Kev and I took a little road trip to Atlanta this past weekend, and boy did it feel good to get out and do something different for a couple of days!

We stayed in Buckhead on Thursday and Friday night, but we drove out to Suwanee, GA on Friday afternoon to visit our friends, Alex and Emily Morrison. We had fun helping them re-design their living room for HGTV last Fall, and it’s always a trip to look back at the before photos after standing there in the re-done room… (insert flashback sound effect here)

We didn’t get a chance to take many “after” photos when we were done working on it last year, so we were pumped when Alex and Emily said we could come back and snap some more on Friday…

Their makeover was such an interesting, whirlwind-kind-of-a-project to be a part of. We only had a few weeks to pull everything together before we got to Suwanee last Fall, and because some things had to be ordered online and custom made (long story) to stay on budget (sofa, rug, mantel beam, coffee table) we didn’t get to see them until, like, 2 days before the big reveal. Scary! I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of knowing exactly what size/shape/color something is going to be before I commit to it (especially when it’s going in someone elses house!), so that part of the makeover was really challenging for me…and the knot in my stomach. Apparently this belly wasn’t built for that kind of bravery- ha!

We did do a lot of on-the-fly decorating while we were filming though, too, and I actually ended up enjoying that part of the process quite a bit. For instance, at one point, a runner brought back two pairs of white curtains (which was awesome) but unfortunately, they were just a few inches too short. I asked a fellow (sewing machine-totin’) blogger if she could lengthen them by using some leftover zig-zag fabric we had, and she did a great job making it happen, lickety split…

And speaking of that zig-zag fabric, another fabulous blog friend used some more of it to create slipcovers for an ottoman and a couple of flea market-found armchairs on the other side of the room…

I don’t know what we would’ve done without the help of so many talented folks that week!

The fireplace was my favorite part of the room to re-design, and I’m really glad we had a chance to take another picture of it this time around…

We got the recycled glass tile at Lowes before they discontinued it, and while it was on clearance for just $2/square foot. We picked up the rustic beam at Southern Accents in Cullman, Alabama, and our production company’s carpenter built the fireplace surround based on a drawing I did in Photoshop. Kev and I couldn’t get over what a great job he did covering the old one up! Here’s a close up of the 70-year-old beam we used…

I knew Emily would love it, based on some of the rustic elements I was seeing on her Pinterest boards, but I wasn’t sure what Alex would think about it. I was so relieved when he told us it was one of his favorite things in the room this weekend! Whew!

To the right of the fireplace, we used a really big potted palm (which is now deceased- ha!) and a folding screen made out of three salvaged windows we also found at Southern Accents

I am absolutely cuckoo for that thing, and mark my words, I will be going back to hunt down three more old windows so that I can make one for me and Kev!

And speaking of salvaged stuff…we also used some reclaimed wood from Southern Accents on one of the side tables…

(Note to Emily: I tooootally forgot to tell you that you’ll probably want to throw some wax on that sucker at some point so that it holds up better over time.) It was previously topped in a really outdated looking surface, and the base was previously a 70’s style brown color. Our friend, Rhoda, sprayed it oil-rubbed bronze for us, and our carpenter-helper replaced the old top with the reclaimed wood. Not bad for a $20 side table, eh? Emily told me one of her favorite things was the little antique brass & glass piece we placed on the top of it for the reveal…

We picked that one up at Queen of Hearts in Buford, GA- but I’ve seen them at TJ Maxx a lot lately, too.

One big thing we learned while we were filming is that designing for TV is a lot different than designing for real life. (The Nervous Nelly in me repeatedly told Alex & Emily they could feel free to change or remove anything they didn’t like after the camera crew was gone- ha!) One (fun) “rule” our production company gave us was that they wanted us to use lots and lots of color throughout the space so that the room would “read better” on camera. Darker wall color, vibrantly patterned fabrics, etc. We also brought in a cute aqua table lamp, and a bunch of fellow bloggers helped us paint the french doors and the sofa table a color called “Heirloom Red” by Valspar…

I also like using a least a little green in every room, and I absolutely adore the bottom suitcase in the photo above, and the bowl in the photo below. I got them both at Prattville Pickers, and I had a really hard time giving those guys up, too!

(Side note: we had our carpenter-helper screw those two suitcases together so that the top one wouldn’t accidentally slide off!)

Just in case anyone is curious- here’s a list of links and store info for everything we incorporated into the room:

Wall color- Oyster Bay, by Sherwin Williams
Trim color- Parchment White, by Glidden (Home Depot)
Red paint color- Heirloom Red, by Valspar (Lowes)
Rug- Anji Mountain Rug Company
Fireplace Tile- Elida Ceramica Recycled Mosaic Moonlight Glass Wall Tile (Lowes)
Coffee table- Custom made by Southern Accents
Mantel beam- Southern Accents
Vintage suitcases- Prattville Pickers
Metal coffee table- Prattville Pickers
Table lamps- TJ Maxx
Picture frames- Ikea
Floor lamp- TJ Maxx
Ceiling light- Lowes
Sofa- Custom made by
Bookcases- Ikea
Bookcase doors- Ikea
Flooring- Southern Accents
Curtain rods- Walmart
White curtains- Walmart
Window blinds- Home Depot (Maker- DesignView ; Style- Providence)
Armchair slipcovers- Made by Sassy Stitches
Sequined pillows- TJ Maxx
Floral pillow cover- Ikea
Striped euro sham- Ikea
Small bird pillow- Flea market
Beige floral, aqua geometric, aqua/mustard floral, and yellow floral pillows (on armchairs)- Made from fabric remnants from Claudia’s Cloth Barn in Prattville, Alabama

We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this makeover with so many big-hearted/incredibly talented peeps, and we’re looking forward to working on another one with our own little cameras again very soon!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. Beth says

    Beautiful! It looks cozy and nothing feels better than a place to put your feet up and relax. You and Kevin certainly scored a winner with this one!

  2. says

    Wow! I love what you did with the place. I would love a new fireplace – one of the “must haves” when we bought our house was a fireplace, but we’ve got one of those ugly pre-formed all in one units (not even sure what it’s made of). I would love a re-do of my fireplace and living room.

    Do you guys make house calls to Texas?

  3. says

    The whole room is just gorgeous! The fireplace is my favorite part of the room, love the combination of glass tile & rustic wood. Wish I could have been in on the makeover, but I was working at the time. If you’re ever doing another project in the Atlanta area, would love to help. And I make an awesome batch of brownies! :)

  4. says

    I love it and I LOVE the colors! I particularly like the suitcases stacked as an end table. Any time you feel like a drive to Idaho for a redo…Just let me know. ;)

  5. says

    Looks great. I was wondering where the slipcovers on the chairs came from? I like the use if color, so often we see neutrals over neutrals these days, it’s nice to see some color pop!

    • says

      Oops…I see where you got the slipcovers, it’s right in the beginning of the post! HA! I was interested because I am trying to learn more about how they are made or where to get custom ones. I will have to check out Sassy Stitches!

  6. says

    I am loving everything about this space. Especially the tiles around the fireplace. Are they the same ones you used in your guest bath?

    Wish you and Kev could come to the beach and help us with our space!

  7. Rachel Carey says

    WooHoo! I have, in my posession, two vintage blue suitcases…would be great to stack as you have, but I don’t need them. A friend gave them to me to pop onto eBay for $20 + shipping. any interest here before I list them?

  8. Rachel Carey says

    Hey Layla, just a quick ? I have an art deco bedroom set (moved into a 1930’s house in Dec). The old owner had bamboo shades…can I fit these into an art deco/vintage themed room? They’re brown. Amazing Bedroom Suite, hardwood floors, so that is all brown.

    Ready to take them down if they don’t work. I like the look in this makeover!

  9. says

    What a fabulous room! I love it! Interesting tip about the difference between decorating for TV vs ‘Life” – I need to use that in my blog photography. I adore the fireplace makeover – we have an old brick one too. Did you guys take the brick down or just go over the top of it? So glad you got to go back and share some pictures with us – I will be pinning..

  10. denise says

    Kev and Layla! Thank you so much for posting this! I love your style and have told everyone what a wonderful, blessed opportunity it was to work with you…….I’m the sewing machine toting reader!! It was such a fun day. You two AND your crew are just awesome!! Keep it up!

  11. says

    Layla! This is AH-mazing!! I love what you guys did to this room! Those red doors! The fireplace! All of it!! I’m off with my hubby today to try and find a piece of wood for our mantle just like that – thought it was pretty funny that it should turn up on your blog… now if only I had a Southern Accents up here in the Northwest! ;) Fingers crossed.

  12. Patty says

    WOW….what a makeover! You did an absolutely amazing job Layla. Plus, you give credit to others, but bottom line…it was your makeover. I still can’t believe those blind mice over at HGTV didn’t give you the show. Tells me something about the future of HGTV. :(

  13. says

    Reclaimed wood, woven blinds, gallery wall, stacked suitcases, mis-matched pillows, and even mason jars! This room is like CANDY for my eyes!! LOVE IT ALL!!! (too bad the palm passed away, I would have loved that too :)


  14. Paula J says

    LOVE this! The glass tiles around the fireplace + the rustic beam = great texture!!

    I’m sharing this on my FB page & pinterest!

  15. Barbara Allen says

    This room is gorgeous! I was wondering about the wood trim throughout the room. Did you replace it all with white or just paint it? I have all dark wood trim and doors in my house and would love to change it all to white. Just not sure which route to go.
    I love your blog!!

    • Layla says

      Hi Barbara!
      We primed and painted all the (existing-and-in-great-shape) trim and wainscoting with “Parchment White” paint. :-)

    • says

      Hi Barbara–this is my living room and I thought I’d give you my two cents on painting the dark-stained trim. When Layla and Kevin were here, the crew used a paint sprayer and got the job done very quickly with a couple coats of primer and paint. If you have the $, definitely go that route. The rest of my house had (some still has) dark-stained trim as well and it took me 2 coats of primer and one coat of paint. It’s time consuming but OH SO WORTH IT. :)

      • Barbara Allen says

        Thanks for the additional information Emily!. It will certainly help in deciding what to do. Hopefully I can get started with the master bedroom soon. Your living room pictures have certainly helped me in deciding the look I was leaning towards was definitely the way I want to go. If I ever get it done I will send you some pics.

  16. says

    I fell in love with the picture “gallery” on the wall. Would you please share how you picked the sizes of the frames and how to space them correctly? =)

    • Layla says

      Hey Susan! I actually just played around with a bunch of different frames on the Morrison’s front yard to figure out the configuration, and a fellow blogger helped me “eyeball” them on the wall when we hung them up! :-D

      • says

        Thanks Layla! Sounds like something I would do to figure it out. Haha! The method to my madness is to take broken down cardboard box cut in different sizes and use painters tape to hang it on the wall to see if the sizes would work together
        No wonder my walls are still blank after 8 years! =)

  17. says

    I love everything about this room it’s beautiful, but the fireplace surround and mantle are my favorite!
    Can you please explain how the mantle is attached to the wall??


  18. Sandra says

    Y’all did such an amazing job on this room. I can’t wait to see another room re-do of yours!

  19. Katie says

    Hey Layla, I was just wondering about how the Alex and Emily like the placement of there tv. We have a similar fireplace and have always thought we couldn’t put the tv above the mantle because it would be too high. Do you know if it works for them?

    • Layla says

      Hey Katie!
      We were actually wondering about that the whole time too, but I’m happy to report that Alex and Emily said they love it up there! :-D (Whew!)

  20. says

    LOVE the entire look! Remindes me of the color scheme and feel of our living room. Rustic mixed with a touch of cottage. Just perfect:)

  21. says

    The entire room is gorgeous! You guys are so stinkin talented:) Pinning this for the fireplace-totally what we are thinking for ours!

  22. says

    OMG! I LOVE THE RED DOORS!!! I assume you used the Heirloom Red on both the sofa table AND THE DOOR. I really really want a four season porch out my living room! I’d totally paint red doors. What a fun pop of color!

  23. says

    I’m so in love with this room. I can only imagine how nerve wracking it was to not know everything detail until you are two days away from having to put it all together. Loved your problem solving because it really did make the curtains super special.. You’ve got mad skillz.. :)

  24. Jackie M says

    Great job as always!!! I LOVE that you picked Oyster Bay! I just painted my guest room in that color. Great minds think alike I guess! :)

  25. says

    What a remarkable job you and your fellow blogger friends did….how fortunate are Alex and Emily to have not only a beautiful room, but also the experience of people coming together to work miracles and make them truly happy….great, great job!

  26. Lisa says

    Oh Layla and Kevin, I think is my favorite living room makeover yet! It reminds me of something that would work really well in my home. Mind if I “Pin” all of it for reference? ;)

  27. Deneen says

    Wow!! It looks fantastic! I am so glad I finally got to see it all done! You guys did a fantastic job! Oh and I painted the little “record table”! I was so pumped to actually see it done because I found one shortly after at a yard sale and bought it to redo. It is still in the shed!! Oh well maybe your picture will inspire me now!!! I had a blast with you guys! Wish we can do it again! You all really did a beautiful job!

  28. Shelby says

    The entire room is gorgeous! My favorite is the book shelves/ built-ins at the end of the room. I love them and want something very similar. I even have to door to go in the middle! :) I assume those are the Ikea bookshelves listed. Would you consider doing a post about them? What exactly they are and how you were able to get the “built in” look? Thank you so much…. I hope to accomplish this soon!

  29. says

    What a beautiful room. Just stunning. I love the red and white together and those curtains with the zigzag add are perfect. So many cool features in this room but the fireplace with the tile and reclaimed lumber mantel are my favorite. Oh and the pictures are perfect of course :)

  30. Karen E says

    I would like to know how y’all did the bookcases because in the before pics it shows heat/ac vents in the wall. So did you reroute the air ducts so you could cover them up?

  31. says

    I looked at the photos a few times and still can’t decide on my favorite feature! The fireplace, stacked suitcases, punches of red, the added trim on the curtains and the bookcases — WOW!!!
    Amazing job, my friend.

  32. says

    Layla, this is beautiful! I love the picture of the red french door, quirky yet classic and fun! Congrats on a beautiful redo!!

  33. says

    I absolutely LOVE everything about this room! EVERYTHING! You’re the “it” couple when it comes to decorating/photography. Congrats!

  34. aimee says

    Layla you’re amazing. I love this room. I’m hoping you do a post on the shelves too (Shelby suggested this in an earlier comment). I’d like something that that in my house. What a perfect solution for a long room.

  35. Jennifer M. says

    Very pretty. Did you paint the ceiling or leave it how it was? If you painted it did you just use a basic ceiling white or the same color as your trim? Also, what sheen (is that what it’s called?) did you use… satin, semi, eggshell… for both the walls and trim?


  36. jennifer says

    Love this room! How did you hang the mantle beam? Love the pop of rustic wood that mantle brings in. Awesome job!

  37. says

    I love how you put the L-shaped sectional on the wall between the doors. We have multiple traffic flow patterns in our living room, and our sofa sits between two doorways. I’ve always wanted more conversational seating in there, but I just can’t figure out where to put anything so that you can still see the TV and not be bumping into furniture when you’re walking through the room. Anyway… long story short, I like the furniture arrangement. :) And the photos are spectacular! Did they decide they liked all the punches of color, or did they decide to tone it down after filming? Would you have chosen a lighter wall color if it weren’t for TV? Just curious… I think it looks great! :)

  38. says

    Ok, Layla and Kev, please come to Rock Hill, SC next time you are here and help me out some with my bland house please! I promise I will feed you with great Turkish food as many times as you would like :)
    I am in the market for a new couch. Funky Sofas seems like they have very good prices. Do they like their couch? Does fabric etc still look good?

  39. says

    Just gorgeous! Pooh on HGTV for not going with your show — I would have been an avid watcher! I don’t like where they are going with their programming…I would much rather watch gorgeous makeovers like the ones that you & Kevin create.

  40. heathyr says

    wow, I am just STUNNED by this room. I can’t really even describe how in love with it I am- let’s just say this may be my most favorite living room makeover I’ve EVER seen. I love that it’s modest- everything that’s been done just looks so “fresh.” I’d love to learn how much this all cost.

    I want to re-do our living room so badly and this is motivation to jump on it. Every photo just got better and better as I scrolled, I’m in love.

  41. Ashli says

    I would love to have that much color in my den! I absolutely love the re-do, and the suitcases are my favorite, too! I have been looking for some like that for a LONG time but can’t seem to find any that are vintage but not dry rotted in places.
    You are awesome!

  42. Gaela says

    Hey! Next time you’re in Atlanta and need a place to stay, we are 30 minutes south of the heart of the city. Also, if you make it to IKEA, don’t forget the brand new, awesomest ever Goodwill. I got a cross-stitched homemade quilt for $5.95!

  43. says

    WOW……. is all I can say, I love the mix you have used no wonder they were so thrilled with it all. Very clever both of you. Congratulations and the lucky room owners too.

  44. says

    ahh! It’s such an awesome combo of everything. Especially love the color of the vintage suitcases in the room.
    another fabu job by you guys.
    d e n i s e

  45. says

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. I could be mistaken, but the smaller of the two suitcases looks like it could be vintage Amelia Earhart luggage.

  46. says

    I love the suitcase table. My suitcases are a bit of a trapezoid – so I would need shim them with something to make them flat. Sniff.

    Love the wall color and how bright the room ended up. The fireplace make over is amazing. That rustic mantel can come live in my home any day!
    ~ Dana
    Cooking at Cafe D

  47. Kelley says

    Holy Smokes!! I love it so much I really want to move it, do they need a roomate…well plus 1 husband, 1 teenage girl, 2 cats, 2 dogs, 1 horse and a goldfish?

  48. Joanne says

    This room is so beautiful and inviting. I love your designs!!!! I apologize if I missed it, but where are the simple white curtains from?

  49. says

    Hey, Lay!! What fun to remember this fun project with ya’ll! I had so much fun being there and helping out and now I’ve got my own whole-house renovation to do. You can always come and do a room for me, if you’re looking for another one. ;)

    Yay, now I can blog about the room too. It turned out SO fantastic, I know you are proud of it.

  50. Becky says

    I love this room! The red doors, the suitcase end table, the built in shelves… love it, love it, love it!

  51. Jennifer Clarke says

    Oh WOW! So beautiful! I’m so glad you were able to go back and take pics! I have a red brick fireplace too… but I don’t have the guts to do something like that to it… yet! :O)

  52. says

    Uh. what would it take to get you up into the mitten state to redo my living room?!? that fireplace KILLS me, i want to redo ours so bad (it’s about as ugly as theirs’ was!).
    anyway, LOVE your stuff, you inspire me!

  53. says

    I love this room! Feels so fresh! We just bought a house and are looking at all of your room ideas for inspiration! Thank you so always posting such lovely ideas!

  54. says

    I just love the casual nature of this room and the fun pops of color. I also love that it looks put together over time. I pinned it on my “Inspiration” board. I just posted My Home Tour you should stop by and check it out when you have a chance – I would love to get your feedback. Cheers, MGal

  55. Mary Twomley says

    I love love love this room; especially obsessed with wall color and fireplace tile renovation. Could I ask how you put the tile on? What did you have to put between the brick and the tile?
    Thank you!

  56. says

    I saw your makeover on Southern Hospitality’s blog. What a fabulous job you have done, its amazing! Love your blog, stunned by your huge FB likes, over 26,000 gosh thats incredible. My little blog only started a year ago, I will have to glean some insight from yours as to how to increase my own readership.

    Love your blog.

    Lee ☺

  57. Madhu says

    What a beautiful room. Looks great. I especially loved the hardwood floor. We are considering changing our floors and would love to know where you purchased the flooring and what finish. BTW: I’m not too knowledgable about flooring in general. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  58. lisa oak says

    Love the room and all your designs. I was just wondering about the Jute Rug and your overall thoughts on Jute. I am in love with the look but recently purchased a chenille/jute chevron rug from west elm and was disappointed in it’s shedding. I have a 2 year old and plan to have another and am wondering how to have this look but also provide a comfortable rug for my babies that doesn’t end up all over our clothes. I thought the chenille mix was the answer but it definitely wasn’t with the particular rug I chose.

  59. says

    This room is so gorgeous Layla!! It fits my style exactly and I can’t wait decorate using this as my inspiration!
    Do you know what colour the metal is on the coffee table?
    My grandfather used to be a blacksmith. He has a few pieces that I would like to repurpose but I need to paint first.

    • says

      One more question…I notice that the curtains rods are just above the window frames and not closer to the crown molding. I am trying to figure out my curtains right now and not sure where is best to hang them. Right now they are closer to the crown and ceiling. But I need to replace it and add another the the other window.
      What is best??

  60. amy says

    i love this! just wondering. whebn i click on the link for the blinds, they look VERY dark. is that the exact one in the pic or a different color….?

  61. says

    What is the name of the sofa. It is a perfect size for the our small family room.
    I know where you got it just needed the name of the style.
    Love that room, totally amazing!
    PS really like your blog page. <3

    • Layla says

      Boy, I’m not sure, Susan! It’s been so long, and I don’t know that I ever knew the name or style of it. I’m sorry! :-(

  62. says

    Hi Layla,
    My sister, Betsy B, lives in your lovely neighborhood. We love visiting her and M. I love, love, love your style! So “inviting”!
    I hope this doesn’t sound stupid, but I can’t remember what TV show you do or have done on HGTV :-( Do you do the Dream House shows?
    Anne Cink

  63. jdjustesen says

    I know this was posted forever ago, but I was wondering if the Oyster Bay wall color was cut in half or if it is full color? Everything just turned out so beautifully, LOVE your designs!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>