A Garden-Inspired Living Room Makeover

detail of window treatment
This homeowner dreamed of a breezy, easy haven brimming with spirited color, family-friendly comforts, and sweet cottage charm.

Before: Pretty Dated

After years without any attention, this neglected living and dining room was in desperate need of attention.

After: Living Pretty

A new furniture arrangement and built-ins make the most of the narrow living and dining room. White-painted woodwork and a nature-inspired color scheme brighten the now-welcoming space.

Custom Art

Decorative painter Kristina Bailey composed a contemporary mural to stand in for the usual over-the mantel masterpiece. A bit whimsical, a bit abstract, the mural adds a twist to the traditionally designed space.

Show Off

The new bookcases showcase a collection of pretty vases and other knick-knacks.

Mix and Match

Combining textiles in large, medium, and small patterns, and in various weaves, engages the eye. Here, the floral print also appears on the slipcovered chair, and hues of gold tie-in with the sunny tones of the draperies. The plush texture of the plump velvet pillow adds inviting contrast.

Must Have Built-Ins

To increase storage, the freestanding bookcases gave way to a pair of built-in bookshelves complete with concealed lower cabinets.

Perfect Gallery

Stretching above the piano, frames embellished with ribbon show off cherished family photos.

Chic Dining

In the new dining room, multiple runners replace the standard-issue tablecloth for a creative, casual table treatment.

Bring in the Accessories

A smart and simple centerpiece brightens the tabletop and references the garden. A trio of runners provides a foundation for flickering garden lanterns and single peonies placed in blue goblets.

While this bookcase is from a youth line of furnishings, its finish and scale are perfect for the dining room. The bookcase functions as a hutch that stows table linens and showcases tableware. A collection of canning jars are displayed as quaint vases atop the hutch.

Show Off Your Favorite Things

Favorite serveware takes center stage on the pale green hutch. Collections, such as this assortment of stoneware pitchers, have far more impact when presented as a group.

Give it Detail

Decorative painter Kristina Bailey customized the hutch by embellishing the door panels with hand-painted floral and leaf details framed in simple white molding.

Carry It Through

Green-framed botanical renderings invite the living area's colors and patterns into the dining room. The pink blooms introduce a new accent color that can be exploited with accessories and fresh flowers.

Underscore the Theme

A rust-finish chandelier exudes a from-the-garden sensibility. Crystals add sparkle that reflect from the dining table's high-polished finish. Old light fixtures are easily embellished with strands of glittering beads, or crystal pendants.

Add Elegance

Dramatic stripe drapes bracket the grand window bank and lend the living and dining room a sophisticated touch of elegance.

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