Interiors || A Peek into my Living Room

In our current (rented) house in York, our living room / dining room is open plan with a door leading on to the narrowest galley kitchen in all of England. There are many, many things that I love about our home (including the airy open-plan layout of the downstairs) but the floors and walls are not included in that. 

The walls are the renter’s nightmare (magnolia) and the floors are a quite cheap laminate, so Sam and I did everything possible to make it look “ours” without actually spending any money on a home that wasn’t “ours”. (I actually think our landlord would let us paint if I asked, but I am loath to spend money painting a rental when we are on a house-hunt for our own place.) 

We also used to have a gorgeous rug in the living room that has been temporarily moved upstairs whilst Harold is still in a destructive phase. We hoped to have it back downstairs by now, but he still likes chewing on rugs a little bit too much for comfort at the moment. (But you can see peeks of the rug here and imagine how the room would look with it.) 

I like our decor to be fairly sparse and minimal, a combination of mid-century modern and Scandi, with a neutral palette that lets the occasional pop of colour, and our jungle of plants really shine. One of the natural focal spots in the space is the massive floor to ceiling bookshelf monstrosity that covers a whole wall behind our dining table. It’s the closest I’ll ever come to having a library like in “Beauty & the Beast”. 

You might remember that back in November, I collaborated with DFS and Joules on their JoulesxDFS line, that ended with my going to the DFS studio and upholstering my own Joules chair as well as painting and designing my own print for a pillow. I was more than a little nervous about my chair, convinced that my upholstery job would look dreadful, or that the poor skilled man who helped me had to rip it all out after I left. 

Sometime after the holidays, I received a phone call from DFS saying that they were delivering my chair, and I couldn’t wait to see it again. (Also huge props to the Yorkshire DFS delivery team – they delivered my chair in a snowstorm, and were absolutely, positively lovely! I couldn’t speak more highly of them. I hope they get a raise!) 

We already had a reading nook behind our dining room table next to the side of the humungous bookshelf, so I had planned to swap out the chair that I had there for my new Joules and DFS piece. When the chair touched down, I was understandably nervous. Would you be able to tell the part that I upholstered from the professional’s side? 

I can happily say that you can’t! (Though I also can’t guarantee that he didn’t just unpick everything I’d done after I left. That or just burn it and start from scratch.) 

I absolutely love the pop of colour that it’s added to the room and it’s so comfortable to sit in. It’s formed the best “reading nook” in the house. And when our attention is elsewhere, Sam and I have both come into the room to find that Harold has abandoned his bed for our new chair. 

bookshelf chair and dog bed chair, bookshelf and table chair dfs chair dining room floral pattern detail joules chair joules x dfs chair joules x dfs collaboration length of room living room pillow

The whole range is for sale now at DFS so get shopping! It’s stunning!

So that’s our living room in a nutshell! Not so bad for a rental house that we can’t really put our own touches on. (At least in my opinion.) 

***I was a guest of DFS and Joules, but all thoughts and opinions are forever my own.***

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  • It’s gorgeous!!

  • That print is so so stunning!!! I love the room layout too. It’s such a proper Northern house haha! xx

    • Haha, I’m not really sure that it is a very Northern layout (I’ve not encountered any others that are open plan) but thanks! xxx

  • Oh, it’s BEAUTIFUL, Amanda, well done!!

  • So cute! I love that Harold’s bed matches your chair too–what a sweet touch!

  • I know this post is supposed to be about the chair, but the huuuge bookcase was the first thing I noticed. #priorities
    The chair is gorgeous though – and I love that Harold’s bed matches it.

    Ugh… magnolia. The colour of all army houses, everywhere. I grew up with magnolia walls and we were NOT allowed to paint, EVER. I wasn’t even allowed to put up posters until we moved to a rented house when I was 11!

    • That bookshelf was my big priority when we moved it. We still had the same amount of books before and just had a tiny dinky little shelf and stacks of books on the floor. (Like stacks and stacks of books) So it was the one thing I insisted on furniture wise! x

  • Your reading nook (upgraded now with colorful and beautiful new chair!) is so cozy! I love the window near it too… natural light (when available – hah) is always so nice for reading.

  • Your home looks so cosy and I’m so in love with the print of that chair – so colourful and beautiful! xx

  • It looks great! We got our first sofa from DFS, and after a few months noticed it was broken inside, they had a fab customer service team and got it repaired really quickly, and it was great after that! Also we’ve got a wall of book shelves too from Ikea and i also think it’s the closest I’m going to get to a beauty and the beast library! Adam’s goal is to one day have a room with bookshelves that we can also add a ladder too, glad he shares in my dreams.

  • Kourtney Reece

    One of my favorite things to do when I visit London is to go down different streets and look at the houses. My favorite one had a pink door and I really wanted to go inside to see the interior. Your home looks so warm and cosy. That chair blends so well with the dΓ©cor. It’s really cute.

    • I love English doors- I know that’s a weird thing to say but they can be so fun and colourful! Ours is just a really boring generic plasticy white one but one day I’ll have a colourful one! x

  • I love that corner even more now – and it’s perfect when the sun streams through!

  • Your living room is beautiful! I love this bookshelf. Definitely something I know I’ll have in my future home. This floral chair is just gorgeous! x

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

  • Wow you’ve done an amazing job! You can barely even tell the walls are magnolia haha (what is it with that colour???) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

  • ninegrandstudent

    Yep, our walls are magnolia too – as are the ceilings. Then there’s what I can only describe as a darker shade of magnolia splashed on our built-in wardrobes – apart from one 30cm square which is still white. At least our floorboards are gorgeous though!

    I love how cosy your lounge is – I’d love a reading nook!


  • Yeah renting can make it difficult at times to make the house feel more like you and your home and some you wonder at times what some landlords were thinking when they painted their house

  • Nia

    That chair is stunning! It looks great next to your dark bookcases πŸ™‚

  • Your floral sofa look so cozy! It seems a perfect place to read at sunday morning with an also perfect natural lighting through that window <3

  • love all the colour, very inspiring!

  • Amanda, I LOVE this chair! I’m not surprised Harold steals a seat on it when you and Sam aren’t looking! πŸ˜‚β€‹

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  • Obviously not the first or the last person to point it out – your chair truly is a statement piece and I absolutely LOVE it!!! It pairs so well with the rest of your sitting room as well, while also adding a punch. xx

  • Yay I love sneaking a peak into peoples homes! πŸ™‚ Still ever so jealous of your collab- I’ve been reupholstering our dining chairs and I’ve enjoyed it! Plus Joules fabric is absolutely gorgeous and definitely adds something! When we moved into our house EVERYTHING was magnolia- Im talking walls ceilings and woodwork. Ridiculous! But until we do each individual room up separately, there’s no point in painting things for the sake of it only to have to redecorate again later. So for now, we mostly stay beige! Alice xxxx

    • Thanks Alice! And your house is so beautifully done that when I think back to the posts of it that you’ve shared I don’t remember any beige at all! x

  • Jenn Sie

    I really like the chair and what you’ve done to the place despite not owning it. I also hope you can find your perfect place soon.

  • I’m yet another one in a magnolia rental so I know the struggle! You’ve made it look so cosy though, that chair is definitely a statement piece!

  • The reading nook is my favorite. I love the chair. That floral is a really good one. It’s bright and fun without being too bright, if you know what I mean. I’ve seen many floral patterns that were either way too garish for me (but hey, if that’s someone’s thing, good for them) or looked like they belonged in a 90’s hotel room. Your place looks great, and if you can do that with a rental, just imagine how it’ll be to have your own home!