Living Room Makeover – Before and After

Before & After Fire Place Mantel Make Under
Before & After Fire Place Mantel Make Under

If you’re anything like me you love to see how other people decorate their homes. But short of being a peeping Tom (or walking your neighborhood at night and hoping people left their drapes open) how often do we actually get a glimpse of other people’s style? So I’ve decided to share some of our before & after photos from the past year for all of our equally nosey curious reader out there.

We’ve coined this year – “The Year of the Paint!” Mainly because one night after having been home sick with the flu for days, we decided to start painting the brown trim in our house to all white.  It’s mildly possible that days of laying on the couch close to death had altered my ability to make good decisions, but what doesn’t sound awesome about starting to paint the trim of a 2700 Sq. Ft. home at 9pm at night on New Years Eve!? Right? Well flash forward 7 months and only half the trim in our home has been painted… but I digress!

Living Room makeover
Living Room Makeover

We started in our living room.. of course, that’s the room we spend a good majority of time in and that guests see – so why not start our ill planned renovations in plain sight! At Least this gave us more motivation to actually finish the job. (Of the half of the house we started on at least). We painted the trim white and then I decided that this eye sore of a sectional I had graciously allowed my husband to purchase to fulfill some kind of life long dream of both of us being able to completely sprawl out on the couch at once – had to go! Don’t get me wrong, the thing was comfortable, but it was way too big for our room. The side table that was supposed to sit next to it, was technically sitting in the room next to it! So we sold the couch, and brough it my lovely Macy’s couches that had been crammed into another room. (If you ever need a couch just come to our house, we have 5 of them! The ridiculousness is not lost on me that we own more couches than we have people in our immediate family, but what can you do?!) I found the white garden stool at Marshall’s for only $40 after eyeing one on line for months that was $99. A few color coordinating hardback books and a candle holder with silk flowers and Trellis Lamp Shade from Target gave the room a few much needed pops of color.

The Mantel above was redecorated with one simple principle in mind: Less is More. By simply decluttering we made a huge difference. I shoped our home and found the vintage cameras I had acquired years ago and had never done anything with. I situated the cameras as book ends to a few vintage color coordinating books that had been tucked away collecting dust on a book shelf. I love the results! And the cost: $0!

Room Make Over
Before Room Make Over
Room Make Over
Room Make Over

It’s amazing to me what a difference some paing can make! The room with the white trim seems so much brighter and lighter. I wish he had made the leap years ago!

painting Stripes on a Wall - Before and After
painting Stripes on a Wall – Before and After

Our kitchen walls are still a work in progress (Mr. Itsy is actually doing more painting as we speak!) but to lighten it up we decided to paint some stripes to go with our new white trim. We chose two neutrals so we wouldn’t (hopefully) be repainting again in a few months when our color preferences change again! The gray is Silver Drop by Behr. We found a tutorial about getting perfect stripes over on Young House Love’s blog here. It was actually pretty simple and we topped it off with a finger painting our littlest made in Preschool for a splash of color.


PAINTING TIP: Whenever possible enlist your family to help tackle the painting as it gets old very quickly – However: Beware of Plumbers crack! This may be cute on a three year old…not so cute on a 30 year old. Just thought I’d warn ya!



The hallway got fresh paint on the trim and walls! All the walls in our house were this tan color when we moved in and we’ve been slowly painting every room to a lighter color. Here we went from the stock tan to a pretty light cream color.

So that’s the start to our “Year of the Paint!”. Next up I will share our amazing playroom makeover – where a sad sack room actually becomes purposeful! Hope you enjoyed snooping around our downstairs!

Papers, parties and playful things!


ItsyBelle on Instagram

ItsyBelle on

ItsyBelle on

ItsyBelle on

ItsyBelle on

6 thoughts on “Living Room Makeover – Before and After”

  1. I love it! I actually just bought a house and we plan on repainting like 80% of the rooms. And it’s roughly the same situation: lots of dark tones, a lot of brown, and we (well, I) really want to lighten it up. Your place looks great and I hope to see more!

  2. Pingback: From Drab to Fab without Breaking the Bank | Terrys Blind's Blog

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