The Evolutions of A Living Room


Stunning Living Room Before and After - Home Made by Carmona

First it was a sitting room (really? Are we going to go a’court’in?), then it was an office, then it became a secret guest room hidden in a living room…ok, this space was kicking my butt. Sure, I managed to put it to some practical use over the years, but honestly it just never seemed to come together… Granted, decorating seems to be a painfully slow process around here. When you don’t have the money to put into decorating, your house goes through awkward stages. Ugh, it’s like my house is going through it’s teenage years. It no longer looks like it did out of college, but it isn’t grown up yet, and it just keeps evolving… 😀

As you know, I partner with Better Homes & Gardens brand at Walmart, every other month to bring you attainable budget friendly decorating. This month they challenged us to make over a living room, and I thought thank goodness! My poor little sitting/living-room-that-couldn’t desperately needed a little tender loving care.

Sitting Room Before

Sure, over the last 5 years I made a lot of changes that helped bring it to this point. But I’m not going to claim it wasn’t a painfully slow process until right at the end.

This is what the space looked like at the end of last year… you can see it improved greatly…but it wasn’t there yet. I painted the space, the ugly old floral sofa was replaced with this BHG Rowan Linen Futon, and I built these picture frame ledges.

Sitting Room Makeover

Then things started really coming together! This is what it looked like just a few weeks ago (after a LOT of rearranging and fussing with the space). I was feeling pretty happy, but anticipated the new Better Homes and Garden’s items I had just ordered from Walmart.

Office and Living Room In One

Finally all I needed was to dispense with the office. My desktop computer was out of commission, so why bother with a giant cumbersome (and very makeshift) desk? I moved that out, re-positioned the futon in front of the window, added two armchairs on either side, and I swear the whole thing just kind of fell together within a couple hours.

Family Room Makeover - before and after

Considering I have spent the last 5 years trying to figure out the space, this day felt positively magical!

Living Room Refresh - Home Made by Carmona

I needed a coffee table to fill in the space between the seating, but not something chunk and heavy in the space. I wanted a coffee table that you could see the futon/sofa through, so I went with this rustic BHG River Crest Coffee Table from Walmart. It is a very simple elegant design, does the job, and I love the metal legs!

Family Room - Better Homes & Gardens Makeover

I still have some office supplies in this living room (because yes, I still use it to pay bills), so my new coffee table is filled with practical items that are also pretty. I keep a pretty spray painted file holder handy to wrangle our important papers and bills.

Office materials in plain sight in the living room

My coupons and mail are neatly tucked away in these stacked wooden holders, until they can be handled. Even my stapler and some clips are kept handy on the coffee table.

Coffee Table - office accessories as decor

Essentially the coffee table has taken the place of the office! Aside from a couple rustic items and my little plant, it holds everything that use to sit atop the old office desk. It looks much better here, worked into the decor, doesn’t it?

Coffee Table - eclectic accessories

Don’t think the rest of the office supplies aren’t still here. The same painted drawer set that use to be part of my office desk (which was really just an over sized door set atop two pieces of furniture), now sits by itself as a side table. It holds all our papers, and hides the rest of the office supplies.

Living Room Makeover- Home Made by Carmona

Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as a mirror (a spray painted mirror!), a lamp, a few plants, and some art on the walls make the perfect vignette?

Speaking of wall art, this art actually holds a function as well. It is magnetic! Another benefit for hiding an office in plain sight.

Magnetic art board

The “hidden office storage” side of the room looked great, but now I needed to fill in the opposite side of the room and create a sense of balance. I went with the BHG X-leg Accent Table in black, and balanced the height of the two sidetables by adding the BHG Bronze Shaded Floor Lamp. Just because you don’t have identical accent tables on either side of your couch doesn’t mean it can’t look great and work well together! Never be afraid to mix and match!

Budget Makeover - living room styling

I also added height and interest by adding more mirrors. I’ve been eyeing the sunburst BHG 3 Piece Mirror Set for a while now. And it was such a great price for a cute little set of three!

Living Room Makeover - before and after

I wish you could actually sit in the space, somehow pictures just don’t convey what a room feels like when you are living in it. It is wonderful! And since this is one of the first rooms you see when you walk in the front door, it is about time it stopped looking sad and awkward!

Guys, I’m so in love with this space, I keep doing that thing where you run down to take a quick peek at your new space or toy. Hahaha!

What space have you been vexed over lately? And what are your plans to remedy that? Just keep on keeping on…I promise, it will get better, and one day it will seem to magically come together. Until then, just know that real life isn’t like a decorating TV show…it takes time!



**I am honored (and excited!) to be part of the BHG Live Better network, and to share a few of my favorite things, projects, opinions, and my own original ideas with you. Thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for sponsoring this post. Follow BHG Live Better on  FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Love it Shop This Room

All these beautiful products I used in my living room are Better Homes and Gardens products, carried exclusively at Walmart. Click the photo links below to shop these items.

BHG - Rowan Futon

BHG 3 piece mirror - 300

BHG - Bronze lamp -300


BHG - Aztec pillow

BHG River Crest collection - 300

BHG X-leg - 300


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16 Comments on The Evolutions of A Living Room

  1. Christina Brewton
    January 13, 2017 at 11:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow, they are all so wonderful. I’m full of inspiration now….! I like your decoration.

    Thanks for sharing your post…..

  2. rasha
    November 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm (4 years ago)

    what colors did you use for the walls?

  3. Meredith
    August 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm (4 years ago)

    This is stunning. I could totally live there!

  4. Grosfillex
    July 11, 2016 at 3:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow, I love the transformation of this living room! Those sitting chairs are absolutely stunning Ursula…

  5. Shailaja
    June 18, 2016 at 10:58 pm (4 years ago)

    Lately, I’m beginning to feel that items that are merely decorative are just that much of decorative clutter! Things that are beautiful *and* functional are the way to go. So I love your newly evolved living room!

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 19, 2016 at 11:29 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! I adore furniture that does double duty especially! 🙂

  6. Tiffany
    June 17, 2016 at 10:26 am (4 years ago)

    This space is beautiful! I love finding fun stuff at Wal-Mart. Great job!
    -Tiffany, Pretty Real

  7. Wilma
    June 16, 2016 at 12:16 am (4 years ago)

    Looks amazing!! Have you considered moving the office supplies to on top of the dresser? They seem a tad bit big and busy for the table…and maybe then move the greenery to the table? But I’m being picky, and everyone has different taste–it STILL looks great!!!!!!!

  8. Steibel
    June 14, 2016 at 12:59 am (4 years ago)

    I love your posts, Ursula! They are so clear and specific. Well you’re so creative. Thanks

  9. Kara
    June 13, 2016 at 7:50 pm (4 years ago)

    Where did you get the side chairs, they are perfect?

  10. laura {not a trophy wife}
    June 13, 2016 at 8:52 am (4 years ago)

    Ursula This transformation is amazing. I love it! With a few simple necessities you made it a functional office space with a coffee table. Love it!


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