My Light and Airy Living Room Transformation

October 26, 2015

transitional living room

To appreciate the current state of my living room, let’s take a look at how it began.

Pretty depressing huh? Between the popcorn ceilings, dingy paint and dark trim there were definitely no happy vibes here. I actually remember doing the final walk-thru of the home before we offically closed on it.

This room smelt weird and lady bugs had infested the place. I got a sick feeling in my stomach. What the hell was I thinking when I put an offer on this dump?

That being said, the living room has been my favorite transformation of the home. It was our first endeavor. After painting the walls with Sherwin Williams Passive, scraping off the popcorn ceilings, changing the light fixtures and painting the trim and beams in an ultra white, high-gloss paint….BAM!!! A light and airy living room is born. Add in the white Ikea Ektorp furnishings, and the transformation is even more dramatic.

living room-26


Whitewashing the brick fireplace, removing the brass cover and installing a wood mantel also made quite an impact. To read how I whitewashed the brick, click here. To see how I added the wood beam mantel click here.


white and grey living room


grey transitional living room

I like to think of this space as the heart of the home. Airy and light, transitional with an element of understated elegance. Not too stuffy or pretentious. Sit down and enjoy a glass of wine…or 2 or 3…


light and airy interior design





transitional living room decor


living room-23

home staging tips

light and airy living room-8

I think this room deserves an award for most improved. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the tour of my living room.


Now got out there and design some good vibes!


Couch – Ikea Ektorp Blekinge white
Chairs- Ikea Extorp Blekinge white
Curtains – ikea ritva white curtains (I actually made hacked these with grey grosgrain ribbon)
Sidebord- World Market Double Shutter Doors Holbrook Sideboard
Wall Paint- Sherwin Williams Passive
Light Fixtures- Beatriz 4-light Black Classic Iron Hanging Lantern Chandelier


For your shopping convenience, I have included some affiliate links.

More about Designing Vibes

    1. Erica,
      I love how bright and beautiful this room turned out. Nicely done! Those are some pretty dramatic before and after photos. 🙂

      1. Love the room! Where did you find that coffee table?

        1. Thank you so much, Jen. I found it at a local liquidation store that unfortunately closed. I think Ballard Designs has a similar one.

    1. Wow Erica! The transformation is just amazing! It looks like a completely different room. A beautiful place to ‘live’ in. Nicely done!

    1. A little paint or a lot and IKEA sofas can do miracles in a room! This tranformation is amazing! Beautiful and inviting. Happy Thanksgiving, Linda

    1. Love your style and your attitude. I had a designer friend tell me your home your choice for decor. I have never looked back.

    1. Erika, this room looks amazing! Light and airy describes it perfectly. I especially love how you whitewashed the brick. Wonderful makeover!

    1. I am still in awe of this transformation, I selected this as one of my features from last weeks The creative gallery link party. Head on over and check it out. I am excited to see what you link up this week!

    1. You killed it! That’s all there is to say. I am warring with my SO right now over a red brick fireplace that I want to white-wash.

      1. Thank you so much, Jenn. I say go for it! Do what makes you happy. Not all brick is created equally…I don’t like the type of brick with red or orange undertones. I have no regrets. 🙂

    1. Where do you usually shop for throw pillows? I looove the light blue one with the white detail that is in the side chair in some of the living room pictures…..I have been looking for some just like that and I was wondering if you remember where you picked them up?

      1. Thanks, Amanda! I actually got those pillows at Homegoods. I am pretty much a Homegoods junkie, but I also like Marshalls and TJ Maxx as well.

    1. love your style! Where did you find the beautiful bright blue rug?

    1. Hi! I love seeing how you set up your Ektorp furniture…we have 2 of the same Ektorp chairs, and would like to purchase in the near future an Ektorp couch to replace our older one. Can you please tell me the dimensions of the natural rug under the fur that you have in your Winter/Spring room? I love how you have each piece of furniture on the rug!

    1. Hello! Beautiful! I could live here happily! I have a living room with the half vaulted ceiling too and our new Ekrop couch will face the fireplace/mounted TV like yours. (It is the wall on the right side of the couch that is vaulted that has 2 windows).

      I am wondering how you decided the height/placement of the pendant lights. It is so hard to find much info on living room ceilings shaped this way that are still a small home (we are in San Diego, 1100 SF, eat in kitchen, but a big (14 foot) half vaulted ceiling in the living room.)

      I am considering an orb pendant light but nervous. We have to hire an electrician to do wiring for many items (these 70s homes have no ceiling lights in any rooms, just outlets for lamps that work with the switches.) Any ideas?? Was there a reason you went with 2, not one pendants? When one sits in the couch, facing the fireplace, with the tv mounted, due to the height d the ceiling I could center it in this area and not have it be a distraction I think.

      Thank you sooo much! A great future blog post would be ideas for small vaulted ceiling living rooms like this.

      1. Hi Lisa. Thanks for the content idea. I went with 2 chandeliers/large pendants without much thought in all honesty. Previously, there were 2 ceiling fans in the place of the lanterns.So, I simply switched them out. Another reason, if you were to only do 1 light fixture, it would need to be huge to make a visually pleasing impact and mu budget is pretty limited. Hope this helps!

    1. I love your living room makeover. It is beautiful. What is the name of the paint colour.

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