Do you have a formal living room that you don’t use? If so, it might be time to repurpose it. With the right interior design, your unused formal living room can become an inviting and functional space for all sorts of activities. Whether you want to create a cozy reading nook or turn it into a home office, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of this room.

  1. Create a reading nook or library - With the right furniture and decor, you can turn your formal living room into a cozy and inviting place to read. Add a comfortable armchair or sofa, an ottoman, some throw pillows, and a few bookshelves to create the perfect space for curling up with a good book. You can even add dimmable lighting to create an extra vibe of relaxation.Curated Home Office
  2. Transform it into a home office - If you’re working from home or need a more focused workspace in your house, consider turning your unused formal living room into an office area. Add adjustable desks, task chairs for comfort, and plenty of storage for organizing documents and supplies. The addition of a door for privacy and noise control will help define the space and work to maximize productivity.
  3. Make it a home theater. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy movies and shows with family, consider turning your unused formal living room into a home theater. Invest in comfortable seating, a large smart TV, and surround sound speakers, then add some blackout curtains or shades to complete the illusion of being in a movie theater.
  4. Turn it into a game room. An unused formal living room can easily be turned into an exciting game room for everyone to enjoy. Add board games, card tables, gaming consoles, and plenty of other fun activities for hours of entertainment.

    Consider turning your formal living room into a game room

    Don’t forget to install proper lighting – recessed lights on a dimmer, along with sconces and lamps will provide a variety of options so you can set the proper mood for video games or family trivia night.

  5. Use it for recreational activities. From yoga and meditation to craft projects, there are plenty of ways to use your unused formal living room for recreational activities. Install some mirrors on the walls so you can watch yourself practice yoga poses or bring in a folding table and storage containers for all your crafting materials. With interior design elements like rugs, cushions, or task seating, you can make the space even more inviting and functional.

Long gone are the days of formal family gatherings in big rooms filled with fancy furniture. If you have an unused space that is collecting dust, some minor design changes can turn a boring space into the heart of the home. Think about what your family likes to do at home or what need your home is not currently filling for how you live. From that, create a plan to transform your living space into rooms that everyone in the family can utilize and enjoy.







With more people spending time at home than ever before, remodeling is a very big trend among homeowners. Yet not all remodeling projects are created equal. There are a few factors to consider when deciding what spaces you should update and how to do it, especially in Arizona!

Not all home updates translate to increased home value. If you are focused on improving your home with resale in mind, you’ll want to focus on the highest impact updates. If, however, you’re planning on living in your home for many years still, then you’ll want to consider factors beyond investment alone.

An equally important consideration to remodeling is the increased pleasure of living in your home. From customized features and colors to added functionality, you want to enjoy your home while you live there, not simply wait out the time until you move to the next place!

Remodeling is a juggling act– balancing your dreams, skillset, and finances! So, we’ve created a manageable list that will guide you through what things cost and how much you can expect to get back on your investment.

First Impressions Are Everything

While most home buyers begin shopping online and view pictures of the entire space, there is a critical moment when they drive up to your home and determine if they might like to live there. Potential buyers usually decide if they like a home within the first 30 seconds of seeing it, so great curb appeal is a must if you plan on getting the highest possible price for your home.

There are a few key things to pay particular attention to in the Arizona housing market. First, think about the last time your home was painted and the current condition of the stucco and other outdoor features. Nobody wants to deal with peeling paint or cracked and chipping hard surfaces.

Next, the blazing Arizona summers also make it difficult for many families to enjoy their yard. Adding features like a pool or shaded area will undoubtedly be worth the investment!

Updated kitchenPrioritize Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms

The old saying of “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes” still rings true, even in our current housing market. There are the rooms where people spend the most time, so updates in both spaces will definitely pay off.

Kitchens specifically will benefit the most from flooring, paint, and cabinetry updates. Everyone wants a lot of space to cook, do homework, and gather with family and friends, so it’s a great idea to review available counter space and think about adding or reconfiguring an island.

Bathrooms require both durability and beauty. Tiled showers are making a classic comeback over the acrylic tub/shower inserts. Closed shelving and plenty of vanity storage allow for organization and styling opportunities. Finally, pay special attention to the vanity lighting and mirror to maximize the space

Basic Kitchen Renovation Costs:

Basic Bathroom Upgrade:

Floors are the Foundation

You’ve seen the home renovation projects where simply taking out dingy tile or downtrodden carpet immediately lifts the room. And the best part is that replacing flooring is a relatively inexpensive project, with more flooring options available at every price point than ever before!

Again, if your home leans heavily on Tuscan motifs like mosaics or terracotta, you may get an excellent price for a more neutral choice. Tile flooring is still a great option to bring down the summer heat, but the colors and styles you choose will create a more modern floor.

For example, laminate tile and plank flooring has exploded in the last few years. As a result, you can create a high-end custom tile look for a fraction of the price and install it yourself!

New Floor:

New Paint, New Room

While flooring grounds the room, the color of your walls largely determines the mood and function of the space. The colors you choose will bring out different emotions and have an overall impact on how you feel in the home.

For example, blues and purples encourage relaxation, while reds and oranges call for attention. Stay away from the rustic golds, oddly bright hues, or taste-specific murals and aim for light and neutral colors to help increase resale value.

Professionally Painted Large Room:

Remodeling? Let Us Help!

It’s always a challenge to balance the essentials of a worthwhile remodel: function, design, and return on investment. It takes a well-trained eye on current design prices, a pulse on the real estate market, and an honest opinion on the skill level and cash required to pull off a project.

At Macy Lane Designs, we specialize in partnering with our clients, allowing them to drive the project but lean on our years of experience. We will enable you to bring a well-constructed plan to your contractor, which means you can be confident that you are spending your money the best. Contact us today for a free consultation!



Interior designers are responsible for creating spaces that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. They guide you in making the best use of your space and determine how to bring your vision to life. The process of interior design and interior decorating is and should be personal and intimate.

Think of choosing the right interior designer a little like dating― you will want to find the perfect match, trust each other, and share a common understanding of likes, dislikes, budget, and more. Now with that said, here are some steps to consider before starting your home decorating journey with an interior designer.

1.   Define Your Style

Defining your home decorating style will be one of the most critical stages in choosing the right interior designer. For example, if you are drawn to minimal and sleek interiors, you will likely want your space to be just that — minimal and elegant. On the other hand, if you are more of a maximalist, you will probably want to incorporate a mix of patterns and textiles into your space.

To define your style, we suggest collecting a series of images that reflect your aesthetic. Consider creating a Pinterest board of your favorite photos or other digital files that you can easily share with your interior designer.

2.   Set Your Budget

Budget often dictates what can and cannot be done with a space, so it is VERY important to have a clear idea of what your budget is prior to hiring an interior designer. Clients are often vague about what they can afford at the beginning. They prefer not to reveal their budget until after the initial quote is delivered. Instead, expect to be upfront and transparent about what you are willing to spend. Remember that interior designers work with all sorts of budgets. If they have a clear understanding of their limitations from the beginning, they will be able to deliver a plan most suited to you.

When you set your budget, you will also want to determine how your interior designer bills their client. Each designer is different-- some charge by the hour, and others charge a flat rate. One is not necessarily better than the other, but every client should ask how they will be billed and have a clear understanding of the payment timeline.

3.   Meet With Designers

This is where the fun begins. Meeting with interior designers and interior decorators is the exciting first step in your remodeling journey. This is also the phase of the process that you will want to ask the most questions. Here’s are some questions we recommend asking:

We also recommend doing your own research and asking questions that are specific to you. The more detailed you can be, the better the chance you’ll find a designer that will work well with you and meet your expectations.

4.   Share Your Ideas

Sharing your ideas and expectations of what you want your home to look like will ultimately lead to a successful project. This is your home, so don’t be afraid to overshare. Try to be as specific as you can― use plenty of images and inspiration to communicate your desired aesthetic.

Your ideas should also include a brainstorm that tells the designer how you want the space to feel. For example, ask yourself what kind of emotions do you want your home to evoke? Interior designers will also want to know how you plan to use this space, its primary function, and who will be using it. Being clear about this will give the interior designer a more thorough understanding of what they need to deliver.

5.   Hatch a Plan

Don’t be afraid to let your interior designer take the lead here. Have an open mind and let them guide you. Of course, you can always provide feedback and make adjustments, but at the end of the day, you are hiring an interior designer to manage the process.

It’s also worth noting that the plan may not be exactly what you imagined — the interior designer may have had to omit some details to stay within your budget or keep items you had hoped to remove because of structural reasons. Whatever it may be, remember that the interior designer is the professional here, and you have hired them because you trust their process.

6.   Finishing Touches

If you’re hiring an interior designer for a complete redecorating project, they will likely be purchasing many furniture items on your behalf. The benefit of having your interior designer purchase all the furniture and accessories for you is that they often buy the pieces with a trade discount or at cost price.

That said, it’s not uncommon for the interior designer or interior decorator to apply a “markup.” This is also known as a “designer’s net price.” This fee is usually a percentage of the item, and it can vary greatly, but it usually falls between 15% and 25%. Of course, a good interior designer will be upfront about these costs during the budgeting phase. Still, the client ultimately saves money as they have access to a wide variety of furniture and accessories at prices that are typically below retail.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing an interior designer, it pays to do your research first. You want to be confident in them and their ability to deliver your vision. The redecorating process is personal, so don’t rush the process. Instead, take your time building up your own wish list, getting comfortable with a budget, and doing your own research-- that way you will be more prepared for the experience.

Here at Macy Lane Designs, we pride ourselves on our functional and realistic approach to the design process. If you have any questions about the process of working with an interior designer, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Did you know that something as simple as color can add thousands to your house’s potential value? Zillow has found that homes can sell for more than 5k over asking... just by having a consistent, neutral, and synergistic color palette! 

Your home should be your place of serenity where you can completely unwind after a long and busy day. The psychological role that colors play is so vital to design― it just can’t be overlooked!

Many people don’t realize how many simple elements that already exist in the home can elevate the tone and vibrancy of their spaces. Elements such as natural and mechanical lighting, furniture and flooring choices, and the size of the room all play a role in the impact and consistency of your color. Read on to learn the four simple considerations to perfecting your paint colors.

1.   Optimize your palette to compliment your space

The color you paint your walls will determine the mood, style, and utility of the room. Color has a substantial impact on both feeling and concentration level- that’s why many kitchens have light paint, and many bedrooms or basements are darker. In addition, the color of a room will change the perceived size of the room.


Concentration pertains to the concentration or intensity of the color. This can be an important consideration depending on the lighting choices in your room! It’s been proven that brightly lit areas engage the mind and improve concentration. In contrast, darker rooms typically encourage relaxation and are more commonly found in bedrooms or rest areas. Brightness isn’t the only “concentration factor” ― colors are also associated with feelings.


Paint color sets the mood of the room, influencing the feelings of your family and friends. Purple, blue, and green are often calming. However, while bright yellow and orange may light up the room, they also have been associated with anxiety or unrest. Red has been associated with hunger in some cases. So, make sure that the color paint you chose allows for either the alertness or restfulness of the room.


Wall color and sheen determine how light reflects, which determines how large or small a room feels. Light neutral colors typically reflect the most light, regardless of sheen, and therefore make a room feel large and airy-- that’s why it’s popular in many current home designs. However, dark rooms or accent walls are also trending, making a room feel cozy, dramatic, or artistic.

Accent walls are a fun way to get both an airy space with a dramatic, darker touch. In addition, it can supply a focal point in the room to highlight your decor, family photos, and light fixtures!

2.   Make your paint pop with natural lighting consideration

A moody room with great natural light. Photo: Sherwin-Williams

When choosing your paint color, natural lighting brings a variety of elements to consider. Your paint color can be influenced by ambient lighting and natural shadows, which can change the hue and the energy that your paint color brings to your room.

Natural lighting is likely affecting your space more than you think! For example, depending on where your windows face, you will get different warmth from the sun, affecting the perceived color of your paint. Eastern morning light introduces a blue tinge to the room, while the western evening light can bring a warm and yellow tone. When choosing a color, you should consider painting a few sample strokes onto the wall to evaluate what it looks like at different points in the day. 

Lighting will change the perceived color in two main ways:

By doing an in-depth color analysis, you can capture the exact mood and tone you want to set in the room as you upgrade your space― automatically adding to resale value should you ever put it on the market.

3.   Tie your flooring choice into your room with vibrant paint colors

Your paint choice can be a powerful way to tie in the flooring options that your home already has, or compliment new flooring. The two design elements can work synergistically to bring a unique energy to the room. For example, natural wooden floors or laminate flooring can bring a warmer tone into the room and would do well with neutral, warmer colors.

In contrast, if you have concrete, stone, or marble elements in your floor choices, cooler colors may be a stronger possibility to minimize differences and potential clashing. While colors do not need to match explicitly, many homeowners prefer complementary colors from the same color family― don’t overlook your floors when choosing your perfect paint color!

It is also important to note that you should experiment with colors that will enhance the beauty that your flooring choices bring into the room― you’ll want each design element to work together in one cohesive flow of the design.

4.   Pair your colors with beautiful lighting options

Unique light fixtures and lamps can be like “jewelry” to your space and bring different hues in your room colors. Since color can look so different in natural and man-made light, make sure to consider your paint choices at different times of the day. Then you won’t be surprised once the entire room looks greener or bluer at night than you intended it to be.

While artificial light itself will impact the color of your paint, the color and style of the light fixtures will also affect how your wall paint will look. For example, you can pair a more neutral paint with pops of colorful light fixtures to pull a deeper color from the wall. Or you can balance a bold paint color with neutral light fixtures if you’re looking for a more dramatic look.

Finding an interior design expert in Phoenix, AZ

Whether you’re looking to organize your space or completely re-design and refresh your home, the experts at Macy Lane Designs are here to help. Our team of experts offers various premier home services, including paint consultations, interior design services, lighting packages and organizing for one room (or your entire living space), and so much more! So, connect with us today at 480-613-6537 to learn about how you can make your home your heaven!

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