A Youthful Home Decorating Makeover

living room
Toning down over-the-top color, this home makeover goes neutral, but uses bold patterns and graphic accents to keep the house feeling youthful and bright.

Toned-Down Color

As an artist, this homeowner has always loved color -- and once had the home to prove it -- but a chance encounter with designer Melanie Turner and her white-walled home led to a change in perspective. Melanie's design for the artist's home started by painting all the walls whiteand staining the oak floors a dark brown.


The gray front door, which was once red, now greets visitors and reflects the shift toward a more soothing interior color palette.

Hidden Gem

With the doors removed, a coat closet becomes a striking focal point in the home's updated foyer. A large sunburst mirror draws attention to the space, while the gray cabinet provides display space as well as a place to store drop-and-go entryway items like umbrellas and bags.

Comfortable Character

The first step in this home's toned-down makeover was painting all of the walls white and staining the oak floors a dark brown to streamline the space. Next, the large space off of the open kitchen was transformed into a comfy and casual dining room. A zinc-top table and oversized slip-covered dining chairs add contrast and character to the all-white space.

Room for Everything

Before the makeover, the homeowner worked on art projects all over the house so she could be near her children. Now the large sunroom has been transformed into a studio, featuring generous crafting and homework space for the kids. The large table, which used to be in the kitchen; vintage chairs; and a rope-covered pendant light were updated with coats of white paint, an easy and affordable tactic to unify mismatched items. Painting pieces the same color makes them look like they were meant to be together.

Controlled Chaos

The new sunroom/studio space keeps all of the homeowner's artwork contained rather than strewn about the house. Bright green Parsons desks add a splash of color to the white sunroom and provide plenty of space for paying bills and painting watercolors.

Naturally Beautiful

Grass-cloth-covered walls add texture to the living room and provide a neutral backdrop for bold patterned fabrics and bright pops of color. Nature-inspired artwork and accessories are a nod to the homeowner's love of gardening and the outdoors.

Color, Please

The large-scale pattern on the draperies in the living room inspired the palette of Kelly green and neutrals that was carried throughout the home. Playful colors and punchy patterns were used strategically throughout the home to create a pleasing feminine/masculine balance and to reflect the family's fun personality.

Memory Keeper

Rather than having photos scattered in every room, the family designated the stairway for that sole purpose. The painted stair runner and picture frames are both creative and fun, and incorporate the home's signature color in an unexpected way. In a large display with lots of pieces, using the same style of frame for all of the pictures keeps it from looking cluttered.

Manning Up

A pair of chaises covered in dark gray velvet was added to the home's "man den," where the entire family snuggles in for movie nights. The dark upholstery on the furniture keeps the look masculine, while the brick wall surrounding the fireplace was painted white to keep the space light.

Family Friendly

White walls in the "man den" provide a neutral backdrop for more bold patterned draperies and pillows. Limiting the number of colors in one room allows you to go bolder with prints and not overwhelm the space.

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