Mom’s small living room makeover {gray + white}

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Today I am sharing a never before seen space which happens to be my mom’s. A small living room makeover featuring gray and white. There is a small room right before my parents master bedroom and it was in need of an update. My mom loves traditional design but wanted to add a bit of a modern twist so we painted the walls, added the rug from our family room, the curtains from our dining room and some fresh new throw pillows.

small living room makeover

Here is the room before. The previous rug was a dark oriental that my mom has had for years. I wasn’t home when they emptied the room but thankfully my sister-in-law snapped a few pictures for me. Phew!

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

I know exactly what my dad is thinking above, “why are we doing this?” We kept the piano in the same spot (that wall will be shown on another day).The dark red chair rail and the tan walls didn’t do this room any favors. About 5 years ago I was loving red and I am actually the one who picked this color and painted this room for my mom. It’s funny how as time goes by, your taste in home decor changes.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

This time around, we decided to add the white to the chair rail and the dark gray on the top.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

We transformed this room with paint, items from around our home and a few new throw pillows. Don’t be afraid to steal items from other rooms. You can have a brand new room with stuff you already own! The picture next to the grandfather clock is of my 3rd great grandparents.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

Isn’t it amazing what new paint will do?

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

Here is a shot of me in action. I know, I have paint on my butt.

small living room makeover -7

In an afternoon, we got the entire room painted. Two coats requisite gray by Sherwin-Williams and two coats of extra white by Sherwin Williams.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white We recently put our indoor/outdoor rug from our porch in our family room so the rug above needed a home and this room suits it nicely.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white When we moved in over 6 years ago, my mom gave up her formal living room so we could create a multipurpose playroom/tv room/study. We pulled these two wing back chairs out of her family room down stairs and they look great in this newly created living room. We haven’t finished decorating the piano wall yet. I am in the middle of finding the perfect fabric to recover the piano seat. Hopefully that will be completed soon and we will be back to share with you. My mom is thrilled with her new gray and white living room. The goal was to create a modern traditional space. By keeping her artwork, the grandfather clock and piano in the space along with the addition of her wing back chairs, we accomplished the traditional design element. The geometric curtains and blue trellis rug added the modern twist we were looking for and I must say, I am kind of digging the room! ;). Thank you to Sherwin-Williams for providing the paint. The pillows are from Pier One, the drapes that we used from our dining room are from HomeGoods and the rug is from overstock (from our family room).

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. jessie smith says:

    Looks really nice and fresh,Jess.

  2. Wow. It looks totally different! I am a newish reader and find your living arrangements fascinating. It took a while for me to realize your immediate family uses the living room that is in the space your mom used to have a formal living room (right?) so then, what is the room above that you just made over since you mention a family room she has? Do you have a layout/floor plan posted anywhere? Curious about which spaces are communal. Of course, it is none of my business and I hope you aren’t offended.

    1. Hi, our basement is finished providing an additional 2000 square feet . My parents have their own family room ect. in the lower level. We have found that having multiple TV rooms works for each family 🙂

  3. The room is lovely! Color makes a huge difference and this post depicts just how important it can be, so thank you for all your inspiration.

    Thanks for sharing this great makeover–


    P.S. I just gotta ask. . . is that a roll of blue painter’s tape peeking out from under the drape? 😉

    1. Thanks Anne! haha on the blue! It’s actually a blue phone cord that somehow made it’s way in the picture 🙂

  4. carol Jane says:

    Wow! What a difference. So fresh and new. Love the paint color. Is your dad happy with the results?

  5. carol Jane says:

    Wow. Looks so fresh and up to date. Love the paint color. Is your Dad happy with the results?

  6. carol Jane says:

    Oops. Didn’t mean to leave 2 comments.

  7. melissa smith says:

    Hi! I’m new to your blog. The room turned out beautiful. Nice job! !

  8. What a fresh and lovely room! Don’t blame your mom—I would be loving the new look too 🙂 Does she know how incredibly lucky she is to have you do the painting for her?

  9. I am NOT a fan of gray, but this room looks fantastic! Perhaps it’s the touches of gold (the pillows and picture frames).
    Hope your Mom and Dad are happy – they’re so lucky to have painters/designers in the family. LOL ;D))

  10. Beautiful! I have a few dark oriental rugs that I need to get rid of. What do you do with your outdated items? Mine are still in great shape so they keep me from updating 🙁

    1. Thanks! My mom has issues with getting rid of anything so I convinced her to donate them to the salvation army or our local church that has sales. She puts everything in a pile and then we she is gone, I take them to donate! haha. That way she doesn’t have to deal with it and she feels good about helping out someone in need 🙂 . Donate them! Big Brother / Big Sister charity will also come to your house to pick up any home items for free!

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