Before and After: This $350 Living Room Refresh Shows the Power of Small Tweaks

published Jan 24, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Post Image

Not every project has to be a big one! In fact, sometimes the most satisfying transformations come in the form of small changes made at home, whether temporary upgrades or more permanent fixes. And not every room has to be a disaster to deserve a little extra love. Take Alexandra Fontaine’s living room, which was perfectly nice in its “before” state. But, Alexandra says, with off-white couches, white walls, and beige carpeting, the space needed a little color.

“I knew the space needed something to make it feel more inviting and cozy,” Alexandra says. “All the white made it feel stale and fall flat.”

Wanting to create a place that felt warm and welcoming, Alexandra decided to make a few small changes to the room to make it curl-up cozy.

Deep navy blue paint (Sherwin-Williams’s Outer Space) was the first change—painting just an accent wall made the job a quick one, and also helped keep the room from feeling too dark. A high-pile gridded rug Alexandra scored at Walmart helped break up the beige wall-to-wall carpet. Overhead, she swapped the boring old flush mount light for a more dramatic iron-look chandelier from Target.

The new navy paint color helps the existing artwork—a framed quartet of leaf prints—pop, while also making the TV blend into the background when it’s not in use.

Once she swapped the old gridded curtains for plain white ones—to complement the new rug, rather than compete with it—Alexandra’s mini makeover was complete. The low-stress, low-cost update made a huge difference in the room. “Paint changes EVERYTHING,” Alexandra says. “I love how the dark color just instantly elevated the space! It definitely brought that warm and cozy factor that the space needed.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.