Before and After: This Living Room Redo Proves “Cozy” Can Still Be Sophisticated

published Jun 18, 2021
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About this before & after
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Before: Living room with baby toys and two TVs

“Comfortable” and “elegant” might seem like two competing styles, but you can absolutely create a sophisticated space that’s warm and welcoming. Skeptical? Take a look at this project from designer Inna Kovalinsky. While the living room her client was working with was mostly fine, it felt smaller than its size thanks to dim colors and a dark, dated stone fireplace.

Inna’s client requested an “elegant room,” but also wanted it to be suitable for hanging out since this is where the family spends most of their time. Inna was already working on opening up the adjacent kitchen for a full redo, so she also needed to make a living room that would complement a new open-concept cook space.

First up, Inna tackled the outdated fireplace. She tore out the stone, and had a gorgeous white-painted wood mantel built instead. Even though it’s set against white walls (Sherwin-Williams’s Snowbound), the mantel is still a standout thanks to its intricate details that make it look like an old-world vintage find.

Inna replaced the old wall-to-wall carpet with wood-look laminate floors that match the ones in the kitchen, which helps the spaces feel cohesive. On the walls, she installed picture frame moulding to give the room some subtle architectural charm. The details don’t stop there, though: Overhead, Inna added a ceiling medallion around the new vintage-inspired black chandelier.

The sectional is the same one as before, but looks brand new atop an animal-print rug. Swapping the heavy old coffee table for a clear acrylic one made the whole space feel bigger. The final touch: a gallery wall of framed travel photos taken by the homeowner.

“My favorite part is the way the whole room feels together,” Inna says. “The deer spotted rug paired with the acrylic table and French-inspired fireplace is the perfect juxtaposition of styles.”

And best of all? The room is cozy and comfortable, with just as much seating as before — and way more style.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.