Living Room Makeover Reveal


*Thanks to FrogTape® for sponsoring this amazing project! Somebody pinch me…

It’s finally here guys. REVEAL DAY!!!

The last 3 weeks (actually 2 weeks for me…) has been filled with bone tiring work to transform my living room for the FrogTape® Paintover Challenge!

I’m competing against 6 amazing bloggers (who I actually adore) in hopes that I can win $10,000 on behalf of my charity of choice; ADRA, an amazing organization that responds with aid during crisis and daily helps the less fortunate around the world. Plus the winning blogger gets a spread in HGTV magazine (eep!).

In case you missed my first post , let me remind you of this room before. This is it right before we moved in. It had  avocado green walls that were stained and gross.


Then we moved our things in, and a just a few months ago I attempted to improve it slightly by painting the walls, building some storage cabinets, a TV console, and a coffee table. It was still not an attractive space to be in, and when I entertained I always felt a little self conscience that there were no decorated rooms in my main house. I had spent the entire first year living here decorating the guest house so I could rent it out on Airbnb to the neglect of the main house.

Living Room During pics

Well now I am SO over-the-moon to have my dream living room to entertain guests, play games with my family, and generally spend quality time.

So finally it looks like thiiiiiiis (this is the part where you ‘ooooo’ and ‘aaaah’…haha):


I was given a $1,000 budget, and boy it was harder than I thought to decorate a living room with that amount. I had to use a few existing items, including the sectional from my den (because who are we kidding, a new sofa would have taken up the entire budget).


I also had to use a combination of new wood and leftover wood from prior projects to get this built-in created. My arms were killing me in the two days it took to build and paint this unit, but it is magnificent! Everything I imagined.


My assigned design style is ‘Faux Natural’. It was described as subtle patterns created by nature’s natural textures, lots of earthy tones like deep blues and beige, paired with an expected pop of bright color (even neon-like colors!) I was to find a way to bring in those unatural hues into a neutral space.

So I started the space in a very classic black that looked charcoal in some light and blue in others for the built-ins, kept the walls simple and white (BEHR MARQUEE® in Frost 57 to be exact, and in Satin Black on the built-ins). Everything was very traditional, even the area rug is a deep blue without over the top color or design.

Then I added some natural elements via the plant life, woven baskets, wooden furniture pieces, and textural elements.


Finally I brought in those pops of bright color via DIY artwork. Painting these pieces felt fantastic since I haven’t broken out my art set for at least a couple years now. I really need to get back to painting more.


As a matter of fact I painted all the pieces in this room to save money, and used either thrifted frames or existing ones, or used blocks of wood like these two cute little guys.

Cool & Cream Living Room Mix

In order to bring a few pops of color I spray painted some cheap little jars.


Isn’t it great that small projects like this can make for beautiful and inexpensive decor solutions?


Since we’re talking about paint projects, I also painted these DIY throw pillows to also add some design in the space.

Sectional in a mid-sized living room

Between painting the walls, built-ins, and those small projects, my roll of FrogTape® worked overtime in this space and now it’s dwindled down to nothing.

I hope you guys are enjoying the nuances of the living room design as much as I am. When I revealed this space to my family they seemed rather unimpressed. Haha, they aren’t the types that are wowed by design. My husband walks up to the bookshelf and goes, “is it strong enough to hold our games?”, tests the shelves and grunts in approval. It was high praise people. High praise indeed.

My kids just wanted to get back into the room for a family game or to watch a show while doing a puzzle together. When I see them actually sitting and functioning in the space in a way they couldn’t before, and I know that’s what really counts. The moments.

This coffee table I built (see more of it’s features here) is perfect in this room, and has all kinds of pullouts for gaming, in-progress puzzles, etc.


Moving the sectional into the room we spend the most time in should have been a no-brainer from the beginning. Now game night makes a lot more sense. We have all our tabletop games stored right in reach (in case you didn’t notice we are total board game geeks…no really, ALL of the cabinets below are filled with games).


There is much better lighting to see (and how great is that light fixture by the way!!), and place for everything.

Storage and function are just so important in a space. I wanted to make sure I didn’t neglect that as I made the space beautiful.


We don’t just game in this space, it also acts as our music room, a space for daily family worship, and great entertaining. I’m LOVING it!


As you can see, in order to stay in my budget a lot of DIY projects went into this space. And I wasn’t able to get rid of the popcorn ceilings scrapped on that budget, but perhaps it is something I can do in the future. However I was able to very carefully find some fantastic budget pieces and accessories to take it to that next level.

Here is the final breakdown and sources for you (affiliate links provided):

  • Glass bubble chandelier – $200
  • Gold sconces – $221
  • Gold pulls – $70
  • Small seagrass basket, large seagrass basket – $27
  • Set of nesting tables – $61
  • 12″x24″ throw pillows (Home Goods) – $38
  • Upcycled thrifted decor (Goodwill) – $13
  • 5’x8′ area rug (Lowes) – $148
  • 2 gallons of paint: BEHR MARQUEE® in ‘Frost 57‘, and ‘Satin Black’ – $79 (The Home Depot after rebate)
  • Ceiling medallion (The Home Depot) – $20
  • Glassware (Habitat for Humanity ReStore) – $16
  • Wooden caddy (Home Goods) – $12
  • Plants: $36
  • Ceiling trim, bookshelf trim – $54
  • Existing decor includes: baskets, paint canvasses, bell jar, books, 20×20 down pillow inserts, drawers, and ivory curtains and rods.

TOTAL: $996


*Special thanks to FrogTape® for sponsoring this post and inviting me to join in this design challenge!

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23 Comments on Living Room Makeover Reveal

  1. Ali
    April 27, 2021 at 2:10 pm (7 months ago)


    I love everything about this!!

    Would you be able to provide links to the cabinets you used at the base of your media cabinet?

  2. Linds K
    January 31, 2021 at 11:34 am (10 months ago)

    Hello! I know this post is a bit old, but I came across is when looking for DIY media built-ins and this is exactly what we are looking to do in our basement! Thank you for sharing the tutorial for the bottom half. I did have a question on the sconces. I clicked on the link and noticed they have a cord and plug in. Did you hardwire them in or hide the cord and plug-in? TIA

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 1, 2021 at 7:26 am (10 months ago)

      Thank you! I actually pulled the cord through the wall down to the unit, and plugged it in inside the cabinet. Love hidden! 🙂

  3. Victoria
    June 7, 2020 at 9:11 am (2 years ago)

    “ My arms were killing me in the two days it took to build and paint this unit“ How dare you?!? I have built a set of built ins and it took me well over a couple weeks so to know this happened in two days. I just bow down to your greatness. What a gorgeous gorgeous space.

  4. Sara
    March 29, 2020 at 6:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Ms. Ursela, you are SO incredibly talented! Thank you for sharing your gift of creativity with us. Stunning beyond measure. You’ve inspired me to get it movin’ and start letting the creative juices flow! 🤗

  5. Ittefaq trading
    December 28, 2018 at 12:37 am (3 years ago)

    Your living room looks so beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. B. Dillinger
    May 30, 2018 at 2:27 pm (4 years ago)

    Great job as always! No need to look at the competition YOU are the only one I would vote for. Ballot has been cast. Good luck!!

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 30, 2018 at 4:51 pm (4 years ago)

      THANK YOU! I so so so appreciate it!

  7. Vivian
    May 25, 2018 at 10:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Your makeover is stunningly beautiful Ursula! The built-ins are magnificent and the gaming table is to die for. I need one desperately, especially since I love doing puzzles, what a perfect way to play and yet put it away so that the table becomes usable again. I love it!

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 27, 2018 at 3:05 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your kind words.

  8. John
    May 23, 2018 at 5:34 am (4 years ago)

    Wow, you’ve done a really good job, Ursula!
    I agree that $1,000 budget to decorate the living room may seem not enough. But, for example, me and my wife love DIY projects so we always try to find materials that we need on sales, online, or just create ourselves. And then it’s much cheaper, of course, if you learn how to find everything what you need for much lower cost.
    I love that wood flooring by the way. Oh, and that coffee table – such a great idea!

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 23, 2018 at 11:13 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks John! Ah, people after my own heart! DIY projects totally saved me this project. 😀

  9. Jeanie
    May 21, 2018 at 4:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Amazing amazing job. heck yeah I went over to the site to vote for you!!!

    I am so curious as to how you made the built ins! I know your building skills are far superior to mine, but I love to learn and dream of future projects.

    Congratulations. You crushed it. 🙂

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 21, 2018 at 6:05 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate it!
      Oh man, with a Kreg Jig you can totally knock a project like this out! 🙂 I shared how to build the bottom half here.

      • Jeanie
        May 21, 2018 at 8:05 pm (4 years ago)

        Oh, I was looking for that! Thank you so much!!!

  10. Sharon Hau
    May 21, 2018 at 12:59 pm (4 years ago)

    Google randomly popped this article up on my phone and I had to comment. You did such a great job! It looks AMAZING. I can’t believe the before + after photos.

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 21, 2018 at 1:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much! That means a lot to me…it was a beast to do on budget. 😀 And welcome by the way!

  11. Jess
    May 21, 2018 at 11:09 am (4 years ago)

    I love it! The built ins are stunning. The dark paint makes the tv fade into the background. I also love how the red leaves look on the coffee table.

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 21, 2018 at 11:47 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you Jess! I love that you noticed my desire to help the TV fade into the built-ins. It’s my compromise to the fact that of course the hubby would hate a hidden TV. 🙂

  12. Cg dahl
    May 21, 2018 at 11:03 am (4 years ago)

    I love the table with the drawers that pull out to accommodate a puzzle in progress. What’re can I find something similar? Room looks awesome.

    • Ursula Carmona
      May 21, 2018 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! I shared the tutorial on how to build this coffee table here.


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