This “Blank” Living Room Transforms into a Colorful, Cozy Hangout

published Jul 2, 2024
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Kitchens may be the heart of the home, but living rooms are definitely hangout central. So if your living room is feeling less-than-inviting, it’s worth taking the extra effort to add some cozy, personalized touches. For photographer and artist Cass Danson (@our.home.le.fleur), this meant swapping out her living room’s bare wall for a colorful gallery wall and adding other pops of color and modernity.

“Before we did our large gallery wall in the living room, we had a huge wall of blank, empty space,” Cass says. “The wall is around 5 meters long, and all it had was the TV mounted on the wall. I had the idea to paint a quarter of the wall a bright color, then turn the top into a massive gallery wall. It needed color and quirk to bring the area to life.”

Here are three ways that she gave her family’s living room a much-needed update for just $200.

New furniture adds color (and whimsy).

Whereas before the living room was beige on beige, the after is more vibrant, thanks to a plush, rose-colored sofa, a rust-colored armchair, a new rug, and a pink and red coffee table. “You know when everything just really works? That’s how I feel about my lounge,” Cass writes on Instagram. “The pinks, reds, and blues just really do it for me.”

Fun fact: The cloud-shaped coffee table when Cass bought it was actually plain white, and she spray painted it pink and red. The artwork over the sofa is also a Cass original.

Blue paint brings even more color.

Before adding her gallery art, Cass decided to give the wall’s bottom half an extra pop of color by painting it a bright aqua blue (Dulux’s Tapioca). 

“I measured the same height around the whole wall and taped it up,” Cass explains. “I chose the blue because I wanted a contrast to all the pink currently in the living space.”

Some extra touches make the art stand out.

Keeping with her home’s colorful, playful decor, Cass chose frames of several different sizes rather than keeping her gallery wall totally uniform.“I painted them in different colors to add to the gallery part of the wall,” she says. “I chose two specific frames to paint funky wavy frames around on the wall to add even more character.”

Rather than splurging on all-new art, Cass chose to showcase the family’s pre-existing collection together, a creative way to show off their memories together.

“The gallery wall was a collection of art and keepsakes we have been collecting over the years,” she says. “When we have guests to visit, everyone loves to check out all the little bits and bobs across the wall. Before, it felt really large and empty, and now, it’s full of color, warmth, and joy!”

A new pendant lantern adds a finishing touch for cheap.

Finally, Cass brightened things up and added one more fun detail  to the living room with an overhead lantern. This is an easy (and affordable) way to add a totally modern silhouette to a space and add a pop of bright white, especially if your base color is off-white or tan, like Cass’. You can find a $5 option from IKEA or a $13 option from Amazon.

For another space where a bold white lantern changed the entire vibe, check out this dining room makeover.