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Makeover of the Week: A Dark, Dreary Living Room is Transformed Into a Light, Happy Space

living room after

Andrew McGibbon Photography

The living room in this 1800’s Victorian took you back in time with its mauve and olive colored sofa and chairs, dusty lace curtains, dark wood furniture—but not in a good way. “The room hadn’t been touched since the 1960’s,” explains designer Krista Wostbrock.

Meet the Expert

Krista Wostbrock, is a principle interior designer at Krista Wostbrock Design in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and is known for creating alluring spaces that enhance and reflect a client’s personal lifestyle.


living room before
Courtesy of Krista Wostbrock

“It had yellowed walls and the windows on the first and second floors were in such disrepair, they all had to be replaced,” notes Wostbrock. “I wanted to create a happy retreat with lots of soft colors and natural light.”


living room after
Andrew McGibbon Photography

“Painting the walls and ceiling a bright white was a start, then I added furniture and accessories in soft shades of blue and sand to give the room a peaceful vibe. The original red oak floors were salvageable, I simply had them sanded and stained. The molding around the ceiling was almost undetectable so I added new six-inch trim.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Sky blue, sand, and white hues combine to create a tranquil space.
  • Sofa: A white, L-shaped sofa, made of easy-to-treat poly and rayon, sits comfortably in the window nook.
  • Paint: The plaster walls were skim coated and then painted a super white for a fresh feel.
  • Lighting: Five recessed high hats were added to the ceiling to boost the room’s ambient light.
  • Chair: A leather blue La-Z-Boy lookalike is actually a comfortable electric recliner.
  • Window treatments: Going curtain-free allows natural light to filter freely through the classic two-over-one windows.
  • Coffee table: A unique clove-shape adds character to the room’s coffee table.
  • Stools: The faux fur covered stools allow for extra seating without taking up a lot of space.
  • Lamps: A hidden console behind the sofa holds the matching blue and white striped table lamps.
  • Carpet: The sand and beige shades in this wool 10’ x 14’ Moroccan patterned rug pick up the neutral colors in the room.
  • Plant: A faux fig plant in a gray planter adds a touch of foliage.

Shop the Look:

blue chair
Wayfair Sandra Manual Recliner $264.00
Arteriors Sachin Lamp $535.00
fleece blanket
Urban Outfitters Stevie Sherpa Waffle Throw Blanket $69.00