British Paints Living Room white makeover BEFORE and AFTER

Living room transformation: the power of white paint

Nikki ParkinsonLife 13 Comments

Sponsored by British Paints

I’m obsessed with the power of white paint to transform any space but when it came to transforming our living room, I quickly learned (like everyone before me) that there are whites and there are whites

I started down the online rabbit hole looking for inspiration about the right white paint to choose but the biggest lesson learned from that research deep dive, was that choosing a white paint is such an individual thing. 

The only way to truly make a choice that is right for you, and the space you want to paint, is to buy sample pots and get painting on sections of the walls you’re looking to transform. 

I also wanted to ensure the makeover was doable in a weekend. British Paints TimeSaver series aims to make painting quick and easy through its Paint&Prime product – a combination that seriously saves time. The range also has different versions for walls, ceilings and windows, doors, and trims, making it easy to know what product you need for each part of the room.

So, off to Bunnings it was (they are the exclusive stockist of British Paints) … well, I sent the husband because who am I to deprive him of his Bunnings fix?

I wanted a white paint that was light and bright with a very slight grey undertone. He came home with the four requested sample pots and we got two coats quickly up on the wall near each other. I checked the swatches at different times of the day and in the evening under lights. 

And I silently sent a “praise be” that we had invested in the sample pots because the white I was 90% sure was the right one looked lilac when on the wall. A lovely colour if that’s what you’re after but definitely not in my vision.

My vision?

I wanted a fresher, lighter yet welcoming living space. This is the room we spend most of our time relaxing in after work and at weekends. We’ve been chilling here long before Netflix came into our lives.

I knew that I didn’t want to spend money buying all new furniture, so this makeover was all about how we could use what we owned, slightly change the layout of the furniture and also re-purpose/paint some items, making the biggest change to the space through the white paint on the walls, ceiling and timber shutters.

The previous wall colour was cream and it just left the room feeling flat and smaller than it is. The shutters dominated the room making it look darker than it was. 

Everyone loves before and after photos, yes? So, let’s roll them out, shall we?

British Paints Living Room white makeover BEFORE and AFTER

But which British Paints white paint did we use?

I’ll get into the details of all the changes below, but I know you’re hanging to find out which white we chose.

The British Paints colour range was just right for us – not too many choices to be overwhelming but plenty for us to make a choice we were happy with. The staff at Bunnings were super helpful in helping us ensure we had the right products and tools for the job. 

On the wall, one of our sample colours looked lilac (Infinity White); one looked exactly the same as the cream already on the wall (White Beam Half); and another I liked but it looked just slightly to bright for our room (Love Note).

British Paints white paints colour cards

British Paints whites sample Infinity White

British Paints white paint samples White Beam Half Love Note Star White Half

Drum roll please … British Paints Star White Half was our winning choice.

It has grey undertones but by choosing half opacity, it allowed the white to shine through, making it the perfect white for this space and our vision.

Why white on white paint?

I love how fresh an all-white colour scheme looks. The power of white paint is that it leaves you with a blank canvas for adding pieces to suit your style. Having fresh white walls, trims and shutters allowed our tan/chocolate sofas and timber floors to not dominate the space so much.

British Paints white paint Living Room makeove

British Paints white paint Living Room makeove

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

British Paints white paint Living Room makeove

Changing up the space on a $1000 budget

I’m not a huge fan of the B word but the good people at British Paints challenged me to do this makeover in under $1000. 

Challenge accepted.

I love looking at what I already own and use and seeing how it could be re-purposed or re-positioned.

I’ve always loved re-arranging any room (this practice used to infuriate my parents as I tried to change up my small bedroom on an almost monthly basis!).

This project enabled me to slightly change the room layout and positioning of key pieces of furniture. Apart from the wow factor re-painting a room brings, I feel that furniture re-arranging is one of the things that can have the most impact on a room. And it’s free!

De-cluttering is also free. It’s amazing what taking everything out of a room does. When it was time for put things back, we were very selective in what made it back in.

We also re-purposed three existing items. One storage cabinet/dresser, which was a dark timber, was re-painted using the British Paints Paint & Primer in Star White Half (the same as in the rest of the room). It took three coats but the result means that this piece now blends in better, making the room look bigger.

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

I painted the top of a timber stool white (it was previously blue).

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

And we also took a vertical existing timber bookcase/shelving unit and turned it on its side, attaching legs (from Bunnings) to create a new TV cabinet.

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

I pulled different pieces, framed prints, books and decor items from different rooms in the house to complement what we already had in this room.

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

The room already included some plants but we also brought in plants and pots from elsewhere in the home and/or garden. Plants bring a room to life and I take great pride in my duties as a Plant Mum. My hot tip: take them outside for a weekly sun and soak.

The new black statement pendant lights from Beacon create a new focal point for the dining area but also link in the black accents with the room. Mixing chain store pieces with artisan pieces is a good way to make your decorating budget go further.

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

For a “spring” feel, I added two new cushions and a throw in pink from Adairs. 

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover


British Paints

British Paints sample pots 250ml x 4 $22

British Paints Paint&Prime walls 10L $152

British Paints Paint&Prime ceiling 4L $62.50

British Paints Prep 4 in 1 oil-based multi surface primer 4L $72

British Paints H20 enamel 10L $17.50

TOTAL paint cost: $480

Light fittings: Beacon Lighting $350 (on sale)

Furniture legs: Bunnings $35


Extras: Electrician to fit pendant lights and hang TV on wall (technically outside of budget but money well spent to lift the room, I feel!)

I had been talking about doing this makeover for SO long. I kept putting if off because. LIFE.

But when it seems like the whole world is DIYing and renovating, it felt good to jump on the bandwagon, knowing that with a little bit of planning and the right paint colour choice and product, we could create a new space without needing too much time to execute it.

Rest assured, there will be more makeover posts here on the blog. I’ve got the bug! No room or piece of furniture in the house is now safe from my can of British Paints Paint & Primer Star White Half.

British Paints white paint Living Room makeover

So, tell me, do you like changing up your rooms? Got a paint project you’d like to tackle? White paint lovers, what’s your favourite colour?

Photos: Kate Luke Photography 

From the archives:

How to cosy up a living space for winter

The Styling You office makeover


Comments 13

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  1. Love this! I am a fan of white too, but it has to be the right one. My daughter’s partner is a painter thank goodness, he just repainted the bathroom and laundry for us. White of course! X

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  2. The make over looks fantastic. I’m a huge fan of white as a base for home styling but am struggling to convince the partner that it will look fab. So i’ve my fingers crossed that once he’s seen this blog I can convert him. We also have a storage unit that has been flipped on it’s side,but i’ve always felt it needs something more. So after seeing yours with legs on i’ll be off to bunnings this weekend.

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  3. Nikki- thanks for sharing! Im so into renos and make overs at the moment and I love, love, LOVE what you’ve done with your space! Almost exactly my taste!
    Are you happy to share where you nabbed your couch? I LOVE it.
    Thanks again and great work!

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