Living room makeover: ‘We love spending time in our 1960s-style space’

Take a look inside this bright, bold living room makeover, inspired by 1960s interiors

Blue retro living room makeover

Soothing blues and statement wallpaper have helped Lynn turn a bland living room into somewhere everyone wants to be. Here, she tells YourHomeStyle all about her makeover experience…

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Lynn’s makeover story

Taking on a four-bedroom, terraced 1960s house in Hampton, south-west London, in need of some care and attention nearly 20 years ago was something Lynn and Anthony Hewitt were happy to do. ‘We could see enormous potential and we love the style, the huge windows and the big, open rooms,’ Lynn recalls.

Lynn's living room before the makeover
Lynn’s living room before the makeover

Since moving in, the couple have remodelled their way through the house room by room, and had sons, Tom, now 14, and Greg, 11, along the way. Spread over three storeys, with the bedrooms at the top, and a newly created large kitchen-diner on the ground floor level, it was the living room that kept being put to the back of the list.

Two years ago, Lynn, a marketing consultant, and Anthony, a theatre development director, transformed the old kitchen into their new main bedroom, and turned the small third bedroom into a study and guest room, and felt like the living room was letting down the rest of their home.

Blue retro living room makeover
To tie the scheme together, Lynn found a vintage coffee table in a local charity shop and made blue cushions in the same fabric as the window seat. Lynn took a risk with geometric wallpaper, and it paid off! It provides a retro backdrop for her 1960s furniture and accessories.

‘It’s the hub of the house as you have to go through it to go upstairs or downstairs, but it just didn’t hang together. Every other room had a real sense of character, but this was just a bit of a mess. We wanted to create a calm environment for our busy family to unwind in and breathe life into the room,’ Lynn explains.

The first stage was to choose a confident colour palette, and Lynn was set on a serene blue. ‘We wanted something soothing, but not bland. It’s a large room so we can get away with it, and some wallpaper was also on my essentials list,’ says Lynn.

The wood tones of the sideboard and bannister bring warmth and contrast to Lynn’s smoky blue wall
The wood tones of the sideboard and bannister bring warmth and contrast to Lynn’s smoky blue wall

Working out the budget, Lynn realised they would need to keep the sofas, which were several years old but still in good condition, and the wooden blinds, which would have been expensive to replace on such large windows. ‘But they all went with what I had in mind, so it was fine.’

Wanting to keep the look authentic to the house, Lynn was thrilled to find some retro, 1960s-style patterned wallpaper she loved, in a blue tone, and was able to match it to a deep, smoky blue and a lighter grey as her two colours for the walls.

Lynn has filled her vintage-style magazine rack with yellow publications to carry the same sunny hue throughout
Talk about attention to detail! Lynn has filled her vintage-style magazine rack with yellow publications to carry the same sunny hue throughout

‘Before, we only had a tiny bit of wallpaper over the fireplace in colours that didn’t go with anything else, but this time I decided to go really bold and put it on two of the walls. It was a bit nerve-wracking as it’s so dramatic, but we love it,’ reveals Lynn.

Comfort was at the top of Lynn’s list as well as style, and the flooring was very important. ‘We had beige carpet before, which we didn’t choose, so it was great to pick something we wanted,’ says Lynn. The couple invested in a hard-wearing carpet, which is 80 per cent wool and springy underfoot, in a grey-blue hue.

Lynn has given her much-loved, mid-century sideboard a polish and dressed it with lots of retro-style items like lamps, vases and plants
Lynn has given her much-loved, mid-century sideboard a polish and dressed it with lots of retro-style items like lamps, vases and plants.

The retro sideboard they’d had for years also stayed, and Lynn found a matching coffee table for £20 in a charity shop. ‘I love mid-century furniture and I’m great at finding a bargain. Plus, I love the idea of things being reused,’ adds Lynn.

The details

Carpet: £662; Wallpaper: £300; Furniture: £160; Paint: £286; Fabric: £340; Lights: £176; Mirror: £40; Accessories: £220

Total cost of makeover: £2,184

Blue retro living room makeover
For a budget-friendly, bespoke look, make new window seat cushions yourself like Lynn.
For a budget-friendly, bespoke look, make new window seat cushions yourself like Lynn. Use the original covers to create a pattern and get the perfect fit.

The seat under the window was the last big thing for Lynn to sort out. ‘I found some gorgeous blue fabric that also added some texture, recovered the seat and made a load of cushions myself, which was very satisfying,’ she reveals.

With the basics in place, Lynn embarked on an accessories buying spree, sticking to metallics and yellows as her base colours, picking up cushions, vases and plant pots. ‘I was careful not to buy anything too patterned as I didn’t want it to clash with the wallpaper, which is the star of the show. We all love being in here together now,’ Lynn says.

Shop the look

Lavaliers Low Wave wallpaper, £75 a roll; walls painted in Juniper Ash and Clockface intelligent matt emulsion, £51.50 per 2.5L; woodwork painted in Juniper Ash and Clockface intelligent eggshell, £66 per 2.5L, all Little Greene. Dimensions Heathers carpet in Silver Chalice, £26.49 per sq m, Brockway. Ashby fabric for window seat in Indigo, £85 per m, Zoffany at Style Library. Astro glass and gold metallic wall lights, £88 each, Maisons du Monde. Cream Geometric Foil cushions on window seat, £10 each; Ochre leaf effect vase, £14; Ochre leaf pattern tea light holders, £2 each; Fifth Avenue gold vase, £14; Bamboo plant in white pot, £22, all Dunelm. Harlequin mirror over fireplace, £40; gold cushions, £10 each, both TK Maxx. Palm tree pattern cushions, £6.99 each, H&M Home. White glass table lamp, £119, West Elm. Circular tables, £80 for a set of three, Homebase. Coffee table, £20, charity shop. Magazine rack, £60, John Lewis & Partners.

Blue retro living room makeover

Words by Stephanie Smith. Photos by David Giles.

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This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Your Home magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?