Projects & Improvements

Before & After: How a Pro Turned a Dreary Room Cheery

published Mar 11, 2016
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Project by: Dana Reca of Circa Dee
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Have you ever faced the task of cheering up a dark room? If you’re looking for inspiration on how to transform a dreary space into a cozy, welcoming room (that you might want to actually spend time in), you might find inspiration in this professional project.

Though the before photo above was taken at night and the after photos below taken during the day, you can still see the difference the design choices made in this space; it’s now a happy hang-out room.

(Image credit: Dana Reca )

From the designer:

A couple of young professionals were ready for a living room they could be proud to entertain guests in. The “before” was a far cry from that with its underwhelming beige color scheme. The look the couple was hoping to achieve was influenced by recent stays at Kimpton Hotels. They wanted pops of color with a subtle garden influence. And that’s exactly what they got!

(Image credit: Dana Reca )

Some successful design decisions from this makeover:

Cool gray colors brighten the room

Cool gray walls and a semi-shiny gray couch immediately turn the mainly brown before room into a lighter and brighter space.

Bold color pops add interest

Bold color is introduced with accessories like patterned pillows and bold yellow table lamps.

Energy is created through pattern placement

Energy is created by mixing graphics and patterns — like on the rug and the shape of the coffee table base — creating a dynamic space.

Natural motifs are used as art

The room gets an always-springtime feel thanks to the botanical-themed art.

Metals create sophistication

Metallic surfaces like the coffee table and the mirror frame keep the space from feeling too casual.

(Image credit: Dana Reca )

From the designer:

DIY projects included updating the crown molding, as it was previously mismatched, and painting walls. A major cost saver was updating 80’s lamps sourced from Craigslist. We shopped the home for accessories and brought in new furniture from Macy’s including a beautiful gray Chesterfield sofa.

(Image credit: Dana Reca )

Thanks, Dana!

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