Bland Living Room to Colorful Symphony 

Hello, design enthusiasts and fellow house renovators! Today, I’m opening the vault to tell a story that’s both a celebration and a cautionary tale of transforming my living room from a frustrating blank canvas to a bright setting that genuinely expresses my taste.


This isn’t your standard “before and after” post with a speedy turnaround. This is a deep dive into the emotional rollercoaster, design diversions, and triumphant return to a space that now feels like home. So, take a cup of tea, settle in, and get ready for a voyage full of color, aggravation, and, finally, self-realization.

The uninspiring canvas: a starting point defined by neutrality

Many people felt we were nuts. We noticed potential, a good “bone structure” as they say, beneath the layers of outmoded finishes and unappealing hues. But let me tell you something: the original reality was far from glamorous. Consider bland walls, worn flooring, and an overall sense of “blah.”

What is the toughest challenge? This space served two functions: living room and entryway. There was no apparent separation, thus furniture placement and functionality were a perpetual problem.

False starts and the allure of trends: A decorating identity crisis

With youthful zeal (and possibly a bit of naiveté), I dived headfirst into decorating.Previously, the “country farmhouse” aesthetic ruled the blogosphere. Feeling pressured to comply, I abandoned my love of color in favor of safe neutrals and predictable patterns. What was the result? An environment that felt generic, impersonal, and far from the lively refuge I had imagined.


This internal battle between following trends and adopting my own style resulted in a number of unsuccessful decorating attempts. I once bizarrely attempted to convert the space into a dining room (which never quite worked). Countless furniture combinations were tried and failed, leaving me defeated and frustrated.

A turning point: embracing boldness and letting go of expectations

Looking back at images from those early attempts, it almost seems silly. This was not my style; it was a poor replica of what I believed I should accomplish. The turning point came when I finally allowed myself to decorate truly. I embraced the color scheme I adored – a symphony of purples, blues, and pops of orange – and began embracing objects that spoke to me, rather than some idealized picture of a home or blogger.

Finding the ideal purple carpeting, a kaleidoscope of colors woven together, was a watershed moment. It established the tone for the entire room, adding individuality and vitality without being overbearing. It was as if a missing puzzle piece had finally clicked into place.

The Art of Separation: Establishing an Entryway Within the Living Room

One of the main obstacles was the lack of a dedicated entryway.Through trial and error, I learned that furniture placement might provide the appearance of discrete zones.  By properly situating the sofa and a huge side table, I was able to visually delineate the entryway while still leaving enough space for both spaces. This small adjustment improved the room’s flow and functionality significantly.


A Match Made in Color Heaven: Finding the Perfect Artwork

Artwork is essential for connecting a room together, and the piece above the fireplace felt like it was crafted specifically for this location. It used all of the colors I liked, producing a unified and visually appealing focus point. It even provided a new home for the original artwork I’d prepared for the fireplace – a pleasant coincidence.

More Than Aesthetics: Functional Enhancements for Long-Term Enjoyment

Of course, the makeover was not solely about appearance. We performed various utilitarian changes that substantially improved the room, including removing the antiquated polystyrene ceiling tiles, changing windows, and revealing the wonderful original hardwood floors.  Who can resist a nice fireplace, even if it is electronic in this case? It provides warmth and architectural flair without the trouble of a traditional wood-burning fireplace.

A Look at the “Before”: A Reminder of How Far We’ve Come

To properly understand the transformation, let’s look at the “before” photos.  It’s a sobering reminder of where we began, a far cry from the bustling space it is today.  The greatest option was to open up the kitchen to the living room.

The Power of Patience and Persistence: Lessons Learned


Looking back, I wish I could have fast-forwarded through the years of frustration and false starts

Living Room Transformation: Before vs. After

StyleGeneric, neutral, “country farmhouse” inspiredBold, colorful, reflects personal style
FunctionalityLiving room and entryway combined, awkward layoutDefined living room with a separate entryway feel
Color SchemeBeige walls, muted tonesVibrant purple rug sets the tone, pops of color throughout
Furniture PlacementMultiple attempts, uninspired arrangementsStrategic placement creates defined living and entryway areas
ArtworkNone above fireplaceArtwork above fireplace ties color scheme together
FlooringDated carpetOriginal hardwood floors refinished
WindowsOld, inefficient windowsNew windows for improved light and energy efficiency
Kitchen ConnectionClosed off from living roomOpened up for better light and flow
FireplaceNoneElectric fireplace adds architectural interest
Overall FeelBland, uninspiring, impersonalVibrant, inviting, reflects homeowner’s personality
Personal SatisfactionFrustration, feeling of decorating inauthenticallyJoy, fulfillment, a space to truly relax and enjoy

Visitor Comments on the Vibrant Living Room Transformation:

“Wow! What a transformation! This space is simply amazing.  It’s refreshing to see someone embrace color and create such a distinct and distinctive space.  The purple carpeting is stunning, and I love how you’ve carried the color scheme throughout the space with the artwork and pillows.  Sharing your decorating experience is extremely inspiring, and it serves as a good reminder to be true to yourself when designing your home”.

“This space is full with charm!  I also like how you used furniture placement to create a separate doorway; it’s a very clever idea.  Would you mind telling me where you found the lovely artwork over the fireplace?  It really ties everything together so perfectly”.


I can completely identify to your journey!  For years, I battled to furnish my living room in a way that felt appropriate.  It’s inspiring to see how you embraced your unique style and colors.  I will absolutely borrow the concept of having a statement rug to create the tone for the area.  Thank you for the inspiration!

This makeover is amazing!  You’ve created an atmosphere that is both welcoming and stylish.  I’d like to see more photographs, particularly how the living room flows to the kitchen and music room.  If you ever decide to write a blog article about those spaces, I’ll be the first to read it!  Also, if you need help styling any other sections of your home, I’d be delighted.

This blog entry is a breath of fresh air.  My living room is currently a messy mess, but watching your change inspires me to face it head-on.  Maybe one day I’ll have a space as vivid and joyous as yours, complete with a clearly defined entryway!   Thank you for sharing your experience and the critical lessons learnt along the road.

FAQs: Bland Living Room to a Symphony of Color

This transformation of a living room from a generic space to a vibrant and personality-filled haven. Here are some frequently asked questions you might have after reading the post:

Style and Design

What inspired the bold color choices in the living room? The blogger’s personal love for color and a desire to create a space that reflected her unique style, rather than following trends, were the driving forces.


Can you share the paint color used on the walls in the living room? The blog post mentions a custom paint color, but the specific formula is provided with a link for easy access.

Where did you find the statement rug that sets the tone for the room? Unfortunately, the source of the rug isn’t mentioned. However, the blogger highlights the importance of using a statement rug to establish the color scheme for a room.

Furniture and Layout

How did you create a separate entryway feel within the living room? Strategic furniture placement, particularly the sofa and a large side table, defined the entryway area visually while maintaining a spacious feel.

What advice do you have for someone struggling with furniture placement in a combined living room and entryway space? The blogger doesn’t offer specific advice beyond the solution used in her own living room. However, she might recommend future blog posts where she details furniture arrangement tips.

Challenges and Learnings

Do you regret any of the design choices you made throughout the 7.5-year process? While not explicitly mentioned, the blogger discusses multiple “starts and stops” with different design ideas, suggesting some choices weren’t ideal.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from this long-term decorating project? The importance of staying true to personal style and not succumbing to pressure to follow trends is a key takeaway. Experimentation is valuable, but multiple changes can be time-consuming and expensive.


Additional Information

Will you be sharing more details about the music room and breakfast room-turned-sitting room? Yes, the blogger plans to showcase these completed rooms in future posts, including wide-angle photos that capture the flow between all the living spaces.

Where can I find the sources for the furniture and decor items in the living room? The blog post includes a link with details and sources for most, if not all, of the furniture and decor used in the living room.

Do you have any blog posts about the DIY projects mentioned in the living room, such as the fireplace or Roman shades? Yes, the blogger provides a link to a separate section of her blog where you can find details on DIY projects related to the living room, potentially including the fireplace and Roman shades.

This Post Has One Comment

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