• Mansa Krishnamurthy

One Room Challenge - Week 6: Modern Two Story Great Room Makeover

Updated: Nov 14, 2019


It’s finally, here! Welcome to my Modern Two Story Great Room reveal! I have to say, I am so glad I took on the One Room Challenge this season and couldn’t be more thrilled with the end result. I had considered re-doing this modern two story great room makeover for past seasons of the One Room Challenge, but had been too intimidated by the amount of work needed and the tight timeline. I also didn’t want these factors to limit my design ideas and for me to compromise on the things that I love. This space took a ton of preparation and planning – but I love what this space has become and am so thrilled to be able to enjoy the new and revised great room!





Before I jump to the journey of this room over the past 6 weeks, I would like to extend a huge thank you to Linda of the One Room Challenge and Better Homes and Gardens. I am so appreciative of the supportive community you all create and it's just the push I need to get the rooms in my home finished! I also need to thank all of my sponsors and collaborators. This room would not have been possible without their generosity and I’m so glad they agreed to help make my vision a reality. 


Fabricut, Sherwin Williams, Great Big Canvas, Couristan, The Pillow Cover Store




This season, this challenge was a TRUE challenge – in every sense of the word! I had the tightest of budgets and really had to stretch every dollar and penny to get the look I wanted. I also had to get creative with the finishes I chose to stay within budget. I turned down the idea of tiling or adding stone to my two story fireplace (this was just too expensive) and opted for wallpaper instead. I swapped out a quartz mantle for a high gloss white shelf (major dollar savings!). I decided against lighting under my floating shelves and shopped my home for the styling of those shelves. Despite making these decisions that seemed like “compromises” at first, I still achieved the look I wanted.  





Before I take you through all the elements of this modern two story great room makeover, let's take a quick look back at where we started.






You can see that our two story great room had evolved since we built our home over two years ago, and wasn’t in the worst shape – there are far scarier rooms in my home!  But it was far from what I had envisioned and certainly was time for change. The great room was the same shade of white as the rest of the home - and didn't have a lot of personality. Although this room gets a ton of bright light at all times of the day, there was more to be desired. The room was also quite dysfunctional - the fireplace surround was unfinished, there were disorganized wires everywhere and a makeshift mantle that was just a plain eye sore! After a few economical decisions, some DIY and a ton of forethought, we now have the modern two story great room of our dreams!


To catch the journey of this room over the past 6 weeks, click the links below:


Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5




I mean, is this even the same room? I guess you can say this room is quite the blend of styles and contains more than the modern finishes you see in the rest of our home. Really, there is a bit of everything. A nod to the classic black, white and gray, a hint of chrome, clean lines, a few personal touches, and a roaring gas fireplace. It's a melting pot for sure - and I am thrilled at how all the components came together for one cohesive design. It’s amazing how wallpaper, trim, paint and blood, sweat, tears and creativity can change a room. Let me walk you through the elements. 



The Fireplace Surround


The focal point of this room is most definitely the two story wall that supports our fireplace and the built in cabinetry. Our home is completely open concept and this wall can be seen from every corner of our home - all the more reason I wanted to get this space right!



The textured wallpaper from Fabricut was a gorgeous rich black with grains of silver running through it - and when the beams of sunshine from our wall of windows grace this wallpaper, the wall turns to absolute magic! The wallpaper also provides the perfect amount of contrast to our TV, built in speakers and the high gloss white mantle.




I absolutely love running up the stairs and peeking at this space from our catwalk. The stunning views of our modern two story great room are a reminder of how much work was put into making this space what it is today.





The Trim Accent Wall


Although the two story wall completely steals the show in this room, I didn't want to leave the wall beneath the stairs untouched. I still wanted this wall to feel part of the design and decided it needed some love too! I initially thought of adding a bookshelf or a bench, but that changed quickly to a trim accent wall. It was the perfect way to add texture and a stunning piece of art against the trim would work much better and make it pop. Again, this wall is also very visible from various angles of our home, so I wanted to get it just right!





As I do with all my trim accent walls (I have created two to date!), I started by sketching out the design and used Frog Tape to outline the pattern on the wall. My goal was to add minimal texture to the walls without overpowering the space with a busy pattern. Since I am still a novice at adding trim (and using any power tool really), I opted to use simple pine boards - and I have no regrets - cutting, sanding, nailing and painting was as easy as can be. The finish on the trim was sharp and with the perfect coat of Gray Screen by Sherwin Williams, it turned out way better than I ever imagined.





The DIY Ottoman/Stools


A major problem we have had in our great room was seating! When we are hosting our family from out of town or large gatherings, we often run out of places for people to sit by the fireplace and our sectional, although large, fills up quick! I didn’t have the budget to replace any furniture or add additional benches or chairs. I was able to add some additional seating to the great room by repurposing some old Crate and Barrel ottomans that I found in the dumpster (yes – you read that right!). I was in the right place at the right time, and scooped up these ottomans as fast as I could. With a little bit of white satin spray paint, black paint and a paint brush, I was able to take these from drab to fab!



I opted for an ombre black, white and gray look to match the large art piece from Great Big Canvas and my new rug from Couristan. The stools worked perfectly in the space and were the ideal solution to our seating problem!



Cue The Accessories


I've said this in my progress posts before, and will say it again - I truly believe that a huge part of how a space is perceived has to do with the accessories you choose to style it with. For the modern two story great room makeover, I opted to keep things simple and classic. I went with all white vases filled with eucalyptus and white florals.








To complement the black, white and gray in this space, I chose a whimsical fawn print for the throw pillows from The Pillow Cover Store and am so pleased with how well they work in the space!





I added stunning white pottery from the uber talented Sara Paloma and the look did not disappoint! The gorgeous shapes and varying heights of these vases just looked incredible on the styled shelves. A few simple all-white books, mercury glass candlelight and chrome photo frames hosting some of my favorite photos completed the look.








Well there you have it folks! Our very own modern two story great room makeover in all its glory! I hope you enjoyed taking this 6 week journey with me - the work that went into this space was well worth it! If you would like to refer back to this post, Pin it for later!














































The One Room Challenge featured designers are now live! They are sharing their amazing made over spaces (you don't want to miss this - there is a ton of talent and inspiration!). You can check them out here.


All of the guest participants are also live! Again, they are a great group with awesome and inspiring design ideas. Check those spaces out here.


Thank you so very much to those of you who have been following along for the past 6 weeks - your support means the world to me! If you have a question or want to share your thoughts on my One Room Challenge: Modern Two Story Great Room Makeover, feel free to drop me a line below, email me or contact me on Instagram @thisissimplicite.


If you are new here, thank you for visiting! We do a lot of fun things around here (including room makeovers!). Be sure to sign up for email updates to catch the next fun project (get ready for a series of holiday posts!). I would love for you to join me!

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