Our Living Room Makeover

If you would’ve asked us last month what we’d be doing between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d never in a million years have said, “redoing our entire living room”! We’ve been in our new home for seven months now, and although we have grand plans for each room, I pictured it as a slow and steady process. But, I was itching for a change and wanted our main living space to be comfy and cozy for holiday entertaining!

We started with the paint. When we moved in, our living room was a weird tan/green color that I can’t even describe. It gave the whole room an uneasy feeling. We wanted something fresh, classic, and bright (we have no overhead lights in our living room, so it was important to make it appear as bright as possible with our paint). We chose Glidden White on White paint in Satin, which was the most devoid of any tint that we could find. It took us two coats to do our living room, entryway, and hallway.

We also wanted to infuse a little fun into our living space. We chose to cover one wall with a fun wallpaper! The white background with black and gray speckles adds a subtle accent and it matches our color palette. We went with Target’s Peel-and-Stick wallpaper, so that we didn’t have to go through all the work of wallpapering (and we could easily remove it when we want a change). It took three rolls of wallpaper to do one wall. I was a little nervous, since reviews said it was hard to install and didn’t stick very well. But I did the wallpaper by myself and finished the wall in an hour. It was so easy! And it’s been up for a week and is still sticking tight!

We got rid of the heavy red and green curtains that came with the house and opted for sheer black curtains from Target. They frame the windows nicely, while still letting light in.

Then we upgraded our mix and match furniture from our college years for a matching set from the Better Homes and Gardens collection from Walmart. I’ve had my eye on their Farmhouse collection for a long time — who can resist a barn door and grayish wood? It’s subtle, sophisticated, while also having the storage and space we needed. We got the storage bookcase, TV stand, and lift-top coffee table.

The storage bookcase has a sliding door (behind which we’re hiding copious amounts of books, while the open shelving is perfect for displaying pictures, quilts, and other momentos. We even put a few special items on the top. (We’ll collect more over the years — we purged a lot of knickknacks right before our move, but now that we have the space, we can start gathering the right pieces).


The TV stand has two sliding doors that are holding all our DVDs (we have a large collection and they used to be spread across two separate pieces of furniture). The top easily holds our TV with room to spare!

The coffee table has a shelf on the bottom (which is great, since we were always tripping over books and computers that were laying on the floor). The top also lifts up for extra storage. I think it’ll be a great place to hide extra blankets, candles, and books. It’s a little higher and a little smaller than our last table, so it opens the room up a little.

I also couldn’t help but get a quilt ladder, too! I’ve never had a great way to display my quilts (especially ones I want to switch out with the seasons). This one from Walmart is simple, elegant, and I love that the top rung is wooden just like our bamboo chairs. It ties the room together and fits the awkward space between our window and the entryway perfectly.

All we had left to do was hang artwork, arrange plants, and put out our favorite decor. So far, we’re only displaying local artwork — we have a print of the Des Moines capital from a local store, a Des Moines embroidery piece I bought at a local quilt shop and stitched, an embroidered hoop a coworker gave us as a wedding present, and a painted wooden Seinfeld piece from a local artist and friend. I’m sure we’ll add to it over the years.

The bamboo chair was a Target clearance find a few years ago. The yellow table I bought for a quarter at a sale (it’s surrounded by clothespins and spray painted yellow). That table was the inspiration for our whole living room color palette. I made a quilt and throw pillows to match (read more about them here). I love that we have a classic black, white, and gray color palette with bright pops of yellow. It perfectly fits the lifestyle my husband and I have.

Thanks for joining me for “happy hour,”


I’m not a home decor expert at all, but if you have any questions, I’ll share honestly about the products and my experience! I’m on this home ownership journey and am taking it one step at a time and learning a lot on the way. Can’t wait to get to the other rooms in the upcoming years!


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