Before and After: An Eclectic Living Room Redo Has a Totally Unique Curtain Rod DIY

published Oct 25, 2023
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

Hanging things on the walls takes a bit of DIY know-how, but the upfront work is worth it. Once you know your way around a drill and a stud finder (and spackle and paint, should you make any mistakes or change your mind), the ability to mount and install frames, rods, tapestries, TVs, mirrors, and more is a home design game-changer. This living room redo is proof. 

Homeowner Shea Watson’s (@split_faced) living room “had the potential to be cozy and flooded with light,” she says. It just took a little bit of elbow grease to get it there. First came cleaning, painting, and installing LVT (luxury vinyl tile) floors to rescue what she says were the “rotting wood floors and nicotine stains on the walls.” Shea says installing the floors was the hardest part of the redo, but she still notes it’s “an easy DIY project for beginners.” Here’s how she pulled off the project from there.

Credit: Shea Watson

White paint makes a great gallery wall canvas.

After a crisp coat of white to brighten up the place (it’s HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams’ Sterling White), Shea infused her personality by hanging lots of artwork. One thing she learned in her living room refresh was “how important it is to bring dimension into a gallery wall.” Shea varied up shapes, sizes, and textures with her wall hangings throughout the space to give it some extra interest.

“Almost everything in the room is thrifted, upcycled, a hand-me-down, or DIYed,” Shea adds of the room. One DIY she’s particularly proud of is the driftwood curtain rod across the larger window.  “My dad found the long piece of driftwood years ago, and when I saw the window I knew it’d be perfect as a curtain rod,” she says. The DIY is proof that looking beyond off-the-shelf finds can help you create a truly unique space.

Credit: Shea Watson

This homeowner’s advice? Let your living room furniture be flexible. 

Shea says she loves “how colorful and fun” the after is. “The room is a great compromise for my eclectic/maximalist style (leopard print and bright colors galore) and my partner’s style (functional and comfortable with lots of blue),” she says. One pop of color she especially loves is the sage green ceiling fan.

Her best advice for furnishing a living room is to invest in quality rugs and sofas, as “those items draw a lot of attention when you enter the space.” Shea’s rug was a discount find from Bed Bath & Beyond, and her sofa is from Furniture Superstore in Maine. 

“When my boyfriend moved in we had to compromise and replace the pink couch with a larger, navy one,” Shea explains. “It was hard to stomach at first, but ultimately it made the room far more comfortable and better for entertaining.” 

Her best living room advice is not to lock yourself into one design idea in advance. “Work with the unique features of the room, and don’t be afraid to mix it up when the mood strikes,” she says.