My Living Room Accessories Makeover with Jessica Bennett Interiors!

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I might as well warn you now, this is going to be what they call, a photo heavy post!  But I am so in love with my new living room designed by OC Interior Designer extraordinaire, Jessica of  Jessica Bennett Interiors, I have to show you each and every detail!

We moved into our house in Spring 2005 and my living room decor has not been updated since that time. I guess having two kids and trying to start a business hindered my decor updates these past few years!

Our living room is the first room you see when you walk in our house, and we have to walk through this room to get to the girls’ rooms and bathrooms, so it is the most FOCAL room in the house.   Every time I walked through it in recent months, I would sort of feel bummed out because I was so TIRED of my old decor and didn’t have the time to go shop and do a major update.

When I was decorating this room back when we moved in, I was really into the “tropical” look so there were quite a few palm trees.  Not that there is anything wrong with palm trees, just after 6 years, I was officially over them!

Here is a before pic so you can see what I am talking about.  I mean, it wasn’t terrible, but I just so desperately needed a FRESH update!

We had bad houseplants that looked half dead and I had cluttered my walls with every tropical picture I could pick up at the swamp meet, TJ Maxx or Target in 2005…

My living room and dining are are in the same room, so I essentially had the same decor in both spaces.

Here is my old dining area.  I never knew what to put on this table, so I went through many different bad centerpieces through the years consisting of  silk flowers and you guessed it, palm fronds!

Most recently I had stuck this WAY too small candle thing in the middle of the table for lack of knowing what else to put there…

So, what’s a girl to do? A makeover takes some time, and here’s the THING, I have NO TIME to shop!

Taking my 20 month old into a store these days is a nightmare.  She hates to ride in the cart and regardless of my endless snacks, I can get like 15 minutes out of her until it is a full on screamfest to get out and walk.  And it is never a good idea to let a 20 month old loose in TJ Maxx Home Goods with all those glass displays!

I never thought I could even AFFORD an interior designer and even if I wanted to entertain one, I would have no idea who to call.  More than that, I didn’t want a major redesign, I just needed an update.  I had no idea if there were even designers that could take on a project of this scale?

Enter FATE.

I told you I was a part of that networking group, SMARTY OC, and the leader ended up connecting @jbinteriorsinc and I on Twitter as Jessica is an OC interior designer specializing in young families & professionals. BINGO!

So we started chatting, and one thing led to another, and next thing I knew we had an appointment for a COMPLIMENTARY consultation and the rest is history.

I liked her from the moment she walked in my door. Jessica is really personable, the type of person you feel, excuse the pun, right at home with!

When she came in, she asked me to give her a tour of our house, I have to admit it is a little intimidating to have an interior designer walk through your house!  But she was so normal, and not pretentious that I quickly got over it.

Later she told me that the reason she does this is so she can get a FEEL for the family so she can get a really good idea of your personal style.

Her design philosophy is about embracing the family, not just the space. Sigh.

Luckily, my anchor pieces (big furniture, etc.) are still decent, so Jessica just suggested doing an Accessories Package for our project.   This would include things like new throw pillows, tabletop decor, wall hangings, etc.  We discussed a budget, she promptly sent me a contract, I paid my deposit and we were on our way.

I explained I wanted a beachy (not tropical) look and other than that, I told her I loved her work and style on her website, so I gave her pretty much free reign to take the budget and run with it!

From start to finish, she was ready to install a lot quicker than I thought.  The day finally arrived and I felt like I was 6 years old on Christmas morning!

She does the transformation “extreme home makeover” style where we were KICKED out and couldn’t peek when she was working her magic.


When I walked in and opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe what I saw.  My first thought was that it didn’t even look like the same room!  And, it looked like it had doubled in size!  Just having a professional move things around can totally change the look of a room in a dramatic way.   I am emotional, so I did yes, tear up because I was so happy.

So, allow me to introduce my new living room Jessica created for me!

Here is the BEFORE of this view…


My absolute favorite is the piece of art for the wall.  I never liked what I had on this wall before.   I could never have found or chosen this piece on my own.  Here’s the view from the other direction…

Here is my entry table before…


I already had this mirror hanging over my dining table, so she just reused it over the entry table.  It looks so much better hanging this way (would have NEVER thought of it) and fills the space so much nicer.

Again, here is my dining room before.  I really still love the table and chairs.  But again, it was the houseplant, palm trees and bad tabletop piece I didn’t love.


I love how she did a different look for this area, so that it feels like a different room, yet works so well with the other decor.

I never would have thought new chair covers would fit in the budget, our originals were quite pricey, but she found these at IKEA which allowed us to change the look without investing a lot. They are washable (key) and I love how crisp and clean the white looks. I would never have been brave enough to do it on my own!

Overall, she incorporated so many cute details to create a natural, beach chic sort of feel, from the sea-themed coffee table books to the use of shells and candles.  The theme definitely is carried through but it is SUBTLE.  I swoon over each and every piece.

She also found these great GLASS picture frames that I love because I can display a lot more photos without feeling like I am cluttering the space with big chunky frames. Love the glass.  It reminds me of the ocean again.   Here are some of my favorite details…

And a cute shell in a bird cage! Again, I would have NEVER thought of this!

And a view of my hutch close up…

My vintage inspired new tabletop decor…

The night of our redesign, my husband and I got a glass of wine, lit all the candles and just sat in our new room and talked.

It reminded me of when we first moved into our new house.  You know that excitement you feel the first night you move in when you have that giddy new house feeling??   We were falling in love with our house all over again 6 years later.

I could not be happier with what Jessica did for us.  I felt like she got into my head, understood the style and look I love, without me even having to explain it to her.

I also love her White T-Shirt Philosophy which is all about getting the most bang for your buck, and knowing which pieces are the ones to invest in, and which pieces you can pick up at discount stores but make your room look equally fabulous.

Like the mirrors in my dining room above for example.  They were from TJ Maxx Home Goods! Would you ever know?

After this project, it is easy for me to see the incredible value in using an interior designer. She took what I viewed as an insurmountable project and make it easy and FUN, not to mention she saved me hours and hours of shopping and returns.

I am a discount decor shopper, so Jessica saved me endless trips to Home Goods, Target and the like, looking for treasures.  More than that, I could never do it in one trip, so I would end up buying things randomly here and there, which is why I felt like my room never fully came together with one vision.

You also pay for the art of design and placement.

Jessica knew how to group things, how to arrange things, how to take my big chair and move it to open up our room and move the wine rack to make it a entry table, things I look at now and say, that makes so much more sense, but would have never thought on my own.  I guess that’s why she is the professional!

She can take ordinary things and twist them around to display them in a way that is extraordinary!

I couldn’t more highly recommend her.  From accessories makovers to full scale major interior design projects, she can do it all and has access to a variety of home decor sources and brands that we would never even know existed.

Sometimes you might think of creative designers as being a little flaky, but Jessica is the OPPOSITE, completely professional, on the ball, and delivered everything in a timely manner.

The problem is, now that my living room is done, I look at my great room and think of all Jessica could do in there…I have a feeling Jessica is going to slowly work her way through our house one room at a time!

Jessica Bennett Interiors
1931 Newport Blvd., Suite J
Costa Mesa, CA
Telephone: 949.706.0210
Follow Jessica’s latest projects on Facebook * Connect with Jessica on Twitter

{Disclosure: Jessica Bennett Interiors is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor but this project was
paid by me independently and not in conjunction with the sponsorship.
However I wanted to write about this project as I love interior design posts and thought you might too! }


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  1. 1

    Good morning!
    I have been looking forward to these pictures! Amazing! Amazing! We did a home renovation a few years ago so I know the feeling of \"tearing up\" with emotion!! I love everything she did – I think my favorite is your dining room. The accessories are really magnificent and make the space so inviting and cozy. Thank you for sharing these pictures! Enjoy.

  2. 2

    Looks great Jen!!

  3. 3
    Paige says:

    I so need help in this area, thanks for the great ideas and post! I will reach out to her!

  4. 4
    melanie says:

    Looks Fabulous!!!

  5. 5
    suzanne says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. 6

    What a big difference a few changes made! It looks so pretty and well put together! It’s time Jessica and I go to the lunch we’ve been talking about!!!

  7. 7
    Jen says:

    Thanks everyone!!!! As if you couldn\’t tell already, I REALLY loved what Jessica did for me! :)))

  8. 8
    cathyb says:

    Looks Wonderful!!

  9. 9

    Great post! Love to see what a little accessorizing magic can do. That talented Jessica!

    I feel you on the 20-month old with snacks. I remember that with my now 26-month old. She’s a lot better now, even a few months later!

  10. 10
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