Living room makeover: ‘It’s our own tropical oasis now’

Take a look inside Miriam's bright and tropical living room, filled with greenery and vibrant colours

Fed up with their bland living room, Miriam and Rachel Faber finally plucked up the courage to inject colour and pattern to reflect their personality

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Here, Miriam shares the story of their living room makeover…

Miriam chose a deep green and blush pink colour scheme with tropical prints to give her living room a much-needed personality boost
Miriam chose a deep green and blush pink colour scheme with tropical prints to give her living room a much-needed personality boost

My story…

Our living room was boring us to tears. The magnolia walls just didn’t reflect our personality and the floor was awash with Sophia’s toys, as we had nowhere to store them.

New Venetian blinds brighten up the window area and provide just the right amount of light and privacy from the street outside
New Venetian blinds brighten up the window area and provide just the right amount of light and privacy from the street outside

Not only that, but the room also felt cramped with a wall that divided the living room from the dining room.

Welcome to my home…

A bit about me My name is Miriam Faber. I’m 37 and I work in marketing. I live in a Victorian three-bedroom house in South Woodford with my wife, Rachel and daughter, Sophia, two.

My problem room When we moved in four years ago, we wanted to redecorate, but then life took over and we just didn’t get around to it. The room was so bland and didn’t reflect our tastes at all – plus there was no storage for Sophia’s toys. 

Miriam Faber

Firstly, we hired a builder to remove the wall to open up the room. Needing extra storage space, I then got to work designing fitted cupboards online at Jali. We opted for a bespoke service to make the most out of the space.

With a Victorian house, the walls are not often so straight, so this was the best way to get the best-fitting cupboards and shelves.

Smart, made-to-measure cupboards and shelving are painted to match the walls to give the room a streamlined look and add a pop of colour too
Smart, made-to-measure cupboards and shelving are painted to match the walls to give the room a streamlined look and add a pop of colour too

Rachel and I immediately fell in love with the vibrant tropical wallpapers and this one from Woodchip & Magnolia had our favourite colour combination – green and pink.

A bit more about my home… 

How I made it work The dividing wall between the living room and dining area was oppressive and as soon as this was knocked down, it instantly opened up the space. Then we had cupboards and shelving made to fit the alcove space, and we wallpapered the chimney breast in a tropical print. Finally, we painted the walls in a dark green and blush pink to tie everything together.

My favourite part The best part has to be that, at the end of the day, we can store all of Sophia’s toys inside the cupboards, so the room looks neat and tidy.

Miriam Faber

After deciding on the wallpaper, the next question was where to put it. After much discussion, we opted for a wallpapered chimney breast to create a focal point and painted the remaining walls a deep green to match.

Painting the walls green really warms up the room. We absolutely love our new living room. It feels so much more spacious and we’re delighted at how much bigger the space feels. It’s practical, but full of personality.

My style advice…

Emphasise interesting features

Miriam loved the shape of her fireplace, but wanted to update it to make it more of a feature in the room. Wallpapering the chimney breast in a vibrant and tropical print and also painting the fire surround a blush pink has given the room an eye-catching focal point.

Style advice: emphasise features

‘We fell in love with the wallpaper as soon as we saw it and feel it elevates the room 100 per cent,’ says Miriam.

Add picture ledges

Miriam and Rachel love to display artwork on the walls, but also like to change the pieces around from time to time, so picture ledges are ideal.

Style advice: add picture ledges

Floating on the wall, the shelves give them the flexibility to add or remove new photos and prints as and when they want.

Prioritise comfort

‘This footstool is the perfect addition to the room, giving extra seating options or somewhere to perch aching feet after a long day. Our daughter Sophia absolutely loves how soft and velvety it is and is always the first to grab it.’

The deep green velvet cover matches perfectly with the colour scheme in the room.

Style advice: prioritise comfort

Shop the look 

Lush Green/Pink wallpaper, £85 per roll; Lush Green/Pink velvet, £89 per m, both Woodchip & Magnolia. Made-to-measure left-side double alcove cupboard, £742; right-side cupboard, £406, both Jali. Tversted rug, £99; Fejka artificial monstera potted plant, £29; Sanela cushion cover, £5; Fjälla magazine file, £5 for a set of two; Våreld throw, £50; Fejka hanging plant, £6; Pepparkorn vase, £6; Mosslanda picture ledge, £5, all IKEA. Pristine White & Tundra faux wood blinds, from £17.60, Blinds2Go. Artificial aloe in pink plant stand, £20; metallic velvet geo cushion, £10; green velvet pouffe, £50; artificial palm, £85, all Next. Botanical pattern poster, £23.95; Graphic Houseplant poster, £12.95; Face poster, £12.95; Palmistry poster, £14.95, all Desenio. Harper Geo throw, £20; Clara velvet cushion, £12; Eucalyptus candle, £5; Monkey tealight holder, £16, all Dunelm. Rebel 1.5-seater Snuggler in Blush Coral, £599, Snug. Pink tassel throw, £24.99; round velvet cushion, £14.99; green weave throw, £24.99; brass side tables, £69.99, HomeSense. 

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