A Light and Relaxed Living Room Makeover

Mudroom nook
With lackluster brown walls, brown furniture, and limited seating, this living room was in need of some serious attention. See how these homeowners transformed their space from drab to fab.

Wide-Open Space

According to designer Elaine Griffin, your living room should seat at least as many as your dining room. Before the makeover, this living room couldn't accommodate the homeowners' needs, but moving the sofa from the middle of the room to under the window opened up the room so more seating could be added.

The Big Picture

Various shades of the same few colors -- brown, blue, and yellow -- are found in the solid sofa, striped chair, patterned throw pillows, and art help to creative cohesiveness in the room. The grouping of mirrors flanking the fireplace reflects light from the picture window throughout the room.

Adding Pattern & ColorAdding Pattern & Color

The homeowners love the outdoors, but that doesn't mean relying entirely on brown to make the home feel earthy. Pulling in cheery colors such as sky blue, grassy green, and sunny yellow set a natural scene. A simple trick to make windows seem larger:  hang the drapes 6 inches wider than the window frame.

Old Made New

To downplay the heavy browns that dominated the old space, furniture was updated with color and pattern. To give this heirloom bench a facelift, the top is covered with a playful striped cushion and patterned pillow. The update not only gives the piece new life, but it also ups the comfort factor.

A Place for Everything

Thoughtful furniture placements can distinguish areas in big open rooms. Here, a see-through folding screen creates a divide between the home's small entryway and the living room without obstructing the view. A combination of stationary seating, such as a pair of slipper chairs, and pull-up options ensure guests will never be left standing. The updated layout of the space eases traffic flow and creates a cozy conversation area.


A long, empty wall presents both obstacles and opportunities. Side-by-side console tables are a smart solution in this living room, as they fill the space and can function as a buffet. Dining chairs flanking both ends provide extra seating for large groups and can easily be moved to accommodate extra guests. The gallery wall's mix of vertical and horizontal frames provides an unexpected touch.

Double Duty

Not only do the wicker baskets on the console table keep miscellaneous serving items out of sight, they add wicker to the variety of other textures in the room: wood, metal, leather, and fabric.

Adjoining Rooms

The living room features an open view into the dining room, meaning that space needed a lift as well. New draperies in the dining room play off of the color of the living room walls and add a splash of pattern to this space. Brown dining chairs were switched out for less formal bamboo-style director's chairs with fabric the perfect shade of green.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Hardworking pieces are key in a small entryway like this one. A tall console table fits perfectly inside the front door. Taking measurements when choosing furniture is a smart move to ensure a piece of furniture will fit but will take full advantage of the space and not be too small. The soft blue of the living room continues on the walls of the entryway.

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