make over my house: the easiest living room update

{Editor’s Note: This living room update came together in partnership with my friends at Lulu & Georgia, but as always, opinions and picks are 100% mine. Thanks for supporting the wonderful businesses that keep the lights on at SMC HQ!}


Grey pillow | Blue pillow | White Throw | White Jar | Photo Frame | Giraffe | Zebra dish

Friends, most of you have seen my casa by now – the whole “make over my house” saga was front and center at SMC for quite a while. And while I adored everything about the finished product, it’s been a couple of years, and things were looking a little worse for wear. Plus, sometimes a girl just needs a change. But I was in no way mentally prepared to undertake a complete overhaul of my space again. And really, it didn’t need it – the room still has a great foundation. It just needed a little nip/tuck to make things feel shiny and new again.

So, when Lulu & Georgia asked if I’d be interested in updating a room and showing it off, you can imagine how long it took me to say yes.


And I’m so glad I did! I had always thought of Lulu & Georgia as a go-to for chic rugs (without having to wade through a zillion lackluster options to find the gems), but I had no idea how much other goodness they have going on. More gorgeous pillows and throws than I’ve ever seen in one place – flawless picks from some of my very favorite names in design (Jill Rosenwald, Jonathan Adler, DwellStudio…I could go on). And don’t even get me started on their tchotchky department – they had me at balloon animal bookends.

Since I was starting with a very neutral room, I wanted to keep things in that vein, but add in a little bit of color. Also, that bright, white space I’d initially insisted on has slowly morphed into a warmer, cozier room with the gradual additions of that beautiful leather sofa and a new rug I picked up last year. So, I wanted to bring back that lightness and freshness, add a subtle a pop of color, and not have to replace a single piece of furniture. Tall order, no?


I may be biased, but I think it worked like a charm. Those beautiful pillows kept with the overall palette of the room, but that soft, warm blue is such a welcome addition. Then, I added a few elements of white to continue brightening things up – that yummy throw, and a beautiful ceramic jar that I’m hoping will always be filled with flowers. (A girl can dream.) Also, I love that the pink in the flowers ties into the pops of pink in the art above the couch.

Next, I changed up the coffee table books (such an easy way to sneak a little more pink into the room), added another brass animal to my growing menagerie, and that beautiful picture frame to add some pattern and personality. And the little zebra dish…well, he’s just for fun.

If I’d been a bit more ambitious (or feeling more flush), I’d have mixed in a new lamp and this incredibly plush rug, and a grillion other things which you can see on my Pinterest wishing wall. I’d also have updated my art, though there again, the trouble would have been narrowing things down. (But obviously, this guy would have been at the top of the list.)

In all, the whole process took about 20 minutes (if you don’t count the hours spent browsing Lulu & Georgia’s site and dreaming up possible pillow combinations) and roughly $500, and left me with a room that feels infinitely closer to the cozy-but-crisp aesthetic I’ve been striving for.

Now, if I can just figure out how to do the same trick with the very sad state that is my master bedroom…

PS: If you have a space in your house that could use a little “nip / tuck”, you can take 20% off sitewide at Lulu & Georgia with code SMC20 (through 10.30).

Huge thanks to my friends at Lulu & Georgia for making all this fun happen!

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6 comments on “make over my house: the easiest living room update

  1. Kendra

    A, I’m pretty sure you do too!

    Becki, I love the idea of using coffee table books to bring in color. Never thought of that! The whole thing looks fantastic, congrats!

  2. Vanessa

    Once that picture frame is back in stock it is coming to live with me. Hopefully they restock before the discount expires!!

    I like using the jar as a vase – it flips the usual vase-flowers proportions so I think you’d be able to get away with smaller (cheaper!) bunches of flowers.

    Also, I know it wasn’t a L&G pick but I have to say again how much I love that mantle clock. It’s a bummer that mantle clocks have become so rare. Sorry, TOTAL tangent, but it just makes me happy to see such a lovely clock!

  3. shoppingsmycardio Post author

    A: You totally do. It is pretty awesome.

    Kendra: Aww, thanks! The coffee table book trick is one I stumbled on by accident, but it works like a charm. (And is a great excuse to rotate titles occasionally!)

    Jillian: You’re so sweet – thank you!

    Vanessa: The frame is pretty fantastic – and does such a nice job of keeping everything from getting too stark in here. (And I’m 100% with you on the mantel clock. That piece was a splurge, but I know I’ll have it forever.)

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