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Open Layout Makeover – Budget Friendly and Beautiful!

Posted on June 27, 2016 by KylieMawdsley


Open Layout Remodel with Gray Owl, Wood Walls and More…

My client Jen had a beautiful home with great bones and furnishings we could work with – all it was missing was the right paint colour and a personality that better suited her young family.

Rustic industrial chandelier with oversized clock. Dining room decor ideas. Kylie M Interiors e-decor and online colour and decorating consultant

What They Wanted

They loved the open layout main floor of their home, but felt it didn’t really speak to their personal tastes.  With a love of blue and gray, they wanted a space that was bright, rustic, inviting and simple.  In a decorating world where mantels are crammed and bookshelves are overflowing, it was fun to work with a client who just wanted a ‘simple, classic and clutter-free look’.

Old vs. New

While the entire space got a fresh coat of paint, artwork and lighting, we kept all of the main furniture pieces, drapes, flooring and fireplace stone.  This made it easy to keep things within the budget and really, what she had was good, it was the details that needed a lil’ love!

The Paint Colour

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl was the PERFECT paint colour for this home.  Fresh and clean looking, yet not washed out, Gray Owl worked well as it transitioned from living room and dining room to kitchen and hallway.  The space had a mix of exposures including North and East, which made Gray Owl lean slightly more toward the blue side of things, rather than the gray/green end of its undertones.

Read more:  All About Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

The Living Room

Before.  They had the foundation in place – couch, drapes, flooring and fireplace – it just needed to be pulled together.

living room and couch before

After.  Pulling this room together was made even EASIER with the beautiful photography Jen owned.  The photographer, Adrienne Madill of Vital Imagery ALSO happens to be her sis-in-law, giving even more meaning to this simple, family-friendly space.

Living room design with vaulted ceiling, faux wood beam, chandelier, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl paint colours. Design by Kylie M Interiors E-decor

The Fireplace

Before.  I had a massive stare down with the fireplace.  I couldn’t figure out what felt wrong, but I knew something wasn’t quite right and the solution had to be budget friendly and complementary to the stonework – which wasn’t going anywhere.  I decided that we needed to balance off the look of the top and the bottom.  With the small scale ledgestone and high contrast wood trim, the balance was off and the result was a cluttered mish-mash of products – all high-lighting the TV (which is not a good thing btw).

fireplace before remodel

And after.  All it took was some wood and stain to pull this bad boy together.  Oooookay, maybe it wasn’t that easy – there were a few install issues, but in the end it turned out beautifully on a budget!

h wood shiplap that is stained. Tv mounted above. Kylie M Interiors E-design and Online Consulting

The Chandelier and Wood Beam

Before.  This chandelier looked like it needed a full dining room suite from 2002 underneath it – not a living room.

living room, chandelier before

After.  The drywall beam was clad in wood and a new chandelier was installed, creating a stunning focal point.  It’s a visual link not just to the fireplace wall, but to the alcove in the entryway as well.

living room with vaulted ceiling, fake, faux wood beam, chandelier, Gray Owl paint colour. Kylie M Interiors Color Consulting and E-decor

The Dining Area

While they loved their feature wall, it was just a bit too overwhelming and they were tired of it.  So instead of using a statement colour, we used a statement piece on a background of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl.

dining room before

Dining room with nook, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, rustic industrial chandelier and large clock with cherry toned dining table and blue accents by Kylie M Interiors E-decor and design

Stone fireplace, wood stain shiplap, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl in dining room with large rustic clock by Kylie M Interiors E-decor

The Hallway and Stairwell

The 3 sided fireplace faced the living room, dining room and the hallway, so it was important the we pulled the look all the way around.  And with a nod toward their love of everything blue, we painted the pantry door Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray, a soft blueish gray.

Before.  The back of the fireplace was underwhelming and uninspiring.

fireplace before

After.  The flow is more seamless from space to space, using the fireplace as the Focal Point for all sides.

Pantry door painted Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray with Gray Owl walls. 3 sided fireplace with ledgestone and stained wood shiplap wall. Kylie M Interiors E-design and Online Color Consulting

Before.  Nice wall – said no one ever.

dark hallway before being painted and with an art gallery

After.  Fresh and fun!  The hallway is no longer just the transition area to the bedrooms.  It now plays an important decorative role in their home!

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl one of the best gray paint colours for a dark hallway or staircase by Kylie M Interiors. With photo gallery wall of kids and dark wood and metal stair railing. Kylie M Interiors e-design

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl in hallway and stairwell with dark stained wood railing and artwork on wall. Kylie M Interiors E-design and online color consulting

The Entryway

Before.  The entryway felt dark and disconnected from the rest of the home, even though it was in full sight-line from the rest of the home.

Entryway before

After.  By installing the same wood feature as the fireplace, we established a visual connection between the spaces and added some interest and texture.  Jen sourced out an awesome mirror that finished it off perfectly!

Alcove or niche in entryway wall clad in stained shiplap wood. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and laminate flooring. Kylie M Interiors e-decor and e-design color consultant

How to warm up a room painted gray with warm accents and home decor. Shown with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl by Kylie M Interiors

And of course ALL of this had to be run by her furry soul-mate Charlie – handsome lil’ devil…

Charlie the chihuaha


So there it is!  Jen had great style and ideas, all she needed as a bit of moral support and brainstorming to create the home of her dreams!

Does your room need a facelift?

Check out my affordable E-decor and Online Colour Consulting Packages!

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign


    1. Hi Mary Anne, good to hear from you! Thank you, I think Jen is really happy with how it turned out and so am I – because it’s all about me, right? (wink wink)

      Chat soon 🙂


  1. Just beautiful! The fireplace transformation is truly remarkable–you turned something that was awkward and not very attractive into something really beautiful and “pin-worthy”! I love how you added just the right touches of wood throughout the home to tie it all together! Great job!

  2. I love the makeover….like really love! This might sound silly but is the wood on the fire place and in the entryway actual wood planks or the peel stick faux looking planks?

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