221B Baker Street makeover on a budget with Argos

I was recently given the opportunity to do a room makeover with Argos, and jumped at the chance. Argos has just about everything you need to kit out a room in any style you like, all at very accessible prices, from the vintage style cushions to the large modern range of clocks.

It wasn’t difficult to think of a theme. I’ve been watching re-runs of BBC’s Sherlock and getting excited about the new season currently being filmed, and decided to use the living room of 221B Baker Street for inspiration, since the production design and set dressing is so beautiful.

Everything on the set is unique, usually with a faded, bohemian glamour. It’s all artfully mismatched and battered, mostly in rich, dark colours, with a masculine feel to the shapes and motifs. One of the best things about the eclectic look is that you might well already own some stuff that fits in nicely, so you won’t have to replace every single item.

How to get the Sherlock look for less

The set’s wallpaper has garnered a lot of attention. There’s a different type on each wall, with warm tones, striking patterns, and the perfect balance of light and dark shades. If you want to buy the exact same ones, it could set you back a whopping £120 per roll for some of them. However, there are plenty of great budget options at Argos that will give you a similar effect.

Sherlock room design makeover wallpaper Penny Golightly

From left to right:

  • Superfresco Colours Splendour wallpaper in red and cream.
  • Easy Rocco wallpaper in pale green. I’ve enlarged the print here to show you the slight raised texture and pattern.
  • Easy Majestic wallpaper in black and gold.

The furniture is completely mix and match too, with added blankets, throws and cushions for comfort. Lighting is all done via table and floor lamps, with a mixture of soft warm modern light and strong, industrial desk lamps.

Baker Street style lamps lighting BBC Sherlock

From left to right:

  • Living sculptural table light in chrome.
  • Large energy efficient desk lamp in black.
  • Living opal glass touch table lamp.

If you want to pick up on some of the decorating themes, think: science and research materials and equipment, games and toys to sharpen the mind, maps, quirky modern art, union jacks, fleur de lys and crowns.

BBC Sherlock room makeover details props art

From left to right:

  • Drive pocket magnifying glass.
  • Kasparov wooden chess set.
  • Coronation wall art.

My final Sherlock-style makeover picks

BBC Sherlock 221B Baker street style makeover living room lounge

From left to right:

  • Swing arm reading light. “Think…It’s the new sexy.” Sit in style while you read those pathology textbooks.
  • Map wall art. A fun twist on the maps theme, looks just right propped on top of a messy bookshelf.
  • Geo print cushion, 50 x 50cm. This masculine design sits beautifully on a black or brown leather sofa.
  • Hamadan style red rug. The battered on-set rug is a one-off, but this is a great design at a great price and gives the same ‘library’ feel.
  • Triple bevelled mirror. This is not too far from the design that hangs over the mantelpiece at 221B, and fits most styles of décor.
  • Jamal mangowood-look table. Very, very similar to the look of the original coffee table in the flat, with nice simple lines.
  • Hudson lined curtains in coffee, available in various sizes. These curtains have a tiny, subtle jaquard print and are very close indeed to the ones on the set. Plus they’re named after Sherlock’s landlady, which is fun.

Including postage, my whole order came in at under £350, which I’m really happy with.

Has my bargain sleuthing turned up anything you like the look of?

For more inspiration, try the Sherlockology website for more information about the props, or read the Radio Times Online’s article about the BBC set design.

Full disclosure: Many thanks to Argos for providing me with store credit so I could try out some of their product ranges. All thoughts, ideas and comments are my own. I am a genuine longstanding Argos customer.

4 Responses to 221B Baker Street makeover on a budget with Argos

  1. Jackie Tyler August 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Amazing! Love that rug.

  2. Penny Golightly August 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Thanks Jackie, I’ve been having so much fun with this makeover. The carpet has to be my favourite piece, but I love all of them.

  3. Periwinkle Jones August 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    I love this! Looking to redecorate my house and would never have thought to have checked Argos before seeing this. Great article.

  4. Penny Golightly August 9, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Thank you so much, really glad you enjoyed reading. They hold so much stock in their online shop that there’s a good chance you’ll find most things you might be looking for. Good luck with the redecorating.