West Cobb Magazine

Redesign on Dine – February 2010

Redesign on a Dime by Jan Britt

Starting this month,  I am going to show you step by step what you can do to transform a room without spending a fortune yet still buy quality furniture and accessories.

Our first roon is a living room that has not been updated in years. My client wanted to give her living room a facelift. She was aware that the room had to be updated and redone. After talking to her I found out she did not want to spend a lot of money to redesign a room that she does not use that often. That information makes a difference when you are purchasing furniture. I had many other questions to make sure I was creating the room she wanted. First I had to identify the room’s assets and problems.

The three pictures below show what the room looked like before I started:



The paneled walls are so dark that they close in the room. The ceiling is so dark that it gives the illusion that the walls are short and the ceiling is hovering over you. The curtains are outdated and warn. The curtains and collectable are covering up the windows and not allowing the sunlight to enter this already dark room. The furniture is old and worn out. The pictures are scattered and do not have a purpose or a unifying decorating style. The placement of the furniture is not positioned in the best way to make the room more inviting. The positioning of the couch gives the illusion that it is a visual barrier to the room.

A Redesign Solution

This is a very rare situation where I remove everything in the room and start over with a few furniture exceptions. The homeowner and I talked about what look she wanted in the living room. My job as a decorator was to ask the right question to insure she was getting the right look and feel for her home and her living room. I wanted to make sure we were choosing the right decorating style and color palate that would make her and her family feel comfortable sitting in and enjoying the room. She already had a picture of a couch that she loved. We built the room around the colors of the couch. I made a step by step plan of what we were going to do to transform the living room. We decided how much furniture, window treatments, lamps, accessories and pictures we would need to complete the room. The couch and chair that were chosen are good quality. After the couch arrived I choose a paint color from one of the colors in the stripe of the couch. I knew I had to have a light color of paint because the room was so dark even during the day time. The painter had to use Kilz on the paneled wall before the proper paint color could be applied.

 As the painter was painting my client and I went shopping for fabric to have window treatments made that would coordinate with the couch which was the basis for our color palette. The fabric that the couch was made from was not available to purchase. We found the perfect fabric and the perfect window treatment style for her new redesigned living room. I needed art work to pull out not only our color palette but also our decorating style that had been chosen for the room. Finding the right pictures for the right price was important. We needed larger pictures to go over the couch. The picture we choose to go over the fireplace was perfect to size and scale for the size of the fireplace. My client found the end tables and they fit perfect in the room. The lamps and accessories were purchased on sale and look great. I wanted to pull the window treatment fabric into the room again so I added pillows to the chairs to accent the window treatments. The room was completed and ready to show off. It was no longer dark and depressing. The pictures that were purchased at discount prices added color and life into the room. The new custom made window treatments added that finishing touch to complete this new redesign room.


The cost to create this redesigned living room is: Approximately $4,257.00

  • Sofa & 2 Chairs $2,000.00
  • 3 End Tables $180.00 (Garden Ridge)
  • 5 Pieces Artwork $161.00 (T J MAX/ROSS/OLD TIME POTTERY)
  • 2 Lamps $60.00 (OLD TIME POTTERY)
  • Accessories – $80.00
  • 3 Plants
  • 2 Plates
  • 2 Plate Holders
  • Candles
  • Candle Holders
  • Custom Made Window Treatments and Consultation (Jan Britt Interiors) –  Fabric – $225 – Sewing $790.00
  • Painting Room – Paint & Labor $600

Come back next month for another Redesign on a Dine Solution to creating a new high end look room without breaking the bank.

 Jan Britt HeadshotAbout the Author:  Jan Britt, is owner of Jan Britt Interiors in Marietta. She  is an interior decorator and a professional home stager. She teaches at Kennesaw State University and has appeared on HGRV. She may be reached at decorate@decoratewithjan.com  or (770) 919-2393 or go to her website at www.janbritt.net.

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