Rustic Cottage Living Room

Cozy furnishings were combined with country-inspired accents for a comfortable family room. The designer shares how it all came together.

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On a budget of $18,000, designer Anisa Darnell completely transformed a dated living room into a cottage-inspired family space.

We caught up with the designer to find out how she conquered design challenges and achieved her goals for this project.

Describe the homeowners' wish list.

The space needed a complete redo. We needed to make it brighter, open up the space and give it a warmer, stylish cottage feel.

What were the homeowners' design problems?

The fireplace. It was the focal point of the room, but the huge fieldstone was dated so we tore it down and put up stacked stone.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

The fireplace was a huge undertaking removing all the stone, but it was a massive success when the new stone went in. Plus, the wood-beam mantel added the finishing touch.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

It was better. We added tons of can lighting, tongue-and-groove ceiling, board and batten to the walls (1x2 boards vertically), new hardwoods and Craftsman-style railing.

What lessons did you learn?

After removing the old brown paneling and grass cloth, a dramatic change happened just by painting the space white. It was a huge surprise how airy it made the room.

What are the "hidden gems"?

The chandelier pendant was from a Paris flea market and the walls were simple but added so much character and texture to the space. The '70s rancher went cottage!

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