Dr Dulux: A Changing Rooms special

The interior design doctors are in the house – and we’ve put them to work solving your home style dilemmas. The twist? You’ll get a second and a third opinion thanks to Changing Rooms décor maestros Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Jordan and Russell of 2LG Studio. Keep reading to see the different approaches they take when it comes to designing a room you’ll love.

@John_l_f asks: What's the right scheme for a light, south-facing double-aspect bedroom with mahogany furniture?

 

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen says:

Sounds like you’ve got the perfect conditions for the ultimate in classic decorating. Plenty of light and plenty of mahogany would lead me to strongly suggest you embrace the warmth and richness of a lovely yolky yellow.  Do make sure there’s nothing of the lemon mousse to it, mind you, because any hint of green will intensify next to the red tones of the mahogany furniture.

Jordan and Russell say:

There is no right or wrong. You are lucky to have a south-facing room as you will be flooded with natural light. We are all about embracing what YOU love. If it’s a family room, sit down with those you will share the space with and each write three colours you love. Share with each other and see if any of you have the same or similar colours written down. That’s a great place to start!

@James_smrs asks: What colour is best to paint a small, dark understairs toilet?

 

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen says:

When you look at a landscape painting, you’ll see the horizon is always painted in shades of pale blues and greys. These cool, misty colours have been used by artists for generations to make distant things seem further away and it’s a trick you can use on your walls. In a small, dark space, colours inspired by the horizon are the perfect choice to create light and space.

Jordan and Russell say:

Go wild! The downstairs loo is a great place for a moment of madness – it’s also a fun surprise for guests that may use it! It’s always a conversation starter at a dinner party when guests use ours as it’s wallpaper in a gold and black ditsy floral. 

@Hayleyvictoriadyer asks: We live in a Victorian London townhouse and the hallway floor has traditional tiles with little light. What colour should we paint the hallway?

 

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen says:

The Victorians loved colour, so even in their narrow hallways and passages you’ll find an abundance of earthy, fruity tones in the hard-wearing encaustic tiles they loved to use as an eye-catching decorative motif on their floors. I’ve found the best solution is always to let the floor be the star and use the crispest of starchy whites for all the woodwork and a soft pale grey blue (much more grey than blue) for the walls.

Jordan and Russell say:

Perhaps take your cue from the tile? What colours are present there? Pick one or two of them out and use those. Hallways are transitional spaces that we pass through but don’t often linger in. For us this means you can go a little bolder than perhaps a sitting room. Also, they’re normally the first space anyone sees when they visit. So use it to make a statement and set out your home’s “design manifesto”. 

@Jalpalondon asks: We have a full house to redecorate with 3 receptions, hallway and 4 bedrooms. What's the best way to start this project?

 

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen says:

Gin. We’ll that’s where I’d start anyway. And although that sounds facetious I like to take inspiration from anything I see and enjoy. Which means that yes, I’ve painted several rooms at home the deep blue-green of a gin bottle. So find something, a favourite jumper, the petals of a much-beloved flower or the shade of a pebble picked from a holiday beach to use as a springboard into your own highly personalised, bespoke colouring scheme. 

Jordan and Russell say:

We like to design a home with a “through line”. This simply means that each space is connected in some way. This could be a material or a colour. For example in our home, the woodwork is all painted in the same shade throughout. Then, each space has its own personality but it’s grounded in something that appears in every room. Taking on a huge decorating project like this should be thought about carefully. We have a really simple plan, called our interior road map. It’s a huge chapter of our book, Making Living Lovely (Thames and Hudson). This will tell you everything you need to know. But in all honesty, trust yourself and your instincts, don’t follow trends. Perhaps sit together as a family and talk about what colours each of you love and go from there. Failing that, go pink – it’s a great neutral and timeless! 

@Auurasol asks: Any renter-friendly 5th wall/ceiling décor ideas you have?

 

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen says:

One of the most efficient weapons in the decorating armoury is light, and indeed shadow. Chandeliers always make the most exciting patterns of light and dark on ceilings as do lampshades with cut-out patterns or motifs printed in dark on light. The advantages to a renter are obvious; your ceiling becomes an ever-radiant canvas of light without recourse to paint, paper or anything permanent that might annoy a landlord.

Jordan and Russell say:

Always speak to your landlord, often they will be open to you changing décor. We love a painted ceiling, it’s a great way to add impact. Failing that, you can now get some vinyl wallpapers that are removable so that could be a great option too! 

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