The Design Plans for Our Feel Good Makeover

On Wednesday, I shared the big news about my latest project and introduced you to the amazing LaTanya. If you missed it, go give that blog post a read before this one. It has all of the backstory on how this really cool project came to be. Today, I want to share the feel good makeover design plan for LaTanya’s living and dining rooms.

The Spaces Before

Our feel good makeover design plan

Before we get to the goods, let’s take a look at the before photos of each space. First up, is the living room.

The living room before

LaTanya lives on the second floor of a historic two-flat home, here in Chicago. Her elderly aunt and uncle live on the first floor and she rents the apartment upstairs.

The living room before

At the top of the stairs, the front door opens directly into LaTanya’s living room, so we had to take that into account when planning the space.

LaTanya's living room before

Here, you’ll find a large window and traditional wood millwork throughout.

the dining room before

Directly next to the living room will be LaTanya’s dining room.

The dining room before

She temporarily had a TV and pull-out couch in this room that will be moved to her second bedroom/home office. This room gets fantastic light, with more large windows.

Our Gameplan to Make It Perfect for LaTanya

Meet LaTanya, the recipient of our feel good makeover

When we visited the spaces for the first time, we sat down with LaTanya to understand her design style a bit better. Right away, she said she wasn’t afraid of color and trusted us to have some fun with it. That was music to our ears, but we also wanted to make sure that it felt like LaTanya, so that when she walks in she will feel at home. Here were our goals when designing the space…

  • Paint the walls a feminine and bold color
  • Revitalize the original wood millwork
  • Replace all light fixtures and window treatments
  • Make a cozy living room space that doubles as an entryway with a mirror, coat rack, and place to corral keys
  • Design a dining room perfect for hosting, with a large sideboard for new dishes and glassware
  • Incorporate jewel tones and color to make it feel like LaTanya
  • Bring in personal elements, with family photos, books, art, and plants

Honestly, at first, it was a little overwhelming to come up with this feel good makeover design plan. I sat at Kim and Scott’s kitchen table for an entire day, while we all worked hard to find the perfect pieces for the space.

Since Amazon is so generously sponsoring these room makeovers, absolutely everything (and I mean everything!) has to be from Amazon. We had to think about every single element in the space, not just the big stuff, like couches and rugs. Lightbulbs, DIY supplies, outlets, napkins – literally every piece you will see in the final room reveal was planned out at least six weeks in advance and purchased from Amazon. It was a week or two of crazy online shopping, but we finally had our complete list of items and then we hit “purchase.”

We also decided to do a few more things outside of the scope of these rooms, to really make LaTanya’s dreams come true. We hired someone to refinish the original hardwood floors in her bedrooms, as well as to paint and revitalize the millwork and wood doors with stain. (Sadly, the wood floors are covered by carpet in the living and dining rooms.) Beyond that, we also purchased a desk, office chair, new bedding, a vacuum, and more for LaTanya. That way, she has absolutely everything she needs in her new Home Sweet Home.

The New Layouts

To help you envision the space, I wanted to talk about the new layouts for each room. I use the free program to create these.

The living room space - my feel good makeover design plan

In the living room, LaTanya will walk through her front door and see her couch right in front of her, flanked by a side table and two accent chairs. To the right, you’ll find a dresser for her TV and a tray to place her keys. To the left, will be a full-length mirror and coat rack.

The dining room - my feel good makeover design plan

As you move onto the dining room, she will have a round glass table (this was a gift to LaTanya and she asked us to incorporate it into the new design plan) with four leather chairs around it, on top of a large 9×12 rug. On the wall, we have two sideboards that will connect together to create a ginormous storage piece for all of the new glassware and dishes she will be getting.

The Living Room Design Plan

Here’s a look at our plan for the living room. We’re going with a pretty mauve on the walls (the color is Sherwin Williams “Dutch Cocoa”) and then bringing in black and gold as our finishes, along with jewel tones.

latanya's feel good makeover design plan for her living room

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams “Dutch Cocoa” // Rug // Coffee Table // Blue Velvet Chairs // Leather Sofa // Marble Side Table // Macrame Wall Art // Sconces // Velvet Curtains // Floor Mirror // Coat Rack // White Dresser // Frame TV // Orb Lamp // Chandelier // Ceiling Medallion // Pillows (set of 4) // Mustard Pillow (set of 4) // Round Pillow // Black Tray // Tabletop Planter // Floor Planter // 12×12 Frame // 16×20 Frame

The room will be anchored with a large geometric rug that will be cozy underfoot. On top of that, we’ll have a leather sofa with two velvet blue accent chairs nearby. In the middle, there will be a round glass coffee table with gold detailing. To add more of those feminine jewel tones, we went with gold velvet curtains that will hang from the ceiling to the floor.

Overhead, we have a ceiling medallion to play off of the traditional millwork in the space, hosting this modern chandelier. Near the door, we have a dresser with a gallery wall over it, to camouflage her Frame TV, and this cool orb lamp. On the other side, we have this gold floor mirror and a coat rack.

All in all, it’s going to be luxe, modern, and feminine. We’re using the words “eclectic modern” to describe this style.

The Dining Room Design Plan

Onto the dining room, where will have that same mauve paint color on the wall. This room will be a spot for LaTanya to gather and entertain friends and family! She told us she has never had a place to bring together the people she loves and we can’t wait to give her that with this dining room.

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams “Dutch Cocoa” // Rug // Leather Chairs // Glass Table (previously owned) // Curtains // Chandelier // Ceiling Medallion // Sideboard // Lamps // Mirror // Lamp Shades // Olive Tree // Tree Basket // Wood Serving Bowl // Tiered Tray // Large Vase

On the ground, we opted for a natural fiber rug (this seagrass one), because it’s very durable and will add some warmth to the ground. We’ll use the same velvet curtains, but in here, they’ll be this pretty shade of blue. Around the glass dining table, we’re going with four leather chairs and overhead will be this glamorous chandelier!

On the long wall, we’ll have two sideboards that we’re connecting together and a large mirror over them. Two gold lamps will sit on the ends with new traditional shades. The sideboard will be filled to the brim with both beautiful and functional pieces…glassware, plates, napkins, serving platters, vases, and more. It’s truly going to be a beautiful dining room.

I’ve also created a list in my Amazon storefront that has literally every.single.item that we will be using in these two rooms. So, if I don’t have an item in the above mood board, but you catch it on Instagram stories, you can find it in this list!

Want to Contribute?

Meet LaTanya

If you’re eager to contribute to this project, we have a way for you to do just that. LaTanya’s employer, Cara, helps people in poverty find jobs and they’re doing incredible work, here in our community. To help them continue to do the work they do best, we had them create an Amazon Gift List of items that they need. It includes things like dress shirts and shoes for those going on job interviews, a janitorial cart to keep their office clean, and much more.

You can check out the entire list right here. If you want to help, simply buy an item (or many items!) and it will be sent directly to their offices. Or, if you want to donate money to their cause, you can do so right here. Shopping for a good cause, is there anything better?

Follow Along Today!

How you can help with this feel good makeover

The feel good makeover starts TODAY! I can hardly even believe it. I feel like we’ve been planning this thing for months and now the big makeover weekend is finally here. I’ll be sharing on Instagram stories today through Sunday with behind-the-scenes of all of the action. The big reveal will then be on the blog in a couple of weeks. But, if you want to get a sneak peek of the final space, I’m planning to share a look at the room in my monthly newsletter next week. If you’re not signed up, you can do so right here.

I cannot wait to see LaTanya’s face when she sees her new home for the first time. I better wear waterproof mascara…


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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