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Tuscan-With-a-Twist Living Room

The Tuscan theme of soft colors and dark wood gets a twist by combining contemporary pieces with antiques.

Host Susan Blake introduces designer Linda Applewhite, who created an Old World look in the comfortable yet elegant living room using warm colors and rustic items. The Tuscan theme of soft colors and dark wood gets a twist when combining contemporary pieces like the couch and coffee table with antique pieces like a 17th-century tapestry and antique console.

Transforming the Makeover Room

Below are the steps used to transform a large living room with cold white walls and outdated furniture into a warm, luxurious space with a distinct design statement:

  • Painted the walls a warm neutral tone.
  • Warmed up the white brick around the fireplace by sponging on several shades of taupe paint (Sears Easy Living: Tapioca Cream, Golden Wheatfield).
  • Added a large camel area rug with cream accents.
  • Purchased a cream-colored velvet sofa with nailhead trim from a consignment store for $400.
  • Placed a variety of textured pillows with fringe on the couch.
  • Placed a dark wood base floor lamp with paper shade on one side of the couch.
  • Used a traditional dark wood pie-crust side table in front of the lamp.
  • Hung shadow stripe taupe curtains and added a tall ficus plant in the corner.
  • Accessorized the fireplace with a black iron scroll candleholder with candles in the firebox, two prints framed in gold, two ceramic urns, a cast metal urn, antique clock and large brass candlesticks.
  • Faux-painted particleboard rounds to look like stone for the coffee table and accessorized it with flowers and vases.
  • Placed a pyramid chest with walnut finish beside the fireplace and topped it with a green marble lamp and other accessories.
  • Completed the seating area with Indonesian carved wood armchairs with cane seats, and dressed them with chenille seat cushions.
  • Used a faux leather rope-wrapped table between the chairs .
  • Hung a tapestry with muted Mediterranean tones on a gold finish rod behind the chairs.

The Bottom Line

To see where the savings are, take a look at this direct cost comparison of some Inspiration Room items and the creatively comparable ones used in the Makeover Room:

Gilded lamp, marble side table, $1,800 / Floor lamp and pie crust table, $85

Mantel accessories and tapestry, $18,500 / Mantel accessories, $136

Stone coffee table and accessories, $6,500 / Faux-finish table and accessories, $240

Wood lyre chairs and table, $7,000 / Table and chairs, $280

The $500 Challenge

If you have only $500 dollars to spend to create the Old World Tuscan look for your living room, makeover designer Stuart Piontek suggests you start with warm colors, found in the wall color, pillows, tapestry and paintings. Add a rustic touch with metal-based tables and candlesticks.

metal leaf accessories in aged brass, cocktail table base, wooden pyramid chest, candelabra, gold chenille seat cushions, Japanese clay soldier figure - Burlington Coat Factory
wood lamp and paper shade - KMart
drapes - Strouds
pillows - Ross Stores
artificial pears - Michaels
brass finial - Marshalls
gold-finished rod with artichoke finials - Bed, Bath and Beyond
large and small urns - Villeroy & Boch
brass candlesticks - T.J. Maxx
tapestry rod set, vase - Costco

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