A Versatile New Living Space For a Family Home

by Jamie Mitchell in Interior designed homes

How interior design practice Carden Cunietti helped turn an unloved space into an enticing living room.

Sometimes the job of an interior designer is to help their client realise the potential of a space that’s not being used to its full effect, and that was certainly the case with this project, where London-based design consultancy Carden Cunietti was brought in to work on just one section of a five-bedroom family home.

The space in question was a living room situated on a mezzanine floor. With generous windows and great views out into the garden, the room had huge potential, but a poor layout and tired design scheme meant it was barely being used at all.

‘The living room was set out in a way that really wasn’t user-friendly, and so the family didn’t really use it,’ says Audrey Carden, of Carden Cunietti. ‘The family wanted it to be a space where they could watch TV, appreciate their amazing collection of art, or sit around the fire. They also wanted it to be a space where they could host parties.’

‘I know that when the family has friends round, when they all go up there, and when the fire is on, it’s the kind of room you really don’t want to leave.’

As well as redesigning the living room, Carden Cunietti also created a new scheme for an anteroom adjoining the living room, and guest bathroom.

The key to the whole scheme lay in creating a space that would be truly versatile. Carden Cunietti designed a bespoke TV cabinet, where the TV pops up at the touch of a button. This meant that the living room would not be defined as a ‘TV room’, but could also function as a space to host parties or just enjoy a good conversation.

‘Making the pop-up TV box allowed us to have a room that was centred around the fireplace, rather than the TV. And when the TV’s not being watched it creates a really nice area where they can sit and entertain,’ says Carden.

The room looks great during the day, but Carden says it really comes into its own after dark.‘It’s a real night-time room, so we decided to use all these lovely browns and golds and metallic fabrics,’ says Carden. Sofas from Minotti are specially upholstered in a material with a rich, slightly metallic look.

Also adding to the feel of nigh-time glamour is an Ice Gold 9 chandelier by Sofie Refer. The sofas and chairs are arranged around a bespoke ottoman, which is covered in a leather fabric called Moccasin Point by leather specialist Moore and Giles. RA large rug by Rug Star helps to define the cosy seating area. Another key concern in this project was how to display the client’s amazing collection of art. In pride of place on the living room wall is a work by British artist Patrick Hughes, whose ‘reverspective’ work often plays on optical illusions created by painting onto three-dimensional surfaces.

The piece in the living room, though it looks two-dimensional’ from certain angles, actually protrudes quite dramatically from the plane of the wall, the designers placed it above a credenza to make best use of space.

The anteroom, a fairly small area that is joined onto the living room, was previously quite an awkward space. It has a large curved wall, which the designers decided to make into a feature, covering it in hand painted wallpaper from Fomental.

There’s more art here – this time including a painting of Dracula by Andy Warhol – and a bespoke chaise upholstered in fabric by Kravet.

For the guest bathroom, the designers chose a colourful mosaic-style wall-covering. The basin is bespoke and made of black Corian, while the stylish black taps are from Black taps from Vola.

The living room, having been dead space in the house, is now one of its most enticing rooms, and this versatile design scheme means it’s perfect for intimate setting and larger gatherings.

Says Carden: ‘I think it’s successful because it actually is a very enticing, nice room to sit in now. I know that when the family has friends round, when they all go up there, and when the fire is on, it’s the kind of room you really don’t want to leave.’

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