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Living Room Party!

Time to talk living room updates! (FINALLY!)

A few weeks ago I showed you how my living room looked when we first moved in:

…And how it looked a few weeks ago, after removing popcorn ceilings, new paint, new floors, new windows, new crown molding, and probably some other jobs that required sweat and tears and wine and chocolate:

It was definitely an improvement, but I wasn’t loving ALL THAT TAN. So I showed you my plan to redo the room with a TINY budget and without repainting.


It’s not finished yet, but if I show you how it looks now, will you imagine with me? And maybe squint where necessary?

UPDATE: The pic above is the only one I have from that angle… the chairs are gone and now replaced with a second sofa, so it actually looks like this:
Living room: white ikea sofas, hollywood regency accessories
The stripey curtains were a DIY project – see the striped curtain tutorial here!

My favorite change of all: the tannosaurus sectional is gone! Replaced with the friendly, happy Ikea Ektorp, courtesy of a very awkward craigslist purchase.

Did you recognize that gorgeous Wilmington jacobean pillow? It’s my favorite thing! After my stunning display of sewing prowess, are you soooo impressed that I actually sewed a pillow? Yes? You’re giving me high-fives?

Take them back. I cheated. I just bought the fabric and wrapped it around a pillow for these pics. I still need to… you know… sew it. Minor details!

The fabulous craigslisted chinese chippendale chairs don’t actually get to live here full-time – they’re just stand-ins for now. They belong in the breakfast nook and who am I to take them out of their home?

The truth is that I’m still looking for chairs to go in the living room, because I pinky-promised my husband that I’ll find some chairs that are comfy enough to watch a movie in. And they still need to look fabulous. (Do chairs like that exist?)

I’m pretty sure the chair of his dreams is a giant overstuffed recliner with a cupholder, integrated speakers and back massager. It probably looks like this:


But since I’m purposely not repainting this room in the interest of a happy marriage, he’s letting go of the recliner of his dreams. Marriage is compromise, right? About recliners and paint colors mostly. (In premarital counseling, they tell you it’s about money and how many kids you have. Nope: recliners. Paint colors.)

Update: For now, we went with a second Ikea sofa. Here’s another shot of that:

You can see I’m still sporting my summer mantle, hanging on for a couple more weeks until I switch over to fall:

And the rug and ottoman are clinging to their last days here until I can replace them with something I like better.

The sofa table that Andy custom-built to hide behind our old sectional is now a little too big for the new sofa, so we’ll also have to fix that. And by “we,” I mean: definitely just Andy.

But all in all, I like it much better! And wanna know the BEST part? I’ll sell my sectional on craigslist for more than the cost of the new sofa, so my only expenses for this makeover are the curtains and half a yard of fabric. Not bad for such a big change, right?

Here’s one more before and after:

Let's connect


  1. Love your living room makeover. I have been craving a lighter and brighter living room. My window treatments are new so I have to figure out how to lighten it up using those colors. Happy to be co-hosting Roomspiration with you. Great job on your post.

  2. Kelly, your living room is gorgeous! I love the mix of patterns and texture, the accessories and furniture are so pretty! LOL at the recliner! My husband has to compromise sometimes too (and so do I). I’d love new furniture but for now, he is happy with what we have and since there’s so many other more pressing projects, I live with it. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the inspiration!

  3. Love the transformation here. I would love to have a sofa table. The curtains look so good and so do the pillows and wall color. Thank you for hosting! New follower.

  4. Love your curtains!!! The room looks so light and airy now. How is the Ikea sofa? Is it comfy?

  5. Thanks so much for hosting. This was such a great idea. I’m trying to participate in as many as possible. I ADORE your bamboo chairs and the curtains. I’m a new follower! Come visit me at

  6. I just love your room – the colors, the accessories, just beautiful! Thanks for hosting today. I can’t wait to check out all the rooms!

  7. Kelly, your living room looks fantastic! We have an Ektorp sofa too, and I have to say that was an easy compromise (I liked the look, hubs liked the price, ha). BUT like you, the recliner was a point of…discussion, lol. My husband would totally want the same type of recliner. I’m having so much fun with the Roomspiration parties! Can’t wait to check out all these great living rooms.

  8. Great job on the living room! Light and bright! Just the way I LOVE it! xoxo shelli

  9. WOW! You’ve changed SO much, just like you said you would! Its looking awesome. What is it with guys and recliners? Seriously? I’m still can’t believe how much you’ve changed around! love it!

  10. So much lighters and brighter! Great changes!! I love the curtains and I’m just impressed you are attempting to sew your pillows! I’m still scared of sewing machines. 🙂 All in all it looks fabulous! I can’t wait to see other change you incorporate!

  11. Your living room is lovely! I can’t wait to see how you created those awesome curtains!

  12. You’re living room looks amazing already! I love the pillow (even unfinished!) and the window treatments look great too!

  13. Love the new curtains and the sofa and the pillows – much more fresh and young! And I also went back and read about these fab white chairs. Great find!!

    Hope you figure out how to sew soon, the fabric looks awesome as a pillow!

  14. Love your room, I’m a fan of white slipcovers and your curtains! It all looks beautiful. Thanks for hosting!

  15. Love the changes you have made Kelly! Your DIY curtains are just the graphic pop the room needs to make a great statement. Fabulous job…and I am pretty sure the recliner photo above is every husband’s dream :), I’m still trying to get mine to throw out the black, microsuede “bachelor sofa.” Thanks for hosting, I can’t wait to check out the inspiration!

  16. Thanks for hosting. I love your living room. It looks fun, comfortable and beautiful. Great job.

  17. Thanks for hosting, Kelly! Don’t laugh, but I’m totally going to check out that camo recliner. I’m decorating my father-in-law’s fishing cabin and these would make me his favorite daughter-in-law! It’s all about keeping the client happy, right? YIKES! BTW, I love your curtains.

    • No way! That is awesome. 🙂 Whatever it takes to be the favorite daughter-in-law, right? I’m totally with you. If you do use one, I’d love to see pics!

  18. Such a great transformation! LOVE those chairs….I’ve been stalking CL looking for some of my own, lucky! Also, I just about died laughing a the man chair, I’m pretty sure my Fiance’ is right there with your hubby, ha ha.



  19. Thanks for hosting such an inspiring party. I love the “whitening” of your living-room… It looks much more peaceful that way!

  20. I love how it’s looking! 🙂 One time, we had a white sofa. And then my dog literally JUMPED UP ON THE COUCH AND CRAPPED. Seriously, what in the world? So we bought a green slipcover for it because I just couldnt deal with it . . . but I did love my white sofa and I’m a big fan of white slipcovered sofas. Plus I love your curtains a lot and cant wait to see how you did them 🙂 ps – can you email me your address when you get a chance? thanks friend!

  21. HAHAHA. I’m sad to hear about your white sofa but at least you got a hilarious story out of the whole deal. 🙂 Hope you’re getting some rest lately! Emailing you my address now…

  22. Thank you for the sweet comments on my blog. Your living room is so happy and bright! Cant wait to read your DIY curtains post…those curtains are fantastic!

  23. Thanks for hosting! I am dying for that white ikea couch for my den! Maybe I should start looking on craigslist!

  24. Love it!!! I think it looks so bright and fresh now. Those chairs look amazing in the room but I can understand not wanting to spend hours lounging in them. Love your sewing project:)

  25. LOVE the look of the throw on the coffee table. Truly, the entire space is lovely! The Tannosaurus line cracked me up. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting. I’ll link-up tomorrow.

  26. Love the curtains, and what a great deal on the couch! Our Ikea Karlstad armchairs are super comfy and (I think) they look nice…you know they pass the comfort test when a husband, who would ordinarily snap up that same exact recliner only probably in a nice navy blue plaid or something, approves of them. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting!

  27. Hi there! I hope it is ok that I linked up just a little corner of my living room! I wasn’t able to do a post with the entire space but I really wanted to join in the party. We love Ange! Your living room is so beautiful and I totally cracked up about the premarital counseling needing to include the REAL issues in marriage. LOL! I’m a new follower here now at your wonderful blog! 🙂

  28. I love the Roomspiration idea! Getting to peek into people’s homes is such fun, and what a great thing to have lots of living room posts all in one handy place! Thank you for hosting this.

    I think you’re making wonderful progress in your own living room. I loved your name for your sectional! Those do seem like the monsters that ate your room, don’t they?

    I currently have a tablecloth wrapped around a pillow in my dining room. . . just waiting for me to cut out a piece and actually sew the new pillow. Glad I’m not the only one who does that kind of thing!

  29. Good thing I don’t know where you live because I might have to steal those Chinese Chippendale / bamboo chairs! I LOVE them! Cute room!


  30. Okay, love your living room, love your house, obsessed with your plates in your nook. Just sayin’. I’m glad I found your blog through the Roomspiration link!


  31. Looks awesome! Such a difference. Can’t wait to see more about your curtains – I have white ones just waiting for some stripes 🙂

  32. Beautiful living room! My husband would love a recliner as well, but the few I have found that I would be willing to buy will cost me an arm and a leg. 🙂 I’m not ready to give up either one of those quite yet.

  33. I’m new to your blog but am loving it! Your living room is lovely! Thanks for hosting!

  34. Love the curtains! I can’t wait till your post on them! Your room shows lots of personality!

  35. Hi! Thank you for hosting! I am looking forward to checking out all of the links. We have the Ektorp sofa as well…ours has the chaise attached and we LOVE it! I especially love the washable slipcovers with two kids and two pets. : ) I really love your area rug…if you are done with it, send it my way!! I am your newest follower… come and check out my blog if you have a chance!

  36. How fun to redo our living rooms. I love yours!!! Very fresh and clean!! Thanks for the comment on my room!

  37. What a pretty living room, Kelly!
    I can totally relate to the recliner compromise. My husband likes my decorating style, but would definitely prefer just plain comfy if he had his druthers.

    I’m late linking up today, but mine is #99 (missed the even 100 by one! ; )).

    Thanks for hosting!


  38. What a transformation! It looks amazing! I haven’t been too ready to put fall decor out as well. 😉 LOTS of wonderful posts linked up with beautiful living rooms!

  39. Love the wall color and the rug. OMG don’t let my husband see the “man chair” or it’s all over for me! He would have TWO!

  40. You’ve made great progress in your living room! I can’t wait to hear more about those stripey curtains…they make such a statement! I’m also dealing with the exact same tannosaurus sectional, which i refer to as the Big Beige Beast 🙂

  41. You have an Ektorp!!! We blogged about it awhile back. I am SO in love. I go on craigslist daily to find one so I’m quite jealous to hear you got on off there! I love love love the room. Beautiful! And thanks for the tweet love! 🙂

  42. Girl, you crack me up! I was dying over the back shot of the pillow! Totally ingenious and something I would do, er, I mean, I *totally* can sew…(c: The room looks absolutely fantastic and I agree, that is some *major* progress!!! And sometimes, that is all anyone can expect, right? Congrats, girl, it is fabulous!

  43. Kelly, I’m so sorry that I ended up with 5 links (all the same) to your party. I kept getting an error message that it had not linked, so I kept trying. Apparently they actually all worked. Please feel free to delete all but one (you’ll see I even thought maybe a different pic from the same post might work) — #125-#129 are all mine! Again, so sorry! I love your living room makeover. And thanks so much for hosting this great party!
    🙂 CAS

  44. Here I was going to ask where you got that rug and you want to get rid of it!!

  45. What paint color is the blue in your living room? It really is so hard to find the perfect light blue. We’ve been searching and I just love yours! Thanks!

  46. This is so friggen gorgeous!!! I want my house to look like this! 🙂

  47. LOL. thank you for the marital advice. 😉

  48. Love this room! What is the name the color on the walls?

  49. Great room! Love it! I’m sure it’s already been asked but what’s the paint color in the walls! Love it!

  50. Just a suggestion, the sofa table that your husband made you, I would put doors and shelves and back on it and then you can hide your labtop and remotes inside it. Instead of making is smaller make it work for you.

  51. Hi! Love your blog, ideas and style. You have a way of making it look so effortless, yet beautiful and put together. Your Ikea Ektorp… is it white or the off white? I have been going back and forth on what color to get. Thanks! 🙂

  52. my favorite thing about your room/rooms is the design of your wall plates….lots of color and movement. LOVE!

  53. Just moved into a condo that is only brown and tan….it’s killing me! Can I ask what your paint color is?

  54. Hi Kelly – Can you tell me about your fireplace? Did you replace the front with a new one, or just paint over the brass parts? If paint – did you use a special kind?

  55. Kelly all your rooms look amazing! I havea. Question for you. I couldn’t help but notice that it looks like your living room initially had the same ugly gas fireplace behind random glass and ultra shiny cheap metal. Your fix looks amazing. How did you do the fireplace and what did you use? I am dying to makeover our ugly glass encased fireplace!

    • Thanks! We actually just used a high-heat black spray paint and spray-painted the shiny metal black. It was a *massive* improvement for very little cost. 🙂

  56. Hi,
    I am so interested in redecorating on a budget but so inspired to do DIY as much as I can.
    I love the first pic of the huge sectional. It looks cozy and sophisticated all at the same time.
    As a living room it strike me a place to be proud of because of the deeper meaning. I bought a mini sectional of two seats and one a chaise. I haven’t finalized the roll out of the mini sectional and a pair of recyliners. Will see! Thanks.


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