Living Room & Dining Room

A gloomy living room transformed with a little paint and good decorating

A gloomy living room transformed with a little paint and good decorating

Image: Natalie Cinelli

Living Room & Dining Room

A gloomy living room transformed with a little paint and good decorating

A wonderful white backdrop and textural touches transport a living room from sombre to smashing – no reno required!

As far as first impressions go, this living room definitely made one – but for the wrong reasons. “A big dark fireplace, red accents and lots of wood made it lack light and life,” says Amanda Nycz, one half of , a team whose credo is that style should be rooted in comfort. “It’s hard to feel calm in red and charcoal,” she adds, referring to the space that also suffered from a mixed bag of disjointed furniture.

The 30-year-old house in Toronto’s west end was in excellent condition, so a straightforward refresh was all that was needed. And the living room was already open to the kitchen, affording a spacious and airy feel. Turning it into a bright, inviting space the family of four who lives here could enjoy would simply require a few strategic style tweaks.

Amanda and Kate Krasic (the other half of the duo) devised a concept centred on a white palette to make the living room cohere with the kitchen. “Going monochromatic makes a space more inviting,” says Amanda. Adds Kate, “We also incorporated wood and leather to lend a masculine feel, so it wouldn’t be too pretty.”

Next, the pair removed every stick of furniture in order to start fresh. Out went two bulky armchairs that blocked the entrance to the living room; the sofa also got its walking papers (one of the homeowners found it uncomfortable). But the stylish striped drapery and the brick fireplace, now coated with copious amounts of white paint, stayed. The designers also relocated a rug from another room – a bonus cost-saving measure for anyone on a budget. The reimagined living room is the polar opposite of its predecessor: chic and cohesive, bright and welcoming. It all goes to elegantly show the power of good decorating.

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BEFORE
 

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AFTER

Comfort is key in a living room, especially when it’s the main family hangout. The original sofa was too small for one of the homeowners. “The back is higher, and it’s deeper overall,” says designer Kate Krasic of the plush new one, which is piled with toss cushions for mega coziness.

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“A pair of armchairs once impeded the flow in the room,” says designer Amanda Nycz. She opted instead for this buttery leather beauty with open arms.

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Paint to the rescue! Instead of opting for a costly fireplace fix, the designers simply painted over the existing gloomy grey brick. They also added muted furnishings to replace the previous disjointed pieces that were there before for an instant airy coastal-inspired refresh.
 

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Living Room & Dining Room

A gloomy living room transformed with a little paint and good decorating

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