Reveal: How Adding Green to my Living Room Changed the Tone

Adding a pop of colour updated my living room and gave me a passion for design. Keep reading to see how just adding a vibrant hue, changed the tone of the room.


Adding a pop of colour updated my living room and gave me a passion for design. Keep reading to see how just adding a vibrant hue, changed the tone of the room.

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If I were asked to pinpoint the exact time in my life when decorating became a passion and not just a chore, it would have to be the time when I revamped my whole living room! Seriously I just woke up one morning and thought.. ‘my living room is so boring and dull, it needs colour!’ (much to my husband’s despair I might add)! Fortunately for me, the timings of these thoughts couldn’t have come at a better time! It was Spring season in the UK so all the vibrant, fresh colours that I would need for this makeover, were out and ready to buy in my local home department stores.

Here is a BEFORE picture of my living room. Slightly embarrassed to share it, but I want you to get an idea of what I mean by it needing an ‘injection of colour’. It was all too dark and dreary, not the best decor for an already dark and dreary UK.


BEFORE image of my dark living room space


I painted the living room walls a ‘Steel Grey’ and decided to go with white, cream, and lime/olive green for my colour scheme throughout the room. I did a huge shop in IKEA the day after my decision to revamp and it all started from there. I began to find a place for everything – the IKEA LACK shelves definitely helped here!


The Ikea lack shelves in use. Decorated with books and a lime green memo board.



Close up image of an origami bird sculpture in newsprint on the Ikea Lack shelves.


I admit to having a dilemma when it came to finding a suitable place for the TV. I had originally placed it on the wall above the fireplace but after months of having to squint and crane my neck to watch my shows, I’d decided I didn’t quite like the idea of the TV there after all. I ended up buying an IKEA LACK bench and placing the TV on there just in front of the fireplace. It was a faux fireplace anyway so putting the TV there wasn’t going to hide anything too pretty, just a blank wall.


Ikea lack bench as a TV stand in front of a fireplace


I hung an old window frame just above the fireplace border. I had sourced it off Gumtree and had decorated it with family memorabilia (Wedding, Birthdays, and Anniversary cards).


Close up image of a window frame hung on the wall as a multi frame for images and typography


Here is a closer look.


Close up of the mantel in our living room reveal - decorated with candles and a hanging window frame above



Living room with a splash of green - Our mantel topped with pops of green in the candles


I ordered some mini canvas frames from eBay and decorated them with scraps of wallpaper. I think they looked pretty neat above my kitchen door, don’t you?


Above the door hangs 8 mini canvases covered in scraps of wallpaper in green and black and white


I created a picture gallery wall just above my sofa. I used all the frames I had collected over the years and made them all personal by adding different things to them. I recycled a pallet as the centerpiece and painted it white. People often asked what the symbols meant – they meant ‘love and ‘joy’ in Japanese!


I created a picture wall over our sofa


Here is a closer look.


Close up of the picture wall above our sofa with a splash of green in the frames


To the right of the fireplace, I decided to add a small dining area. I used the IKEA EXPEDIT cubes to make a seating bench that slotted into the alcove of the corner. I placed a large piece of MDF wood, foam, and fabric atop and stapled it all to the underside of the wood. You can view more of my IKEA hacks here.


Ikea shelving made into benches and covered in green fabric



Ikea expedit cube seating how to


I sourced a drop leaf off eBay and decoupaged it with a modern wallpaper. This little corner made up our little dining area. The dining room had been converted into a playroom for my son so this was as good as it was going to get for us haha.


Close up image of our drop leaf dining table that I covered in wallpaper


I added a large blackboard to the area – for weekly family and meal plans.


Our small dining area - Ikea bench, drop leaf table and chair, and a menu board above


I bought a shaggy rug off eBay (Yes I’m sure you have noticed by now – eBay is my favorite online place to shop haha) which brought the whole room together. It incorporated the whole colour scheme of the room, with its grey, black, green, and white stripes.


Green, black, gray and white striped rug I found on eBay


And not forgetting my gorgeous IKEA sofa that I painted with Valspar paint. See my previous post ‘how to paint a fabric sofa’‘ for the full tutorial.


Grey and white painted sofa


I hope you have enjoyed this post and I’m hoping some of you can relate to my sudden need to re-decorate! Have you ever revamped a room in your home? What do you think of the colours I have used?

Dining room to Playroom

Dr Seuss Playroom Makeover

Kitchen FUNKY and retro

Kitchen tour

Suitcase shelves in a Nautical Hallway 


Want to know what projects the Grillo Designs Home decorating Facebook group members have been sharing lately? Click here to find out.



  1. I love that green storage bench. I would love one, they’re so handy as you can shove stuff in there and forget about it but they also look lovely. The splash of green works really well in that room.

  2. You are so creative ! I am so happy to discover the blog ! I want to paint my bedroom in green ( favorite color ) so thanks for the ideas ! I loved also the fridge in yellow ! And the washing machine in blue ! I love the fifties and I would like a bedroom inspired by the fifties . Any ideas for the colors ? Or some fifties elements ? Bonne continuation ! Laurena xx

  3. My living room resembles yours before your make over. Cozy yet boring. I love the colors you chose and the little eating area. I keep trying to *splash* it up but just can’t find a color I’m content with. I think I’ll have to follow you and start shopping ebay. Looks fantastic Medina!!!

    1. Thank you Sue. Yes shop eBay – some really fantastic deals on there! And you don’t always have to buy everything new. You can add your own personal touch to it . Just try to find one bold colour you love and then add in other more subtle colours and run with it. If you need any further inspiration or ideas feel free to send me a message 🙂

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