Private Home in Chiswick, LondonTransitional Living Room, London
Hufton & Crow
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Pay attention to plasterworkAlmost every period feature in your home can be saved, but unfortunately lath and plaster doesn’t always pass the test of time. This is especially true where there’s evidence of previous water damage. If you have loose plaster on your walls or ceiling, it’s best to double check with an experienced professional to see if it’s worth keeping. During your renovation, make sure any original cornices and ceiling roses are well protected, as 200-year-old plasterwork doesn’t always respond well to constant vibrations. Ceiling roses can always be taken away, set aside, then reinstalled. If the ceiling cornice is damaged or likely to fall, a specialist can make a template to reproduce it, which can then be installed at the final stage of the renovation.Tell us…Are you renovating a period property? What are you finding most challenging about it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section.
Brown leather – but that’s allIf you can find an original brown leather sofa – especially in a slightly battered mid-tan tone – snap it up, you can’t go wrong. Where you can go wrong, though, is matching it with too many other 1970s details. In other words, choose one focal piece of furniture and let it do the talking. Everything around it can be subtler in style.
And if your heart sinks every time you see your child running towards the sofa at great speed, it might be time to trade it in for a leather one. Wear and tear is easier to mask on this choice of seating. All leather is wipeable, but natural-looking leather (as opposed to black) ages gracefully and a scratch here and there will only add to its character (and makes a secondhand one an appealing option, too). Not a leather fan? Washable loose covers are child-friendly, too. Just think about the durability of the fabric. A heavy twill or cotton is better than something delicate like linen.
Eames lounge chair – allow it space to breatheWith its glossy leather upholstery and smart walnut or cherry wood frame, this elegant chair must be treated like an interesting guest that holds the attention of a room. It’s a piece you’ll never cease to admire, and you’ll never tire of discussing its provenance. However, this handsome recliner works well as a solo item, so position it carefully and allow it space to breathe.Explore another Eames classic – the Plastic chair
Consider sightlinesOne of the biggest challenges with open-plan rooms is ensuring all parts blend seamlessly. Consider which furniture, floor and wall space can be seen from one room to another and choose a theme to tie each area together. In this home, the leather sofa in the foreground matches the tan seat at the far end, drawing the eye towards the garden.
Emphasise spaceShow off the scale of your living room with a rug that stretches its full length. A neutral hue can never be accused of being ostentatious and the peek of parquet around the edge of the room works like a tantalising glimpse of ankle. Some rooms don’t need to shout about it – they’re just gorgeous.