Looking at Tara Slinger’s Instagram feed, you’d never guess that her home used to be white, beige, brown and grey. Now a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours and eye-catching prints, Tara transformed her space by starting small and eventually embracing her love for all things pink and patterned.
“It started with adding colour through upcycled accessories and soft furnishings, to going full-blown colour and pattern without a white wall or ceiling in sight!”
For her latest project, Tara has turned her attention to creating a colourful living room, complete with a fuchsia ceiling, an iridescent bubble light, floral wallpaper and a hint of leopard print.
With her living room renovation nearly finished, we chatted to Tara about how she discovered her personal style, mixing old with new, and her top tips for adding colour to your home.
Your living room looked so different at the start of lockdown! How did you discover your colourful aesthetic, and how and when did you embrace it?
I can’t quite believe the difference myself – my style is unrecognisable! Before lockdown, we only had about five months to work on the house because we’d been saving and preparing for our wedding, so we had a lot of hand-me-down furniture from family or things we picked up for free on Facebook. Then when lockdown happened, I had to take a break from my small business, and it was just me and my son at home 24/7 whilst my husband continued working as a firefighter.
I took the time to be creative again and experimented with paint pots and upcycling things around the house along with things I found in the back alley, and the rest is history. My style has really evolved over the past few years. It started with adding colour through upcycled accessories and soft furnishings, to going full-blown colour and pattern without a white wall or ceiling in sight!
How did you chose the design details for your colourful living room?
Our living room is actually my favourite room in the whole house. I always begin with two key colours in a room and then live with them for a bit before adding more. The living room started with pink and teal and now has lovely reds and oranges woven into it. If I love it, I’ll make it work! But I do go through phases of pairing things back or going more more more.
Nothing happens overnight, and sometimes social media makes people forget that. Our living room has been on a journey for about three years now, and it’s only just starting to feel like it’s finished!
Can you tell us your favourite aspect of your living room currently?
Obviously, our iridescent light fitting is a big WOW moment in there now! Whether it’s switched on or off, it’s a real show-stopper. I also love our Archive wallpaper which helps merge my love of old and new with a traditional print but a gorgeous modern colour palette.
Which colours and patterns do you find yourself most drawn to and why?
Pink and green is my ultimate colour combo – in any shade – if it’s pink and green, I’m sold! Our living room is more teal green with hot pink. In our bedroom, we have a soft pink with zesty green. Our current bathroom renovation is a dusky pink with sage green and teal tones.
Pattern-wise, you can never go wrong with florals and stripes, but also… leopard print is neutral, right?! Animal prints are always welcome here!
“Start by painting a vase or a coffee table in a colour you love. Experiment with patterns in your soft furnishings like cushions and throws.”
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to create a more colourful living room?
Start small! Start by painting a vase or a coffee table in a colour you love. Experiment with patterns in your soft furnishings like cushions and throws – which is how I began, and once I got going, there was no turning back!
What exciting renovation projects have you got coming up next?
Our current project is the tiny family bathroom – a room I’ve wanted to tackle since we moved in almost six years ago. It’s taken a lot of saving and planning! I’ve also just finished my office makeover, and I’ll also be working on refreshing our kitchen soon (you can expect some pink and green there too)!