Room Designs & Makeovers

A Cozy Neutral Living Room Mood Board

I’m embarking on another room makeover! This time, my friend Lindsey asked if I would help her refresh her living room. As many of us are spending much more time at home these days, our spaces that we decorated years ago are starting to fall flat. Lindsey and her husband bought their home 8 and a half years ago and aside from updating their sofas and rug, haven’t really changed the decor in their living room since they first moved in. Since buying their house, they’ve added two young children and a chocolate lab to their family, so Lindsey is looking to add storage and make the room a more cozy, neutral space.

The plan is to keep the sofas and rug, which are newer purchases, but update the window treatments, add accent lighting, and spruce up the decor for a more cozy, inviting feeling. Currently, the room looks like this:

Per Myquillyn Smith in her book “Cozy Minimalist Home,” its best to choose the items for a room in the following order: primary and secondary seating -> surfaces and storage -> a large rug -> curtains -> then lighting. Once those are done, art can be chosen, then decor can be added. The current couch (similar) and loveseat will remain the primary seating, and the coffee table, tv stand, and rug will continue to anchor the space. We aim to accomplish the following:

  • Add new accent chairs, or possibly reupholster the current ones
  • Add a sofa table behind the loveseat
  • Replace the side table next to the accent chairs
  • Replace the traditional blinds with bamboo roman shades
  • Update curtains
  • Add accent lighting
  • Change out art and mount TV to wall
  • Add new throw pillows, plants, and decor

While the red curtains and accents work well with Christmas decor, its not really the vibe Lindsey is going for year-round. Once the holiday season is over, we will refresh the space to a more neutral palate. To start gathering ideas for Lindsey’s living room refresh, I put together a mood board that we can rotate items through to get an idea of what everything will look like together. When I build mood boards, I like to incorporate the items and features that will not be changing in the room (here, the paint color – SW Desert Fawn and the flooring) along with the new things we will add, to get an accurate picture of the room.

Sources linked below

Here’s a few options of each item that we are considering adding to the room:

Accent Chairs

It would be great to be able to add that rich caramel leather tone using accent chairs but I also love the height these wingback chairs could add to the room.

Sofa Tables

We are leaning toward a black metal sofa table to bring in a touch of that industrial feel. We haven’t found one in the perfect size yet, so DIYing one isn’t out of the question.

Side Tables

I think a round accent table with a light and airy bottom will fit perfectly between any of the accent chairs we choose. It will also be a good juxtaposition compared to the coffee table which is heavy and chunky.

Window Treatments

Right now I am really drawn to the horizontal stripes in these curtains and with the neutral colors, they won’t be overwhelming or too busy. We are aiming to use a light bamboo roman shade to replace the white faux wood blinds.

Accent Lighting

Lindsey’s living room currently only has one ceiling mounted light fixture, so accent lighting is a must! I am really digging the brass floor lamps here but could just as easily see the black one fitting into the room too. As for table lamps, the added texture of this lamp base has it sitting as the top contender.


The art in Lindsey’s living room now is too small for the space, and the colors just aren’t working. Adding larger scale art like these or a gallery wall of large family photos will really elevate the space.


The key to a cozy, neutral living room is to add texture, then more texture, then a little more texture. These pillows do just that. Some others we are considering are this hand woven macrame pillow, and this Marana lumbar pillow.


Decor is just the icing on the cake and one more opportunity to add texture (hello woven basket!) and greenery – I don’t think any room is complete without plants, whether they are real or fake.

We are still working on sourcing all the items we will need for this room makeover, but I promise I will write a blog post with the final reveal and a list of all the sources we choose. Have you been working on sprucing up any areas of your home? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or connect with me on instagram @elleandjaydesign.

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