Nondescript and hodge-podge, this living room needed a little personality to pair with its strong assets: ample space, plenty of natural light, and beautiful hardwood floors. So what was key to the transformation? Six smart color strategies, a few DIY projects, and a smart fireplace addition.
Give drab walls a clean coat of white and judiciously choose where to add color. In this living room, yellow and marine blue create a vibrant duo. The sunny yellow is cheery, but neutral enough to pair with the existing wood trim, while the blue is cool and refreshing.
DIY It: Having trouble finding a super-large coffee table? We cut this dining table down to coffee-table height before coating it with a happy hue.
Apply color strategically to a room's focal point for maximum impact. This room didn't have a fireplace, but a new surround was built to appear original to the house and accommodate a fireplace insert. Painting the surround above the mantel plays up the new feature and gives it presence in the room.
DIY It: Make your own eye-catching mirror. We used gobs of hot glue to secure wood-handle paintbrushes to a wood wreath form, staggering the lengths to give it sunburst style. We had a mirror cut to fit inside a second crafts ring, then secured both on top of the brushes using an acid-free adhesive that won't eat away the back of the mirror. To hang, we added picture wire to the back.
When using white in a color scheme, think about texture too. Instead of just painting the walls white, the walls in this living room were clad in a paintable wallpaper with pattern and dimension. The paper was left unpainted, but can be painted down the road.
DIY It: Customize a metal letter with your favorite color. This oversize A fits right into the room, thanks to hot pink spray paint.
Use a pattern to bring a bold color scheme together. Here, a chevron fabric on the throw pillow unites the blue, yellow, and bits of pink in one neat little package.
Color Bonus: If you're feeling extra bold, paint one wall in an accent color to enhance the pops of color elsewhere in the room.
Even if you can't paint or are working on a shoestring budget, a framed poster or another piece of affordable art can have a big color impact.
DIY It: We made our fabulous felines by adhering strips of colored masking tape to the back boards of large picture frames. Next we traced cat silhouettes onto large white paper, cut out the shapes, set them over the taped boards, and placed them in the frames.
Embellishing what you have or crafting your own accents puts the power to add color in your hands. These plain nesting tables got a quick color boost thanks to bright pink vinyl details.
BONUS: Go to the next slides to see more colorful DIY projects from this makeover.
A simple stencil and paint pens transformed this plain pillow. Rather than stenciling the houndstooth design in a single color, we customized the design by adding additional colors from the room's palette.
To make this melty bead project, spray the inside of an oven-safe bowl with nonstick cooking spray, then line it with one layer of plastic Perler beads. Bake at 400°F for 12 to 16 minutes or until the beads have reached your desired melted shape. Remove from the oven and wait until cool before separating from the form. (The decorative bowl is not food-safe.)
Another trick to adding color to your living room? Do it in stages. Watch and learn how!