Liz Bradley of Congers, N.Y., had a problem more than a few women can relate to—she inherited her husband's bachelor pad furniture. Pete Bradley's black leather couch and seating dominated the family's living room, but the couple didn't have the budget to replace them. Luckily, iVillage home design expert Susanna Salk wasn't daunted.
In one day—and for under $1,000—Salk gave the room an airy and elegant makeover. Here's how she did it:
Brighten with white. Salk painted the gray walls a soft, warm white, instantly lightening the room and making it appear larger.
Work with what you have. Rather than replacing the bachelor pad seating, Salk designed around it, warming up the sofa and chair with fun (and inexpensive) accent pillows and a stylish checkered throw blanket. Then Salk brought in a pair of bold floor lamps that stand up to the couch and bring balance to the room.
Find the focus. Clutter on the mantle detracted from the room’s beautiful stone fireplace, so Salk moved some photos to a monogrammed album and put the couple's wedding portrait front and center. "Sometimes it can be as much about editing out as it is about bringing unique pieces into the space," notes Salk.
Here are the items Salk used to transform Liz and Pete's living room:
Coventry Jute Rug in Green, $239 at Ballard Designs. Image credit: Ballard Designs
Totem Pillow Cover, $29 at West Elm. Image credit: West Elm
16-Inch Alpaca Textured Pillow Cover in White/Natural, $29 at West Elm. Image credit: West Elm
Tanner Coffee Table, $399 at Pottery Barn. Image credit: Pottery Barn
Classic Linen Photo Album, $49 at Exposures. Image credit: Exposures
Vilmie Rund Throw, $13 at Ikea. Image credit: Ikea
Oversized Silver Mirror, $60 at HomeGoods.
Floor Lamps, $80 each at HomeGoods.