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dark living room with dark teal sofa and ottoman the life creative

Chris’ Forever Home Part 3: The Living Room Design Takes Shape

Have you read part 1 and part 2 in this series?

The countdown to getting into my forever home feels like it’s moving at a glacial pace. I’m so eager to get in and get decorating that the suspense is almost killing me. This week, after tense negotiations with my partner Gavin about what to keep and what to replace once we move in, I got to mood boarding the living room.

It’s probably the most important zone in our home, actually, considering we spend a fair bit of time there. Yes, I like a lot of TV. And yes, I often eat dinner in front of it. And yes, I may or may not be hooked on at least three different series in The Real Housewives franchise. It’s my guilty pleasure and I won’t apologise (sidenote: did you catch my interview with Chyka from RHOM?).

So with that in mind, I got collecting inspirational imagery from the internet, Instagram, and Pinterest and magazines. You really should do this when you’re decorating or redecorating any room in your home (more on that here) because it’s a crucial part of the process.

Even when I’m working with my interior design clients, one of the first questions I ask is, ‘have you collected any imagery of rooms you love?’. It honestly is the quickest way to get on the same page with them. And it can help identify decor loves and loathes pretty quickly.

But I digress.

grey and white scandi interior design inspiration images the life creative

The Living Room Design Takes Shape

So, we decided out of our current living room furniture that we’d most likely keep our sofa. It is a deep teal blue colour and you’d be surprised how tricky it can be to work around, simply because of how often the tone differs depending on the light in the space. Sometimes it looks blue, sometimes green; it’s ever-evolving, which makes life tough when you obsess over interiors as much as I do.

Just incase we do replace it with a charcoal grey sofa (much more versatile), I did two mood boards to get me started, with two different sofa and side table options. Truth be told, I am not 100% on board with either look just yet and have a tonne more tweaking to do, but this is a good starting point.

For the living room design, I wanted to go with a simple and streamlined approach, keeping it clean and clutter-free. I also wanted it to feel a little more sophisticated, in terms of the base pieces, and bring in some whimsy and irreverence through art and smaller homewares, like textural and fun ceramics and pottery.

You’re probably thinking, Chris – where is the colour? I know, I know. But in this new place I wanted to turn down the colour in the living areas a bit and play with it more in the bedroom and guest room.

The kitchen, living and dining rooms are all connected in an open-plan format, and there’s a lot of white in the flooring and black in the kitchen splashback, so I’m going to take a similar tonal approach with the decor and bring in some interest through texture and indoor plants (if the cats don’t destroy those).

grey sofa living room with marble coffee table the life creative
Above: With new grey sofa. Below: Should I keep the existing teal sofa?

dark teal sofa in living room with marble coffee table mood board

Help Me Help Myself

I’d love to get your ideas on whether you think the existing deep teal sofa is a keeper. I am so torn as to whether it goes or stays. The sofa shape in the mood board you see here is not an accurate depiction of the sofa I have (it’s three seater with chaise) but the colour is quite accurate.

Seeing the inspiration image further up, with that teal sofa against a stark white palette is pretty stunning, so I might head in that direction stylistically.

It’s so funny; I always find styling for my own home such a drama, but I can do it for clients in a flash. I think there is an extra pressure when you’re doing it for yourself, but I am sure that with your suggestions and ideas I can get there in the end. I’m about two months of getting in, so I’m hoping to lock everything down in the next few weeks in terms of larger furniture pieces, and then source decor from there.

Gavin has thankfully agreed to retire the old coffee table in favour of a marble one (or similar – I hear marble is going off-trend), and I am rather excited about that. I also like the idea of some slimline armchairs (I’m crushing on the IKEA ones in this post), and installing some interesting plant pots, stands and hangers around the room, to give the space a gorgeous sense of airiness.

What are your thoughts? Stick with the teal sofa or get a new grey one? I’d love to hear about some brands you think could work well in this scheme too. I’m open to anything!


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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2 Responses

  1. Love the existing sofa Chris! I’m a sucker for anything blue and it brings your personality to the space. Can’t wait for this house to come together.

  2. I Loooove the first picture, so teal it is for me. And big plus you can change it later if you really feel the need.
    Please don’t get those dinky upturned wire waste paper baskets for sidetables. Or is that too harsh. Whatever you do anyway I am sure it will be perfection in the end. Have fun.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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