In my experience, when people move to Florida they are seeking a lighter brighter look. After all, we are the sunshine state, so it goes without saying that things should stay fairly sunny and light no matter what your style of home décor.
I have observed in my seventeen years of experience, re-creating your northern home in Florida does not work over time. As homeowners live in the bright sunshine and visit other bright homes, inevitably within two years they begin changing things or completely getting rid of things and starting over. If a new homeowner has spent a lot of money recreating their northern home in Florida it might take three to five years before the home becomes light and bright. However, make no mistake everyone seeks to lighten up! Last week we learned how to brighten and update a living room with a fireplace. This week we will learn ways to lighten the living room of a Williamsburg model somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Lighten upAfter the room is Lighter and Brighter!
The request from the homeowner was to lighten up the space and update the look. This would require painting, re-arranging furniture, purchasing some new furniture and the addition of molding.

• Paint
The paint in the “before” picture was a pretty caramel color. However, the brown undertone absorbed too much light so we lightened the space with one of my special mixtures. The color that we used was a tannish, gold, peachy tone that really brightened the space.

• Addition of wainscoting
We added wainscoting all the way around the room to add a pop of white and complement the other molding that was already in the space. The wainscoting is painted totally white from the top of the chair rail to the bottom of the baseboard to keep it bright, classic, and visually calm. Also, we added headers to the existing shutters to make the windows look more substantial and finished.

• Move entertainment unit
The large entertainment unit originally was positioned between the two windows. When there is a dark object between the two windows with light coming into the windows. The human eye will make the object darker against the light. Cameras work in much the same way, which is why dark objects should be on wall without windows for their best impact in the space. We moved the large entertainment unit to the wall opposing the sliding glass door. Now, the light is shining on the large wall unit and the color looks lighter and it feels less imposing in the space.

• Open up the room
Now that the room is open we can place a sofa on the wall between the windows. We purchased a sofa in a lighter fabric and a matching love seat for the wall opposing the entertainment unit. The sofa and loveseat create a faux sectional. We purchased a new recliner in a coordinating tan color and placed it at an angle near the loveseat and facing the TV. The sofa has the original side table’s one on each side and the original coffee table in front of the sofa. We were able to add an occasional chair angled beside the entertainment unit and faced it inward to see all the other seating. This rounded out the seating area in the space.

• Lighting
The lamps are the original lamps because they were perfect for the new look.
We added in accent lights to highlight the new art as well.

• Art
The art above the sofa is a Free Spirit Old Florida collection by Alan Maltz. The lights make the water around the mangrove look as if it is glowing. To complement Free Spirit we hung “The Calling” which is a great egret with its mating plumage and green lore. Also, “Walk on the Wild Side” is a snowy egret sporting his yellow feet and yellow lore. Together above the loveseat these birds create a stunning presentation.

• Rug
We needed a large 10X14 rug in the living room so that we could cover the outlet that is in the floor. This rug is perfect in the space because it has all the colors in the room in soft tones. The rug looks updated and elegant and so does the room!

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below