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Our Open Concept Living Room Update

Posted on January 3, 2023 by KylieMawdsley
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A Remodel with Edgecomb Gray & Urbane Bronze

Well, we’ve lived in our home for FIVE YEARS, and so far, so good! Our previous homes all had four-year expiry dates (excluding our ‘summer house‘ adventure), but I think we’re in this one for the long haul…ish. And while I’m already pining for fresh new paint colors and some changes here and there (don’t tell Tim), I still love our living room updatel.

But, before you see the transformation, let’s look at things from the entryway’s point of view…

Entryway with Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray lightened wood cabinet, Ken Kirkby art. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color

To the left is the kitchen, to the right, is the living room and hallway to the primary bedroom

The layout in our home is awesome, as our living room, dining room, kitchen, and entryway are ALL open to each other, separated in the middle by an open staircase (shown above). Compared to our last home, which Maggie fondly calls a box on a box on a box (which is also what our front doorstep looks like thanks to my Amazon addiction), this feels SO much more like home! And it better, because Tim will divorce me if I even mention selling (just joking, he loves my neurotic tendencies and thinks they’re cute…right Tim????).

Now, let’s look at what we saw when we first looked at our home…

BEFORE REMODEL, Open layout living room

MAN was it was DARK. And while the north-facing exposure and 25′ rock wall behind our home could account for a bit of this darkness, they weren’t the problem – it was the paint…and the floor…and the lighting…and…well, everything. And while I LOVE dark colors and am not afraid to paint a room black if that’s what it calls for – this was all kinds of wrong.

NOW, let’s see its fresh new face…

Living room, tall ceiling, vaulted, Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray best greige and White Dove. Sherwin Urbane Bronze painted stair railing. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, DIY Decorating, color ideas (1)

RIGHT?! Man, I love our home. In the above photo, you can also see a wink of the powder room, which I’ll show you a quick shot of here (it’s 30″ x 72″ so there’s not much to show)…

Small bathroom, powder room, Benjamin Moore Stormy Sky, best dark colour, oak vanity, penny tile, hexagon floor tile, black fixtures, Kylie M Edesign

By the way, do you know how hard it is to photograph a small space with no natural light and a MIRROR? I had to bring in the big guns, otherwise known as Dirk, from HA Photography.

Now, back to the living room.

Our living room makes me ALL kinds of happy. It’s cozy, comfy, and my favorite place to hang out with my girls. HOWEVER, before I got to it, it was a bit janky…

BEFORE REMODEL, Open layout living room (7)

The staircase (shown above) is one of the (many) things that sold us on this home, as it’s a bit different from the norm (kind of like someone we know…insert awkward whistling here). It’s a huge element in our open-concept home. You must walk around the stairs to the kitchen, living room, dining room, entryway, powder room, ANNNNND primary bedroom – a 360-degree staircase.

We didn’t have room in the budget to replace the railings, and sanding them down was NOT an option for basic sanity reasons. And besides, there’s NOTHING like a coat of paint (or three) to freshen things up! And thankfully, there was room in the budget to cover up that ridiculous hole holding the TV components. Seriously, who does this?


Open layout, livingroom, tall ceiling, vaulted, Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray best greige and White Dove. Sherwin Urbane Bronze painted stair railing and open staircase. DIY Decorating and Design ideas

Railing colour: Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

And yes, I DID consider just putting a frame over that opening in the drywall and calling it a day (I hate drywall dust). However, in the end, I decided that doing it the ‘right way’, was the best way. I’m also a HUGE fan of gallery walls and loved that I could stagger the layout of this one with the stairs. Notice the round mirror down the hallway is the SAME mirror you can see in that VERY first photo of our entryway.

In the next photo, someone thought doing a cut-out for the TV was a good idea. And generally, it IS a good idea, but not if your TV isn’t the exact right size for that particular hole…

BEFORE REMODEL, Open layout living room

After – SO much better! We left a smaller space behind the TV for the necessary components, bits n’ pieces, and the family jewels…

Livingroom vaulted ceiling, stone and shiplap fireplace with TV, off-white greige walls decor in grays, greens and blues. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour. Diy decorating and design blog and ideas

Wynd Media Photography

I would’ve loved the full height of the fireplace in stone (18 feet), but it wasn’t happening as this stuff is LEGIT expensive to install (in my next life, I’m coming back as a stone installer). We did a simpler stone surround (K2 stone) with a wood mantel and the remaining 13 feet in painted gray shiplap.

BEFORE REMODEL. living room with fireplace

It wasn’t just about getting the old 12×24 tiles off the wall; it was about prepping the wall and getting the new shiplap up and painted – but it was WELL worth it (says me, who stayed on solid ground the whole time).

Here’s another view where I’ve changed the shiplap’s color and the toss cushions…

Review of Sherwin Williams Roycroft Pewter, dark gray paint colour. Fireplace with shiplap stone, round chandelier in living room. Kylie M Interiors Edesign (3)

Now, let’s look at this gloomy little corner of the world – wah wah wah…

BEFORE remodel, open layout living room, dark

And after…

Living room, stone fireplace, shiplap, TV. Tall ceilings, Benjamin Edgecomb Gray best greige. Sherwin Ellie Gray Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online expert

LOOK AT THAT FRIGGIN’ CARVING! I had a local fellow named Noel Brown, make it for Tim’s 40th birthday. Noel is CRAZY talented and created a piece full of heart – perfect for my favorite man.

Let’s take a closer look at this happy little corner! The tobacco brown leather chair is from Urban Barn (no longer available). It was regular $1900. Yup, you read that right, $1900 buckaroos. The floor model was on clearance for $799 – BOOM, sold.

Living room, stone fireplace, shiplap, TV. Tall ceilings, Benjamin Edgecomb Gray best greige. Sherwin Ellie Gray Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online expert. DIY Decorating and design ideas

In this next photo, close-up, it’s the worst paint job ever. Delea of Details Painting did two and a half days of filling, sanding, and fixing, just to get our home ready for painting – she’s practically part of the family now.

BEFORE DOING REMODEL, open layout dark living room

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I will admit that the chocolate brown sectional looked DAMN comfy, but the brown-on-brown scheme wasn’t quite doing it for me.

And now (below), I just LOVE it! It’s bright and warm and contrasts beautifully with the warm and cool colors.

Living room, tall ceiling, vaulted, Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray best greige and White Dove. Sherwin Urbane Bronze painted stair railing. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, DIY Decorating, color ideas

Admittedly, I’m already pining for a bit more depth/colour on the walls (again, don’t tell Tim), but I might be able to hold off for six days months or so. Seems crazy, I know, but sometimes I just CRAVE change – Tim’s lucky I’ve kept him for this long.

And seriously, that sectional is THE most comfortable piece of furniture…evah. Coming in at a whopping 9′ x 11′, she’s one beast of a piece and is perfect for accommodating tons of family and friends. It’s called ‘The Bronx Custom Sectional,’ from Urban Barn – my fave local store. Almost everything I own is from there or Muse & Merchant (we don’t have a ton of selection in Nanaimo, other than online ordering, which, as previously mentioned, I am a fan of).

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BEFORE REMODEL, Open layout living room

Comparing the last photo with this next one, see how pushing the sectional away from the wall makes the room look much bigger. Also, notice how the area rug helps to anchor the furniture so the pieces aren’t just floating on the floor.

Gray sectional in Living room furniture layout, DIY Decorating and design ideas, stone fireplace, shiplap, TV. Tall ceilings, Benjamin Edgecomb Gray best greige. Sherwin Ellie Gray Kylie M Interiors

And yes, that is a wicked awesome coffee table. It was a random find at Home Sense, and while it was the wrong finish when I bought it, Tim and our buddy sanded it down and restained it to work better for the room.

As for the area rug, again…Urban Barn, and they don’t carry it anymore.

Here’s another shot from the top of the stairs…

Open staircase layout, carpet stairs, painted stair railing, Sherwin Urbane Bronze, Benjamin Edgecomb Gray. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online. DIY Decorating and design ideas blogger

It’s been one year since the railing was painted, and while I’ve had to do some small touch-ups, it’s held up SUPER well, thanks to Delea’s careful work. It took her several days to complete the whole staircase, and I’m sure she’s sending us her Chiropractor bill.

If you haven’t looked at the stairs from the entryway, you can check it out HERE.

Now, back to the bat cave…

BEFORE REMODEL, Open layout living room (2)

The old oak flooring was beaten to heck by the old owner’s two dogs. And because it was such poor quality, we couldn’t even refinish it, so it was out with the old and in with the new! Plus, I wanted a wider plank look anyway…

Living room, stone fireplace, shiplap, TV. Tall ceilings, Benjamin Edgecomb Gray best greige. Sherwin Ellie Gray Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online expert. DIY Decorating and design ideas

I know, I know, white oak floors with a natural finish are the most popular, but I wanted to make sure our flooring would last more than the trends, and besides, I like slightly more medium-toned woods, regardless of trends. I chose a lightly stained, brushed, matte wood flooring from Goodfellow, and it’s seriously…my fave thing ever.



If you’re curious about the paint color on the walls, it’s Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray…kind of. Because paint excites me SO friggin’ much, I didn’t just go for regular ole Edgecomb Gray; I lightened it by 75%. Hey, I’d way rather play around with MY home than with YOURS – I am my own guinea pig. And I LOVE how it turned out. It’s like an off-white greige with these super flexible undertones that change as the natural lighting changes. I partnered it with one of my FAVE white paint colors – Benjamin Moore White Dove.

As for the shiplap on the fireplace, I wanted a gray with a whisper of blue-green undertone, so I chose Sherwin Williams Earl Gray to tie in with the stone.

Living room vaulted ceiling, stone and shiplap fireplace with TV, off-white greige walls decor in grays, greens and blues. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour. DIY Decorating and Design ideas blogger

Jen Wynia Photography

When I post my living room photos on Instagram, I often get questions about the oversized artwork. Sadly, it was a random Home Sense find. I’d love to find a NEW piece to replace it, but it’s hard to find something that humongous with all of the colors I love!

And for the FINAL reveal, seeing as you’ve seen my kitchen and dining room remodel, as well as the entryway, let’s look at the WHOLE kit n’ caboodle (and no, you’re not going crazy, these next two photos are from different angles)…

BEFORE REMODEL, Open layout living room

DIY Decorating and Design ideas.Open layout, Cambria Brittanica Warm countertop, greige walls, painted cabinets, modern farmhouse. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Need help with your home?

Check out my Online Color Consulting packages! 


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Our Kitchen and Dining Room Remodel

From Dark and Dismal to Gorgeous: Our Entryway Remodel

Online paint colour consultant Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams, Vancouver Island, USA, UK. Interior, exterior, edesign colors. Kylie M Interiors, blogger marketing DIY Decorating and design ideas

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature



  1. I love what you’ve done with this home. Everything blends so well but it’s not the average “matchy matchy” look I see everywhere. I researched your posts on paint colors and ended up having our built in cabinets painted SW White Duck. They look so good regardless of time of day. Sometimes a little on the gray side and sometimes on the beige side but it always is great. Thanks for posting such great explanations of the colors. Love your site and also your wit!

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      Well, thank you, that is a huge compliment!
      And I’m so glad you found some of my blog posts helpful for your own home – I bet they look AMAZING!! (I always love photos, btw 😉

  2. WOWZA, what a transformation!! Gorgeous home!! Beautiful colors and textures. So many elements of this design I want to mimic in my home!

    1. Enjoy all your posts and videos. Just starting to remodel my home and follow you closely!
      Love the organic relaxed feel of your home. Love that everything is not all white!
      Your floors look so warm and ground everything so lovely. Can you share the colour from Goodfellow please?

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      Thanks Jennifer! I do love it! And yes, I had to add textures to balance out the grayer tones, which are a BIT out of my comfort zone, but this home had a different vibe for me, so I went for it! I’m glad you got some inspiration :).

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      It is kind of cool, eh? I have to say, I am a SUCKER for the independent rooms like you have, but this Open Layout had a bit of a different personality that I really fell for!

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  3. Where did you move all the TV components that came out of the hole in the wall? Did you move the receiver or just get rid of it?

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      We got a remote that does a ton of tricks, so there is only a small box back there with a speaker. We left an approx 18×18 square behind that TV and built a basic 2×4 platform for the speaker to sit on 🙂

  4. I absolutely adore what you have done! So inspiring, comfortable, cozy, yet light and airy. I can imagine it feels so welcoming to walk in your front door. LOVE! Can’t stop staring at the before/after photos. You truly have a gift!

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      Thank you SO much – it’s darned hard to make those high ceilings look cozy, but with every little shift it feels that bit better. It is a fabulous feeling walking in the front door – thank you ;).

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  5. Kylie, your new home looks wonderful with your transforming paint color and flooring choices!!! Happy one year anniversary! I love how the new cushions give a punchy warmth to the cozy, light-filled living room. Your house has such an interesting floor plan. Looking forward to seeing more. Enjoy!

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  6. Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your expertise. I love the airiness, yet cozy feel of your home. Would you care to share the Colour that you chose for the stairs and hand rail please? I love it!

  7. Hey Kylie,
    Your house looks great! Can I ask the size of the area rug under couch? The layout is great! I just discovered White Dove and I love it! I just painted my kitchen Balanced Beige, do you think I could pull of white dove on my kitchen cabinets? Would love to now more about what White Dove jives with and doesn’t! Keep up the good work.

  8. Hello!

    I love the look of your home! It’s exactly what I’m going for in my new build but with tan undertones. I was wondering, do you think I would get the same effect by pairing my alabaster trim and and doors with white duck walls?

    Thanks in advance.

  9. Not quite two years ago I decided to repaint our condo. I wanted something more clean and bright. Problem: my condo faced north and it was hard to find something that would actually brighten my space. Long story short I found your website and studied your work, watched your videos and took your advice. I painted Edgecomb Gray everywhere. My place is just 850 sq. ft. so I painted ceiling walls with flat paint and all my book cases, moldings and doors in satin… all Edgecomb Gray. Thank you for all the information on this paint. It looks so good. Light and bright, but still warm. Ceiling looks taller, rooms look larger. I love it. Thank you for your inspiration and for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us.

  10. This looks so good! Thanks for posting so many details. I have just about the same exact layout in my LR with the tv mounted below the stairs. I don’t have a fireplace. We are going to follow this layout and flip our room. Can you tell me the dimensions of your living room?

  11. Great color choice! Your house looks so warm and inviting.

    Did you paint your ceilings sane color as your wall?

    Thanks, Michelle

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      Nope! I went for Benjamin Moore White Dove, which makes it more flexible if I want to change the walls down the road…which I’ve already done!

        1. Also, it would be interesting for you to do a post about paint colors with rooms that have skylight windows as well. The room is extra bright and the lighting is weird. (asking for a friend… ummm, yeah, a friend) lol

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          WEllllll, because I’d lightened it so much, I learned that I tend to like colours that are COMMITTED a bit more, either to being white or to being something with a bit more BODY – the off-white/non-committal part of it just sat a bit funny for me!

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  12. Hey Kylie!
    You painted the shiplap Earl Grey, but what’s the darker colour before you repainted them?

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  13. So ummm, above it says the color is Edgecomb Gray- 50% lightened. But on the page “EDGECOMB GRAY (BABY FAWN): THE BEST TAUPE OR GREIGE PAINT COLOUR!” It says that the Edgecomb Gray-in your house is lightened by 75%. I just left the store and the 50% is really taupey… Just wondering if the above photos are Edgecomb 75% lightened or 50% lightened..
    Hope this makes sense,

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      Hi Shawna! yes, thank you for this, I need to update the page! The walls are 75% lighter! And 50% lighter REALLY DOES look like a lighter Edgecomb. I’ve had clients do it and while it does look taupey, that’s because Edgecomb IS a taupe/greige, so it comes by it naturally!

  14. Love this fireplace. I also have an 18′ fireplace that would be overwhelming if it was all in stone. I’ve been looking at K2 Stone. Is that Ocean Mist?

    Thanks !

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          I wish I could say yes, but it was several years ago! I know we did 75% of the one that’s ‘mostly gray tones’ and then 25% of the one that had some grays and RUSTS mixed in, for a bit of added warmth in the odd spot.

  15. Thank you very much for sharing your lovely hone. I love the colours and actually everything you have done. Are you able to share the exact colour name of your Goodfellow white oak flooring please? Is it Sand, by any chance? It looks beautiful and timeless, which is what I am looking for.

  16. Hi Kylie, would you tell us what stain you used for floor? Did you replace or used different stain. Appreciate your reply!!


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  17. I LOVE everything you’ve done with this space! I would love to know the color of the walls in your powder room and the tile if you remember – I looked to see if there was a separate post, but didn’t see one. Thanks for your consideration!

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