Creating Krista 101: Living Room Redesign

This is the best week ever.  Actually, it’s the fluffiest week ever.  In the immortal words of Agnes from Despicable Me, “he’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die.”


Yes, I met William the puppy, also known as the newest member of the Rutgers University Seeing Eye Puppy Club. He’s only seven weeks old, he’s warm, and he even smells adorable. I could gush about him all day, so let’s move on to what you’re really here for this evening…

It’s time for our first-ever edition of Creating Krista 101! Karen submitted her living room for design consideration (she’s a loyal reader and she’s also my boss) and is getting the full Creating Krista 101 treatment. As part of this design plan, I’ll be considering the following:

Karen’s Living Room Redesign
-Color/Paint Scheme
-Custom Design Board for a $500 budget (Includes product sources and pricing)
-Tips for incorporating current pieces, finding budget-friendly items, and DIY projects
-“Treat Yo Self”: Over budget ideas

Color/Paint Scheme
Karen’s living room space already includes light purple walls, dark furniture, and yellow accents in the form of bright pillows and a fun patterned rug. Our color scheme is similar to the one above from Design Seeds, which highlights the blue transition to purple and a complementary yellow brightens everything up. This color scheme is a more natural color scheme: blue skies, purple flowers, and yellow buds.

Karens Mood Board

Based on this information and some initial snapshots of Karen’s living and dining areas, I created this Custom Mood Board for the space!

“Treat Yo Self” Over Budget Item
1) I started this mood board with a “Treat Yo Self” big ticket item from Home Decorators. It’s an aqua pouf from Home Decorators for $129. I thought it would be a fun addition to the space, adding color and texture beyond the lavender and gray color scheme in most of the room. It’s the biggest ticket item on the mood board, so maybe Karen wants to save this for a rainy day purchase.

2) I am all about these vintage postcards from Cavellini and Company. They’re only $13 for a set of 18 postcards! Karen wanted to hang art over both her TV stand and her couch. While I will be focusing on large statement prints for behind the TV wall, I thought it would be fun to create a gallery wall over the couch, interspersing these postcards with some photos of her travels all over the world. To mix things up, I would actually go back and forth between black and white frames since the furniture is mostly black, but we still want to lighten up the space using more white.

3) Nothing says fun and feminine like this blingy pendant light from World Market. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been coveting this light fixture since the summer. At only $69, it’s the perfect fixture to hang over Karen’s dining room table.

4) Karen has spent most of her life living just minutes away from New York City, so I thought some NYC-specific art was a must for her dining area. This print from UrbanAntique on Etsy features the Brooklyn Bridge and contributes the light blue and yellow accents to the room! I’d hang this print in the dining space with the capiz pendant light and request it in a large, 16×20  size (estimating it to cost about $40) and hang it in a bold frame from JoAnn Fabrics for $21.

5) These Cori Dantini Sun Burst pillows are a little pricey ($45 each), but I can’t get over how beautiful and colorful they are. Just two of them would add the perfect amount of natural aqua and yellow to complement Karen’s gray couch.

6) Karen found these yogi-inspired prints on Etsy from Sweet Peony Press and they fit her personality perfectly. I love the “Let Go” and “Be Open” messages on two of the prints, and for $35 each, they work great in an 11×14 size to accent the wall behind the TV stand. I’d pick up two white 11×14 frames from JoAnn Fabrics for $17.99 each – they’ll be accenting the focal point of art on this wall, which we’ll get to, down at Item #9…
Be Open print:
Let Go print:

7) Moving back to behind the couch for a moment, I found these lotus flower hooks from Boldhouse on Etsy that really complement the yogi-inspired prints on the opposite wall. These hooks will be a part of the larger gallery wall behind the couch with the Cavellini and Company postcards and Karen’s personal photos. Every gallery wall should have at least one element of surprise, and these hooks add black and white fun and something unique to the space for just $26.

8) Karen’s coffee table is great – I love how modern it is, combining a black trim with glass to make the room seem even bigger. What I love the most is that it’s the perfect spot for adding more color into the space. I started to bring in some light blue hues by finding this rectangular aqua tray from Crate and Barrel for $29.

9) Last, but certainly not least, I fell completely in love with this Arise print from for $60. To me, this print has the potential to be the true focal point of the room and draw all of the attention when you first walk into the living room. At $60 for a 16×16 print, it’s more than worth it to provide the rich blues and yellows that this space needs. I’d add in a $35 20×20 frame from Amazon to mat and frame the print, giving it the attention it deserves!

Total Budget
Adding up all of our expenses, the total budget for this room comes to $471.  This leaves additional room to add in the aqua pouf from Home Decorators (making it $600!) or provides a buffer for shipping, custom matting of the larger prints, and even enough to pick up small, fun frames from places like Target, Ikea, and Michaels.

DIY Tips
As for DIY tips with this space, I would love to add some more color to the room with some fun décor. I’d take a few old glass or wine bottles (cost: $0) and spray paint them in varying shades of purple and lavender to add to the aqua tray décor on the coffee table. I’d also add some punches of yellow with some faux (or real!) flowers and maybe a stack of white books or magazines. The glass table is perfect for holding accents to brighten everything up.  I’d also add some simple, fun elements to the gallery wall behind the couch, like maybe painting a white “K” for Karen (you know I love my Ks) and customize the space beyond just basic home accessories.

Well, there you have it – our first edition of Creating Krista 101 is in the books! I’m still looking to work on some of the tough spaces you have in your home, so feel free to reach out to me in the comments, on Facebook (Creating Krista), or @creatingkrista with your questions and ideas!

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