Farah’s Living Room Makeover: We’re Done!

Here’s where we explain the second half of Farah’s home makeover (click here to read our first post on the subject). Basically HomeGoods offered us some free merch for our house and we asked if we could pay it forward and transform someone else’s casa instead. Unbelievably they agreed. And we decided that we couldn’t stop at just sprucing up Farah’s mom cave after we laid eyes on her family room. So we have another before and after for all you transformation loving fiends. Here’s her cute family again, just to refresh your memory.

And here’s their family room before:

Here’s the same room after we got our mitts on it:

It was pretty much a blank slate, and we were lucky enough to be able to work with a lot of Farah’s existing things (the sectional, the recliner, the side tables, the wood frames, the coffee table, etc). So it just came down to adding some room-making accessories and bringing in a ton of kid-friendly function for Laila without cramping the grown up’s style.

One of the biggest changes came from suggesting some warm artichoke green for the walls (Benjamin Moore’s Nantucket Breeze color matched to satin Behr paint). The room glows like candlelight with a soft green tint. And thanks to everything from the new table lamps to the soft texture-adding rug, the space really feels warmer and more inviting.

Farah even primed and painted the existing recliner (see how here) and we brought in a cute green bench (which used to sit unused in a corner of Laila’s room) to create an entire area that could be devoted solely to her toys and games. Because it’s always nice to work in some kid-space within a public living area. You know so they don’t feel banished (like those old formal living rooms where children weren’t allowed and the sofas were covered in plastic).

We thought hanging three white hooks with inexpensive Ikea baskets on the wall above the green bench would add even more stash space for Laila and her gear (while keeping things looking organized and simple). Plus we’re not gonna lie, it was a whole lot cheaper than buying a big cabinet or console table to fill up that wall.

And over in the kitchen, we moved the white bench (which used to live where we put the green bench) over into the kitchen near the table. See, whenever Farah entertains she pulls the table out into the room and adds the bench. This way she doesn’t have a blank wall in the family room anymore when she has guests over. And Laila now has a little zone to enjoy every day. Win-win.

And see that print above the bench? We’ll explain more about that in a bit.

But first, here’s another POV of the seating area:

And another one:

And another one:

And see that basket under the side table atop that stack of mags? It’s just one of two leftover woven Ikea baskets that we got for the wall above the green bench. We thought they would add even more function if we used each of them to corral Laila’s board books. Now adult reads and kid reads can peacefully coexist without looking like a doctor’s waiting room.

And not only did we make a little Laila zone with the green bench and those hanging baskets, we also tossed a few of her toys on a plastic (read: unbreakable) tray on the coffee table. Since kid stuff tends to inexplicably migrate around a room, I figured that embracing that fact by using some pint sized play things for the reveal would depict how the room would really look after Laila works her decorating magic. Let’s just say I was channeling my inner two year old. Plus how cute are those tiny plastic bananas? Maybe plastic fruit will be my new obsession akin only to ceramic animals.

Here’s that photo that we said we’d get back to. It’s actually a portrait that we shot of Laila in the backyard holding mini grapes.

When Farah said she was looking for a berry-related print for a frame that she already had to hang above her bench in the kitchen, she asked if we could shoot photos of her own daughter’s hands holding berries for a one-of-a-kind customized result. One DIY photoshoot with Johnny P the photog and twenty bucks later (we had it printed at a local shop downtown) we had our one of a kind print for the wall. Now Farah can enjoy something a bit more custom than anything that she’d ever find online or in a big box store.

Oh, forgive me for being captain obvious here, but here’s a cheap (and edible) centerpiece idea for you. Nothing beats a bowl full of fresh green apples:

This is just a gratuitous basket detail shot because I can’t get over those cute blue shoes that match our color scheme. I’m shallow like that.

And now for another budget breakdown:

  • Paint: $100 (five whole gallons- we suggested Farah paint the ceiling & adjoined kitchen to avoid breaking up the room)
  • Rug: $299 (8 x 10 from HomeGoods)
  • Kitchen blinds: $60 (faux wood blinds from Home Depot to unify the kitchen windows)
  • Side table lamps: $29 each (from HomeGoods)
  • Blue bird: $9.99 (from HomeGoods)
  • Blue finial on mantel: $12.50 (from HomeGoods)
  • Pillows: $55 (brown ones from HomeGoods, rest from World Market)
  • Custom Laila hand photo in kitchen: $20 (printed locally at Uptown Color)
  • Decorative remote box: $15 (from HomeGoods)
  • Kitchen table runner: $12 (from HomeGoods)
  • Kitchen bench pillow: $20 (from HomeGoods)
  • Baskets under green bench: $22 (from Target)
  • Hanging toy baskets above bench & under side tables: $30 total (from Ikea)
  • TOTAL: $713.49 ($296 spent by Farah thanks to HomeGoods!)

We went into this family room (and semi-kitchen) makeover with the Trading Spaces spirit- we definitely gave Farah her fair share of homework, from painting the walls to hanging the blinds and even priming and painting her recliner. So we assumed the total would come to around a thousand dollars a la Vern Yip or Genevieve Gorder from their glory days on TS. Needless to say, we were pretty darn psyched when we crunched the numbers and realized we were about $300 short of that, especially since we squeezed in some big ticket items (like a giant 8 x 10 rug, tons of paint, and matching side table lamps) as well as a slew of accessories (from pillows and a table runner to baskets and hooks, a ceramic bird, and even a large custom photograph of little Laila herself). We had so much fun with Farah and family! Thanks for letting us barge in and order you around like Doug Wilson. What about you guys at home? Do you have a corner in your family room for kid-paraphernalia? Or small plastic bananas as coffee table decor? Somebody please say yes to that.


  1. Brigid says

    If there was ever a picture to show how great a statement rug looks on top of wall-to-wall carpet – this would be it! I need to frequent HomeGoods more often to try to track down such a reasonably priced, and gorgeous, 8×10 rug!

  2. says

    this is so much more refreshing than what I’ve seen on HGTV lately. Most of the time they get rid of all the furniture and start again in rooms this size. Working with what they had was all they needed!

  3. Farah says

    John & Sherry:

    Thank you for an incredible home makeover! The mom cave is divine. Laila adores her new space in the family room and Luke loves the color scheme! Thank you for all of your hard work & patience!

    I also need to credit my hubby, Luke, for jumping in and doing a good majority of the “homework” we were assigned. Painting those vaulted ceilings was no joke!!

    To answer the above questions: My coffee table was purchased on sale at Pier One three years ago. It’s actually a trunk–super handy for storing blankets and toys.

    Thank you for the compliments on the dress! It’s Ann Taylor Loft and it’s my fave! Thanks again for everything, Petersik clan!

    Much love!!
    Farah (Luke & Laila)

  4. Aya M says

    So, question…I have a window in my master bedroom similar to the one above(just the large middle domey part, not the whole shebang), and I can’t figure out whether to figure out a way to hang curtains(our ceiling is 15′ high), or to use some roman shades. In the afternoon/evening, the sun turns the place into a desert hot room, and I’m not sure of an attractive way to fix this problem.

    Any suggestions or tips?

    • says

      We would definitely recommend some nice roman shades or bamboo blinds (or the same faux wood blinds that Farah has, which cut a ton of sun and heat). Hope it helps!


  5. Ellen says

    Love it! Do you know where are the lamps on the end tables from? (The one behind the blue ceramic bird…) I need them!

  6. says

    What a beautiful transition. I am planning to paint my currently coral/yellow sponge-painted master bedroom into something a little more mellow (and less spongy!). We have beautiful forest green curtains and dark brown furniture with silver fixtures. I’m trying to decide what to do with the walls because we love the dark green but don’t want to close the room off with too much dark color. I was thinking a beige maybe? The ceilings are vaulted which brings in more space but I’m still a little lost… any suggestions?

    • says

      Ooh this artichoke color could be really nice with forest green, brown furniture, and silver fixtures. Any soft sage or celery color is nice because it has green undertones but won’t be too dark and overpowering.


  7. Krystal says

    I love it! It’s amazing how simple little changes make a world of difference (in both make-overs).

    On a random note, I had the craziest dream last night where I was shopping at Wal-Mart for a new bathroom rug after mine disintegrated in the washer/dryer. I couldn’t find anything I liked and ended up walking to the cash register with this hideous orange and hot pink polka dotted shag rug (even stranger…my bathroom is taupe and dark green) when a tiny John and Sherry appeared on my shoulder telling me not to waste money on something I didn’t love and man, was that rug ugly. I’m not sure how the dream ended since I immediately woke up, but I still find it too strange and funny not to share :)

  8. Ryan says

    Wow! This type of makeover post is fantastic. So nice to see the transformation right away as opposed to hoping mood board customers eventually make the changes you suggest. Only complaint: it’s hard to tell how much of the striking improvement comes from the actual changes and how much just looks better due to the obviously more professional ‘after’ photos.

  9. says

    We are currently in the process of transforming our tiny living room into a space that will store kids toys since I am 6 months pregnant with our first. Its fun finding pieces of furniture that can function in an adults living room but also as storage for all of those fun toys! We have dedicated 90% of the storage in the living room to future toys. The problem for us is that the living room is also the front entrance and we have no closet so we are tackling the playroom/living room/front entrance dilemma… currently the living room/play room is winning and the shoes and coats are being pushed to another room. But its almost complete!!

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