Bland to bold: Living room makeover

By painting the walls a rich, bold colour and rearranging the furniture, Sarah Ord transformed a dated living room into a comfortable relaxation space

Read More: A period living room makeover

Before                                                    Before

Good proportions, pressed ceilings, picture rails and a working fireplace were some of the great features of this Cape Town living room. But, despite the owner’s collection of art and her antique and contemporary furniture, it didn’t have the warm, stylish atmosphere she wanted.

KEEP READING: Simply stylish: Living room makeover

Living Room makeover -- garden and home

She was then introduced to interior designer Sarah Ord and the two hit it off immediately. “We both love colour and combining old and new,” recalls Sarah, who is well known for her vibrant designs. Central to the living room makeover was the dramatic oxblood shade chosen and specially mixed for the walls, which instantly gave the room the oomph it needed.


“The owner loves the patina of her collections and this chalky colour offsets them beautifully.” To give a crisp contrast, they chose white shutters from Mediterranean Shutters instead of curtains and used white to highlight the architectural details.Living Room makeover -- garden and home


To make the living room more user-friendly it was divided into two separate sitting areas. Sarah used most of the owner’s existing furniture, including two armchairs which were recovered in coarse linen from Mavromac and placed facing the fireplace.

An existing sofa and a coffee table from Weylandts form the focus of the other sitting area in the bay window. Separating the two is a gate leg table from The Gatehouse, while rugs from Rowley & Hughes anchor each space. In addition, large glass Handi lights from Private Collections subtly highlight the two areas.

Living Room

Sarah cleverly incorporated sentimental pieces such as a vintage poster and collections of African headrests into the design so that the resulting look reflects the owner’s unique personality.