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Pauline’s Colour Story: A Changing Rooms Special

Decorating your space as a non-homeowner can be challenging, and Pauline used to play it safe. “Living in social housing, you can feel constrained,” she says, but her Changing Rooms experience has changed her approach for good. On the third episode of the series, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen transformed Pauline’s “very tired” living room into a luxe, richly-coloured pad. Watch our interview with her to see what she really thought of his design and how she came to appreciate the “stunning” effects you can bring to life with paint.

The colour palette

Pauline’s living room now hums with deeply-pigmented jewel tones of Free Dive, Striking Cyan, Electric Storm and Delft China. Laurence also anchored the space with a single coat of Simply Refresh Rich Black on the door and a trompe l’oeuil “Macassar” wood-effect wall in the same black, mixed with Moroccan Flame and Vandyke. The scheme doesn’t feel overpowering, Pauline finds, pointing out that “despite the deep and richness of the colours, it still feels quite serene” and that it gives the energy she needs to meditate and practice both her yoga and Tarot.

The paint technique

When you’re renting a property and can’t make any permanent structural changes, a colour transformation is a brilliant option – but Laurence’s palette and paint effects take it to another level. “When I first walked into the room, I genuinely thought they’d put panels on the wall,” says Pauline about the 3-D painted panelling in her new room and the way they add “real depth and warmth”. Watch our tutorial on how to achieve the same effect here, or for an even quicker project inspired by the episode, visit our feature on creating marbled glassware.

The Changing Rooms effect

Pauline was thrilled with the way Laurence integrated her collection of African masks and what he knew of her personality into the design. She knows that “most people would have been a bit scared” about Laurence making over their room, but the elements he introduced to the room, from the patterns to the colours and the features are “like a really nice meal: tasty but well-balanced.”

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