Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Small Updates Go A Long Way

A few months ago my cousin Angela contacted me about giving her some quick and easy tips on sprucing up her Living Room. Her husband is in Dental School so her budget for changes was pretty m much nothing. Here is how her Living Room was looking originally:


The only word I can think of to describe this is brown... Since her budget is almost nothing she had to keep the furniture. So she changed out the pillows and made a chevron rug by painting a $60 ikea rug. 

This helped brighten up the space but it was still missing a few things. 




Her main concerns were that the room felt too dark overall. In general she just wanted it lighter and brighter feeling. Here is what I suggested she should do:

* Paint the room a lighter cream color
* Add more mirrors, one over the fireplace and one where her bridal picture hung in the corner of the room.
* Paint the end table and coffee table a lighter color
* Get rid of the curtains all together
* Add some floral to the fireplace, layer on some art and add color! 
* Add blues and greens where possible to balance out the warmth in the room. 

Angela got right to work making some small changes that made a big difference in the space!



She bought some cute paper from Paper Source and covered her coffee table books to add some additional pattern to the space. Angela also has a pillow shop on Etsy, Sew Hip and Humble, so she was able to sew the pillows herself. 



She followed my advice and painted the walls a lighter color which I think helped tremendously to brighten up the space. 


She got rid of the tuscan style art and candlesticks she had above her mantle and added some lighter decor. The mirror also really helps to brighten up the space. 


She created the subway art to put above her shelf using a decal from this etsy shop. The art displays places that have special meaning to them and the light blue color helps cool the space down and add a lot of color!  

The curtains she had before were nice but they made the room feel a little cramped. She replaced them with bamboo blinds which add a lot of texture to the space. 


She followed a similar tutorial to this to make a mirror for the corner of the room. I also suggested framing a print from a calendar to add some cheap art. She bought this one


She bought these little birds a the dollar store and painted them! 

By keeping all the existing furniture and just making a few changes to accessories and art she was able to totally transform her space! 

27 comments:

  1. Yes, the space is totally transformed and it looks great! Love all the little touches and details!

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  2. Wow - goes to show that good design doesn't require money just some imagination! Looks fabulous!

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  3. Truly amazing what small, cost effective changes can do to transform a space! You cousin is lucky to have you guide her, a great team effort on this room!
    Cathy @ Room Rx

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  4. Canoga Park? I was born and raised in Van Nuys. I love the subway art sign!

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  5. You two make a great team! I love seeing a room change so much without spending the earth. It looks great!

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  6. great advice! i love how you recommended that she remove the curtains and opt for bamboo shades. good call! this room turned out really great! xo

    -ashley
    ashleyrachelle.com

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  7. Great Post. Love to see affordable fixes that transform a space!!

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  8. I love that by changing out a few key things you can have a completely different space! Great little transformation, thanks for sharing!!

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  9. I will definitely be using the "cover your books with fun paper" trick! Love that! I wish I could borrow your eye for design for a few minutes-- I love how you could "see" all of those improvements and really spruce up her space! Thanks so much for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

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  10. So cute. Those were great suggestions and made the room look entirely different.

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  11. I love the book cover tip, and the pillows are fabulous! I'm curious though why you didn't have her move the couch to be centered on the other wall (where the chair & little table are). That would make the space open up towards the fireplace making it a gorgeous focal point. I obviously have no idea what's on the wall not seen in pictures, nor the dimensions of the space, so I'm sure you had a good reason :) just curious :)

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    1. I wondered the same thing! Although I love all of the changes. It's amazing what you can do with a little creativity:)

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  12. Love the painted chevron rug! Did it take a long time? It really helps bring the room together.

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  13. Love love the "new" room. The painted rug is awesome!

    Jenny
    Www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

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  14. What paint did she use to paint the tables? Looks great!

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  15. I would love more details on the DIY rug. The room looks great!

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  16. such great tips. it's amazing what a difference little things can make.

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  17. I just checked the paint I used. I just used what I had stashed in my basement it was a random brand with paint gushed all over it to cover up the label. All I can make out is "Exterior semi gloss paint". I like how shinny it turned out.

    Also, the chevron rug didn't take too long. About 3 nap times. That is how I calculate my craft time :)

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    1. Hi!! I love the way your place turned out! I'm moving into a new house in a couple days and I want to order bamboo shades. Do you mind me asking where you bought them and how much they cost? Oh and the color/style as well! There are just so many options out there. It is hard to imagine what a little sample will look like on my windows so its refreshing to see yours. Thanks!! My email is Lnkdup283@gmail.com

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  18. Wow! that was a great transformation! Really. And I was way impressed with idea and execution of painting the rug. I am an avid follower of boxwoodclippings, so I am excited to be introduced to you.

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  19. Wow, this is really amazing. I can't believe what a few small changes can do. I think the blinds made the biggest difference. Getting rid of those curtains really lightened up the room.

    I know I'm late to the party on this, but I'm so glad you decided to continue blogging. Since your posts are usually up first thing in the morning, I always read it with my coffee. I love the new blog look, too!

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  20. I love all your accessories - what a great transformation! I have always wanted to paint a rug - but haven't had the guts. nice job!

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  21. My cousin asked me to help her choose paint colors for her new home. Her sofa and two large recliners are beige, and she has tons of vintage/antique tables and chests in various wood tones (mostly medium to light). Plus her kitchen opens up to the living room, and the cabinets are medium oak. It's all very brown! Her style is country and she wants to keep that, although her art is a mix of country (rural country ... not cottage chic) and modern 1990. I am trying to convince her to paint her cabinets to help freshen up her kitchen. And if she got rid of or painted some of the wood pieces in her living room, that would help tone down the browns too. We shall see ... I gave her some color suggestions but she and her husband can't seem to agree and she had already done some painting in other rooms before she consulted with me, so she's already headed down one path. I'm trying to find some photos around the blogosphere and on Pinterest that can help illustrate where she could go with things.

    I'm rambling ... but this post made me think of her. I love the updates Angela has made. The room is looking more modern and fresh.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means a lot. I try and answer any questions directly in the comment section so if you ask a question come back to look for my answer. However it is much easier for me to answer questions through email at kirstenkrason@gmail.com.

Have a Great Day!

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