Hint: It has to do with color.

By Tamara Kraus
Updated April 19, 2018

While there are some things in life that have a quick fix, a complete home makeover is not one of them. For the May 2018 issue of Real Simple, we took a sneak peek inside the gorgeous Nashville home makeover by Elsie Larson of the blog A Beautiful Mess. While we were there, we learned a few key lessons for anyone considering their own home design update. Our biggest piece of advice? Make sure to pick out a color palette before you start shopping, painting, and decorating.

For this makeover, Elsie chose gorgeous shades of green that brought the outdoors in. Once she decided on her color scheme, she was able to use shades of green throughout her home (both inside and out) to create a cohesive look that flows nicely from room to room. While many people dive right into decorating without picking out a palette first, choosing one beforehand can help guide your decisions. An added bonus: it may actually help make the process easier.

For those who do pick a color palette, making the design too matchy-matchy is a common mistake. To keep things sophisticated, Elsie incorporated several shades of green throughout her home to switch things up and add a surprising visual element. This way, it's cohesive without being overly repetitive.

Here are just a handful of ways that this Nashville home features a variety of earthy green tones in the laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, and even on the front door.

Laundry Room
Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

Add the Color in an Unexpected Space

Elsie made her laundry time cheerier with a fresh coat of paint. The hunter green adds a pop of color in an unexpected spot and creates eye-catching contrast against the white shelves—but without being too loud.

Living Room
Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

Introduce a Statement Piece in the Color

Here, this luxe green sofa adds a mid-century mod touch to the space. Because the sofa is a more vibrant shade of green than the deep hunter green seen throughout the rest of the home, it still complements the color palette without looking too matchy.

Nashville Kitchen
Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

Work the Palette into an All-White Kitchen

Mix things up in the kitchen with colored cabinets in a shade that's unexpected, yet calming. The color of these deep green cabinets is also seen in the laundry room, so the repetition pulls the space together.

Alyssa Rosenheck
Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

Let the Front Door Set the Tone

Nothing can make or break your home's curb appeal like the front door color. It's the first thing guests see, so you want to make sure it's right. Here, we made sure to swatch the green paint colors on the door before making the final selection since the color typically looks different once dry versus in the can.