Lighten & Brighten Project Update: Step 1

I have been on a mission to lighten and brighten our living room space for a while now. It’s taking a lot longer than I would have anticipated to get the process rolling, but I feel like I’m finally on the right path.

Ordinarily, you would start with painting a room.  Paint is an easy fix.  While that is the usually the case, the volume of space in this two story room make this a daunting task.  Renting scaffolding or hiring painters aren’t in our budget or on the list of things we desire to do to this house.

Today, I’m sharing the little steps to lighten and brighten without painting.

I started with this color inspiration I found a while back. I even created a “Living Room Refresh” board on Pinterest.

So, working with some of the colors I had previously, including the brown wall color and the beautiful Aubusson Blue of the console behind the sofa, this is where the room is going.

I also added inspiration photos of rooms that had brown walls but still appeared light and bright. Like this one.


 Here’s what this side of our living room looked like before.

If you’ve been following along with me, you know I started this summer with reupholstering the ottoman. It’s become of those projects I’ve gotten frustrated with and sits 98% done.  I won’t go into the details today, but problem is in the details. 😉
I also rescued a round side table that fit the sofa better and painted it Old White from Annie Sloan to lighten up that corner.

Even with the ottoman not completely finished, it’s looking better in here already. Wouldn’t you agree?

The next step was to get rid of the red on the pillows.  I guess this living room refresh is as much about getting rid of the red as it is “lightening and brightening”.

After much debating, and two different sets of fabric purchases, I settled on this collection of pillows for the fall and I’ll move onto a more floral look this spring.  Once that decision was made, I could get busy sewing the pillows.  I’ll share details on how I made them later.

I was inspired to create an eclectic mix of pillows after the fun I had with that look in the Media Room upstairs.

I like how this informal use of pattern makes the almost stuffy living room seem more approachable and relaxed.

While moving the pillows around the room, I finally stumbled upon the perfect pattern for the antique hotel chair under the mirrors.   I like that it repeats the pattern on the sofa.

Next up on the agenda to brighten the room is to slipcover the sofa.  The leather is faded from the sun blaring into the two story windows across the room, but other than that it’s still in very good condition and extremely comfortable.

As this photo diagram shows, I’m probably going to create a new piece of art or move the clock that is currently above the mantle back here.

And then I need to decide if the frames on the gallery wall need to go cream.  What do you think?  Right now, I’m undecided.  I may have to wait until the sofa is slipcovered to decide.

If nothing else, these small changes bring the room into the color palette I wanted and it certainly brighter.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been very intimidated by the whole slipcover project.  Luckily, I have a wingback chair in our bedroom to practice on. My first victim awaits. 😉 

Don’t forget to let me know what you think about the frames. I’d love to know what you think.  Go lighter or keep them as a nice contrast to the rest of the room?

Sharing Here:   Mop it Up Monday‘s @ I should be mopping the Floor  /  Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things  /  That DIY Party @ DIY Show Off  /  More the Merrier @ DIY Home Sweet Home  /  Martha Monday’s @ Watch Out Martha / Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm  / Mod Mix Monday@ Mod Vintage Life  /  Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll through Life  /  Make it Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House

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  • missy
    October 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Are the sofa cushions removable? If so, the slipcover is easy peasy. Love the way you've lightened the room with just a few changes.

  • marty (A Stroll Thru Life)
    October 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Love the look of the lighter accessories and pillows. Looks so pretty. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  • Kathryn Ferguson Griffin
    November 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I love the color scheme you're heading towards. Looks great! Thank you for sharing. You will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  • Reduce, Reuse, Renewed
    November 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Your room is coming along nicely. I was attracted to your post because I love the turquoise color and was curious how you incorporated it into you space. I also use black frames but they are hung in the stairwell. It seems that the consistency of the color makes it work in your room.


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