before & after: living room transformation

This bright, sunny living room makeover is a great example of color shift. I love the transformation a new paint color can yield; the icy blue hue took this room from dim and drab to light and soothing. Interior designer Kirsten Krason was hired to bring boldness and energy to this room, and I think she succeeded splendidly — especially considering how many original pieces she kept. The mix of different patterns in the various textiles is expertly done. Nice job, Kirsten! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Photography by Jessica Kettle

Read the full post after the jump!

Time: It took about 6 months from start to finish. The client already had some big pieces like the chairs and sofa, but we needed lots and lots of other things to bring the room together.

Cost: I believe the client’s budget was $3,000. We needed two rugs, a new coffee table, end tables, wallpaper, chairs, curtains, pillows, lamps and other accessories all to fit within this budget.

Basic Steps: We went high-low on this project by incorporating expensive pieces mixed with inexpensive pieces. For example, the chairs were found on Craigslist and reupholstered by the client. So we were able to save money there. The coffee table was our biggest splurge. We knew we wanted custom window treatments, so that was a big splurge, as well. But we were able to save money by keeping a lot of the existing furniture. We searched around for good deals. The rugs were both on an incredible sale from Williams Sonoma Home. I was worried about getting two large rugs within our budget, but we managed to do it!

My advice is to not be afraid of color or pattern. My client trusted me 100% with my vision. We wanted life and boldness in the room, and my client achieved that by stepping out of her comfort zone. Also pick the items you want to splurge on and don’t look back. It might seem expensive up front, but remember, you are saving on other items and the more expensive pieces will lift the room to a whole new level. — Kirsten


My first reaction was: Oh,I really love the “before” rug! But I realize it was too small for the space. I do love the brightness of the “after” space – so cheerful!

Elle @ Chellbellz

Wow! I’m trying to think of ways to re-do my moms living room. I think it would look really nice! I am loving that Blie Color everything looks way more brighter.


i liked the ‘before’ better though.
this is just my own taste, personally.


I love all the individual elements, especially the new paint color. Not really sold on having them all together, though that may just be my personal taste. I wish there was a picture of where the wallpaper was used.


finally the ONLY piece that is beige(yaak) is the sofa-which i can forgive, since everything else is so cheerfully blue:)
the clock is awesome:)

Jenna at Homeslice

I love Kirsten’s work. I really love the after rug. I think it’s great that the stripes are graphic, but the colors are subtle enough to add depth without competing with the rest of the space!

Bea Hurst

I love the paint!! It’s exactly the color I’ve been looking for. Do you know what color and brand she used?


Love the clock!! I don’t need glasses to read it. I find the layout of the house strange because of the placement of the fireplace and the fact that when you enter the front door who have to skirt the chairs in front of it. I like the curtains very much.


Very pretty, although the blue paint color is a bit cool for this room. I’m surprised something warmer wasn’t chosen. The area with the gold poufs on the red rug is probably my favorite because of the contrast in hue and texture. Who doesn’t love a Moroccan pouf?


Did that bright yellow chair from the right side of the “before” pic find a new home in another part of the house?

Syndi of Beachnut Lane

Love the transformation. Varieties of color and pattern can make such a difference. I think my favorite thing is the drapes. They look great against the blue wall color.


The blue and white chairs are great and I love that they now pop next to the beautiful wall color. Lovely room.


I liked the room in the before photo, better than the after. I quess I am now part of the old generation.

The Rug Retailer - Cheshire

I really love the use of colour, especially the beige settee, and beige rug, these neutral colours really emphasises the Navy blue in the chair and cushion cover.
Great work keep it up!


has anyone found out what color of blue this was in the room? i am looking for a blue as well which is totally out of my comfort area, my rooms look like the before :)

Ms G

Is the couch new or was it reupholstered? Need couch updating ideas!