Decorate a room over time using accents that are meaningful

How to Decorate Your Room Over time


Hi! And welcome back to the latest installment of the Room by Room Summer Showcase, hosted by my friend Amy of My Life From Home.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my friends and I will be sharing one room in our homes per week through August 15th. I’ve already shared my newly made-over foyer.

Tips on decorating a room over time - buy quality furniture

This week, we are visiting our living rooms.

We all have them – those rooms that are constantly in a state of change. There are a few rooms in my home I’ve had the opportunity to make-over from scratch, but as a rule, that isn’t the typical way to do things. Not only can most of us not afford to do that, but it also doesn’t make a lot of sense to try to make-over a room all at one time because a truly unique room evolves.

Full Living Room - How to makeover your living room over time

For us, our living room is THAT room. We’ve owned this house for over ten years and have made numerous changes, each one getting us closer to our “dream.” If you have one of THOSE rooms and don’t know where to start the process, here are a few ideas that I found made the biggest impact as the room evolves.

We Painted

If you’re looking for an immediate change, this is where to start. Try to relax when you’re picking a color – don’t feel like you’ll be living with the decision for the rest of your life. If you don’t like it, you can always paint over it!

For example, when we first moved in, this room had dark wood paneling, chair rail, and crown molding. The same tobacco-colored walls found in our foyer were in the living room as well. The fireplace was red brick and not trimmed.

Initially, we decided to keep the dark wood throughout, save for the paneling. We chose a light yellow for the walls and olive green on the paneling. It was dark. Very dark. Our leather furniture faded into the walls. I didn’t spend a lot of time in there.

So, we painted again. We went with white on all of the trim and Behr Marquee paint in Painters White. We love it. We may paint again, but if we don’t, I’ll still be happy – that tells me we got it right!

How to makeover your living room over time - paint color

We also added a white, trim surround onto the fireplace and painted the fireplace bricks to compliment the kitchen tiles.

How to makeover your living room over time - fireplace makeover

We’ve started making over the stairs, but it’s a work in progress. Nothing to see here – moving along!

How to makeover your living room over time - staircase

We rearranged

Our living room has seen more than a few configurations. With a large family, we are always looking for the most flexible floor plan with the maximum seating.

How to makeover your living room over time - use ottomans to extend your seating capacity

We use ottomans throughout the room, both upholstered and ceramic, to extend our seating when necessary.

We added lighting

Probably the biggest and best investment we’ve made was to add overhead, recessed lighting. There is a sunroom off of the living room that sucks a vast majority of natural light from the living room. A lighter color paint helped significantly, but it wasn’t enough – it still felt cave-like.  If you have a low light room, and you can afford to add recessed lighting, it would be well worth the investment. I can’t tell you what a difference it made.

How to makeover your living room over time - lamps

Two of our lamps came from Lowe’s Home Improvement. Ironically, we found the same lamp at Goodwill a few years later! Someday, I’d like to give them a makeover or to mix them up with some other styles – next on my list!

We re-used furniture

My husband had the leather sofa and loveseat before we married and it’s been great with kids as far as spills go – it’s completely washable. When it comes to sofas, you get your money’s worth so be sure to get the best you can afford. We’ve had this set for over ten years, and it’s still going strong. I do, however, get tired of the dark color and may at some point do a slipcover to change things up.

How to makeover your living room over time - coffee table

Believe it or not, our coffee table is nearly twenty years old. It was one of those great TJ Maxx finds! I love the herringbone inset pattern on the center of the table.

How to makeover your living room over time - herringbone inset on coffee table

The end tables are also pre-blog purchases. They are a bit small for the size of the sofa.. one day I’ll get around to giving them a make-over as well. For now, they work.

How to makeover your living room over time

The bookshelves came from my husband’s office when they were redecorating – you can’t beat free! I have lofty plans to use them for built-ins with closed storage to hide all of the kid paraphernalia – we’ll see what happens!

We Accessorized

To keep our room feeling fresh, we frequently change things up in the living room. You may remember these pillows were in my game room earlier this year, and have now found their way downstairs.

How to makeover your living room over time - throw pillows with dragon

Our other accessories come from all over the place – things I’ve made, vacations we’ve taken, thrift stores, T.J. Maxx, Target and some from loved ones and each other.

How to makeover your living room over time - camel accessory
Plants and flowers bring life to our living room. More often than not I use faux. It’s easy to move them around the house for pops of color, and I can’t kill them.

How to makeover your living room over time - plants

Trays keep coasters and books neat and tidy while adding a pop of color or contrast.

How to makeover your living room over time - tray with books and other accessories

We purchased the rug before the lighting was installed to help bring light to the room. Now that we have a bit of light to play with I think our next rug will be able to incorporate some color.


The artwork is the area that I struggle with the most in my living room. The furniture is large, and I am always looking for art to balance that out, but my tastes change so frequently that I’m afraid to invest in real art for fear that I’ll lose interest in it.  Instead, I strive for objects d’ art to act as long term temporary solutions.

How to makeover your living room over time - botanical print

The large botanical print above the sofa we’ve had for over ten years. I know it doesn’t accurately reflect our style but I like it, and until I find something that I like more it will stay.

How to makeover your living room over time - scrap paper collage

It’s almost time to retire the scrapbooking paper collage, but I’ve not decided on a replacement.

I change the art above the fireplace with the season, flanking each side with art that either matches or compliments one another.

Take your time


If you have a room that is also in a state of constant change and you don’t know where to start, try adding new paint and inexpensive accessories for an immediate impact. Then, when you are able, look at adding quality furniture and art.

How to makeover your living room over time - left side of room


Here is what I’ll be working on in the days to come – most of which is merely a dream at this point!

Things I’d like to change in my living room:

  • Make-over the end tables
  • Focal wall above fireplace
  • Slipcovers for Sofa and love seat
  • Rug
  • Staircase make-over
  • New Flooring
  • Over-sized artwork
  • Travel gallery wall
  • Lamp Love

Thanks so much for taking a look and be sure to continue the living room tour by hopping over to visit my friends!


One Room Challenge {Inexpensive Foyer Make-over} The Reveal

I’m so excited to share the results of my inexpensive foyer makeover for the One Room Challenge, completed just six (actually five) short weeks (gasp)! 

YAY! A few weeks back – six to be exact – I shared my plans to make-over my foyer for my third One Room ChallengeAlthough I get a big fat fail on updating you on the progress of said make-over, I hope you’ll forgive me when you’ve seen what I’ve accomplished. For all the pretty pictures, keep scrolling for major Before & After action!


Let’s start at the beginning. My foyer, while not horrendous, felt incomplete and didn’t compliment and flow into the adjoining rooms. The area didn’t reflect our style. More than anything it had carpeted stairs – I hate carpet on the stairs!


As you can tell, we’ve made a few changes. 🙂

MUCH NEEDED STAIRCASE MAKE-OVER// We removed the carpet from the stairs, during which I spent a lot of time wishing I’d vacuumed more often #gross. After a whole lot of filling and sanding on the stair treads, we painted and stenciled the entire area. During that process, it seemed like a good idea to continue the board and batten already in the foyer up to the wall of the staircase as well. That had not been in the initial plan, but it made sense.

LIGHT FIXTURE// The light fixture WAS terrible. I found a way-out-of-my-budget gorgeous light fixture at Anthropologie but was able to make my own version upcycling a thrift store light fixture straight out of the 80s!  You can find the full tutorial here, or, can download a printable version!


free printable guide_acrylic discs

DIY FLOATING CONSOLE TABLE AND OTTOMANS // With only enough space for a console table in the front entrance, there wasn’t any for seating. To get around this, we decided on a DIY floating console table that would allow for ottomans underneath. CLICK HERE FOR THE TUTORIAL!


PET STATION// We needed a pet station to store leashes and business-bags. Luckily, the new and larger floating table allowed for both storing our pet leashes and business-bags, as well as the necessary hat and glove storage.

MODERN ECLECTIC ACCENTS // I found a few accents at Target, with the once-black mirror getting a quick paint job.

RUG // I went through more than one rug during this project. An awkward space, the entry way in my home, requires a 4’x6′ rug that I found hard to find. I settled on this wide-striped rug, also found at Target, in a 5’x8′ and customized it to my space. I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how to customize a rug in another post. The indoor/outdoor carpet ensures it will hold up to the steady traffic and will be easy to keep clean.

PAINTED DOOR // The added bold blue to the door completed the project!

THE DESIGN INFLUENCE // The foyer is flanked by four – yes, four – other rooms,  all that have received more of our love and attention.

The office and living room are both ongoing projects that are slowly evolving to the look and feel we strive for. We recently updated the powder room, and of course, made-over the Dining room/playroom during my first One Room Challenge. Every room has elements of my favorite style – a mostly neutral palette with a mostly traditional vibe, but with a side of the eclectic and whimsy. Don’t forget the mandatory splashes of bold color and pattern!

And now.. the foyer is in perfect balance with them all!

One more time!



I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results! a HUGE Thank you to Linda for organizing the One Room Challenge. The One Room Challenge is a LOT of hard work, but it’s also ridiculously fun for me.  I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love and to be able to share it all with you.  It’s pretty much my favorite.

rather buy than diy

Thanks so much for taking a look! If you’ve liked this post, consider following me on Social Media or subscribing to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google+

Enter your email address to subscribe for non-stop Knock it Off Kim fun!

* indicates required

Email Format


Pin it!



Bathroom Makeover View from the door

How to Make-over Your Powder Room for Just $100

You’ll never believe what this powder room looked like when we started and what we were able to do to the room for only $100!

I’m going to keep you in suspense just a minute longer. First, let’s do a quick recap in case you’re just popping in for the first time, and aren’t sure what the $100 Room Challenge is. 

Erin of Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry put together this fun, and the fabulous event brings together some of my favorite bloggers, each making over a room with just $100 budget in four short weeks. For more information on the $100 Room Challenge, check out my post from week 1, or check here where Erin spells it out clearly.

I chose to make-over my overly-neglected powder room. It was dark, dreary and very unfinished – not ideal for what is probably the hardest working room in the house! 

Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4

The first week I shared my inspiration board which included a lot of bold navy and green pattern with strong accents, and I was feeling pretty good about my choices, but it was the execution that made me second guess myself. Week 2 I talked about my inability to trust my bold instincts and left off with me stenciling a bold navy pattern. Week 3 I shared a new direction, which in reality means I was just getting started on this challenge.. and this week. Well, I know why you’re here, so let’s get to it! Grab a coffee – or a glass of wine, because it’s always five o’clock somewhere, and I’ll bring on the obscene amount of pictures! Make sure to scroll to the bottom for my budget breakdown and to see the other oodles of beautiful room make-overs from my blogging pals! 

How to Make-over Your Powder Room for $100

We added shelving above the commode.  We made the shelves using 1″x 6″ pine leftover from the built-ins we made for the last One Room Challenge. To beef them up, we stacked two boards on top of one another and added a lattice strip trim to hide the seam. Ironically, I had purchased brackets for this room a million moons ago but had never gotten around to hanging the actual shelves.  The shelves hold decorative objects as well as closed storage for odds and ends, in what was once a blank space.
Vase | 
Love Print – Similar
Hexagon Print | Cactus Print | Girl on a Rock Print | Llama Print| Watercolor Print | Palm Tree Print 
I struggled with the idea of artwork. I wanted something that would have a presence, a bit of color, but would not overwhelm or underwhelm the bold pattern of the walls. I couldn’t find any one single thing, so I created a gallery of images all found on Etsy and added a simple frame. The images were printed onto printable vinyl and applied to a 10″x10″ canvas
Hexagon Print | | Llama Print|
 Girl on a Rock Print Palm Tree Print 

Hexagon Print | Cactus Print | Girl on a Rock Print Llama PrintWatercolor Print | Palm Tree Print 

We added a brushed nickel towel bar on the wall adjacent to the sink.
 The towels were on clearance – lucky me! 
Of course, the biggest change was the addition of the Caitlyn Wilson Wallpaper hack that was made by loosely stenciling a similar pattern with paint. The room desperately needed some oomph and this more than supplied that in spades.  
It wasn’t in the budget to change the light fixture, so instead, we changed out the globe shades for a relatively inexpensive upgrade that makes a tremendous difference. It changes not only the look of the fixture but also the amount of light it gives off. This room needs a 3-bulb fixture, but the white shades do help quite a bit in the interim until it’s in the budget to replace it.  
I very much wanted a gilded mirror in this room but replacing the mirror would have cost a fortune. Instead, the one we had received a silver-leafing and stencil update, making it affordable and fun! 
The vanity received a new finish in week two with a bold navy blue with the slightest of sheen. New cabinet pulls had the existing vanity looking brand new.  
Under the sink also got a little TLC. Gone is the disorganization! At some point, I’ll get to making it a bit prettier, but for now, it’s much more functional. 

Using the doors for toothbrush and hair paraphernalia increased the available storage substantially, and helps to keep things out of the sight of guests.  

Last, after much deliberation on what to do with the rug, I decided on keeping it exactly how it is. The pattern on the rug compliments the design on the mirror.

Here was my to-do list – can I just tell you how excited I am that I completed nearly everything!? 

  • Add some bold pattern to the walls 
  • Find a better solution for toothbrushes and hand towels
  • Organize
  • Change the artwork
  • Replace the trash can, toothbrush holder, and towel bar.
  • Create storage for hair products  
  • Consider replacing the rug
  • Update the lighting
All that’s left is to figure out my trash can; I’m considering this project a BIG win! 
Let’s talk budget. 

First, can I just say that staying within a $100 was challenging, but do-able! Lucky for me I’m a hoarder and tend to over-buy supplies which meant much of what I used I had on hand from other projects. Still, I did go a tiny bit over. But, I’m fine with it. 🙂 


Let’s look back just one more time – 







And with that said, Knock it Off Kim, OUT! At least for now. But, before you go, check out the other reveals.. and get more wine! 
Want to see where we started? You can check here! 

Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4

You can subscribe via email and never miss a post. 


Enter your email address to subscribe for non-stop Knock it Off Kim fun!

* indicates required

Email Format


You can also find me on Social Media!

Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google+

Make sure you check out these other room makeovers!

Page 2 of 6
1 2 3 4 6