By Design: A Cosy Carte Blanche Living Room

Posted in: Design

By Design: A Cosy Carte Blanche Living Room

20 October 2023

Photography by Elyse Kennedy

Delicious, dark and decadent, this freshly painted sitting room is the ultimate cosy retreat. With rich Cardamom walls, a roaring fire and layer-upon-layer of cosy furnishings, Sara Austin (best known as @the_found_home on Instagram) has created a hideaway haven. We caught up with Sara to hear all about her home and how she used our new Carte Blanche collection to create this snug family space.

Can you tell us a little about you and your home?

Our home is a Victorian townhouse on the windswept coast of Northern Ireland. Built in 1896, it’s one of the oldest properties in the village. After almost 20 years in London, we returned to Northern Ireland in 2019, which was a huge lifestyle change for our family. With a 3-year-old and a newborn, we wanted to re-balance how we were living, put more emphasis on family life and give our boys lots of outdoor space. Mostly, I think we were seeking new challenges, away from the city.

Where did you find your passion for interior design?

My passion for interior design has been a natural progression from my training in fashion design. Renovating our period home gradually developed into work as a freelance stylist. I’ve always loved period properties, especially original features and detailing. I adore visiting country houses for inspiration, but I always combine these traditional influences with contemporary details to make our home feel timeless and well loved. It brings so much joy to see our children thrive on our home’s character and sense of creativity.

There is also so much inspiration around us in rural Northern Ireland. Whether foraging in hedgerows for a Christmas garland or seeking out vintage furniture, I really appreciate the freedom living here allows in terms of developing an authentic, creative approach to interior design.  

Tell us about your experience with Farrow & Ball.

From our very first renovation project, Farrow & Ball has always been our go-to when choosing paint. As someone who was professionally trained to build nuanced colour palettes for the fashion industry, I find it so important that colour charts are accurate. Farrow & Ball are excellent when it comes to supporting customers on colour pairings.

At home we aim to make conscious, considered choices, so we also really value the Farrow and Ball approach to sustainability.

What was the room like before? How did you choose your new colour scheme?

For some time now, we’ve been looking for a brown-toned green for our sitting room but we couldn't quite find the right shade. As soon as I saw Cardamom from the Carte Blanche collection, I knew it was exactly what I’d been looking for. The sitting room has so much natural light with windows and doors onto the garden, so using an earthy green connects the space to the outdoors beyond.

Along with Cardamom walls, we used Liquorice on the woodwork because I find dark shades add much-needed intimacy to our home with its high Victorian ceilings. We also use very considered, low lighting with the darker colour scheme, which creates even more atmosphere. I’m so looking forward to styling this space with flickering candles, twinkling lights and roaring fires.

What intrigued you about the Carte Blanche collection? 

I was delighted to learn Christopher John Rogers was collaborating with Farrow & Ball. Then, when I saw the Carte Blanche colours for the first time, they were so evocative and truly inspirational. I’m delighted I could bring these colours into our home and play our own small part in this collaboration.

What are your tips for creating a timeless, luxurious living room, which can be enjoyed by all?

If you have a fireplace, use it as a focal point. Positioning seating around the fireside makes for a cosy, intimate and welcoming environment— so much so that when we have visitors in autumn and winter, everyone fights for the seat closest to the fire.

Investing in artwork you love is a great way to create a personal, timeless feel with character. For example, we have several vintage silk scarves framed in the house as a nod to my background in fashion and love of print.

Looking For More Carte Blanche?

Discover all 12 new colours and 3 new wallpaper patterns in the Carte Blanche collection, and start your transformation today.

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