I am so happy to be able to call the living room finished (for now!) and to show you some photos of how it all looks. It's come together really nicely and we love it.
The main change we made was to change the flooring from a dark brown, high gloss laminate to something lighter and warmer. Engineered oak was sadly out of our budget but we are really happy with the laminate we chose. It is well made and textured underfoot and looks almost identical to the oak we have in the kitchen and, most importantly, very forgiving of dog hair. It's much easier to clean and bounces so much more light around the room without creating the horrible glare caused by the shiny surface of the old flooring.
We also painted the light grey walls white and swapped a few pieces of furniture around to different areas. Where the sideboard and gallery wall used to be, we now have bookcases in that corner.
And where the bookcases used to be, the sideboard now sits. I had thought about hanging the same pictures back above it but decided to move them elsewhere and will keep that wall empty - it's plenty busy enough with all those candlesticks and plants.
Small chairs sit either side of the window next to an old trunk which holds games and jigsaws. It's a kind of reading corner, and the light is good there.
The mantel is as it was before, although it looks so much better for being freshly painted as the paint work was quite scuffed from the log basket.
Aside from the flooring, the only new things we bought were a chair and a lampshade, both to replace items which had really worn out.
The chair is this one and is so comfortable and springy. In the shop I took off my shoes and sat in it cross legged, and then with my legs tucked under me to one side, to check it was wide enough for my favourite ways to sit white crocheting and watching tv. It's perfect.
We took advantage of the high ceiling in that part of the room and hung a new gallery wall above the chair and over the wall.
I don't think the colour palate is that different; it's the wood tones and white and grey I love so much, with pops of colour through the books, pictures and accessories. It's funny, we didn't really intend to decorate this room, it was more a side effect of ripping out the old porch wall and changing the floor in the hall, but I am so glad we did. I'm really proud that we did so much of it ourselves too, with a lot of help from family. There's just the hall to finish now then I think I should invite everyone round for a party to say thank you.