Room Refresh – One Living Room, Three Ways

Finn and I ended up selling our gray sectional to our neighbors before moving, which left us on the hunt for a new couch for our #FinnFixerUpper. We ended up choosing this one from Crate & Barrel (in the color “Winward Sand”) and it should arrive next month! I love it because it’s a good neutral piece and also ridiculously comfortable!living room refresh tips

After ordering the sofa, I started thinking more and more about what other pieces I needed to buy so the living room feels pulled together. What did I want to keep from our condo? Did those pieces feel too modern for our new house? As you guys know from this post, I want our new home to have a totally different feel from our city condo. To be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed by all of the decisions. I thought that many of you might be in a similar situation (either furnishing a new space or wanting to refresh a room in your home), and I figured we should address this conundrum.

One Room, Three Ways

“One Room, Three Ways”, is a new series that focuses on how to put together rooms that reflect your personal style without having to get rid of everything you already own. Because it’s crazy to think that you have to throw everything out and start from scratch. Instead, you can purchase a few new pieces of decor to transform your room so it reflects your style.

And because not everyone’s style is the same (I’m still figuring out mine!), I’ll provide three different options you can use for inspiration. We’ll start with three basic pieces and then layer in rugs, lighting and accessories to change up the look!

Living Room Refresh – Foundational Pieces

So here are the basic pieces of a living room –  a console, a couch and a coffee table.

decor style series - living room

Media Console | Couch | Coffee Table

Since we have those basics down, let’s chat about adding your personal style. I think it’s important to first gather inspiration and then make a plan. I have an entire series on the blog aimed at helping you find your style. If you are overwhelmed by the process I would recommend giving that series a read (and doing the accompanying homework!). Bright living room space

As you are sifting through inspiration and taking mental notes on what pieces you need to purchase, I want to encourage you to lean into your new style without getting rid of everything you own. You don’t need to start over completely to achieve a new look. In fact, I have found that spaces can look more interesting and curated when they are a blend of styles and a mix of new and old pieces. Your home should tell a story!Family room design decisions

The trick is to not get too carried away. I recommend mixing no more than two styles throughout your house and keeping a consistent color scheme so the look is cohesive. If you are someone who changes styles frequently, invest in transitional foundation pieces (like couches and dining tables) so it’s easier to refresh spaces in your home.

Style #1

Minimal monochrome mood board

Art | Floor Lamp | Side TableSwivel Arm Chair | Rug | Boxwood Topiary | Candle Holders

Ivory Pillow | Black and Ivory Patchwork Pillow | Beige Patchwork Pillow | Black Textured Pillow

This first look is all about minimal fuss and clean lines. I wanted to create a timeless space that articulates elegance in a modern way with a neutral color scheme. I suggest incorporating pieces like the abstract artwork and rug that showcase different tones to add variety, but in a subtle way.

The key to making the room feel inviting is to introduce a lot of texture!  The pillows go a long way to make the space feel warm and balanced. I fell in love with this pillow at Restoration Hardware (gorgeous texture, but holy moley price tag) and I searched far and wide to find this Etsy dupe. The boxwood topiaries are a nod to the more transitional foundation pieces and they also add a natural pop of color to this living room refresh.

Style #2

California Casual Mood Board Living Room

Art| Floor Lamp | Side Table|  Arm Chair | Rug| Textured Ivory Pillow | Striped Pillow

Lumbar Pillow | Throw BlanketsFaux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree | White Vase | Wood Vase | Ceramic Bowl

Style #2 is probably my favorite because it most resembles my style. My goal for the new house is to introduce more color. I’m aiming to include warmer neutrals and darker greens and putting this room together helped me play with subtly introducing color to a space.

I’m obsessed with the Lulu and Georgia chair and how the woven leather and teak wood complement the blue rug. The combination of this statement chair and the bohemian rug instantly changed the vibe of the foundational pieces. They may be a bit of a splurge, but their impact can’t be matched! The metal and wood floor lamp and artwork (love this modern take on coastal art!) keep the room on trend.

To finish the California casual refresh, I selected blue and cream pillows and ceramic decor elements.

Style #3


Art | Floor Lamp| Side Table |  Arm Chair | Area Rug| Plant Stand | Blue Pillow | Yellow Pillow

Ivory Pillow | Multicolor Pillow | Bar Tools| Bar Cart | Blue and White Vases

This last space is all about fun, so I pulled in even more color and pattern, starting with the insanely cool artwork (that’s such a steal). This amazing fiber art inspired the vibrant color scheme and set the tone for a mid-century modern design.

The blue velvet chair and floor lamp modernize the foundation pieces of the space. If you are going for this decor style, definitely don’t skimp on the lighting – it will make a huge difference! While the rug is a bright, solid color, it softens the space and allows for a fun pillow collection!

While on the hunt for fun vases, I stumbled upon this bar cart. I knew I had to include it as part of the living room refresh. It’s an inexpensive bar cart, but when paired with fancy bar accessories the entire look feels high-end. Cocktails anyone?

Favorite Look?

I would love to know which living room refresh is your favorite. I’m a sucker for the California Casual, but I like elements of all of them! From the Etsy pillow in the Minimal Monochrome look to the textured artwork in the Mid-Century Modern…there are a lot of cool pieces here.

I hope this post proves that you don’t have to start from scratch when decorating a room. Instead, with a few key accessories and styling, you can create a home that truly reflects YOUR style!


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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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