3-Step Makeover: Small Living Room

Stage 1: Getting Started
With spartan white walls, bare windows, and mismatched furnishings, this small living room lacks personality and coziness. Pushing the furniture against one wall -- opposite the entertainment center -- is a no-brainer floor plan, but it leaves a runway down the middle, blocks the tall windows, and squeezes access to the adjacent stairs.

Stage 2: Color and a Floor Plan
Begin the living room's transformation with lush green paint, plucking the hues from a fabric you want to add later. Light celery washes the walls and ceiling; a darker shade in a durable lacquer-like gloss makes the simple woodwork pop. The door is no longer in use, so we pulled the seating to the room's center, using a sisal rug to define the area. The new arrangement guides you through the room, making it feel more spacious than its 200 square feet.

Stage 2 Room Elements

Existing Furniture: Dress up the slipcovered sofa and chairs with two-sided fabric pillows and new upholstery.
New Furniture: Multitaskers that fill in the holes and adapt for entertaining are key -- the elegant black tray table folds away when there's a crowd, and the space-saving green demilune table doubles as a mini bar.
Windows: Wood blinds with wide fabric tape give windows a finished look.
Artwork: Banish blank walls with a simple grid of framed vintage prints from old books. Green mats coordinate with the trim color.
Lighting: A pair of celadon lamps draws the eye to the room's focal point, the sofa.

Stage 3: Pile on Pattern
In the final stage, the details make the difference. Take the room from livable to lovable with the addition of a few new pieces, layers of pattern, and a mix of accessories.

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