Modern Traditional Living Room Redesign

I’m so excited to share my living room redesign with you! It took a little longer than expected, including a few bumps along the way, but it’s finally done…

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I just completed an extreme living room redesign! There are so many decor ideas in here -- especially if you're drawn to vintage revival, eclectic, or moody styles and colors. Check out that black wainscoting, those slate blue walls, and the giant salon style gallery wall!

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Previous One Room Challenge Rooms:

Fall 2018 | Spring 2019 | Fall 2019 | Spring 2020

The Before

Here’s a before shot to give you a sense of where I started from. For more before photos, check out this post.

Basically, it was a boring white box with a weird corner fireplace to work around.

The furniture layout was a little tough because of that fireplace. Where’s the focal point? How do you balance that odd angle?

I did a lot of experimenting with this one and here are five furniture layouts that work with a corner fireplace if you need some ideas!

Aside from the odd layout, I need to add some life to this room! Architectural interest! Artwork! COLOR!

The Process

It started out well. I knew I wanted to use my signature palette of blue, black, and leather with pops of brass. I also knew that I wanted to add a chair rail or wainscoting of some sort.

So I dove right in.

And ran into some issues….

The blue was feeling far too blue and I started hating my chair rail idea. Plus? It was obvious that I needed to carry the changes through the adjacent hallway and entryway, making this a MUCH bigger project than I’d intended.

The art and the black fireplace

Ultimately, I realized the blue works once the artwork and the curtains go up.

But the chair rail? That definitely stayed gone.

It took me a couple of weeks to firm up exactly what type of wainscotting I wanted to do (and was capable of doing). I landed on this and I loved the test panel I installed!

Test panel of wainscotting.

But then…

The baseboards. Oh, the baseboards.

I had to remove the baseboards to install the wainscot

To do the wainscotting properly, all the baseboards need to be removed. Which shouldn’t be a big deal, except that they’re sunk below the floor line with an abundance of nails.


On the longer runs of baseboard, there wasn’t enough leverage to pry the boards back far enough to clip the bottom row of nails.

These baseboards are stuck

That one took some time.

But now? Now it looks FABULOUS! I still need a couple more art pieces but for now, I’m calling this done.

The After

It’s everything I hoped it would be! The gallery wall is obviously a huge feature and I didn’t want a TV to detract from it. So I finally took the plunge and bought a Frame TV — yippy!

I wouldn’t recommend it for a theater room, but it’s absolutely perfect for a room like this. It truly does look like a piece of art. Mind-blowing.

Painting the fireplace black to tie it into the board and batten makes a huge difference! Now, it feels far more intentional and doesn’t visually dominate the space.

Leather couch on blue and black wall with board and batten

I still have a few spot to fill on this wall, but I’d rather wait to add something I love rather than fill it for the sake of filling it.

If you like any of the artwork on the gallery wall, the full collection is below! Just click on the image to shop:

Styled media top with green glass jug and metallic candle and marble lamp

I keep the styling to a minimum to let all that artwork shine. This is actually how it looks every day, not styled to the nines for a photoshoot!

The storage in the media cabinet is certainly helping to keep the place neat!

Black wainscotting in hallway, wrapping around a corner.

All of the crazy wainscoting actually wraps around and down the hall with even MORE artwork if you can believe it!!

Tan velvet curtains on blue wall

This view is one of my favs even though it photographs horribly (ha). I just think that the golden brown curtain color against the blue walls is amazing.

And that’s all folks! Now be sure to check out my fellow guest participants in the One Room Challenge.

One Room Challenge