A Formal Lounge

This post contains items in paid partnership with John Lewis and Partners

For a long time, I have wanted to create a space for the adults – a sanctuary of sophistication, luxury and curated design. Our open plan kitchen/dining/living space is where we spend most of our time as a family and works well as a relaxed multifunctional room. Our lounge, on the other hand, is a much quieter room, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living and is where we tend to adjourn in the evenings, especially with guests.

So, I think it’s fair to say that our lounge was the perfect room to claim as the “adult’s” space! After 6 years of living in the house and 2 years on from our completed renovation project, I can finally reveal the finished look of this room…

My Inspiration

Below are a few images from Pinterest that captured my inner design heart. Elements I loved from these images were the use of strong colours, velvets, contemporary shapes and full-length fabrics.

Our Room Transformation Journey

Before I show any more images of this completed room, I thought I would share how this room first looked and the journey we have gone on to get to this point.

Below is a shot of our lounge taken on 27th December 2013 (note, Riley is the same size as Scarlett is now in this picture and both Matt and James are fast asleep on the sofa – clearly a full-on Christmas!). When we moved into the house at the end of 2012 we purchased a second-hand large corner sofa on eBay. From memory, it cost us around £500 which was a real steal, and over the last 6 years has served us really well.

The patio doors leading off this room had a glass panel above them which was a huge design flaw as it resulted in the curtain poles having to be screwed into the coving! The walls were a brown tone and the outside balcony supports from our master bedroom (which we subsequently removed as part of a balcony redesign) were a mint green colour.

There was a red brick fireplace with an old wood burning stove (all the cottage feels!)  but never worked properly as the flue to the stove hadn’t been correctly installed.

As part of our renovation project, we ripped up all of the floors on the ground floor in preparation for the underfloor heating system. This included the wooden flooring and the floor joists within the lounge. The patio doors were taken out and two new lintels were installed to allow us enough space for a curtain pole.

The fireplace was redesigned in a much more contemporary style and bespoke carpentry units were added either side of the chimney breast. I created this visual mockup in Adobe Illustrator to give my carpenter an idea of what I was after.

I decided on dark grey walls for this room and chose the colour Plummet by Farrow and Ball, (much to my Mum’s horror –  I remember her looking at me as if I was mad!!), and character grade, smoked, engineered oak flooring from Havwoods (product code HW3882) which also flows throughout the rest of the house.

Another great eBay find of mine was this large gilt mirror which was actually bought for my 30th birthday party to use as a table plan. This was going to take pride of place on the large wall opposite the fireplace. Taking centre stage, however, was our stag’s head which we found by complete luck in the Scottish Highlands around 12 years ago!

The New Room Design

(Here comes the fun, furnishings bit…!)

We’ve been living in our newly completed house for exactly 2 years now and all the while the lounge hasn’t had any curtains or blinds, any floor lamps, a coffee table or any new sofas/chairs… until now that is! Over the last 3 months, I have been working tirelessly on the design for this room. I’ve done a lot of internet browsing, I’ve purchased a lot of new furniture pieces, I’ve had some bespoke curtains and a blind installed and, I’ve had the privilege of working with arguably one of the most reputable brands out there; John Lewis and Partners.

Before selecting any pieces of furniture for the room, I chose my colour palette and fabrics. As you know, I had a real desire to include some bold colours within this room and to introduce some lovely tactile velvets. Working with John Lewis and Partners, I was able to design the exact shape, size, colour and fabric of my upholstery pieces for the room. They have a fantastic design service called Any Shape Any Fabric and you can literally select from over 40,000 combinations to create your ideal upholstery item!

With a wealth of options available, you really do need to keep a clear view of your intended vision for the room. I wanted a contemporary look so brought in the colour ‘Midnight’ – a dramatically dark midnight blue shade of soft velvet, on to the Belgrave 4-seater sofa. To work effortlessly alongside this and with the colour of the walls, I chose a grey velvet fabric called ‘Steel’ to go on the Hendricks accent chair. Lastly, to add a bit of punch to the room, I chose the colour ‘Mustard’ for the Meghan armchair.

All of my selected John Lewis and Partners fabrics had an Aquaclean treatment which means you can banish the majority of household stains just with water – perfect if the little ones come in and dirty the sofas!

It’s all very well going bold with the use of solid, vibrant colours, but on their own, they can be a little flat. To lift them, I chose a printed fabric by Harlequin called Momentum 6 Tarara Indigo/Denim and had 2 50x50cm cushions made up to go on the sofa.

The curtains and blind were also made from a Harlequin fabric – ‘Kanela Dove’ HKAN143161. It has a lovely light texture to it and falls softly against the walls. I will be writing a blog post on my choice of curtains and blind style with lots of tips and advice from the company I used to have these made, so stay tuned for that!

A few weeks ago, our old eBay sofa said goodbye to us and went to live with someone else! Leaving us with a large room to fill with all our new furniture peices…

A sneak peek of the room coming together…! All products within this room have been linked at the bottom of this post.

The End Result

Before and After

Get the look

Thanks for reading! x



  1. Suzan Lilley
    February 21, 2019 / 10:54 pm

    Looks amazing x

  2. Laura
    February 22, 2019 / 11:50 am

    Absolutely stunning! You did a magnificent job in here. There is no comparison between the before and after. Definitely a room for the adults 😉

    • justalittlebuild
      February 22, 2019 / 3:25 pm

      Thank you!

  3. Estelle
    March 12, 2019 / 5:23 pm

    Gorgeous room! Please could you tell me where your glazed panel adjoining doors are from?

  4. Estelle
    March 12, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    Gorgeous room! Where are your partially glazed internal doors from please?

  5. Helen Maclean
    October 4, 2019 / 7:20 am

    We are in the process of deciding what to do with our lounge. Your gorgeous lounge has given me inspiration. Can I ask what your lounge dimensions are please. We need to decide whether to build a false chimney breast in the room to house a log burner or widen the existing chimney which is on the outside wall which would mean less intrusion in the room due to a fake chimney breast jutting out. I may be paying a visit to John Lewis design service to help with fabric and sofa choices.

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