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  • Writer's pictureKatie Unicorn

One Room Challenge - Colorful Living Room Makeover

Updated: Jan 22

Welcome to my brand new 70s inspired sunset lounge in the sky. Dive into this post to see how I took my living room from beige and boring to bold and colorful while participating in my first ever One Room Challenge.


What is the One Room Challenge?

The One Room Challenge is a biannual online event where DIYers and designers from all around encourage and motivate one another, while completely transforming one room in their homes over a period of 8 weeks. In my case, I decided to tackle our living room. Now let's see where we started with this room.

The Before

It wasn't bad before, but definitely lacked personality and didn't feel like 'us.' The room had a lot of unused wasted space, and an awkward flow. The layout and furnishings weren’t optimized for the small area. It just wasn't comfortable to be in.

Before Before


This room is intentionally designed around the warmth and light we get in our space.  I brought the sunset into our living room through the colors of décor and paint; through the sparkling crystal chandelier and disco balls – so people felt possibility and joy when they are in the space.

Ironically, the room feels larger than before—even though we have a much bigger sofa and so many more useful features. One big reason is because I intentionally organized the space into zones of use, and designed the items in the room to be flexible, with small, movable drink tables, side tables, and movable seating. Intentionally layering the textiles & keeping them playful completed the sunken 70's living room vibe I was going for. 'A colorful conversation pit.'

We live in a small downtown condo. So, the biggest obstacle we have in our home is a lack of space. Our living room is the only common area in our home, so we need it to function for multiple overlapping purposes. This room serves as our living area, houses our dining space as well as my personal workspace, and is where we entertain friends. This is the heart of our home.

This built-in desk nook DIY may be my favorite feature in the room - although it's difficult for me to choose!

I opted to keep the dining nook compact and simple. With sleek lines, hich contrast, and vintage vibes.

Additional details like a DIY swivel plant shelf, disco ball stand, DIY travertine side table, and a yellow swirl wallpaper accent wall add the final whimsical touches to the space.

I love that I accomplished my goal of designing a multi-functional living room that promotes connection through intentional design. In this room, my family & friends can relax, I can showcase the items that hold special meaning to us, I have a work from home desk nook that is both functional and inspirational, and we have a space that we can entertain guests comfortably. Most importantly, it is a colorful eclectic space that feels like us and brings us daily joy.


As seen in Apartment Therapy:


Many items used in the room were thrifted, upcycled, or were items I already owned. I have linked as many products as possible below for you all. Any DIY project tutorials I referenced from fellow DIYers are linked below as well. Happy designing!

DIY Projects:

Built-in Desk Nook & Shelves *original DIY inspo from @oldbrandnew

Swivel Plant Shelf *original DIY inspo from @neverskipbrunch

Travertine Side Table *original DIY inspo from @genevavanderziel

Floating TV console *a Katie Unicorn original! (Detailed tutorial coming soon)

Furniture & Decor:

Paint colors: Ceiling - 'Conch Shell' by Benjamin Moore; Walls - 'Chantilly Lace' by Benjamin Moore

Katie Unicorn – Make room for whimsy™

Check out @katieunicornofficial on Instagram where we share DIY tips for your home and garden. You can also hire Katie Unicorn to create a small space design for your home and garden in the Dallas area.

Watch this living room transformation unfold on Instagram:


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