Before & After: Grace and Julia’s Pink Living Room Makeover


One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is have a
totally pink room. Like top to bottom, all pink,
all day. And it wasn’t until this year that I decided it was time
to give it a try. Pink is a tricky color. Like yellows and purples,
it really changes depending on the time of day, sunlight, and
undertones of the paint. But with Julia’s encouragement, I
decided it was time to lighten up our deep green living room and go
for a complete and total makeover. Thankfully,
with some help from the team at Lulu & Georgia (and a
TON of DIY help from Julia, more on that below), we were able to
turn our room from a dark space in need of a little energy and life
into a sunny, colorful room that makes both Julia and I smile every
time we walk in. So, let’s start the tour! xo, Grace

“After” photos by Kelly Merchant 

The difference between our room then and now knocks my socks
off. The power of a totally different paint color to transform a
room should never be underestimated. We went through so many pink
paint options and ended up combining our two favorite colors
(Literally! In a giant plastic bucket!) to create this warm,
saturated pink. See our testing below:

The end result was us combining Benjamin Moore’s “Teacup
Rose” and “Sunlit Coral” to create a color that, in the
daylight, is the most heavenly and warming shade of pink. At night
it veers a little into Miami Beach territory, so we changed our
lightbulbs to cooler styles to help tone that down a bit. I’m so
happy with the look, and even happier we decided to go monochrome
with it — we painted the doors, trim, and heating units, too, so
they would all blend in. It’s a look (not in pink, necessarily)
that we see in a lot of older homes and have always wanted to try
in here.

What really brought this room to life were two major pieces: an
incredible L-shaped sofa and this gorgeous striped rug. Both pieces
are from Lulu &
and they are much more modern than I’ve ever gone for
at home — and I love it. I’ve always gone for traditional
rolled-arm sofas, but this clean, modern style (called the
Chareslton LAF, similar models
) feels so much lighter. And yes, I know dogs + a light
colored sofa = stains and mess, but we got used to that a long time
ago. I basically invest in Nature’s Miracle spray in bulk and
have learned to embrace a perfectly imperfect (and often dirty)
sofa as a part of living with animals we love to pieces.

The rug that brings this space together is the Nurae Rug in Rust
from Lulu & Georgia
. I’ve been gravitating toward a
pink/ochre/rust color palette for a while, so getting to bring
these colors together in this space was so exciting. Hope is fully
in love with the new beige
, too. She is the queen of a comfy nap spot. (Julia
made our simple coffee table from a leftover piece of IKEA butcher
block we had from our old Brooklyn apartment years ago).

colorful pillows from Lulu & Georgia
were such a nice bit
of color for the sofa, but I also want to talk about the DIY
aspects of this project, too. Like the artwork above! Julia made
the wooden sculpture on the wall, while I decided to frame some of
my favorite collected bits of Japanese indigo fabric (all in
affordable frames from IKEA). In addition to the sketches of Hope
and Winky that friends made, you can also see one of the prints we
made ourselves! More on those below…

When we talked about decorating the walls in this room, we knew
we wanted to keep things personal. I didn’t want to buy anything
“just to fill a space,” so we decided to go DIY and got a block printing kit
from Michaels and made our own simple artwork for the walls
Ours are the black and brick-colored prints. I got a little
frustrated at first, but Julia persevered and we found our groove
and ended up with a handful of beautiful, large pieces we could
frame and feel proud of. Among the mix are a huge hand-tied knot we
found at an artist market a few years ago, watercolors of us and
the pets by Alessandra
, and a stack of photo albums (one for each pet and one
dedicated to our late friend, Georgine) that we cherish.

Speaking of DIY, one of the biggest undertakings in this room
was a huge behind-the-sofa table that Julia and I built together
(seen above). It’s made from plywood and a whole lot of elbow
grease. It took us about two days to get all the cuts right
(there’s not a single straight or un-bowed wall in this room),
but I’m so proud of the clean, streamlined piece we made and how
useful it is for drinks and snacks we want to keep away from the
pets while we’re eating and watching TV. (Although Hope has now taken to
sleeping on one side of the table
because she misses being
right up against the window. Dogs.)

Speaking of artwork, we moved our dog portrait by our friend
Sasha Israel to
our entryway and used this large space to celebrate an incredible
print by Lily and Hopie from Blockshop Textiles. It was
so much fun getting to know Lily and Hopie during their photoshoot
In the Company of Women
and it means so much to have artwork
that is connected to people we know and love. The print is meant to
be hung vertically, but we tipped it sideways while working on the
anchors and fell in love with this horizontal orientation and went
for it.

I also decided the old hardware store handles on our built-in
credenza needed an upgrade, so I bought some inexpensive
raw leather online
and made new handles using brass screws and
hole puncher
. Voila! Easy DIY makeover.

This little corner of our living room has always been a bit dark
and hodge-podgey, so we decided to bring a little extra light to it
with this pennant Cydney Mirror from
Lulu & Georgia
. It’s nice to see some of our DIY artwork
reflected back at us. (I still want to strip both sides of this
door down to the original wood, but that’s a project for another

makes me laugh every time I look at it. Mainly because I
asked for feedback online about what to do with it (because I was
feeling frustrated and confused about how to make it more
functional) and despite so many great ideas, we still haven’t
committed to anything because nothing has felt 100% right yet. And
while I love a fully “finished” makeover, I don’t like adding
things just to fill a space. So for now, this corner has a cozy
and plenty of room for Winky (our dog) to hide all of her
tennis balls. One day I think it would be nice to add a textured
wall hanging, or maybe even a mobile, but for right now I’m going
to let this space breathe and just be empty for a bit.

Thanks for joining us on our living room makeover tour! And
thank you to Lulu &
for our new living room decor! xo, Grace


From Lulu &
: Charleston LAF Sectional, Nurae Rug in Rug, Beige
Sheepskin throw, throw pillows, sheepskin chair and mirror.

Sconces: Brooklyn Bulb Co.

Walnut Lamp: Amish made turned walnut lamp from Canvas Home
(circa 2010)

Artwork: Our living room features a mix of DIY artwork we made
with a
Speedball print kit
, as well as pieces by Blockshop
, Veronica
, Carson
, Alessandra
, and a poster from a 1968 Andy Warhol show in Stockholm.
Most of our frames are from IKEA.

DIY Projects by Julia: Julia made our coffee table from hairpin
legs and leftover butcher block counter from our old Brooklyn
apartment. She made the behind-the-sofa table using plywood, she
also made the wooden sculpture hanging on the wall from scrap
pieces in her woodshop.

Paint: An equal mixture of Benjamin Moore’s “Teacup Rose”
and “Sunlit Coral” in eggshell finish. Thanks to our community
on Instagram for all the voting and suggestions!

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