Macon, GA, USA


This summer I did a living room refresh for an eighty-six year old friend, a very traditional Southern-bred lady of leisure. She enjoys having friends over and hosting small parties frequently, but the living room in her town home was not only dark and dated, but uncomfortable and uninviting. It desperately needed to be revitalized.


The goal was to completely do away with the bright red color palette - on the walls, on the windows, and the furniture. Everywhere.


At one time these custom window treatments were very current and created a coziness in this living room. However the heavy draperies, valances, white rods, and mini blinds were no longer cozy, but almost cavernous and did not fit with the simplified, cleaner, and lighter look that we wanted - a palette of creamy whites, linen, and gold touches.

Custom-made plantation shutters were installed, which now open up the windows giving the illusion of a larger room. The light can now be controlled, the view is visible, and the shutters may be closed when privacy is desired. We also removed the grills on the bottom half of the double hung windows, which created a more up-to-date look for both the interior and exterior.

The walls were painted a warm white to coordinate with the slightly darker ceiling color, which was not changed. The woodwork and trim were painted in a high gloss white to frame and brighten up the walls and ceiling, while reflecting more light than the previous satin finish painted woodwork that had become dull over the years due to smoke from candles and the fireplace being used quite a bit during the winters.

Rather than purchasing new, we decided to update much of the original upholstered furniture and incorporate them into the new design. This was a bonus in the design process because of the immediate availability of the textiles we selected. I just had to convince my skillful upholsterer to put me on the calendar right away! He did. With some strategic redesign and beautiful fabrics these old pieces became new again, comfortable, still traditional, and not trendy. 

A couple of satin gold, glass, and marble side tables were purchased to sit beside a lonely chair and a loveseat. These were a light and bright alternative to the heavy dark wood tables that we replaced and their styles coordinated with the tables that we kept.


The layers of textured, embroidered, geometric, and floral fabrics that were used to create visual interest and the neutral color palette ensured that the room remains calm and inviting.

Lighting was an important element in this room. There is no chandelier or recessed lighting and my client did not want to install any new electrical. A mix of couture lamps and some purchased from Home Goods was the perfect fit for the room, time frame, and budget.

pair of these marble and brushed brass lamps are placed on each side of the fireplace mantle. (More good stuff about this fireplace below.)

This artisan styled table lamp was just the right fit, price, and look to illuminate this modern sculpture.

A pair of white ceramic pineapple lamps accented with gold leaf add the luxury touch to this otherwise very tailored room. We all know that in the South, the iconic pineapple is the ultimate symbol of Southern hospitality.

The focal point in this room had always been the fireplace, but not in a good way. To change it up, in addition to fresh paint, I added a light taupe floral embossed tile on the surround and a lovely hand made tile on the hearth. The varying shades of white to cream to ivory harmonize beautifully with the more decorative embossed tile.


The design concept for this project began in May and was completed by mid-August. Because we did not purchase any custom furniture and reupholstered existing pieces instead, the waiting game was short, yet we still achieved the look of custom furniture and lux design with the hand selected fabrics and restyling of the chairs and loveseat, specialty lighting, tile, and a sophisticated neutral color palette. 

If you are considering updating your living room or any room, shop your own home and find ways to re-use and renew what you already have. SMR Interiors can help you achieve the room of your dreams. No matter your situation in life, redesigning your interior does not have to be expensive or stressful.

Fabric, paint, lighting, upholstery, and window treatments are fairly simple ways to update a room without the expense of completely custom or the extensive waiting periods for production and delivery that we all are experiencing these days. Mixing it all up a bit with some unexpected elements and playful styling can bring to life a room making it inviting and enduring.
Contact us if you are ready to transform your dreary room to dramatic!