A Plain Living Room’s Makeover Creates a “Warm Glow” (Instantly!)

published May 23, 2024
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Some people are lucky enough to have one statement-making fireplace in their home. In Tricia Collins (@tricacollins_design) and her partner, Will’s, 120-year-old home “there’s a mantel in almost every room,” she says. 

Here’s how she made the one in her living room a focal point — plus some other changes to give the room “a warm glow.”

The walls went from white to taupe.

Tricia and Will have lived in their home for almost four years, but they decided to paint the living room walls last year for a change of pace. The color they went with is a neutral pink: Backdrop’s Studio Hours.

“I really love the color with the rugs and the peel-and-stick tiles,” Tricia says. “It creates a warm glow effect during the day and feels extra cozy at night. Now I can’t imagine loving this room so much with white walls.”

Peel-and-stick tiles create a dramatic fireplace moment.

The aforementioned peel-and-stick tiles are from Mirth Studio, and Tricia says they’re what created the biggest transformation in the room; they make the mantel and fireplace a true focal point. 

The dog painting above the mantel is by Tricia and Will’s friend, artist Thomas Sara (@two_moss), who completed the works above the sofa, too.

The living room is full of thrifted finds.

The living room is a masterclass in layering rugs. Tricia says it took a while to figure out the exact placement, but once she did, the room felt complete. Some of the rugs in the room are over 100 years old. 

Other thrift and vintage finds complete the room, like the coffee table which Tricia calls “the best Facebook Marketplace score of all time,” the side tables, the green club chair that she got for her very first apartment when she was 18, the lamps, rugs, tchotchkes, and more. 

“The art and decorative objects feel really dialed in, and it’s always easy to tidy because everything has a designated place,” Tricia says — and it’s her favorite room in the house. “It’s our main living room where we spend the most time together, and it’s my favorite room I’ve ever designed. It is really maximal but for me it feels really calming to be in.”

Tricia says this room “was the easiest and quickest room to design” in her home. Check out the rest of her beautiful 1860s row home here.