A gloomy kitchen entirely re-created as a cosy living space

When Nicole Salvesen and Mary Graham were asked to redecorate a country house in Berkshire, the first task was to turn a dark space into a colourful sitting room.

This room was decorated as part of a root-and-branch reorganisation of the house that involved moving the kitchen to a larger and brighter adjoining room and transforming this space into a cosy family area.

Before interior designers Nicole Salvesen and Mary Graham embarked on the redecoration, some structural changes were made, including the installation of sash windows that were more appropriate to the architecture of the house. The opening between the two rooms was also widened to allow for an easier flow.

A palette of yellow, burgundy and blue echoes colours in the kitchen, but it’s the sofa that lends drama to this space. As the clients have three children, they opted for Barranquilla by Josef Frank, sourced through the Swedish interior-design company Svenskt Tenn, a playful, mid-century pattern that is in striking contrast to the classic sofa, with its generously gathered skirt and rounded arms.

The designers say that, although L-shaped sofas can be a challenge, as they feel quite contemporary, they are so useful, particularly in family rooms where a lot of people have to be accommodated to watch a film.

‘We try to make them look as timeless as possible,’ says Mrs Salvesen. Cushions in different shapes and sizes pulls in other colours and patterns. The result is fun and not too tailored.

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The Salvesen Graham team designed the ottoman, which has a tray for placing drinks in the middle, plus a shelf for storage, and is upholstered in a mustard-yellow linen. This colour is repeated on the blinds and armchairs from George Smith.

The rug is one of Salvesen Graham’s own designs from its collection with Jennifer Manners. On the wall is a piece by the Danish artist Gitte Brandt, which was found by the clients.

Salvesen Graham — www.salvesengraham.com