How Anyone Can Change Up A Room in One Hour

change is my favorite color

mixed up chiars

Here’s a little glimpse of the current state of our family room/dining room area, brought to you buy harsh, yet interesting late afternoon light. I was ready for a change and a little dash of color mixed in with all this neutral and I knew I had a few touches of blue that I could tuck in around the house.

Here’s what I did in one hour…


15 Minutes: shopped the house for anything blue: pillows, throws, books, dishes, vases, pens, tables and even blue paint –all I had was those little 79 cent craft paint things, no problem.

before chairs

We’ve used these Ikea chairs for years. But they are not comfortable.

cushy dining area

table and chairs

15 minutes: switch out the chairs at the table

I challenged myself to find enough cushy chairs for everyone in our family just by shopping the house (and my office and our barn which is my storage room right now). Here’s what I came up with: one pair of Ikea parsons chairs (these were already at the ends of this table, I just put them together on one side), one pair of black velvet chairs from world market that were in the way in my office, and I pulled the gray velvet chair in from the family room. Now that our boys are older I don’t worry about ruining fabric on the chairs like I used to. Added bonus, I plopped a little blue pillow in one of the chairs.

family room in summer blue

25 Minutes: Updated and freshened up the wall art.


I used my craft paint to paint over an old canvas like I have here in the past. I don’t use anything to mix my paint on, just poured some navy and white paint directly on an old canvas covering what was there, and spread it around until I liked it. Be sure to paint the sides too!

wall art

This is SUCH an easy an noncommittal way to introduce a new color. If you hate it, just paint over it. No one ever has to know.


I made this dot painting a few years ago with the back of a picture that was in this thrifted frame. I just pulled out the paper and painted over it with navy paint and then re painted white dots. Now it sits on the top of the dresser…

top of the dresser


naptime diariesnaptime diaries

DSC_5479antler posters: vol 25

That gray velvet chair keeps getting moved around. Remember, it was a $35 thrift store find that I put off painting for 9 months because perfection got in the way?

Also, we moved the leather sofa into this room around Christmas. The white sofa is currently in the basement but it’s permanent home will be in the barn once that’s all finished. Honestly, I REALLY miss the white, mostly because a white sofa is so photogenic, and I crave light and this dark leather sucks up precious natural light.

All I did in this part of the room was throw in a big blue pillow. That took about 8 seconds.


DSC_5465I use cake toppers as plant picks, shhh, don’t tell Lisa!

5 Minutes: make sure there’s green in the room. I swiped this plant from my office, I haven’t been in there enough to enjoy it. I also cut some branches from a tree and put them in the vase on the fireplace.

My hour is up!

I like to purposely make changes in our home every season. It helps our little rooms feel fresh and selfishly, I think it’s fun and inspiring to shop the house and see what I can do to make a change with what we already have.


Where to start when you’re sure a space is hopeless

Hope for the weary home.

7 Signs that you are decorating out of fear

Three secrets to creating that perfect focal wall

How to change the theme of your decor without breaking the bank ( styles from our two previous homes).

the nesting place book

What quick changes have you made in your home as warmer weather is approaching?

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  1. Well, this was timely. I felt the urge to change up some things this morning and have been grabbing up blue things too. I haven’t got anywhere since I’m working around a baby and a toddler, but hopefully the end of the day will see a refresh! Love the ideas for changing up the art!

  2. I love it!! I so wish I had your knack for switching things up & making any and everything you touch BeYouTiFul! I never would have thought to put black / blue on brown ! I have burgundy leather sofa & love seat…. makes me feel stuck…. wish you made house calls! :)

  3. Looks great!! I love navy and have been looking for more ways to use it in my own home.

  4. Where is that blue thing with the baskets and drawers from? I feel like you have more than one of those, do you have a white one too or did you paint it?

    • it’s actually grey, I only have one but move it all over the place, I got mine from Joss & main but heard they pop up at homegoods for cheap!

      • Veronica Domurat says

        Sorry for commenting here too but don’t you have one in your master bedroom? It almost looks white on the pics you took when you painted your room

  5. Love it. And I really like the antler prints over the sofa. My husband hunts, and so I inherited a few mounts and skulls and pelts when we married. At first I was sort of appalled (well, except for the skulls…those are cool. :)) but now I really like them. It’s nice to see other people’s homes have antlers and things too.

  6. Love how it turned out. Love the mix of chairs at the kitchen table as well.

  7. I love to make little changes around my house. In fact, that is what I’m supposed to be doing today, so reading this has inspired me to get with it! After I visit with my sister for a while. She came home unexpectedly from Texas for the weekend and leaves later today so she has to come first!

    I love the new grouping of chairs around the table!

  8. This post is chock-FULL of helpful stuff! Btw, I’ve almost finished reading your book (love it!), and I gifted my d-i-l a copy for Mothers’ Day.

  9. baileywife says

    Yah!! When you answered my question about your cowhide, I was so hoping for a picture of your dining table rug! So, thanks!!;) I cannot wait to see where your LARGE black/white rug ended up! (Yes, I stalk your rugs) ~ Kim

    • you stalk my rugs!!!

      So the black and white aztecish rug is in the basement right now. Sadly, water came in through the door and kind of faded it but not to worry! I don’t let that get me down! I”m thinking it will utimately go in the barn once we are ready to put stuff in it in the fall.

      • baileywife says

        Oh no!! I think it’s my favorite one too. Don’t you find comfort that I’m all “up in your business”? Haha. You always impress and inspire with your style….can’t wait to meet you someday “At the Barn”.

  10. I love it! Looks so good! :) I want to go paint a canvas now!!

  11. Really like the combinations of different blues. What’s going on behind the wing back chair in the corner? Seems busy back there with a couple of things the same height as tables??? I don’t thing you need a thing back there as your lovely wall hangings anchor the spot behind the chair. Just an idea.

    • some things are purely functional, they may not always look magazine perfect but work really well for our family of 5 mostly living in this one room. I’d love to have a nice bookshelf with storage there (sadly, we actually removed one that was there that I didn’t like and I’ve considered putting it back!). So yes, I agree! It’s not perfect at all back there and it’s kind of sloppy! Welcome to Nesting Place!


  12. Verónica Domurat says

    Wow I love your dinning room!! Those chairs are awesome all of them. I think that you just elevate the look of your whole room, it looks like a fancy cottage :) Great job!!

  13. I need a refresh today this has me motivated! I have a white leather sofa, just an Ikea one that I really like but it’s not in a heavy use area. I’m tempted to try the same one in the living room so I can have a easier care white sofa.

  14. Amazing what you can do in an hour! I feel a refresh and a shop the house coming on:)

  15. Love all the blues in the room! You taught me to shop the house and it’s amazing how much difference you can make to a room just by moving things around. I’ve learned that I can be more creative when my supply is limited. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • “I’ve learned that I can be more creative when my supply is limited.”

      YES!!! yippie for those darn Lovely Limitations!!!

  16. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve been wishing for a change in the living room! Think I’ll try it.

  17. Well everything looks great, love what just a slight change can do for a room! I am one that likes to change things up to see what looks and functions better for our family. Hubby said good thing he is not blind because he would be in big trouble since I like to switch things around all the time… :-)

  18. Thank you for sharing photos of your new home. Particularly loving the shade of blue that matches your blue willow pieces. I hung a BW serving plate in my kitchen to distract from ugly tile — now I am inspired to use pieces in my family room. Thanks!

  19. Anonymous says

    Love your home! Please share where you purchased brown wing back chairs. Thanks.

  20. Christina in Cleveland says

    Well, my lovely Nester… I found you from Sawdust Girl and I am thrilled. Love your shop in the house. The dining area is awesome.
    After blasting through some of your old posts, I see why you liked the white sofa. I like it better (and brighter) there, than the dark sofa. I’m a “bright light” kind of gal so the white fulfills my love affair with light and airy.

  21. Loving the change up. Everything looks great and comfortable. Dig it, I could live there.

  22. I love the little changes, but I especially love the art. You mentioned the leather sectional being too dark for the space and I have a good simple way to brighten it up just a bit. Get a few inexpensive white throws from ikea or target and drape one on each side over the back of the sofa down the front. They will basically look like vertical stripes on the sofa. You can play with the width based on the size of the throws. This will break up the darkness and also be functional if it gets a little chilly. :)

  23. Brilliant use for a Lisa Leonard cake topper! That just tipped me over the edge in determining whether or not to buy one…

  24. Christie says

    I actually love the leather sofa and am glad you are working with it. So many of us have leather for reasons like durability and convenience, so it is nice to see it in your home!

  25. Wow, it looks great! What a difference switching out your dining chairs made and I LOVE your chandelier! I’m in the middle of blogging through Living Room Updates myself :) So, thanks for the great ideas and inspiration!

  26. The cozy dining room chairs add beautiful elegance. What a great idea!

  27. I actually added in blues to my house yesterday as well. I seem to be craving that color right now. I also have a dark brown sofa and love seat that is driving me nuts. I would love to slip cover them in drop cloth, but I’m a bit skeered. I’ve never done a big project like that before. Love your home – and those cowhide rugs – awesome!

  28. That’s it! I’m breaking out the paint and thrifted picture frames today! Your post has given me so many ideas for my living room. Thanks.

  29. Fantastic post and I love your natural-looking living space. It is so true that change is good and doesn’t have to cost much time or money!

  30. Well! i love this home!

  31. Well, now I want some black & white with my blue. Some plants would be nice too.

  32. I agree Change is good! This post makes me want to to do my own canvas art. I’m no artist, but this seems fairly easy, hopefully it IS as easy as it looks!! Thanks :)

  33. “No one ever has to know.”
    If we could all adopt this as truth, our homes would be revolutionized! Because almost every time I tell myself that, I end up loving my weirdo idea, and even if I’m the only one, that’s exactly enough.

  34. You’re like….fearless! I’m shocked at how you just pull stuff out and throw it up and it looks great. I don’t usually like this…”style” or “eclecticism” or whatever, but I LOVE this. And what’s more, I bet my husband and kids would love this non fussy, non pottery barn looking style. It looks cozy. Thank you. You have opened my eyes!

  35. it has been so refreshing catching up on all of your posts i’ve missed.
    i love that you know how to shop your house so well…such a gift.

    wish you lived closer. i’d have you over to help me shop my house.

  36. Isn’t it amazing at what a change of colour scheme can do? I like to keep a set of stuff of one oclour in storage and whenever I do laundry and change pillow cases and rugs out, it’s like having a whole new room!

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