Little Changes Make a Big Impact in a Small Living Room Makeover

I’ve lived in a few homes with a small living room before, but the one we’re living with now definitely takes the cake. Not only is it teeny tiny but it has a very awkward layout. The front door opens up right into it, as well as a guest bedroom and the basement. Really, we only have one “good” wall to put our furniture on but that’s being generous.

Small living room makeover on a budget.

There’s not much we can do to change the layout, so we need to make little changes to add comfort and functionality for our family. Of course by little changes I mean paint and and decor, things that don’t require major construction. That’s just what we did for this living room makeover.

I’ve already shared a few of the projects and improvements we’ve made during the living room makeover. Now that all of the projects are done, it’s time for a final reveal.

Before we get to the reveal, let’s look back at the improvements we made. 

A long overdue improvement was the DIY fireplace mantel. This one was a must-do because it’s the only place we could put our behemoth tv. Men and their tv’s.  

Beefing up a skimpy fireplace mantel with a piece of chunky, painted pine.

Once we finished the mantel, I did a quick and easy makeover on the fireplace. Now we just need a thorough cleaning of the chimney and we can actually have a fire in it. 

Change the look of a fireplace with a little bit of elbow grease and fresh paint. A quick and easy makeover.

Next, it was time to tackle the disgusting basement door. We switched it out for a door that we found in the basement and now it looks good as new, especially with the new glass doorknob

Changing out an old dirty basement door, with a cat door in it, for a freshly painted door found in the basement.

The side of the room with the fireplace was looking pretty good so it was time to move over to the window wall. After I painted the wall (we’ll get to that in a minute) I could see that something was missing. I am so not a curtain girl, but adding the DIY curtain rods and shears was the right thing for this space. 

Adding DIY custom curtain rods, made out of galvanized pipe, to the living room window.

DIY custom curtain rods and linen sheers add style to a small living room.

The last project crossed off the list was painting the walls. I ended up painting a wall at a time, when I had time, so it took a while to finish.

Giving a small entryway and living room a makeover to turn it into a welcoming and comfortable space.

I ended up using the same paint color that’s in the kitchen and dining area, Benjamin Moore Paper White. We did consider trying a different color, but the living and dining room are connected so this made the most sense.

Making little changes in a small living room to make it a cozy and comfortable space.

It’s amazing what a few changes can do to a room. When we moved in last year there were gaping holes all over the yellow walls and broken window blinds. Now I feel like we’ve created a space that is comfortable and cozy…more “us”.  

Making little changes in a small, awkward living room to make it cozy and comfortable.

Sometimes it’s hard to see what a small, awkward space could look like when there are so many projects to do. I think that this one turned out just fine. 

We’re onto the next project and it’s a big one.

What are you working on now?

Living Room Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.) 

  • All black pipe and curtain rings – The Home Depot (affiliate link)
  • Linen sheers – Crate and Barrel (affiliate link)
  • Coffee Table โ€“ West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Wooden stool with dipped legs – Serena and Lily (affiliate link)
  • Blue Washed Velvet Pillow Cover โ€“ Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Floor lamp – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Striped Pillows – Etsy
  • Round woven tray – Target
  • Woven Shade –
  • Sunburst mirror – Target (from a few years ago)
  • Black cabinet in entryway – Pottery Barn (bought years ago)
  • Round wood mirror – Home Goods
  • Black Lantern – Terrain
  • Wall hooks in entryway – Restoration Hardware
  • Wood tray in entryway – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Brass floor lamp – Home Goods
  • Brass lantern – Pottery Barn (affiliate link)
  • Knit ottoman – Grandin Road
  • Black and white pillow cover – West Elm (affiliate link)
  • Sofa – the Holmes sofa by Taylor King (bought at the Furniture Mart in Hickory, NC)

Make sure you also check out the kitchen and dining area makeovers.

small dining area with round table and 4 chairsDining Room Makeover on a Budget

Adding open shelving in the kitchen area for under $50 using old barn wood and metal shelf brackets from Home Depot.Open Shelving in the Kitchen for Under $50





  1. Melanie
    Tuesday,June 27, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    Just “Wow!” Love it!

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 5:22 am

      Thanks Melanie, I appreciate it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Marjorie Dineen
    Tuesday,June 27, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Once again you have really done it! The curtains really add a softness and make the room look cozy and warm and finished. I hope that you are enjoying it (besides all the work you have done). Love seeing your projects so can’t wait to see what the next one will be.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 5:25 am

      Awww, thanks Marjorie! We are enjoying the space, when we actually take the time to sit in there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. jillian
    Tuesday,June 27, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Looks so very nice. Really like the painted bricks. We painted the brick around the fireplace in the great room this year (ivory…I love ivory) and it looks so much better. Where in the room is the black piece with mirror? Love a little black with these colors. Also the brass is nice. It is becoming popular again.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 5:29 am

      Thanks so much Jillian. I love the painted fireplace too. It was one of the easier projects but it looks so much better. The black piece is in the entryway. I always like to incorporate a bit of black (and brass) in each space to add some interest. Brass is becoming popular again and that’s fine by me. I love it!

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great Wednesday!

  4. Tuesday,June 27, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    I think that you have done an amazing job with a small room. It is so cosy and charming and mainly warm. Wonderful job.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 5:30 am

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Betty. We are really enjoying our new space.

  5. Debbie H
    Tuesday,June 27, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Looks amazing Kristi. Nice and comfy for you and hubby. My Step Daughter is suppose to come this weekend and help me with the flower beds, Most of them are coming out since I can’t keep them up. They are all full of white rock, Ugh! The entire home is surrounded by these beds so it should really be a job. Have a great week.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 5:39 am

      Thanks so much Debbie. We are thrilled with the way it turned out. If only I could get rid of that recliner. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Ugh…we had flowerbeds like that when we moved into our house in Florida. What is it with Floridians and white rock? ๐Ÿ˜‰ What a pain to clean it all up. Good luck with yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 12:04 am

    What a great room. So warm and fresh!!

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 5:40 am

      Thanks so much, Kim. We’re really enjoying our new space. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Brenda Lane
    Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 8:29 am

    Brenda, Florida

    What a difference! So bright and fresh looking. I have to say that the little three legged stool sure makes its way around the house! Very handy to have.

    My living room is about the size of yours. Question…..I have a chair rail about 36″ up from the floor that runs all around the room except for the front wall. I painted over it with the wall color and kept the bottom the same color too. I’ve had people tell me that the bottom should be a darker color. I did this because I thought two colors would cut the room in half. The color is light beige, because the room is always dark from the huge oak tree in the front yard. My look is cottage/with beach accents. What do you think?

    Have a great week!

    • Kristi
      Friday,June 30, 2017 / 2:48 am

      Thanks so much Brenda! Yes, my little stool does get around. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s very useful and easy to move (and it looks pretty good).

      As far as your chair rail, it’s hard to say without seeing pictures. I can understand why you did one color, especially if it’s a small room. You could probably paint a color just a shade or two darker. It might add a little interest without a huge color change. If you want to send me a picture you can email me and I’ll take a look. [email protected]

      Hope that helps (a little anyway). ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a great holiday weekend!

  8. Kaycee
    Wednesday,June 28, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    What a fresh beautiful living room! I love the added softness to the window frames that curtains provide, and the upgraded mantel and fireplace are awesome! Looking forward to your next reveal.

    • Kristi
      Friday,June 30, 2017 / 2:51 am

      Thanks so much Kaycee, I appreciate your sweet comment. We are really enjoying all the changes we made in our little living room.

      Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  9. Thursday,June 29, 2017 / 1:54 am

    Your touches made a house your home. Older homes with charm are tiny but you made it work beautifully.
    Karen Marie

    • Kristi
      Friday,June 30, 2017 / 2:54 am

      Thanks so much Karen Marie. We are finding out how hard it is to make a tiny, older home work in our modern times but I’m loving the process (and learning a lot).

      Thanks for stopping in. Have a great holiday weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Are you going to Haven again this year?

  10. Monday,July 3, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    Beautiful living room–I really like all the industrial farmhouse touches. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,July 5, 2017 / 4:11 am

      Thanks so much, Lisa, I appreciate it!

  11. Monday,July 3, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    Looks like you have handled those challenges in your living room.. in a wonderful way! It looks great. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,July 5, 2017 / 4:16 am

      Awww, thanks so much. It was definitely a challenge but we are happy with the way it turned out.

      I appreciate the visit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thursday,July 6, 2017 / 8:34 am


    Love what you have done. We have much the same taste which made me feel right at home when perusing the pictures. Recognized the little tricks of the trade; not gonna give them away, and the great use of staging. Keep up the good work!


  13. Pam Kaufman
    Tuesday,August 29, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Your home looks gorgeous! We bought our home as a foreclosure 8 years ago so it’s been a lot of work. I’m not sure we will ever be done. Our mistake was getting it “good enough” to move in with intentions to finish it as we had time and money. It seems like those two do not match up often so we are still working at it. The house has come a long way but we are just now getting to the point of being able to concentrate on actually decorating rooms now. It is taking longer than planned but I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been a great learning experience!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 31, 2017 / 5:25 am

      Thanks for your sweet comment Pat! I bow down to you. Eight years is a long time and it sounds like you put a lot of work into it. I’m sure it will be beautiful when you are done (are we ever really done though? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). We’ve only been at it for a year, on this house, and we are having fun but I’m tired of the constant mess. It’s worth it though! Just like you, I wouldn’t change a thing!

      Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

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