General Home decor

Living Room Makeover Plans: Modern Traditional

Hello Friends,

Living room (s), especially traditionals, can break out of the ordinary by adding fresh color and texture to standard traditional furnishings. And you can see how vintage, chinoiserie, modern and boho combine to create a relaxed, eclectic mix in the One Room Challenge Spring 2018 series. That’s right. During the next six-weeks, we will see my 12-by-12 square box of a formal living room finally (because it’s long overdue) get a relaxed look that reconnects it to the rest of my room makeovers.

Living Room Makeover Plans: Modern Traditional

First, just let me say that if I had my druthers, I’d chop off the living room and add the footage to the great room and kitchen. I mean, really. But since this isn’t possible, my only real choice is to turn the footage into some other kind of space, like an office or music room. Then it dawned on me that we actually need this room for storage and maybe as a sunroom for the front of the house. So, like many of my friends, I decided to focus on function and make “pretty” a sweet bonus.

In the Beginning

If you follow my blog, you know that for all of my room makeovers, the first item on the “to-do” list is to determine what furniture and accessories absolutely have to stay. I mean, it’d be super nice to get rid of everything and start with a clean slate, but this just isn’t practical. And because of this, sorting and trying items in different places around the room happens first.

When I entered the room to begin this step, here’s what I found. A room that was very dated, but had good bones.

Hooker serpentine chest refinished with neutral colors #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #sponsored Pure & Original |

I. Create Cohesion

Once the “keepers” are in place, creating a cohesive plan takes front and center. In this case, I’m looking for ways to relax the room and still tie the new look to the rest of the house. This can be done in a variety of ways, but for this room, one of the easiest ways to get the reconnect going is with paint, architecture and flooring.


The same wall and ceiling colors will extend from the dining room and foyer. The walls and woodwork are Arcade White in semi-gloss and the ceiling is the soft blue Calm in latex flat. Easy peasy.

Wall and ceiling colors for living room makeover #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #spon #Behr | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |


And the two large, blank walls will get customized picture frame moulding, similar to the moulding installed in the dining room and foyer.

Dining room makeover reveal Fall 2017 One Room Challenge | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |


Even the rugs will coordinate with the rest of the rugs on the main floor.

Great Room Reveal Spring 2017 One Room Challenge | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |

II. Make the Room Unique

Another thing you’ll see during this series is that I don’t follow the decorating crowd. This is not to say that I don’t study trends and other good work for ideas. But for every room, my challenge is to create a room this family needs from what we already have. And to make this happen, sometimes I have to color outside the lines.

The result is a series of posts explaining how the living room is converted from 100% traditional to 70% traditional and 30% relaxed modern. Heck, I might even throw in a little Boho.


1. Easy Make Slip Cover for a Chair

I do own a traditional chair that is perfect for this space, but it has the most dreary and dated upholstery. And I’m gonna fix this using a linen print that coordinates with the fabrics in the dining room. I’ve never slip covered a chair before, so I’m entering uncharted waters. But remember how the large sofa pillows were slip covered for the great room challenge? Right. So how hard can it be? 🙂

Click here for sofa pillow slip cover link.

Easy DIY over-sized slip covers for the sofa #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |

2. How to Install Picture Frame Moulding

During the dining room makeover, one of the most asked questions was how I installed all of the picture frame moulding by myself. And as promised, this post will answer that question and show you how.

3. How to Use Color Without Locking into One Color Family

Say hello to the Sherwin Williams family of neutrals. Admittedly, I have a boatload of neutrals under all those bold color pops dribbled throughout my makeover rooms. But I set up the palette this way for a reason. And while easily adding intense color pops may be my number one reason, there are plenty more reasons to consider.

Neutral family of colors from Sherwin Williams ColorSnap system #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |

4. How to Create a Gallery Wall (over Picture Frame Moulding)

OK, so there’s a boatload of great tutorials on Pinterest about installing galleries. But none of these tutes explain layering a gallery wall over picture frame moulding. So let’s talk about it.

5. Flowers and Greenery: Which is Best….Faux or Real?

And what about flowers and greenery? Fresh flowers only last about 5 to 7 days and need daily care to go the distance. With this, can faux blooms be an acceptable option? And how, pray tell, can these fakers be made to look real?

A traditional living room gets a fresh makeover #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |

And then there’s potted plants. Can the Green Thumb and the Black Thumb crowds finally come to terms? I don’t know, but let’s have a conversation about how to make both work.

6. How to Keep the Chic in a Shag Rug

Surprised to learn there’s a shag rug happening nearly wall to wall in my traditional living room? I mean, how retro can I get? Well, not only did I go shag, I went big and solid white! In this post, I’ll explain why I chose white and how to keep it clean.

A white shag rug is layered with a neutral print #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |

7. Two More “Mystery” Posts

There are at least two more DIYs that need to be completed before the room reveal (on Week 6). And since the schedule only allows for four weeks of progress posts, I’ll try to do two posts some weeks so that all of the work for the room is posted before the reveal. Again, cross your fingers… because for this to happen, everything has to line up perfectly over the next few weeks. 

Bold pops of color are easily infused into a neutral color palette #livingroom #livingroommakeover | #Oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful |

III. The Room Reveal

During Week 6, the completed room will be revealed. Until then, I invite you to follow the progress via your favorite social media or by having the posts delivered via email. See these links at the top right.

To see my previous two challenges, click here for the Great Room Makeover and click here for the Dining Room Makeover.

Here We Go!

And just like that, we are off and running with the ORC Spring 2018. If you would like to see the first “how-to” post for the living room, please click the link below for a furniture makeover.

Click here for a Serpentine Chest Makeover 

Week 1 – You are here

Week 2 – How to Design and Install Picture Frame Moulding (Click here)

Week 3 – Tips for Making Faux Flowers Look Real (Click here)

Week 4 – How to Save a Bundle Using Remnants (Click here)

Week 5 – DIY Slipcover Basics (click here)

Week 6 – Living Room Reveal (click here)

ORC Hosts and Links

And don’t forget to say hello to our gracious hosts (Calling It Home and House Beautiful) and visit over 200 bloggers by clicking Designer Challenge and/or Blogger Challenge. #oneroomchallenge #ORC #housebeautiful

Thanks so much for stopping by! I do hope you’ll follow the progress of my little room week-to-week. 



















  • Reply sarah April 4, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    yay!! So happy to see you’re doing your living room, Susie. Can’t wait to follow along!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I’m looking so forward to having this room functional…oh and easier on the eyes. LOL..

  • Reply Susanne April 4, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Ohhhhh, I am so excited to see this room transform!! You are such a master story teller my friend and I know this room is going to be amazing!!! xoxo

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 4, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks Susanne! Wishing both of us luck in meeting the deadlines. LOL…. XO

  • Reply Kate Smith April 4, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Can’t wait to see your living room’s transformation!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 4, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks Kate! Great to have you stop by!

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 April 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    How exciting this room will be. I can’t wait for the reveal. I love how you itemized what topics you will address.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 4, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      Hi Deb!! Thanks so much. I’m glad you like the DIY roll call. It just seemed to work better than a mood board this time. XO

  • Reply Tee at Beauteeful Living April 4, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    So glad that you’re participating again, Susie! I love that you’re working on your living room. I would love to tackle that one of these ORC seasons…if only I can find the right sofa :). Good luck and I can’t wait to follow along. I always learn something useful from you! Xo

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 4, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      Hi Tee! Thanks so much. I have to admit that I may have jumped the gun with my living room because I still need a chair and console table in a weird size. These items are worrying me just a tad. 🙁 But I’ll concentrate on gathering the accessories and who knows, maybe these two pieces will just surprise me…. LOL…. and fall from the sky. #IneedAmiracle

  • Reply Ruthie April 4, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    I can’t wait to follow along!! I love what you have planned!

  • Reply Leslie April 5, 2018 at 12:38 am

    I love your inspiration! And I love that you listen to your design voice instead of the crowd and I am all about traditional spaces that aren’t predictable! Let’s do this!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 7:41 am

      Thanks Leslie! Your kind words give me confidence.

  • Reply Jeweled Interiors April 5, 2018 at 12:40 am

    I have loved watching your other transformations. I look forward to seeing you work your magic!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply Emy April 5, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Your rooms are always gorgeous! Can’t wait to see what you do in here!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Hi Emy and thanks a million! You’re the best!

  • Reply Toni | Small Home Soul April 5, 2018 at 10:24 am

    I can’t wait to see what you do with this room, I know from all your other room transformations that it will be nothing short of spectacular!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 10:31 am

      LOL…Toni! Thanks, girl. You give me confidence and it is so appreciated.

  • Reply Jen @ Jenron Designs April 5, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    This is going to be a awesome project!!! I can not wait to follow along, I loved your dining room last season and all your creative ideas.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Jen and thanks a million! You’re such a doll!

  • Reply Joy April 5, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I always love your ORC projects Susie! Can’t wait to follow this one!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Hey Joy and thanks a million! Right now, this room has a mind of its own. LOL….but I’m hopeful it will all come together. 🙂

  • Reply salvagesista April 5, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Oh, my friend…I can’t WAIT to see what your beautiful mind does! The last ORC was amazing.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Sweet friend, you are good for my soul. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Marie April 5, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Yay, another gorgeous room makeover in the works from you! I so enjoyed your last two ORC Challenges and can’t wait to see your living room come together. I was so happy to see there was an email waiting in my inbox from you – it’s been too long.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Marie and thanks so much! It’s the first post in 2018!!!! I know, right? The hubs called and said he got an email in his inbox from my blog….and maybe I should call my host to let them know I’ve been hacked. Waa! Waa! Everybody’s a comedian. LOL….

  • Reply Jessica Vanderveen April 5, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Your rooms always turn out so nice, can’t wait to see what you do with this one!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 5, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Jessica! Great to have you stop by. Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement.

  • Reply HappyHauteHome April 6, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Good luck Susie! Going to be another great season!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Denise and thanks!

  • Reply Lisa April 7, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Susie I love what you’ve done in your other rooms (the moulding in your dining room is so so gorgeous!!) and can’t wait to follow along on your living room makeover!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Lisa and thanks! You’re so sweet! XO

  • Reply Jenny April 8, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I can’t wait to follow along, Susie! Your rooms are always so gorgeous!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Jenny and thanks so much! You just made my day!

  • Reply Jessica | Petal + Ply April 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Sounds like a lot of great posts are coming our way! Anxiously awaiting the reveal!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Jessica! You’re so sweet. Thanks! I hope these DIYs can be helpful to others.

  • Reply Cristina May 1, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Woohoo following along on your living room journey… I know it’s gonna be fantastic!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 1, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      LOL…thanks Cristina. I surely hope so. So happy you are following along.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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