// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

Just when I thought this room could get any cuter?

It did.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love it any more?

I do.

The other day I was sitting in the chair on the right and between sips of coffee, inspiration filled my head.

What if?

Could I?

Should I?


And the best part? We didn’t spend a dime.

Here’s how to refresh a room without spending any money.

Wait until you see what this space looks like now.

// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

Same angle.

Same space.

But completely different.

Can you tell what we did? Can you see the change?

The only change is the bookcases.

We painted them SW Naval and changed them from white to blue.

// gold accessories //

Here’s a close-up of the color on the bookcases.

Isn’t it amazing?

The bookcases kind of anchor the space now and change up the entire feel of the room.

Let’s take a 360-degree tour of the entire room so you can see.

// gold mirror with hanger //

Here’s the view of the room from the front door.

This is the door that leads to the central staircase in the house.

And when you flip around you see this.

(total aside: you can shop this entire room on my “Shop My House” page here.)

// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

// gold side table //

// striped chairs //

If you travel around the room, here are some close-ups of the wall on the front of the house.

There are two windows in the center of the wall framed by the two bookcases.

You can see how I made the curtains here.

// striped chairs //

// striped chairs //

On the back wall of the room is a bay window.

There’s this thrift store table that we refinished.

And two striped blue and white chairs.

// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

And here’s the view from this side of the room looking toward the fireplace.

Just to the right of this picture is the dining room.

There are antique french doors that open up into the room.

// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

Here’s one last view of the room from the front door.

I still can’t believe how much of a difference those bookcases make.

Let’s take one more look at the before and after just because it makes me so happy.

// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

Here’s the before.

// khaki couch // blue and white rug // striped chairs // gold coffee table //

And here’s the AFTER.

Same angle.

Same space.

But a completely different look without SPENDING A DIME.

(total aside: we already had the paint in the workshop or it would have cost us a little bit.)

The moral of this free decorating story?

Coffee and inspiration are a really good thing. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Rachel Ronson Rachel Ronson

    Beautiful!!! You are so very talented getting a room to look so Elegant and perfect. Yet inviting and cozy.

  2. Image for ellen clairmont ellen clairmont

    I think it looks great! I love the greenery on your coffee table, too. I helps to anchor it. Have you thought of adding something pink on your sofas? It would pull down that color from your beautiful painting over your fireplace. Your have a gorgeous home!

  3. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Looks great. I love this room either way. I don't currently have any blue and white in my home, but if I did I would use your living room for inspiration.

  4. Image for Anna eberhardt Anna eberhardt

    While the pretty white bookcases faded into the background, the spectacular blue bookcases anchor the room. Great creative inspiration.. So I am looking around my home and thinking;...."lets go!"

  5. Image for JC JC

    Perfecto! It does anchor the room and give balance. I love SW Naval and really want to paint an accent wall in our vacation cabin! Have you ever thought of placing the other sofa across from the one perpendicular to the fireplace? You could place your chairs, with a table in between, where the sofa was moved. Just a thought. :). Also, could you share where you purchased your round marble top (?) table? The size might work, and the look definitely does, for my master bath by the free standing tub. Thanks! Happy day, friend!

  6. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Beautiful room and so welcoming. I have a thrift store bookcase in our family room and when we bought it I had great plans to paint it. 10yrs later it is still the original med brown wood.(maybe oak)2 You have inspired me to tackle this job. The room is basically neutral with cream walls a taupe sectional and a large cream colored leather chair. The area rug is one you have in blue and beige but mine is the brown version. My color comes from seasonal accents,pillows, vases paintings and flowers. Any suggestions out there for color to paint this bookcase?

  7. Image for Karen Karen

    LOVE what you did for the bookshelves and the room itself….is white table in front of window next? it’s only paint you can always change it back! LOL. I notice you don’t, or it appears so, have an under rug pad,..seeing the ripples made me ask…or it’s not quite flattened out yet…I notice several bloggers I read skip the rug underlayment…just asking….

  8. Image for Mary B Drake Mary B Drake

    It is the small changes that can make a room. I love that color and have often wandered hmmmm, where can I use it? Thank you for sharing. You are a great inspiration!

  9. Image for Niki Niki

    Live the color, FYI-you need to reword what you wrote. You wrote that you changed them from “blue to white,” when , in fact, you changed them from white to blue.

  10. Image for Ruth Kakehashi Ruth Kakehashi

    So fresh! 🌸 KariAnn. Where did you get your 2 sofas? I’ve been shopping and my fancy hasn’t been tickled. But I felt a giggle when I re-looked at yours with a shop-for-sofa eyes 👀

  11. Image for Constance Bula Constance Bula

    Pull the blue across to your mantle and surround and you will balance the bookcases! It will be great! Your room is lovely!

  12. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Painting the bookcases makes a huge difference. The bookcases really pop and ground the room now. I think you made a brilliant decision!!!

  13. Image for Peg Peg

    Lightbulb Moment - noun: a moment of sudden realization, enlightenment or inspiration!! You inspire us all, KariAnne!!! xoxo

  14. Image for Amy Amy

    Beautiful. I love it!!! You may just need to paint the fireplace next. Hmmm. Wouldn’t that be fun. Thank you for all of your tips and inspirations. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  15. Image for Deb Schroeder Deb Schroeder

    It’s amazing what paint can do for a room and furniture, it’s such a stunning room! Where did you purchase your glass top coffee table and end table? I love them!

  16. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    WOWIE!!! That looks soooo good, KariAnne! What kind of coffee do you drink? It's full of inspiration! LOL 😉

  17. Image for Debbie Debbie

    What a difference the paint made. It’s brilliant! Sometimes it’s just one little change that makes a room sing!

  18. Image for Jackie Jackie

    Looks great. My kitchen island is painted SW Naval and I love it. My bookcases in the living room are builtins and a maple color which I hate - too much red undertones. Just purchased Old Masters Stain Gel which can be applied over stain, am so excited to see them done in Walnut color.

  19. Image for Theresa Ball Theresa Ball

    Last Night while viewing an episode if “What I Purchased Wednesday” I noticed that the bookcases behind you appeared to be BLACK. So unlike you, I thought. Glad to read today they are blue.

  20. Image for PJ PJ

    Great change! Naval remains one of my very favorite colors. I painted the front door of my California condo in Naval and received many compliments on it from realtors when it was time to list it.

  21. Image for Julie Julie

    Your house is beautiful! Those little pink plants in the room look like they might be Kelanchoe plants, which are toxic to animals. I don't know if you have a dog or a cat, but I thought I would mention it in case you do.

  22. Image for Julie Julie

    Your house is beautiful! Those little pink plants in the room look like they might be Kelanchoe plants, which are toxic to animals. I don't know if you have a dog or a cat, but I thought I would mention it in case you do. I love your worj though.

  23. Image for Susie Van Horn Susie Van Horn

    Amazing how your bookshelves went from nice in white to rich, gorgeous, elegant, and expensive-looking in navy! Love the look! Super idea!

  24. Image for Jenny Jenny

    Loving that navy bookcase! Well done...and as I'm eyeing the fireplace..do you think a sneaky bit of navy somewhere on that white could be a maybe?? Just a thought. I love your home, and a big Hello from Australia😊

  25. Image for Debra Debra

    Karianne, I have been looking high and low for an adorable cottage style dresser just like the one you've used in your foyer(?) under the round brass mirror. Please please divulge your source! Love your style!

  26. Image for Kathleen V Steenson Kathleen V Steenson

    The best thing about the new color is that it makes the room even more welcoming. Love it the best.

  27. Image for Judy Wilkers Judy Wilkers

    I love this room and your style. I have been looking for a double shelf end table but did not see it in the Shop My Home section. Where did it come from? I live the Naval shelves. I painted my dining room that color!!!

  28. Image for Maris Maris

    Hi Kari Anne - Love the "new" bookcases! It really adds a new dimension to the room. Love the color...I have an old tall chest of drawers that was my nonnie's, It is fake french provincial, want to redo in Navy, so thx!

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