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The Living Room – Front Roe by Louise Roe

Bringing you the first room reveal of our new house: the living room! It’s a real mixture of the snug and the drawing room from the old house; the snug because we used it all the time and the drawing room because it was such a lovely space for entertaining….not that we managed to do much during 2020!

The room has an original Victorian fireplace, which is beautiful. It has a hearth made from Italian marble called Nero Portoro with flecks of peachy-gold in it. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first… My colour scheme was darker than our previous drawing room (painted in ‘Brick’ by Edward Bulmer’) and I went with ‘Sang De Boeuf’ which is a much darker, richer terracotta colour. When the colour was combined with the warmth of the dark wooden floor (Ebony Oak Aged Parquet by The Natural Wood Floor Company) the marble sprang to life and now I adore it. It’s a real lesson in renovating- don’t rush to pull things out because over time, things may completely change your opinion.

 The mirror above the mantelpiece is Georgian and was a piece I brought with us from the old house. I repositioned a Georgian card table that had been on the upstairs landing, to one side of the fireplace, topped with two big green glass lamps that I bought from a friend in LA, who was moving house. There are two drawings above the card table and I love the cosy corner that the lamps and the picture lights create together. That’s a real insider tip: work out the electrics in the room (including picture lights) first. The right lighting really helps everything come together.


I always knew I wanted my little bureau desk in here as it’s my absolute favourite thing in the house. It fits perfectly in a little nook on the other side of the fireplace. I found it at a little antiques shop in Petworth and I couldn’t love it more. The red lamp is from Pooky with a Fermoie shade (the fabric is Red Marden). I’ve got a hand-painted Petra Palumbo decanter and glass, a Papier notebook as well as some vintage piccies of my mum and dad, and my treasured Penguin classics in the top dresser. The captain’s chair is an antique from The Desk Shop in Dorking, and I had it reupholstered in a brown coral fabric from Sybil Colefax & John Fowler.

The sofas are OKA (very squashy and comfortable) and the Suzani throw on the back of the larger sofa, is from Etsy. I added more colour with my cushions. The bright rectangle one is Caravane; the ruffled beige gingham ones are from Found and Curated, and the green velvet cushions are OKA. So cosy.

The ottoman (you may remember from our old snug) is from the Bespoke Footstool Company and upholstered in Ticking Stripe by Penny Morrison in Ginger, with an Etsy rug underneath. On it I have my treasured green tray by The Lacquer Company, some design books (you can shop a few of them below) and a gorgeous marble ashtray by Talea Studio. The layout of the sofas, ottoman and rug is almost the same as our old snug…a tried and tested fit.

One of my favourite things about this drawing room is the curtains. There are the most lovely floor to ceiling windows at one end of the room so I wanted to make the most of this light whilst still being able to draw curtains on a wintery evening. The fabric is Johnstons of Elgin Astral Herringbone in colour Linseed – which is a warm, textured neutral to ground the room – and they are 100% pure new wool. Heavy and super soft, they fall really beautifully when drawn. I had them upholstered with a peplum hem at the top for a little feminine feel and more volume. I’m absolutely thrilled with them (you can learn about the Johnstons mill here). The ruffle texture is mirrored in the scrunchie pendant light by Alice Palmer– a perfect finishing touch.

Once I’d chosen the warm ‘Sang De Boeuf’ paint, the rest of the colours came together naturally so the room is a real mix of dark green and terracotta brown. You all know how much I love a terracotta pot! Welcoming and cosy with a real log fire. Happy winter.



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