My Living Room and Dining Room

Let me show you how a room of my house went from my least favorite to my most favorite all in one weekend!

It all started when my practically perfect husband surprised me for my 30th birthday by flying this girl in from Utah to spend the weekend with me-

Becca stayed just a few days in Arizona and we filled our weekend with shopping, late-night chats, eating out, and redecorating my formal living room and dining room!

Let me give you a little background about how needed this makeover was!

When I first walked through the model home of my house 7 years ago, the first words out of my mouth were “This room is so dark and it is way too small to function as a living room and a dining room.”

I should’ve turned around and left the house right then, but instead I fell in love with the rest of it. The floor plan was perfect for us, so we signed papers and soon construction started on our first home.

For 6.5 years now I have thought to myself (more times than I’d like to admit!) that I really hate that front room- it is such a waste of space and it is so tiny and cramped. I kept my mouth {mostly} shut so as not to sound ungrateful for my beautiful home and I did the best I could with the decor.

I dreamed of someday owning a home that had a better, more functional entry and I really wished that this room wasn’t the first thing my guests would see when visiting.

This past Christmas, Becca and her family came to visit and one afternoon we got the urge to rearrange furniture and redecorate my family room (I’ll post pictures of that someday, I promise!)

Seeing how fun that was (and how good Becca was at doing it!) I begged her for some help with my Living/Dining room and all she had time to do was rearrange my furniture- which made the room look cozy and fun and I loved it! All it needed now was some color and some small changes in the decor.

Fast forward to March when I got the best birthday present ever and the 2 of us finally finished what Becca started. And we did it all for around $200- including the new accessories, rug and all the supplies for the board and batten project!

Here is what my living room looked like before Becca’s visit:

Brown, black and bleh.

And here is what it looks like now:

Color, color and more color!

The biggest project we bit off that weekend was this board and batten on my dining room wall.

It was relatively simple, (I can say that now that it is done!) it just took time since there was cutting, measuring, nailing, puttying, painting and caulking to be done.

The big canvas prints above the board and batten were found at Ross for only $10 each.

And here is something that was definitely worth capturing on film- the first touch of paint EVER to be put on these walls! You heard me right- I have not painted a single wall in my home- everything is one color (Sienna Sands by Frazee) and I actually like the uniformity of it all. But Becca does not like it and if she had her way, we would have painted more.

But I digress…

We also painted this brown coffee table blue! (“Evening Stroll” by Allen & Roth in Valspar from Lowes, to be exact!)

I love this color!!

And Becca arranged a cute vignette on the coffee table and I love it.

(Though as I type this, all these items have been put up high because Mason also loves them. Except he loves them on the floor, apparently!)

Look at this fabulous little Owl! ($12.99 @ Ross)

He sits nicely on my piano and I love him!

This rug was only $60 at Lowes in the Outdoor/Patio section and it is soft and colorful and adds the perfect pop of color.

I found a bunch of throw pillows at Lowes on Clearance, so I added them to the chair and couch.

I also found this piece of art at WalMart (of all places) for only $10!

I added a table runner to break up the brown antique silverware case on the brown table.

And how cute are these knick knacks? Becca’s idea totally!

Things I would like to do (eventually)

1. Add curtains above both windows

2. Change the pictures in these frames to be more colorful.  (I will be featuring a fun tutorial for this painted lampshade soon!)

3. Change the flowers and candles to be more colorful

In case you missed it, I wrote about hanging a photo collage here.

This room is now my favorite place to sit.

I often relax on the couch and just look around at all the fun elements of the room.

And I now love when people come to my home and this is the first room they see!

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Wife, mom of 5, and creator of Somewhat Simple, Stephanie has a passion to create and inspire. She is an Orange County transplant who is now enjoying life in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys traveling, shopping, organizing, cooking and creating simple projects for her home and family.
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  1. Ooohhh – I would buy a new light fixture for my kitchen. We’ve updated the floor, painted the cabinets, peeled wallpaper from the walls, added curtains – all that’s left is updating that ugly light! :)

  2. PS – LOVE what you and Becca did to your living room/dining room! And I’m definitely going to write down that paint color — it’s perfect!

  3. 100.00 would be a drop in the bucket to my wish list! Could cover new paint costs though! I really want to try raised bed gardens in my backyard and the daycare kids would love picking fresh vegtables everyday so that is probably what i would start with. Wishing my husband was a handy guy!

  4. Rachel A. says:

    I’d spend it on a rug for the playroom floor!

  5. I would put it towards a patio table.

  6. Aimee Jongejan says:

    We just moved into a new place so there are SO MANY ways I’d spend the gift card – I think I’d start with a new welcome mat and flowers in pots for my front porch as well as some cute cushions for my sweet bistro set that I just painted turquoise blue 😀

  7. So I bought this morrocan tile wall paper from Lowes to put on the backing of some Ikea bookshelves. I brought them home and my hubby strongly suggested (made me) to take them back, because it was a completely unjustified expense. So…if I win this giftcard, back to Lowes I will go to buy the wallpaper. Oh and they have such cute curtains too.

  8. I never win. Now would be the time to win, please!!! We are moving in May and I would love to get some fun paint to paint our new place with! It could use a little pop of color and I know we can’t afford it right away. Please let me win!!!

  9. Uh, impulse shopper at your service. What Pinterest craft do I NOT have on my list?? If I was to win I’d be sure to spend it on the thing that tickles my fancy the most … and who knows what that might be … until I see it :)

  10. Theresa Sea says:

    We bought our first home last May, and our den has still been untouched and is desperately in need of some TLC. So the money could go towards paint, accessories, etc!

  11. missy scoresby says:

    First of all, I LOVE all the color you have added to your living room!!! If I was lucky to win the $100 gift card, I would buy some paint for our front door and paint it a fresh green color! I would also look at a rug for my living room to add a pop of color!

  12. Kimberly Deacon says:

    I love the room, what a great job you did. I especially like the way you painted the brown table. If I won the Lowe’s card, I would use it to buy a new ceiling fan for my bedroom. Our old one stopped working and we need to get a new one before the summer gets here.

  13. Paint!! I’ve been dreaming of adding some color to our kitchen lately, and I think I have a general idea of the color I would like to go with. Now I just have to find the time to get in there! I am thinking about finding something fun for the backsplash, too…maybe some wallpaper or a stencil.

  14. We are moving. We need to paint and fix the shower! This would be so awesome

  15. We’re currently working on our mudroom and then onto our front porch. Needless to say, winning this would be awesome!!!

  16. My 20 year old house needs a major make over. I would use $100 from Lowes to start remodeling our bathrooms. New faucets would be nice

  17. I love what you did in both rooms!
    If I were to win the Lowe’s gift card I would use it on my front porch! It needs some plants and maybe a hammock somewhere in the yard!!

  18. I am in love with the blue coffee table. I was about to paint mine black but seeing that…….changed my mind. So I would spend the money on a perfect blue paint for my coffee table and supplies to build my garden beds.

  19. Steph @ Crafting in the Rain says:

    What a great room update–the colors in there are perfect!

    We are about to re-do our hall bathroom (it hasn’t been touched since the 70’s, except for some more layers of vinyl layed down on the floor!) so I would totally use the money there!

  20. Oh, my living room so needs an update. I would love to win this!

  21. I would buy some glass tile to mosaic a tabletop for the front porch makeover. Any money left would buy paint, paint, and more paint!!! No such thing as too many colors!

  22. I am going to be putting new tile down in my kitchen this summer. I recently repainted the entire house, replaced the carpet and counter tops, and the tile is my last project. I would put this card towards that.

  23. I am going to redo my sons room. He is getting older and the kite wallpaper that my wife put up 6 years ago just doesn’t suit him anymore. I am thinking sports and cars would be more fitting.

  24. I would use the money towards a firepit for our backyard. And i love that rug. I’m going to look for it. it would match my living room colors perfectly and i like how its and outdoor rug so i can wash it off when the kids get it dirty.

  25. I would put it towards a new rug & curtains for my living room. I really want to change things up in there.

  26. I love the color of the table and the owl! I want one so bad now. I would definitely spend that giftcard on paint for my dining room chairs and I’d finally buy curtain rods for my living room :)

  27. you have a darling house:) I would use it to paint our bedroom thanks

  28. Looks awesome! I need to build myself a coffee table, I should get on that soon!!

  29. I’d either use it towards the purchase of a new dishwasher (ours just died) or I’d pick some items to decorate the nursery.

  30. I would use it to buy paint for the furniture in my boys’ room. It is all hand-me-down and has seen much better days!

  31. Paint, paint, paint! We just bought a new house and I want to paint every room.

  32. Not an entry–But I had to tell you what a great job you did! LOVE it! I wish I had a sister in law who would do fun things like that with me!

  33. Jaime @ Queen of the Creek says:

    I love what you did to your formal rooms. I have a very similar space ( and and I’ve considered doing board and batten around the entire room, but I actually prefer the way you’ve done just the back wall! Very nice job – and great surprise!!

  34. Kristi says:

    I would buy child safety products. My baby is about to start crawling!