New Life For My Living Room!

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We are lucky to have a nice big living room and I'm really glad that it is becoming more lived in these days.  When we moved in about 5 years ago (childless) we made it our formal living area, which meant that it didn't get a whole lot of use.  Last year when my infant son needed space to play, we decided to use it as his play-room since there are lots of built-in cabinets that we can stash toys in.  Now that our 3rd bedroom is going to be my son's big-boy room instead of our computer/guest room, the living room is taking on a new function of housing the desk with the family computer, which means we will be spending even more time in there now.  That (combined with my hyper-crazy-pregnant-nesting instincts in full force right now) made us decide to freshen up the space and make it a place where we will be happy to spend a lot of time.

We felt like the built-ins were looking pretty cluttered and dated so we decided to paint them and do some creative work with what we displayed on the shelves.

We had the built-ins painted white with an antique glaze.  We decided to hire someone to do it since I am pregnant and we realized that if we didn't do it now then it would be a long time before I would be able to to it (I have a feeling it might be a long time before I have free time).

As I was putting things back on the shelves, I wanted to make sure they didn't look too cluttered so a lot of the books that were on the shelves are now stored in the cabinets.

The colors on this striped pillow are what inspired the colors I used on the shelves.

Recognize some of those accessories?  I painted several accessories to give them new life too!  Tutorials to come!

I painted pottery and picture frames that we already had so they would go with our new style for the living room.

I found some cute baskets at T.J. Max because I thought it would look good to incorporate natural materials.  Also I got a paper mache "D" at Joanne's that I painted brown.

We are so happy with how it turned out!  I'm thrilled that we have new uses for this big room and now I feel very happy and refreshed whenever I'm in there!

living room

Here are some more projects from this room:


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Faux Mosaic and Stone Tiles

Nature Nursery

Painted Dining Room



  1. jeanine mcdonald says:

    you have done wonders with your home…I remember how it used to look before you bought it…bland and lifeless! Not anymore …truly fabulous!

  2. What a huge change! I know some are hesitant to paint wood but this is proof that it can be a good thing. I love the update.

    • Thanks! That’s why it took us almost 5 years to do this! It’s a big commitment and we couldn’t make up our minds!

  3. The paint and rearranging on the built ins makes a huge difference in the room. It looks wonderful. You did a great job.

  4. I can’t wait to see it!


  5. You did a fantastic job. I too would have hired it out. Not because I have the excuse of being pregnant, but because I’m kind of lazy…:) Love how you styled the shelves! Have a fantastic weekend!


  6. Everything looks so fresh and bright. It’s amazing what a little white paint magic will do. Wonderful job on redesigning your “new” space.

  7. You know, I love dark wood and your built ins are awesome, but the gorgeous finish of your makeover have me really reconsidering my dark wood preference. LOVE the bright light with the beautiful pops of color. Man oh man, would I have the courage to do this? If I gaze at your photos long enough, I think I would!

  8. Ahhhh! It is like a breath of fresh air. The lighter paint is beautiful!

  9. I love the lighter and brighter colour scheme! know all about the crazy nesting instinct as it’s going on here too. (only seems to extend to craft projects and makeovers though not the laundry!) :o )

  10. This looks beautiful. Love the antique glaze.

  11. Wow!! It’s gorgeous, I love it!! Congratulations on the new baby!!

  12. Great transformation! It really awakens your space! This has been on my “to do” list for my family room forever! You’ve inspired me to get off my booty.:) btw, found you at nifty thrifty linky.

  13. Oh my heck! I totally love this!!! I can’t believe what a difference it makes in the room!!!

  14. LOVE it! Looks fabulous in whire- so much cleaner and bigger looking!

  15. That looks awesome. It never ceases to amaze me what a big difference paint can make. Your room looks so much newer and fresher. Thanks for sharing!


  16. I love the redo! What a difference it makes! I found you through the Whatever Wednesday linky party. I just liked you on Facebook. I blog over at Check us out when you get a chance

  17. Wow! You did an amazing job on this room! I love how airy and open it feels :)

    I would love it if you would link up at Watch Out, Martha!’s first link up party: Martha Mondays on May 7th! Hope to see you there! ( )

  18. The white really freshens up the space, makes it look so bright, well done!

  19. Love it! It looks so fresh!

  20. WOW!! I absolutely love the antique glazing. I also love the fun pops of color! ;) Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  21. what great changes! i love the brighter colors.

  22. Your mural work is beautiful!!!! (I do some, too) – this is Kristin from the library gig, I saw your website on the bottom of an email and had to check it out. Good luck with everything!

  23. I love it! Really brightend up the room.


  1. [...] spring we did some updating in our living room so this year when I pulled out our Christmas decorations they just didn't look right in our new [...]

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