So excited to finally share my living room transformation! Before I get into all the details, I wanted to share some before pictures of the original space from when I first moved in and then another picture of what it looked like right before this mini renovation.

Unfortunately the only pictures I have from when I first moved in are terrible quality from an iPhone 4 camera in low light, but you get the idea!


I moved in here right out of college and was making about $1500/month as a personal assistant with a 2 hour commute (lol) so it stayed like this for a while and then went through many, many transitions as I gradually found the budget for improvements here and there! 4 years later, this is the first time I’ve had the chance to fully redesign this room all at once — so fun!

About a year ago we got rid of the dining table and chairs to make room for a photo studio set up in our home. The living room became the studio and this little dining room became the living room!

Here is a picture of what it looked like just a couple of months ago:


There are several things I’ve always wanted to change about the living room — the rug is a hand-me-down, the green paint isn’t my style, the half wall is kind of awkward because it shows the studio mess, the maroon blinds were broken. I liked the room overall and was really happy with how far it had come but I knew that it would be exciting to transform it one day to a style I really loved instead of a compromise with things I already had on hand.

About three months ago I was emailing back and forth with Joybird for another client who’s living room I am designing, and Joybird asked if I would be interested in working out a trade for my own living room as well. I played it cool, but was so excited to work with them — Joybird is one of my favorite companies and it has been a dream to see their pieces in my home! I said yes to a trade and sent them some mockups of my living room plans based on my favorite Joybird pieces.

I designed the space around the leather sofa. I wanted it to feel classy but homey, minimal but colorful, full of light and life and easy to keep clean.

Here are all the changes I made:

  • Joybird gifted this sofa, this bench and this chair.

  • Ruggable gifted this (washable!) rug

  • I filled the half wall with live plants and have actually kept them alive so far! (A few are fake)

  • I hung artwork from this artist

  • I made a faux fireplace

  • I did a renter’s hack to add this wallpaper in a temporary way

  • I found white blinds on the app Let Go

  • I added a few little decorative items like a pillow, some dollar store planters, and some Palm Tree candle sticks from Home Goods.

Everything else I already had! The main light fixture was a Goodwill find a couple of years ago for $11! It was black and had ugly light bulbs, but I just spray painted it gold and added some nice frosted globe bulbs — it’s one of my favorite pieces in the house now.

The floor lamp is leftover from a photoshoot — it was $100 at Lamps Plus.

The live edge side table is from Home Goods!

Keep scrolling for more photos or watch my vlog on the whole process here: