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Before And After Living Room Makeover

Before And After Living Room Makeover
one room challenge living room

This was my FIRST TIME participating in the One Room Challenge, where design bloggers completely transform a space in just six weeks, documenting the process on their blogs, and revealing a brand new room at the end.

I decided to take on the challenge of transforming my living room from a messy, cluttered room into a family friendly hang out space. See the plan for the living room makeover.

The best thing was that this living room makeover really was decorating on a budget. From freebies to using what we already had, to inexpensive buys. Read on for all the details!

The Living Room Before…

one room challenge living room

And the living room makeover after…

Living Room Makeover

Decorating The Cabinet Shelves

This came about in a mad rush at the end.  Surprisingly, I used a lot less stuff to decorate this area than I thought I would need.

For those who asked, the cabinet is actually a second hand orange pine one I bought years ago.  I painted it in Dulux semi-gloss Antique White and added black handles from Ikea.

Related Post: 5 Simple Tips For Styling Shelves

Decorating with shells collected from local beaches.

living room one room challenge

Living Room Furniture

The plan was to get a Ikea Kivik 3 seater sofa for our family friendly living room.  We had been without a couch for over 3 month after our last one gave out. 

However things didn’t go according to plan, of course!   Note to self; don’t leave purchasing the main piece of furniture in your room for the weekend before the room needs to be finished.

Picture, feeling of panic as I find out from the Ikea customer service assistant that “THERE ARE NO KIVIK FRAMES IN THE WHOLE STORE!”  It happens to be the only Ikea in our city and actually, the entire state.  The next delivery wasn’t due to late November/ early December. 

Now picture a mad, frantic dash BACK through the maze of Ikea to the living room section.  Thankfully, Ektorp sofas were in stock and hubby and I were in agreement about getting a 3 seater Ektorp couch instead.  Phew – I could finish the room after all!

one room challenge living room


Can you see a peek of the print hanging above the sofa? That was my huge, surprise find through Gumtree! 

It’s a brand new 1.4m long canvas print of Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges (Western Australia) by photographer, Steven Gersbach.  The photo was taken at sunrise.

The Stirling Ranges happens to be one of my favourite places ever!  I have many memories of hiking up that mountain with my siblings, cousins and friends over the years.

How awesome is it when your home decor choice is also meaningful!

living room one room challenge


Another change of plans, this time because hubby wasn’t keen on my preference of floor rug – a natural jute rug.  Too plain for his tastes!

But we both agreed on the Ikea Sattrup floor rug, jute for me and some colour for hubby.  Plus, look at the texture!

I did go smaller with the floor rug than the experts, would recommend.  But I don’t want to have to vacuum! Yes, no vacuuming people!  A smaller rug is light enough to shake the dirt out regularly and sweep it up.

one room challenge living room


CUSHIONS – I think am a bit of cushion minimalist! Despite an extensive search for the right cushions, 3 felt like enough!  Actually it felt like a lot!

LAMPS – Rattan Table Lamp – Aldi, White & gold floor lamp – Target

living room one room challenge

PLANTS – Blue and cream pots – Bunnings, fern – Bunnings, potting mix – courtesy of my worm farm.

one room challenge living room


The shelf under the coffee table will be home to the kids’ puzzles and small board games. 

Related Post: Hidden Toy Storage Ideas For Living Room

living room one room challenge

Check out how we transformed one ugly coffee table with pallet wood.

This refurbished coffee table I reckon is the quiet star of the room now!

living room one room challenge


Yes, our Oscar fish is called Oscar! He’s almost 4 years old and is a delightful part of the living room decor.

Also hidden away underneath Oscar’s fish tank, are a lot of the fish tank cords and the Internet modem. 

I enclosed it all with some curtain wire, hooks and part of a curtain from another room in the house.  (Ok -curtain still needs to be hemmed!)  But it makes such a difference having them all out of sight now!

one room challenge living room


The chair frame is painted in Dulux Semi-gloss Antique White USA, same as the buffet and fish tank stand.  Existing cushions have removable denim covers which I sewed.   Just have to say… First time, sewing a zip ever!

Check out all the details for our cozy reading nook.

living room one room challenge

What About… ?

Well I hope you have enjoyed my living room tour so far!  But there is one part of the room I haven’t shared yet.  There’s a good reason for that!  It actually doesn’t have much to look at.

living room one room challenge

Yep, the other end of our long narrow living room.

One thing about re-doing a room from start to finish in 7 weeks, is that everything that doesn’t add to the overall look of the room gets edited.  I ended up with a lot of STUFF being edited out.  I don’t want to fill up the space again too quickly!

Here’s what it looked like before.

Here is what it looks like now.

living room

Update coming!!! You will want to see what we have added to this space since this living room makeover.

More Fun Before & Afters


Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Hi Jane Rao, I just stopped by your site 15mins ago and read all this post. So great what you done! I like it a lot! Thanks for sharing this post.

Jane Rao

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Thanks! :)

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