the room lighter and aid the mirror. I notice there is an eating area in the kitchen so how often is the dining table used? If the room is primarily used for sitting then the table could be pushed back releasing more floor space. To tie the two ends of the room together recover the chair seats with a peach/blue/grey patterned linen and dress the table with a runner, decorative bowl or plant/flowers in the same palette. Even if you are not keen on pattern it does hide spills on dining chairs! The aim is to layer up the decoration using plains and patterns without confusing the eye. Your wonderful urn flanked by a pair of bowls or candles on a pale runner would work. The side window is crying out to be dressed and could have a roman blind set in the alcove or a flat pelmet of dramatic shape or proportions to match or complement the dining chair fabric or runner fabric. The window corner would benefit from a standard lamp, perhaps a multi bulb to avoid using the over head lights.


    If the table goes back slightly the sofa could move to in front of the garden doors with the mirrored console behind. It may be difficult to get power to here for lamps but it is possible to find battery operated ones although they are still very costly but there are realistic wax battery candles (some of which are on remote controls) that could go in a pair of glass storm lanterns to an extra glow to both the dinning and sitting areas. The wooden sideboard could then go on the right hand wall as you look at the garden with two small arm chairs flanking it to provide more seating when needed, another mirror above to catch the evening sun and either a pair of tall lamps or one huge one. The navy chair could be angled in the corner of the doors with the sheep to the window side. The tv console is a bit of a problem as the proportions are slightly out. Just pulling it out of the corner along the wall slightly with a turntable underneath the tv itself for angling may help. Alternatively could the console be used at the dead side or the sofa for books and cups etc? The tv could then go on a small round table in the corner. The space between the doors and sofa needs a large rug to define the space and minimise the wear to the carpet from garden traffic. A large square storage footstool would layer the space whilst giving extra storage. The finishing touches will be throws and cushions to complement the peachblossom walls and navy chair; a navy blue wool/mohair throw for the sofa mirroring colour and adding texture, with cushions in the dining chair fabric along with your velvet ones and one other texture or colour.


    I seem to have got rather carried away! Sorry, but thank you for providing a break from the misery of the day!

    A





  • Sonia
    last month

    @ Michelle McManus. The blue paint in that pic is Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball.


  • Helen
    last month

    Wow loads of great ideas in here. Just a thought, and sorry if someone already suggested it, but of moving sofa and tv to their opposite walls? (Subject to electrics/tv points etc) as I think you could pop that lovely blue chair in that space then and maybe even angle the sofa so the dining table is behind it? Re paint, i like the slaked lime but I wonder elephants breath (f&b) or french grey shades from little green would work? Both are warm greys and work well in north facing. The dining set is lovely but I don’t think the glass console “goes” with it. (Just my view) good luck, please do keep us posted on your progress!

  • Claire
    last month

    We’ve just exchanged on a house with an almost identical layout. I found this picture online which I love and will probably try to incorporate somehow. We also plan to add a floating shelf above the sofa (will be in the same place as yours) and then add some large frames and our ivy plant so the leaves hang down. This way the wall isn’t bare but also doesn’t need to be an extreme colour.
    I do think the room currently has too much furniture with the dressing tables and armchair. Perhaps removing one or both dressers might help?

  • carol_hirst63
    last month

    I have used the fresco colour fabric for curtains, unique and beautiful!

  • Running Girl
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi all, wow thanks even more suggestions. It is so interesting to see how everyone would do things and how the same room could look so different.

    We orinally tried the furniture in various locations and ended up how we are now between a mix of how we use the space and practicalities (tv points etc)... and also the sofa gives the best view of the garden in the current position haha.

    So I’ve now thrown a spanner in the works and decided to get another opinion on the lights. It seems they are moveable but would likely involve lots of holes and a skim of the ceiling as there is no real access from upstairs. The lights have always bugged me and I think having a statement light over the diner and flush lights in the lounge area will really help with the zoning so that is my first step and the decorating will be on hold until that’s all sorted 😊 my next challenge is to find either lights that match or ones that compliment each other, so any suggestions on where to look would be appreciated. At the moment I am drawn to some rather bling lights!!

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