Last year we had hardwood floors installed all throughout our main floor, which we love. Ever since then though our family room has felt very dark. Here is what the room once looked like. This is actually from a couple of years ago, I forgot to take another photo before we started moving things around!
These are the changes that we made:
Notice the dark armoire in the left corner. It looks like a big shadow in the corner of the room. We also placed the armoire on an angle in order to see the TV which crowded the room a bit. The beige couch, two dark arm chairs and the dark red/orange brick on the fireplace all contributed to the darkness of the room. The only pop of color in the room is this red cabinet from Ikea.
Here is a close up of the two side chairs. We bought them from Target a couple of years ago and they work perfectly now in our living room. That room is definitely the next room in need of some good TLC!
All very dark. It was time to lighten things up without breaking the bank. So here is what we’ve done.
The couch stays, for now at least. Someday I think this room needs two sofas instead of a sectional to open it up a little bit. For now though the couch stays. The armoire has been moved to the basement and now holds the kids TV, Xbox, DVD player, and Wii (all the essentials, right?) The coffee table, stays for now but hopefully soon will be replaced with something lighter, maybe even an ottoman with some bold colored fabric on it. The rug, which helps brighten up the room a bit, stays as well. Someday we will replace the rug with a modern chevron patterned grey and white one.
Here’s what’s new:
Remember that recent getaway to Las Vegas and St. George where we did some vintage store shopping? If not here is a recap. We found this amazing retro side table for $65 at Urban Renewal, a consignment store in St. George.
It works perfectly in the room next to these velvet blue chairs. Our friend had purchased them on KSL.com (check out her blog here) and then decided she was looking for something different. We gladly took them off her hands for $25 each. Then we had them recovered with this remnant fabric at Sofa Biz for about $80.
I wish I had a before picture but they pretty much looked like the picture on the left with the funky mustard. Much improved if I do say so myself!
The armoire and ancient TV are now in the basement and have been replaced by a beautiful flat screen. We put it off to the side instead of above the fireplace because we don’t want the TV to be the focal point. We are still claiming this is a budget friendly item because we used Christmas money from our parents along with an extra $300 we won at a Christmas party to purchase the TV.
Then we brought in this piece that we inherited and painted and has been residing on our front porch. Now it sits perfectly under the TV and brings in another great punch of color.
The red cabinet continues to add a sweet pop of color.
Now on to the pictures on the fireplace.
Notice how we switched out the red frame without a picture in it for a silver frame with a white background and all the color swatches. It instantly brightened up the room by just adding all the colors and bright white background. We also switched out a few more pictures with others that had been collecting dust in our storage room.
Here is a closer look of the new artwork. Andrea actually painted this back in college. One of the color swatches is the original and the matching one she had to mix paints using only red, yellow, blue, black, and white and match it perfectly. This project definitely helped her become an expert on color.
Finally some new pillows and things are looking up. We bought the tie-dyed pillow cover at West Elm while in Vegas on clearance for $14. We paired it with our existing grey pillows from Ikea and this great textured cream pillow from Crate and Barrel that we had purchased years ago.
Don’t forget these pictures of the kids above the couch. We switch them up frequently which also helps to keep the room fresh and adds a punch of color.
Pull from what you have, reposition some furniture, visit some vintage stores or check out the classifieds for some great CHEAP pieces that will help renovate your room for next to nothing. Here is the finished product.
Posted by Greg