Living Room Goes From a Cabin to Cottage Fresh

When we bought our house, my husband was a bit confused why I liked it so much. It looked much like a cabin with dark paint colors and lots and lots of oak wood - which he knew was not my style. I assured him, all it would take was a whole lot of paint - and we would feel right at home.
I am always amazed at what a difference color can make. By painting these dark blue walls, it seemed to add square footage to the room instantly!
So many people were horrified at the mere mention of painting all that stain grade wood and the tongue and groove ceiling.
But I think I restored their faith, after they saw the difference it made.
Our new bright and cheery living room cottage feels fresh, and so much more livable. I knew the darkness would get to me if I had left it as it was when we bought it.
The decor and furniture in our living room came together with a mix of thrift store finds, DIY, sentimental hand-me-downs, and all sorts of frugal touches. That is how we roll! Come and read all about the little details and be inspired to create a designer look with just a bit of paint and creativity! I also have a whole lot of other cottage fresh spaces to show you!

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Cami Graham

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Jean Darnell
    on Oct 29, 2016

    I love this look. I want to paint cabin walls as you have done but my daughter thinks I should leave the open beam ceiling like it is - she loves the wood. How do you think this would look if I left the wood ceiling and just painted the panel walls? I don't think it would work but asking the expert?

    • D
      on Nov 1, 2019

      Hi Jean. I'm not an expert but have done a lot of renovations and decor through the years. I suggest starting with just the walls and see if that is enough to please you. Technically when painting a room, the ceiling is always first. But in this case, try painting the walls the lightest shade your happy with, making sure it compliments the tone of the wood ceiling. Then if after a bit you are satisfied, you might perk up the wood with Howard's wood conditioner and wax. Could take awhile but would look rich. Don't use Howard's if you think you might paint your ceiling afterall. You didn't mention if your trim and doors are wood or painted, or if the room also has a wood floor. Howard's is great on wood trim too, (not floors) but again don't use it if you might decide to paint your trim to go with your newly painted walls. Good luck! Paint can truly revitalize and brighten a room, and I feel including some wood tones with it, in your case the beamed ceiling, will bring warmth and a natural element to the look. Wood flooring or wood trim and doors can provide this as well. I do suggest too that you consider carefully your lighting as a wood/dark celing can absorb the light and make the room feel dense or dark. The wax will help with that some, but do consider adding lighting. And, of course nothing beats natural light/sunshine! Consider lighter sheers, with blinds underneath for nighttime if needed, rather than heavy drapes if you have them. Hope this helps. Rah rah! I've been painting our new huge house top to bottom for 10 months. I have health issues that make this difficult, but my goodness! The difference it makes! Truly well worth the effort!




Join the conversation

2 of 41 comments
  • Diana Deiley
    on Jul 30, 2017

    I absolutely LOVE this! Amazing in all sense of the word. You have great vision and faith not to mention ability. I am so glad you did this. I'll bet no one questions your design suggestions ever again!  Thanks for sharing your wonderful project. Enjoy your new home.
  • David Ernest
    on Feb 2, 2020

    Looks great! Loved It.

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