WINNER: Orange Tank Living Room Facelift

From Dark Dungeon to Daylit Den

I attended the Haven Conference in Atlanta and was a finalist in 2 categories for the Orange Tank competition hosted by the Home Depot! I attended Haven for the first time this year and WON the $1,000 category!!

I competed virtually last year and lost so I am so freaking excited about this. This is a huge deal for me to get in good with the Home Depot!

I am so beyond excited to work with the Home Depot to turn the below design into a reality.

Be sure to let me know what you think of my design in the comments. I will be making a mood board in the coming months to show exactly the textures and colors that I am looking for.

If you want to see one of the other winners for another category, check out Erin from Top Shelf DIY’s living room design that won the $5,000 category!

This was my submission for the $1,000 category of Home Depot Orange Tank 2021 Competition


Living room covered in paneling with a dark grey fireplace.

This is a pic of my dark dungeon of a living room that I had to lighten so that you could see anything! I plan to remove that back wall with the shelves. It leads to the dining room and so much light! It will truly transform this living space.


Though I love cozy and moody spaces, this room is currently dark. I wanted to bring the coziness into the space while keeping it light and bright.

In order to bring more light into the living room, I will be removing a nonstructural wall between the dining room and living room. This will open the living room up to so much light! Removing a wall is a big task. I’ve practiced architecture professionally and know all that it will take and am looking forward to this new challenge.

In addition to removing a wall, we also plan to sand and smooth the plaster ceiling texture. This will really help the room feel more modern!


I don’t want to be another person that just paints over my natural stone fireplace with white like everyone else. Instead, I love the look of over-grouting with touches of natural stone still peeking through. I love this look. I plan to apply additional white grout over the current gray grout. The new grout would be white and bright and over-grouted over the stone. If I want to continue to lighten it, I may want to lightly sponge over the stone.

In addition, my current mantle does not fit the fireplace at all. I love this aged beam look in the left photo. I plan to create a casing of some kind to go directly over the existing mantle with either a wood or faux stone corbel to provide visual balance and to aesthetically support the mantle cover.


I LOVE the look of vintage rugs on stairs. Right now my stairs are an awful carpet. I plan to sand down the rough parts of the wood and to either stain it to match my floors, or apply my own flooring to it. On top of the wood I would love to either find a 20′ runner (there are many on Home Depots website) or piece together multiple printed rugs.

My stairs only have a partial banister and replacing them with more sleek tapered posts would really elevate the stairs. The final piece for these stairs would be the rods. As a designer, I’ve learned that the little details are what really make a design shine. I will either purchase these pre-made metal rods from the Home Depots website, OR I will learn to make my own! This would be fairly straight forward with either metal rods or wood dowels.


The wall above the sofa is just begging for a statement piece. I love the look of these large modern frames with a large matte. It’s sleek and modern and I hope to bring this vision to life, either with frames from home depot, or making my own! It would be fairly straightforward with some basic trim pieces and 1/4″ boards. And let’s be honest, I’m a DIYer through and through… why buy frames when I could make them!


I love the look of these consoles and have been having trouble finding the perfect one…. so as any bold DIYer would do, I want to make my own! I would love to create a fusion of these designs with my own twist!


I’d love to share Home Depot shopping lists with my audience. I have a shopping list for almost all of the rooms in my home. It helps me keep organized and scope out home depot products that I love

The Home Depot also has many calculators on the website, one of which can help me calculate how much paint I need for the paneling!



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