Lounge in a characterful new build house
Feature wall using Woods and Pears wallpaper by Cole and Sons
Lounge in a characterful new build house

Lisa’s Characterful New Build {The Lounge}

Author: Lisa Soeno

Have you ever delved into our Home Tours Archives? If you haven’t yet, get yourself over there. It’s where I stumbled across this drop dead gorgeous church conversion which gave me inspiration for the colour palette of my lounge.

I love coral tones anyway – it’s the one colour that occasionally makes itself into my wardrobe and I’m always drawn to peachy hued flowers – so I decided to go for a colour scheme of white with dashes of coral and gold.

The Vision

As much as open-plan-living is de rigueur these days, Rich and I are a bit old fashioned in that we like to have a living room that is totally separate from the kitchen. We wanted to create a light and airy, calming oasis away from the pots and pans of the kitchen space.

The Furniture

At the risk of sounding like I have major first world problems, one of the challenges we faced when we first moved in was working out how to fill the space. Our last house was a 1930s semi so our furniture just looked titchy and ridiculous in our new build. We decided to treat ourselves to a new U shaped sofa from made.com which is lovely for stretching out on and is also the perfect sociable shape for when we’ve got friends round.

Lyra spends a lot of time playing in the lounge so we went for a TV unit that we could hide all the children’s books and plastic tat in at the end of the day. I loved the one from Dwell in the gallery below so much that I was tempted to splurge on a second one and put it on the other side of the fireplace, however I think Lyra much prefers the toy kitchen that’s now in that space.

The Feature Wall

You will probably have gathered from my posts on my bedroom and hallway that I love a wallpapered feature wall. I think this may be because I hardly ever seem to find affordable art prints I like, however set me loose in the wallpaper section of John Lewis and I come home clutching armfuls of samples. I’d had my eye on the iconic Woods wallpaper for ages and love the twist of the gold pears. I wasn’t keen on the fireplace that was here when we moved in however the wallpaper has done wonders at making it blend into the room.

The Soft Furnishings and Accessories

Another thing that really helped to make the fireplace blend into the lounge was chancing upon some curtains that were the exact same putty colour. I had initially chosen the same curtains in ‘cream’, however ‘putty’ was so much warmer that the cream ones were relegated to our spare room.

I found the mirror in an antiques shop around the corner from Charlotte’s old abode, and have since draped some paper bird bunting over it. (Idea stolen from editor Lauren. Sorry Lauren). The cushions were from Habitat and I have my eye on this throw from Anthropologie which, with its peachy hues and gold flecks, fits the lounge colour scheme to a T. You can never have enough blankets and throws to snuggle under.

And my favourite thing in the living room? These prints that Rich actually chose during a New Year’s Eve trip to Edinburgh when I was heavily pregnant with Lyra. They were from a cute boutique art shop – my favourite kind of shop – The Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh’s Old Town. So many memories right there.

The Next Steps

Well I have recently treated myself to a gold honeycomb vase with the intention of starting to collect a few more nick-nacks and pretty things to make the space cosier. I’ve also just bought the Winter Signature Candle from The White Company that a couple of you lovely readers raved about in the comments section following my post on Christmas decorations last week. (On that note, be sure to use the code AP058 to get 20% off and free delivery at The White Company until Monday).  I’d also like to add in some greenery – maybe a plant inside a belly basket next to the fireplace – and some beautiful coffee table books. Naturally Rock My Wedding (the book) is top of the list.

And in the long term, I would love to add a bit more character and interest to the room by building a false chimney breast where the fireplace is and popping a wood burning stove in there. (Have I mentioned I am not keen on the current fireplace?)! Has anyone done this/considered doing this? Is it an absolute nightmare?

So that’s my lounge, and that also rounds up my house tour. I feel a little bit sad about this and clearly need to get decorating the two as-yet-untouched bedrooms. Watch this space.


Images by Adam Crohill

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
This post may include affiliate links.
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33 thoughts on “Lisa’s Characterful New Build {The Lounge}

  1. This is gorgeous Lisa. So calming. I love your feature wall – I’m a bit jealous actually, my husband won’t allow me to have wallpaper because he says it’ll ruin the wall when I change my mind and want it taken off!

    Also, kudos for being able to hide all Lyra’s toys in that cabinet. We have SO many that all my attempts at storage have failed. Our tv unit is full, plus a large basket that is overflowing with tat, and loads of bigger things just sitting around (none of which are in a lovely matching colour palate like your wooden kitchen). 🙂 x

    1. Ahh thanks Tracy M. Yup changing your mind about wallpaper is always a risk however luckily I loved this one and can’t see myself changing my mind any time soon.

      (Lyra’s toys are also hidden away under the stairs, in the garage and in various baskets around the house ?) x

  2. Hi Lisa,

    We have a new build house and recently installed a woodburner and false chimney breast. We got the Hwam 3110 in grey. We absolutely adore it and I think its gives a new warmth and character to the room. It wasn’t a nightmare at all. It was installed in 2 days with minimal upheaval. Our flue goes out just before ceiling height and up the outside of the house. The annoying thing is that the flue costs more than the fire! I would reckon on the region of £5000 total. DO IT!!!!
    PS That’s the exact TV unit I wanted too but we have run out of money after the fire etc and my husband wouldn’t let me 🙁

      1. Erm that’s gorgeous Nicola! Thank you, it’s lovely to see pics and imagine what it would be like in our house. Can’t believe it only took two days as well x

  3. We also built a faux chimney breast into our room and it was easily the best thing we have done in our new home – it has transformed the space! We went for a Contura 51L Woodburner and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s a traditional stove shape but contemporary clean lines and a large window which doesn’t blacken at all so minimal cleaning required! Agree with Tracey, the flu is the most expensive part as well as fitting but as my father in law and husband built the chimney breast I think the total came in at under £3k. 🙂

  4. I’m going to have to order that Oliver Bonas vase now… I’ve been eyeing it up for ages, but now I’ve seen it in situ I’ve got to have it! Your house is lovely, adore that wallpaper with the gold pears. xx

    1. That’s true actually. We felt we needed it as its a big long wall and felt it would have been lost free standing, but there could have been other solutions for sure. As ours is a new build the heat is still sufficient. But yeah all that heat from the flue is wasted!
      Pros and cons!

  5. Hi Lisa, we also have a new build with a long lounge so we did just what you are suggesting and added a fake chimney breast in to break up the space and give the room a focus. It works really well and also gave us a better choice of fires (we were very tempted by a log burner but our modern gas one actually works well for us). We also added wood panelling round the room which helps give a bit of character and take away the new build look! To save money we only had wooden frames put on by the joiner then painted it all the same colour so it gives the panelling effect! I think your house looks lovely 🙂 x http://pin.it/brGWaiw

    1. Hi Hannah ? Your lounge looks great! I’ve been tempted by panelling too, would love wood panels in the hallway but just not sure how it would work around the stairs-y bit. Have you used them anywhere else in your house? X

  6. I love coral… and I love love love your sofa! I really want an L-shaped or U-shaped jobby for the barn as it’s a huge open space and will need the structure.

    I also love the woods wallpaper- am so torn between it and a palm print for the little playroom next to the kitchen. The temptation to have an Elvis like “jungle room” (obviously no green velvet carpet, don’t worry..) is just edging it in favour of that gorgeous silvery palm print I saw on here a few months ago…

  7. What a beautiful room. I love the simplicity, it looks such a calm and relaxing space. I have always loved this wallpaper, but have never seen it with the gold pears ? x

    1. Bless you Anna, thanks! Have you seen the starry version of this wallpaper? Also lovely but probably more suited to a bedroom x

        1. Ha ha!

          I would probably wallpaper all the rooms in my house with the different colours and variations of Woods if Rich would let me…?

  8. Hi
    We are currently window shopping for a new sofa (hoping to snap up a bargain in the boxing day sales!) and just wondered if you could give some more information on the sofa. I’ve had a look on the Made web site but can’t seem to locate it. I’m trying to find a large corner sofa but I’m struggling to find a stylish one but this one may just work! Thank you.

  9. Lisa I have major sofa envy! I love the u-shape configuration but I’m not sure how to put this together via the made.com modular options, help! Thanks in advance.

  10. Hi Lisa, I love the wallpaper! And the idea of putting a chimney breast in. In our previous flat the fireplace and chimey had been closed off but they’d kept a hole where the fire would have been and put a down light in. I was always rotating different candles and nick nacks in it and it really gave the room more character.
    Can I ask how you’ve got on with your Made sofa? We need a second one for our new living room and I love the look of the Orson but I’ve read such mixed reviews?!

    1. I’d really rate it. My only issue has been that I noticed a tiny bit of material coming loose on the underside but it was nothing that a staple gun couldn’t fix. Other than that though, it’s really comfy and good quality. We did go to a showroom to sit on it before we bought it so if you haven’t done that it might be worth thinking about. The Orson looks great x

  11. I just stumbled across this post and felt such excitement at the thought of a woodburner in our new build (the only thing it’s missing on my list). Having moved from a characterful cottage with not one, but TWO woodburners, I’m really missing it in our new build.

    However, after getting very excited and showing my husband this post he wisely reminded me that we’re semi detached and therefore can’t have a flue as it goes through to our neighbours and if we were to put it on the opposite wall that goes through to our garage.

    Feeling so sad about this! Has anyone done anything fireplace-esque in a New Build? We’ve got the current fire surround which we painted but we took out the fake looking electric fire and put mirrored glass in but it looks cold and not very homely.

    All advice greatly welcome!


    1. Thanks Stuart! My head doesn’t hit the shelves/pictures however our sofa does have a ledge behind the main cushion-y bit. I think we’d probably have to pull the sofa slightly away from the wall if it didn’t have that ledge.

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