Feature Friday: The Lettered Cottage Makeover House

Last year, I had so much fun hanging out with Layla and Kevin as they filmed a pilot HGTV show.  Sadly, the show wasn’t picked up and they found that out in February (HGTV doesn’t know what they are missing!).  I had taken some nice After shots of the room they did and I’m finally getting around to showing them to you.  It had been so long, I almost forgot about them, but I know you’ll all love these pics.

One of the things they did in the makeover was to change up the existing fireplace mantel.  I loved that they added a box to cover the old red brick and added molding to really bring it up to a modern version, as well as added a beautiful rustic mantel on top.

That’s on my list of things to do with my stone fireplace too.  Now, I just have to find someone who can execute my plan.  The rocks on my fireplace are not flat in the front, they are all kinds of uneven, so it might be a bit more of a challenge for me to get a rustic mantel in place, but I will be pondering on that one.


For now, it looks like this, but one day I hope to get a pretty mantel up there and maybe even add a bit of wood to the front of it too. We’ll see how it evolves.

Before Living room

Here’s where the Morrison’s house started before Layla and Kevin got ahold of it.  They had just closed on this foreclosure house (boy, do I know how THAT feels!) and were eager to start ripping out and making it better. The house has great bones and I’m sure they are doing some fantastic things with it after getting a major head start with their living room. Wait til you see the afters!


I know! You are scrolling back and forth right now, cause you can hardly believe this is the same room, right?  It is amazing what paint, flooring, revamped fireplace and beautiful furniture and accessories can do for a room.  Astounds me every time!

I do believe the color is Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams, a gorgeous soft gray-blue.  I used the lighter version, Comfort Gray, on this strip in my den.

The red color on the table and French doors is Heirloom Red by Valspar.  You can find lots more details on the room at Layla’s!


Hard to believe the fireplace is the same. They added glass tile and a wooden surround to the existing brick and installed that beautiful rustic mantel. Oh, how I love that.


With the flat screen above, this is a great family room now for watching TV.  Love, love the changes in the mantel.


This pretty mantel really makes it too.

coastal living room

A sectional sofa fills in the space nicely without taking up a lot of room.

Billy bookcase

They did the Billy bookcases from Ikea built-in on either side of the French doors and that really brought the room to life.

Billy bookcases builtin

Perfect idea!  And those red doors rock.


These bookcases look like they’ve been here forever, you would never know they are put together bookcases from Ikea with molding added.  I just might have to find a place to do this in my new house, I love it so much.


This pair of flea market chairs got a new slipcover.


Layla’s shopping expertise shines in her choice of suitcase side table and flea market accessories.


Love the mix of pillows too.


An old leaded glass screen in the corner, along with a live plant adds a nice mood in the room.


These simple drapes with the same fabric as on the chairs pulls the colors and fabrics all together.


Another shot of the side table and chair/ottoman in front of the Billy’s.


Painting this table red was one of the jobs I helped with.  It really adds a nice punch of color to the room, same color as the French doors.  I’ve got some furniture painting to be done for my new house.

Morrisons LR

Another shot of the room.  Isn’t it just lovely?


Other side looking towards the front door.

rustic coffee table

They got this rustic coffee table at Southern Accents in Cullman, AL.  Great place for vintage finds.


Here’s talented Layla, with the homeowner, Emily.

I know they are enjoying this room and last I heard, it looks just the same, they haven’t changed a thing.  Now, I’m wondering what other rooms they have done since this one.  You can see Layla’s post back in April with her Before and After pics as well as lots more details on the room (and sources for all!).  Their pics are much better than mine too!

Hope you enjoyed this beautiful room makeover. I get so inspired when I see rooms like this come alive with paint, flooring, furniture, and accessories.  My fixer-upper is coming alive too and I can’t wait to get to the decorating point.

- Rhoda


  1. What a gorgeous makeover, I love it especially the soft greens. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  2. What a gift those two are… you are right, HGTV missed out big time! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to Miss Rhoda, I’m sure it will be fabulous!

  3. I can not believe HGTV did not pick up their show, what are they thinking. I guess it has to be a real estate show to make it! Yikes. That is really too bad, I think it would have become a favorite of viewers. Lovely makeover and they did an amazing job. Love the color choices and so many of the elements,

  4. Wow, that is a night and day difference before and after. I only half-jokingly say that HGTV has turned into Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous these days. Every show I seem to catch is someone buying vacation property in a tropical paradise. The Design on a Dime style shows are few and far between. I wish they’d back off on that and back to shows like those guys would have done! Still can’t believe those are spruced up Ikea bookcases!

    I’m sure you’ll come up with something for your fireplace. If you intend to cover up the stone like they did the brick fireplace, maybe it would be simpler to just remove the stone and start from scratch? It looks like the stone is just a facade rather than part of a chimney, etc?

  5. I’m looking forward to see what you come up with for your fireplace Rhoda. I too have a fireplace with a stone front to the ceiling. I would like to know how to add a mantle to the uneven stone, but I don’t want to cover up the stone. I enjoy seeing all the improvements you and your folks are making to your house.

  6. Where is the sectional from? I absolutely love it!

  7. Love the mantel. Was it custom made? Or were you able to do it yourself?

  8. I love this room so much! It’s my inspiration room for my house. Have you seen what the home owners have done with it now? They painted the walls black!! Everything else stayed the same. They love it, so that’s all that matters.

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