My living room was previously styled in turquoise (my favorite color) but I decided a change was needed. This makeover was primarily accomplished by updating existing accessories and furniture. Come take a look at how I turned my living room/home office into a peaceful yet enjoyable place with a neutral color scheme.
First, I took into account how I wanted to feel when using my living room—what energy would I like to experience here? Because I spend so much time in this room, I needed a feeling of simplicity and order. I needed not to feel so confined in here.
Color is a strong factor in determining this energy because it has a psychological effect on us. White is the color of purity, clarity, and peace. Scientifically, white is the combination of all colors and reflects light back into the atmosphere. Previously, my living room had a feel of vibrancy and kinetic energy with all the turquoise I’d chosen. Re-decorating the room with a large amount of white gives the illusion of extra space and helps create an airy sense of energy.
Style-wise, I created a combination of Moroccan and mod decor. I’m never one to settle on just one style of anything and I dig mixing things up to make the room more unique. I’ve always loved the geometric and exotic appeal of the Moroccan design plus the funky aesthetic of mid-century modern (MCM) decor. I consider it a mod-Moroccan style.
My spin on both of these styles was to use neutrals instead of the jewel tones and gold that’s traditionally used in Moroccan decor. One way I reinforced this was in painting these wall panels with white, silver, gray, black, and a shot of teal:
I also found this Moravian star at the thrift store in the Christmas section. It was actually a tree topper but I cut the wire off and made it over with silver wrapping paper, Mod Podge, and upholstery nails:
In lieu of the lush textiles commonly used in Moroccan decor, I used solid, cotton, subtle patterns, and simple trim. My curtains were updated to white panels that filter some of the natural light but not all of it. (This was key because most of the natural light I receive is in the morning/early afternoon.) To add a touch of pattern to the room and frame my large window, I sewed black rick-rack trim to one side of each panel.
To ensure the room didn’t feel sterile with all that white, I also decorated with silver, black and gray. I’d previously had a lot of black furniture in my living room, but found it to be visually heavy with the new white scheme. To resolve this, I purchased a few new things but mostly made over existing pieces.
My prized possession, the DIY decoupage mosaic coffee table:
I’ve always been a silver gal with jewelry and because it’s cool-toned, it pairs nicely with the white. The silver also adds a touch of glam to the room. The frame and vase I made over with the same Rub N Buff I used on the mosaic coffee table shown above:
This frame was once bronze and changed to silver with Rub n Buff:
I still kept some items in black to include pops of contrast against the white. Some of the “new” accessories I purchased are these milk glass vases, found at a local thrift store. These add the mod/MCM aspect of style to the room:
These coasters were scored at a thrift store and made over with paint and a lotus design:
A sense of airiness was also achieved by adding glass accessories. The way light plays on the glass also adds a reflective, glam element to the room. I replaced several lamps with glass lamp bases and added the same rick-rack trim from the curtains to the lampshades.
Since my home office/workstation area is also in my living room, I made over some of this space. To add that pop of color and more MCM style, I painted my vintage wooden tanker desk a lovely teal. It brings just the right amount of color to the room without being overwhelming.
It brings me much relief to be done with the living room, although I know in the back of my mind I’ll probably change it up again. But with this neutral color scheme, updating the room will be cheap and easy. Now on to the bedroom…