Living rooms are usually one of the first rooms you think about decorating or redesigning when moving into a new place or when it is time for a makeover. Some rooms might be dated or no longer functional; other rooms may be too spacious or too cramped.
There are fixes for every budget and every taste and style to consider. Here are 10 before-and-after makeovers for living room spaces that were ready for a change.
01 - Before: Too Big
02 - After: Crisp and Organized
The star of this living room makeover is the ventless fireplace, providing a visual anchor to prevent the eye from wandering upward and away. Books on the fireplace’s built-in shelf are fitted with bright, solid-color dust jackets, encouraging the eye to focus on the fireplace area. While the previous Danish-style midcentury modern chairs and sofa were lovely, the new sectional and heavy leather chairs are more solid, cozy, and substantial, adequately filling the room.
03 - Before: Cramped
04 - After: Big Changes
In this living room makeover, a wall came out, adding space and separating the living room from the kitchen. After the wall removal, engineered wood flooring was installed. The flooring has a thin veneer of real hardwood fused with a plywood base. The dark wall color is Sherwin-Williams’ Iron Ore.
05 - Before: Empty and Green
If you have a living room that is severely out of date, Melissa from the blog The Happier Homemaker has some ideas beyond paint colors. In this room, there was a nook over the fireplace fit for a decades-old 27-inch tube TV. To modernize the room, Melissa would have to make major changes.
06 - After: Cheerful
Capitalizing on the home’s great bones, Melissa kept the basic structure of the living room with its parallel side nooks. But she got rid of the TV nook over the fireplace by installing a piece of drywall and framing it with trim. For a classic look, she brought in Pottery Barn leather armchairs and a slipcovered Ethan Allen sofa. A triad of close-in-shade gray paint colors from Sherwin-Williams (Agreeable Gray, Chelsea Gray, and Dorian Gray) finish off the living room’s traditional, stately feeling.
07 - Before: Tired
Living rooms are made for living, and this one was well lived-in. It was cozy, comfy, and familiar. Designer Aniko from the blog Place of My Taste wanted to give the room some “love and personality.” The clients did not want to lose their big, cushy furniture, so Aniko has some ideas for a few ways around that.
08 - After: Inspired
09 - Before: Home Office
This transitional space is no stranger to transformation. First, it was a cave-like dining room. Then, it was brightened up and made to look airier as a home office. Julie, the writer behind the popular blog Redhead Can Decorate, decided the gray need to go, and she wanted more living space. The room was primed for another significant change with substantial improvements.
10 - After: Expanded Living area
This stunning living room makeover is all about color, punch, and light. This former home office turned into a place for the entire family to relax. By happy accident, the X-shapes on the oversized brass chandelier mirror the unique diagonal ceiling beams. The dull gray paint was replaced with fresh, light-reflective white.
11 - Before: Slim Budget
Making over a living room on an extremely tight budget is a commonality many people face. Ashley, the owner of the home blog, Domestic Imperfection, wanted to help transform this sterile and imposing room for her brother and his new wife. The vaulted ceiling posed the most significant challenge.
12 - After: Faux Fireplace
Fireplaces lend warmth and a real sense of hominess to a room. They are also exceedingly difficult to construct, especially in an existing house. Ashley’s brilliant solution was to build a faux fireplace out of used fence boards purchased from a local fence company. The result, which she jokingly calls a “wall accent plank strip thingy,” cost next-to-nothing and eliminates the room’s vacuous feeling.
13 - Before: Colour Purge
Even though it was red, the wall in this living room didn’t make enough of a statement. It was big, blank, and though it was loud, it said nothing. So Kris, from the design blog Driven By Decor, decided to change the feel of the room completely.
14 - After: Modern Minimalism
The grid-like pattern on the feature wall of this redone living room gives a sense of order to the chaos of everyday life. The grid mirrors the similarly shaped reclaimed wood entertainment console from Wisteria. The result is a calm and relaxed minimalist-inspired room for relaxing, reading, dreaming, and shedding the woes of the day.
15 - Before: Colour Splash
Guacamole green walls dominated the walls of Maggie’s home. Casey and Bridget, the designers behind The DIY Playbook, knew that this wild-and-crazy color did not reflect the owner’s personality or style, so they set out to makeover this condo living room.
16 - After: Relaxing
With the green gone, white is the controlling color behind this living room makeover. Midcentury modern-style furniture from Wayfair and a diamond-patterned platinum indoor/outdoor area rug transform this into a delightful, bright space.
17 - Before: The Sectional That Ate the Room
Before this living room makeover, comfort was no problem with this very cozy, giant sofa-sectional. Owner Kandice from the lifestyle blog Just the Woods admitted the sofa took up the room, and her husband hated the coffee table. Everyone agreed the sage-green walls had to go.
18 - After: Lush Electric
This freshened-up look does not shirk from making a statement. Now, the living room bursts with an eclectic personality. The plush velvet purple Wayfair sofa draws your attention to the unique gallery wall. The newly painted lighter color walls bring a breath of fresh air into the room. And, no elks were harmed in the making of this room—the head is estate stone, a lightweight stone composite.
19 - Before: Builder-Grade
Plainly appointed, this living room was lacking in any real personality or warmth when Amanda of the blog Love & Renovations purchased the home. The living room was painted “an oops color” or a melange of shades that did nothing for Amanda. To her, the place had zero character.
20 - After: Tile Change
Amanda instantly perked up the no-frills builder-grade living room with the addition of an IKEA Karlstad sectional. But, the critical element that genuinely turned the place around was the rehabbed fireplace surrounded by gorgeous, ornate artisan tiles; it formed a lively perimeter around the opening.