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Using Color For An Easy Living Room Update

As I mentioned in the dining room tour, I had not intended to redo the whole house at one time but once I started I could not stop. Fantastic for my house, not so great for my checking account. I knew by the time I got to the living room that I was going to have to find a way to get maximum impact on minimum funds. I always did like a challenge.

This is what the living room looked like in my last house tour. If you missed it, you can see the whole living room tour HERE.

I’ve made huge changes with a pretty small budget. First thing we did was get rid of the huge green sectional sofa and the plaid over-sized armchair. They were both around 7 years old and with 5 kids and a dog, it was time for them to go. We split the leather sofa set from the family room and brought the smaller love seat into the living room. The size was perfect and the room looked instantly bigger. We painted the whole room, which included the super high cathedral ceilings, the foyer and the whole upstairs landing and hallway areas. That was….fun. It’s also where I broke my rib falling off the ladder. We also bought a new black foyer chandelier that made such a huge difference. The biggest project was staining the stair banisters. Holy cow, that was a project but it was worth the work. I’ll be doing a full post on those dang banisters tomorrow. Here’s what the room looks like today.


I knew I wanted to continue the red accents from the dining room into the living room for a cohesive look so that is what I based the room redo around. It’s amazing how just bringing in pops of color to a room will update it and change the look completely. I chose the same curtains as the dining room to tie the spaces together.

All the books on the bookcase were in storage because I had nowhere to put them. I took off the paper jacket covers and was pleasantly surprised to find some great colorful book covers! Perfect for what I needed. I did the rest of the bookcase decor piece by piece until I finally got the look I wanted. It was a tediously long project because I kept changing my mind. I think my favorite part of the new decor is the red metal exit sign that I found on sale. I love it!

I spray painted the red cabinet. I’m not super pleased with the glossy appearance so my next project in here might be to distress it a little bit. I think that will look better in this space. I’m really pleased with the end result. The living room and dining room flow together nicely now and the rooms feel very fresh and bright.

Black Foyer Chandelier // IKEA $59.99
Red/White Curtains // IKEA $14.99
Red Metal Exit Sign // Hobby Lobby $20
Red/White Area Rug // IKEA $19.99
Red Circle Mat // IKEA $6.99
Black end tables // IKEA $7.99 each
Red Throw Pillows // IKEA $3 each
Red Metal Locker Baskets // Hobby Lobby $5 each
White Magazine Holders // IKEA $8 total
Red Wooden Dice Boxes // IKEA $5 each
Red Picture Frames // IKEA $1.99 each
White Family Book Box // Hobby Lobby $7
Red Lamps // IKEA $4.99 each
Red/Black Box // recycled from family room
White Large Boxes // IKEA $17 total
Metal Owl Candle Holders // Wal*Mart $4.96 each
Red cabinet // recycled from old living room
Letter E & Stand // Hobby Lobby $3

Glidden Plus Paint + Primer {color- Cafe Latte}


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  • Cara Kueck

    I love the red additions!! Found you on Inspire Me Please link up! If you like to like up come over to http://www.craftdictator.com for Craft Frenzy Friday!! I hope to see you there!

  • Love the change. I especially love the new black banisters and entry chandelier.

  • Tawnya

    Love the new space! The red just wakes the room up and sizing down from the sectional to a sofa makes it seem SO much roomier. Seeing this has me super excited, because I have the exact same sectional as you did before! We decided it was time to make a change (ours is around 8 years old) and ordered a new sofa over the Labor Day holiday. Your transformation has me chomping at the bit to get mine started. Still around 4 weeks before it arrives but I think I will start shopping for some nice color pops like you incorporated.

  • Abby F

    Lovely makeover! The pops of red are fun, and it looks very inviting!

  • Beautiful update. It adds so much! I’d love if you’d link up to The DIY’ers! http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-diyers-29.html