This living room transformation is part of a bigger project to transform a dated 1980’s house in a beautiful setting into a warm, welcoming summer home for a family.

The house itself is located in a beautiful part of Ireland near the wooded shores of a lake and sits on a fairly large plot so plans for the garden are also afoot.

The theme is loosely New England style with touches of Scandinavia, so that means light neutral colours throughout and lots of wood and natural materials.

The focal point of the living room is the fireplace. The original surround needed to be replaced so in keeping with the simplicity of the overall design I suggested a limestone mantel in a classic shape. We could also have chosen a painted wooden surround but somehow the stone won out – and looking at it, I am sure you can guess why!

The addition of the woodburning stove was a practical as well as pretty decision. While an open fire is certainly lovely, a woodburning stove is more energy efficient and the range of designs available now means that you don’t have to compromise on style one bit.

I suggested this cream stove in keeping with the pale, soothing palette throughout and the idea that we are trying to create a sense of summer year round.

Sisal matting and a blue-grey rug are great practical flooring choices while staying in tune with the unfussy spirit of the place.

The furniture is sturdy and elegant and the cushions add a shot of blue and white to keep the whole scheme feeling light and fresh.

Adding the built-in bookshelf across the whole of the back wall was something that suggested itself to me the minute I saw the space. Painting the back of the shelves a dark colour – in this case a dark blue-grey – adds some depth to the overall colour scheme and works as a great backdrop for books and other decorative items.

There are plans for other parts of the house so do come back and visit to check on progress!