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Pop Project: A Bold Living Room with Chill Midcentury Vibes

A few posts ago, I shared how I transformed this family’s unused space into a super-fun and functional game/hangout room. That room actually opens to the home’s living room (you can get a peek of it in the “after” picture below), so it was important that the style and color scheme flowed naturally between the two spaces. 

In this home, you get to the living room by going down a small flight of stairs off the main entry. It’s not quite a basement, but the split-level design does make the ceilings lower, which tended to make it feel a little tight and dark, even though natural light poured through from the adjacent rooms. The brown on brown color scheme wasn’t doing it any favors either.

Hawaii living room before collage.jpg

So I planned a massive transformation, heavy on color and fun.

The focal point became the fireplace (that spans the width of the wall), which I painted a stunning navy blue. I had a mantle built to provide architectural interest and to better define the space above the fireplace. Further defining that area is bright-orange grasscloth, because, why not? It’s ties in well with the chairs in the game room and is just plain fun.

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

Next, I added pops of color and whimsy to the mantle with pop art and quirky accessories. To finish off that wall, I added a sculptural metal fireplace screen.

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

The high-end white chair gets a pop of color with a fun pillow and art on the wall behind it that my clients originally owned, and I simply reframed.  

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

I completely love the blue velvet sofa I chose to anchor the room, as well as the graphic pillows that match the pattern of the wallpaper in the game room. Vintage- and midcentury-inspired paintings, a graphic rug, and poufs that can function as footrests or extra seating really bring the room together.

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

Photo Credit: Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs

One of my favorite transformations in this room is the lighting. Because the ceiling is already lower than the average living room, the fans only made it feel lower. So we swapped them out for these funky gold starburst light fixtures—in which each piece had to be manually added! A cool arched floor lamp, also in gold, rounds out the midcentury vibe.

The overall result is a room that is bursting with life and fun—just like my clients.

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