A Cozy and Sophisticated Living Room Makeover

With a warm color palette and a unique combination of traditional and contemporary furniture, see how this once drab living room was transformed into a simply elegant living space.

Before: Drab Living Room

Filled with a mish-mash of old furniture and a neutral color scheme, this living room was in desperate need of a colorful and sophisticated makeover.

After: A Modern Twist on Traditional Style

To bring a formal yet comfortable look to this living room, modern-style furniture was mixed with traditional accent pieces like the tables with turned legs and bookcase featuring an arched opening. The room was infused with bold pea-green walls which coordinated beautifully with the rich brown, soft blues, and elegant white accent pieces.

Quick Tip: To mix a traditional look with a contemporary vibe, choose pieces like this bold rug which features a classic damask pattern but is oversized to make it have a modern flair.

Added Color

Painting the back of this bookcase pale green set off the display objects such as this decorative leaf plate. Using special decal paper, the plate is an easy do-it-yourself project.

Make the Welcome Plate
-- Scan a leaf into your computer.
-- Print the leaf and "Welcome" onto waterslide decal paper. Let dry for 30 minutes.
-- Trim the excess paper from the decals so they fit onto the plate.
-- Soak the decals in water for about 60 seconds or until they begin to separate from the backing sheet.
-- Position them onto the pate and smooth way any air bubbles (from the center, out).
-- When the decals are dry, apply three coats of oil-based polyurethane with a foam brush.

Custom Quotes for Your Walls

Personalize a wall with custom quotes like this one, which is nestled within a photo collage.

Make It Yours: Check out vendors like www.wonderfulgraffiti.com and www.whatisblik.com for ready-made and custom wall transfers.

Convertible Window Seat

Take advantage of an inset picture window by transforming it into custom window seat. By installing a length of cubbies it adds extra storage and creates a focal point for the room.

Savvy Storage: If you would rather hide your storage, consider lining coordinating chests that open from the top. That way you will be able to tuck away knick-knacks without guests knowing.

Cozy Cushions

Elegant mix-and-match pillows featuring gorgeous fabrics in the warm color scheme dress up the window seat. To add a personal touch, make one-of-a-kind pillows with your family members' silhouettes.

Game Spot

A pub table makes a perfect spot to play games and gives importance to a small corner that might otherwise go unused. To brighten up the wall, a damask pattern was stenciled along the wall in a molten finish.

Stenciling 101

To achieve this classic look, follow these basic tips:

-- Work with a dry brush to prevent bleeding.
-- Dip brushes vertically into paint-medium, just enough to wet the bristles; then swirl and dap on an absorbent paper towel until most of the paint has been removed.
-- Eggshell-sheen paint is the nicest to stencil on.
-- Paint looks darker once the stencil is removed. Lift occasionally to check application, using a tape hinge at the top of the stencil to keep it lined up.

Dresser Revamp: Before

Scope local flea markets and garage sales for makeover-ready furniture like this old dresser that just needed a fresh coat of paint and some embellishments to revive its chic look. Check out its new look on the next slide.

Dresser Revamp: After

To restore an old piece of furniture like this one, try these techniques:

1. Use Bar Keepers Friend cleaner and bleach water to cut through the decades of dirt.
2. Then use wood filler to conceal where the old pulls had been.
3. Sand for a smooth surface before adding a few coats of paint.
4. Top it off with pretty stenciled embellishments.

Savvy Storage: Don't be afraid to use out-of-the-ordinary storage -- like this dresser -- in your living room.

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