Living room makeover with light and color

Getting enough light into the main floor of our home has always been a problem. We live in the woods and our downstairs windows are shadowed by porches on three sides. Also, I’m not sure why, but the contractor who built our home never installed any ceiling lights in the living room. Floor and table lamps provide our only source of light at night. My husband has even complained that the lack of light may be giving him headaches. (Or could it be two cranky kids whining for snacks before dinner? Hmmm.) 😉
Our plans are to someday add recessed lights in the living room ceiling. But since we have a two-story home, that project will likely be complicated. In the meantime, I discovered a quick, easy and inexpensive way to add more light in the space without tearing holes in the ceiling or calling an electrician.
GE-Reveal-halogen-bulb-packagesI recently picked up enough GE reveal® halogen bulbs to replace all the light bulbs in our living room lamps. These bulbs are designed to filter the dull, yellow rays of traditional soft white bulbs and illuminate your home with clean, beautiful light. GE reveal® bulbs claim to make colors and patterns pop, enhance the look of wood grains, and make whites appear whiter.
So I switched out all the light bulbs in our dark, dingy living room with GE reveal® bulbs and I was pleasantly surprised at the results. Check out the comparison photos I took below. The light bulb on the left was a CFL that was in our lamp before. The one on the right is the GE reveal® halogen bulb I replaced it with. (No photo enhancements were done to either picture.)
GE-Reveal-transformationI replaced a total of five bulbs in our living room. My husband commented when he got home from work that it seemed brighter in there and that the lighting looked more natural, and less “yellow-ish.” I especially love how these bulbs light up the special reading nook in the living room, where I get to snuggle our toddler every day. 

In addition to my quick and easy lighting makeover, I decided to add pops of blue in the living room to balance and “cool” the yellow and brown tones of our wood flooring and living room walls. I typically like to keep my furniture, walls and flooring neutral and then add color through the decorations. This allows me to completely change the look of a room without a lot of hassle and without spending a lot of money. For example, I incorporated blue into the living room through my rug, pillows, artwork and throw blanket.


Can you spy my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles on the mantel? Find out how to make your own here.

Living-room-blue-decorations Living-room-decorations-fireplace-2014

I can’t believe how much difference changing out my light bulbs and incorporating an accent color make in this room.


I added my DIY driftwood candleholder to our side table. This is one of my all-time-favorite thrifty projects. Check out how to make your own here.

Driftwood-candleholder-and-lamp Picture-display-in-living-room

Now let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see what my living room looked like before the light and color makeover.


And, just for fun, here are some photos of the way before, back a couple of years ago.

BEFORE living-room-spring BEFORE Fall-mantel-environmental BEFORE new lights and blues Neutral-living-room

What a difference a few, small changes can make in a room! In the comments below, tell me what you want to reveal in your home with GE reveal® lighting for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card to complete your own #100reveal.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion using #100reveal; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion using #100reveal, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. 

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 1/19/2015 – 3/1/2015.

Be sure to visit the GE reveal® Lighting brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


Special thanks to GE reveal® and BlogHer for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions – and sweat equity – are 100 percent mine. 

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218 Responses

  1. brenda says:

    how nice to see the photos that is not an enhanced tv commercial touting a product. I am wondering is this a pigtail type bulb ? some are so difficult to work in our lights and lamps. thank you for the great pix.

    • Susan says:

      You’re welcome, Brenda. It really has made a difference in the room. These aren’t “pigtail” type bulbs. I believe you’re thinking of CFLs. These reveal bulbs have a nice, sleek look. In fact, I just replaced two of the recessed lights in the kitchen with GEreveal LED bulbs as well.! So much brighter and more white, rather than yellow-looking light. Thanks for the kind feedback.

  2. Sean C says:

    Love your before and after photos. This turned out great! What a difference lighting makes.

  3. Alina says:

    I love the accent color to the room. It looks magnificent. And, yes, what a change with the lighting indeed.

  4. Kelly Palmer says:

    I would love to change out the bulbs in our living room as well and “reveal” a nice clean and uncluttered room after the holidays 🙂

    • teresa sulyok says:

      I would also like to replace all the lightbulbs in my apartment with new reveal bulbs. I think it would make a huge difference in both appearance and raising mood during dreary, overcast winter.

  5. Amy C. says:

    I would love to “reveal” the framed “family travel” photos I have in the Family room! Thanks!

  6. Jane says:

    Love the difference the bulbs make!

  7. Debbie w says:

    Would love to change out my bulbs…I have lots lots lots of lamps!

  8. Robin Kramer says:

    Such a significant difference! I’d definitely like to upgrade to these bulbs!

  9. Donna Gibson says:

    Your room is very lovely and inviting. Another trick to adding light to your room is adding a few mirrors to reflect the light around the room during the daylight hours. Having a light colored floor, light colored walls, and bright white ceilings will brighten up a room if mirrors are reflecting from the four walls. It can be simple with a small mirror with candles, or home interiors designs, wall decorated mirrors, and even large picture frames which will reflect the light. You just have to watch where the sunlight comes in and observe where to place your mirrors on the walls. Sconces, with candles serve as a great way to add a small mirror alongside a large picture frame. Leave about two fingers length between the mirror and the picture. Again, very comfy!

  10. Melissa says:

    You could easily add more light behind the couch if you were able to pull it from the wall (enough floor space?), add a sofa table (does not need to be fancy behind the couch) and then add a couple lamps. It is amazing the amount of extra light that adds for reading while on the couch.

  11. Heather G says:

    I love these light bulbs. I bought some accidently…but they really do make everything look more natural. I have so many more lights to replace, so the gift card would come in SO handy. And they save energy!! Win-win!!

  12. Rachel M. Dow says:

    what a simple, yet wonderful update! Thanks for posting and offer the chance to win!

  13. Stephanie C says:

    Wow, what a difference!

  14. LYNN D says:


  15. Lisa Brown says:

    I want to reveal the book pages when I read.

  16. Mami2jcn says:

    I would like to reveal our homeschool area so my kids can see what they’re reading better.

  17. Mami2jcn says:


  18. Julie Wood says:

    My kitchen is too dark! I want to reveal a lighter brighter kitchen so I can see better when cooking!

  19. Kelly D says:

    I want to reveal board games when I am playing in the living room with my family.

  20. Elena says:

    I want to reveal my kitchen and make it look lighter and brighter

  21. Carol S. says:

    What an amazing difference.

  22. steve weber says:

    I would like to reveal our dining room area so we can see each other more clearly.

  23. Leona says:

    I love how light and bright your room now looks with the reveal bulbs, and your color scheme is calm and refreshing. I’d love to replace the light bulbs in my fan light so my big family room looked more open and bright.

  24. Nicole Dz says:

    I want to reveal happy holiday gatherings in my home with GE reveal lighting.

  25. Natalie says:

    I want to reveal my plate of food in the dining room so I can see what I am eating! I need light@!!!

  26. OFG says:

    The shining, smiley faces of my husband and son.

  27. Erika says:

    I would love to have better light in my (eat in) kitchen. It would make meals so much nicer!


  28. Shannon says:

    I’d like these bulbs to reveal more of our new bath remodel!

  29. shelly peterson says:

    I would like to reveal my living room. It has one lamp in there and it’s very dreary.
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  30. shelly peterson says:

    cshell090869 at aol dot com

  31. LaTanya says:

    my kitchen needs better lighting

  32. courtney b says:

    I would love to put additional lighting in all my rooms as well. maybe some pretty lamps or a chandelier

  33. heather says:

    I would like to reveal our living room with GE Reveal lighting we have some dark areas that need more light.

  34. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    We have tall ceilings in our living room and we are in real need of some light! GE would do the trick!

  35. amy pugmire says:

    I would love to brighten up our laundry room. Its so dark in there!

  36. kjasus says:

    i want to reveal the true colors in my living room

  37. Bonnie Maas says:

    I am excited to try the Reveal light bulbs in my living room after seeing what a difference they made in your living room. I have a vaulted ceiling with recessed lights, but never seems bright enough. Love your pops of color too!

  38. Jessie C. says:

    I would like to reveal our living room.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  39. Jessie C. says:


  40. joyce says:

    I’m making an investment in good bulbs today.

  41. Madeline says:

    I’d like to reveal more of my desk space in the computer room with GE lighting.

  42. Rebecca says:

    I would love some better lighting in my closet!!

  43. sandra says:

    the living room overall, it’s so dark in there

  44. Susan Smith says:

    I would like to reveal the family room with better lighting so I can read.

  45. Anna Pry says:

    i would like to reveal my home decor style

  46. Suzy N. says:

    A living room can almost never have too much light, but ambient lighting is my favorite.

  47. Donna Marchlewski says:

    I would not limit it to one room, I want the bulbs in the whole house!

  48. Kristen says:

    I’d like to reveal what I REALLY look like while getting ready in the morning by replacing the bulbs in my bathroom.

  49. Katherine says:

    I want to reveal the beautiful wallquilt my sister in law made me

  50. tina m says:

    I want to reveal my kitchen.

  51. rachel says:

    My daughter’s nursery! It’s so dark!

  52. Sean says:

    I’d reveal my DIY projects around the house

  53. Melinda says:

    I’d show off the true colors of my home b/c right now they all seem yellow!!!

  54. Toni says:

    I loved how the light bulb transformed the room without the yellowish tint. I would used the reveal bulbs in my living room, Kitchen and bathrooms.

  55. Joseph Cal says:

    kitchen is my greatest need

  56. Cynthia C says:

    I would like to reveal true colors in my bathroom to make makeup application easier.

  57. Stephanie Phelps says:

    What a beautiful room. I would love to reveal my new paint in my living room with GE reveal® lighting.

  58. Shannon says:

    I want to reveal my sewing desk in the basement! It’s dark down there, I need some light!

  59. ELIZABETH P says:

    If I reveal my dining room will it make my dinners taste better? That would be fun – I do see the difference between the yellow lighting and agree it’s time to change! truckredford(at)Gmail(dot)com

  60. D Schmidt says:

    I really want to reveal the beautiful wall displays we have created in our book room.

  61. Mary Hall says:

    It’s amazing what some decent light will do for a place. I hate going somewhere and there’s not enough light–enough good light–and I can’t see! Okay, I’ll admit, my bedroom is one of these places. I have to take clothing out into the hallway to see if a certain pair of pants are dark blue or brown.

  62. Rebecca Graham says:

    My living room needs revealing.

  63. Gina M says:

    I want to reveal the awesome textures in my living room.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  64. Gina M says:


  65. Denise L says:

    I want to reveal a cheerful, welcoming living room.

  66. abisogno says:

    I’m so happy to find this!The lighting in my new home had been on my mind quite a bit lately! I’ve had the suspicion that my lighting was contributing to my new headaches. I find that during the day I feel much better with our great-room skylights, but at night I’m noticing eyestrain and headaches. Reveal light could work wonders! Such a subtle change made a big difference in your room.
    PS We love the Little Blue Truck book at our house too!

  67. Ashley H says:

    My daughter’s play room.

  68. Elle says:

    I’d like to reveal the area near the fireplace in the living room since it’s pretty dark and not well lighted and it’s hard to see the pictures/artwork around there when the sun isn’t lighting up the room.

  69. Nicole says:

    I want to reveal my too-dark family room that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight.

  70. sherri crawford says:

    i’d like to see my book page better and would love the new ‘color’

  71. Margaret Smith says:

    I’d like to reveal our family room. My family and I spend most of our time in this room and this room can really use help with it’s lighting.
    Thanks so much.

  72. Sandy Klocinski says:

    I often spend hours at my home computer, so anything that reduces eye strain is welcomed.

  73. Kerry says:

    I’d love to reveal more light in my kitchen space.

  74. S. Carter says:

    I would like to reveal a nice painting I got for Christmas.

  75. amy rouse says:

    I want to light up my knitting nook! It’s too dark and I’m straining my eyes while I knit

  76. Barbara M says:

    I’d like to reveal our living room with GE Reveal lighting because we spend a lot of time in this room.
    thank you

  77. Stephanie V. says:

    I’d like to reveal my favorite picture of my little boy!
    stephanievollowitz at yahoo dot com

  78. Debbi Wellenstein says:

    I want to reveal my loft area that overlooks my living room.

  79. paige chandler says:

    I want to reveal my new beautiful bed linens in my bedroom.

  80. Jimmy says:

    I would reveal my living room. It’s a little too dark in that room.

  81. Debbie B says:

    i really need to get better lighting for my living room – those bulbs really make a difference

  82. Beth Klocinski says:

    I want to reveal under kitchen cabinet lights.

  83. Crystal F says:

    I would like to give my girls room a little more light for when they are doing their homework. Thank you!

  84. mickeyfan says:

    I want (need?) to reveal things better in the bathroom.

  85. HilLesha says:

    I’d love to reveal my living room in better lighting, as it is the focal point of my house. 🙂

  86. Richard Hicks says:

    I want to reveal the splendid colors in our wall paintings

  87. sarah hirsch says:

    i want to reveal my lovely dining room set with some cool new lighting

  88. Davina says:

    I want to reveal better lighting in our bedroom. We have a loft and the lighting is terrible.

  89. Linda G. says:

    I would like to reveal our family room. We play our family nights games in this room and could really use better lighter.

  90. Li Eldridge says:

    The makeover is really uplifting…so light and bright!

  91. Crystal Sell says:

    I want to reveal the puzzles that my husband and I love to put together.

  92. erica best says:

    i would used it my livingroom

  93. Robin Cassidy says:

    I would love to “reveal” the character of our unique older home.

  94. Kathleen says:

    I want to reveal my kitchen as it’s dark

    kport207 at gmail dot com

  95. Christine Burd says:

    I want to reveal my fireplace with it’s beautiful glass etched fireplace cover . It is a dark wall with little natural light in the room .

  96. ashley C says:

    I would love to reveal the kitchen and dining room! I spend tons of time cooking and sometimes it gets dark, especially at night. We could use some better lighting!

  97. Anastasia Falling says:

    I would LOVE to reveal my daughters room! She is creative with her decoration and artwork and it would be great to highlight it so you can really see it all 🙂

  98. Tara O. says:

    I’d love to reveal my living room! It’s way too dark in there!

  99. Aurelie Red says:

    I would love to reveal my bedroom ! There is only one light source, so I don’t see anything at night. I would love to have a nice and natural light.

  100. Lauren Olivia Wood says:

    I’d love to reveal my bedroom! My lighting is so old-fashioned.

  101. Lauren M says:

    I’d like to reveal some warmth in our house during these dark winter months!

  102. Peter G says:

    Looking at these pictures I am glad that I decided to get some lamps and now the lighting is so much better. Pictures show the difference.

  103. Sylvie W says:

    Floral patterns cascade throughout my home. Reveal bulbs will highlight my beautiful blue/rose living room rug and the lovely ceramic lamps with their gold/rose pattern that are also in my living room. My bedroom has a green/rose patterned quilt that will come to life with the correct lighting.

  104. angie says:

    Just about every room in my home is in dire need of new or better lighting. My house is SO spotty where lighting is concerned. The worst place is def my bedroom though.

  105. Daniel M says:

    I want to reveal our bath, just to dim in there

  106. says:

    I actually need better lighting in my house..unfortunately it is so dark 🙁

  107. Ellie Wright says:

    I want to reveal our master bath. I always put makeup on in there and the lighting is just not up to par.

  108. I would like to reveal my kitchen and pantry a bit more. There is not a ton of natural light in these rooms.

  109. Lisa V. says:

    I’d like to reveal the dining room since it’s the prettiest.

  110. Julia says:

    Wow, those before pictures look like my livingroom. I try to take photos of my dogs and so often they just don’t come out. We have an overhead light, but that is too harsh – pretty much the only time I turn it on is when I “have” to get a picture of something. I’d love some of these bulbs to light up my livingroom. Not to mention the 10 (??!!) recessed bulbs in my kitchen!

  111. Sonya Morris says:

    I would love to reveal my living room with GE Reveal lighting!

  112. Carolina Dhabolt says:

    I would love to bring more light into my living room, it would look perfect.

  113. joe gersch says:

    I want to reveal my pergo floor

  114. Laura says:

    For some reason the sidebar advertisement for GE Reveal caught my eye today while I was searching for a recipe. I believe the words ‘lighting makeover’ and the before and after pictures of the lighted living room brought me here. I can relate to dealing with that yellow lighting especially in the winter when lighting here in New England is a minimum this time of year. The thought of brightening up my living space makes me smile. Maybe instead of crawling into bed early the brighter lighting will give me reason to read more, or work on a project or do some art work. I am also wondering if my mornings will be ‘sunnier’. I so dislike waking up before daylight. I am definitely going to try these GE reveal bulbs. I guess I will be patient to see if I win some $$ before purchasing! Thank you for the opportunity!

  115. Kim H says:

    We need new lighting in our craft room!!!

  116. Erica B. says:

    Our baby’s room.

  117. Holly Kennedy says:

    Our living room needs better lighting.

  118. Vicki Lenz says:

    Good lighting does make a huge difference.

  119. Stephanie Larison says:

    I want to reveal my home office area, it’s too dark the way it is right now.

  120. Stephanie Galbraith says:

    I would like to fix and install a new lighting system in my living room.

  121. Marcia Goss says:

    I need to try these light bulbs in my family room. It’s just too dark.

  122. maria cantu says:

    I would like to reveal my kitchen workspace so I can see what I’m doing.

  123. Jayne Garrett (momznite) says:

    With improved lighting, I’d like to reveal our art work.

  124. Lisa Garner says:

    I would love to reveal my bathroom vanity better with GE

  125. Wanda McHenry says:

    I would like to reveal my home office, there’s only one window and it does not have very good overhead lighting!

  126. Bruce says:

    I want to reveal what I’m trying to read

  127. Janice Cooper says:

    I would like to reveal the living room so we can see each other better when we have company.

  128. Brenda Elsner says:

    I would love to reveal my bedroom.

  129. joni says:

    I would reveal an awesome drawing my daughter did that I had framed and is on the wall.

  130. Leela says:

    I’d like to reveal my dining room.

  131. Kathy Pease says:

    I would want to reveal some of the funny antics our pets do 🙂

  132. Tracey byram says:

    I want to reveal my family portraits

  133. Karen Drake says:

    I want to reveal my bedroom, it has low light and seems dreary most of the time.

  134. Francine Anchondo says:

    I want to reveal my living room

  135. WHITNEY says:

    I would like to reveal my master bedroom with new GE lighting

  136. Thomas Murphy says:

    I want to reveal my kitchen.

  137. Angel Jacklyn says:


  138. Jean D. says:

    I’d love GE spotlights to reveal the lovely foliage outside the front of my home. Aside from added beauty at night, it would help prevent break-ins!

    Thanks for a great giveaway.

  139. AndreaH says:

    I’d just love to reveal the fact that we have dark wood furniture in our living room. Our lighting consists of one table lamp that throws out very yellow lighting and one ceiling fan light. The ceiling fan light is hardly ever on but the lamp that sits in the corner on a bookshelf is always on and always throwing out yellow lighting….dim yellow lighting. So, it would be nice to have better lighting to actually see that our living space does have pretty furniture. We just can’t tell at the moment.

  140. I would like to reveal my kitchen, it is very dreary now.

  141. Cathy Truman says:

    My bathroom needs new lights to
    bring some life into the room.

  142. Candie L says:

    I want to reveal my kitchen area above my sink. Thank you

  143. Sarah L says:

    My kitchen can be a bit dark and these lights will help make it better.
    Thanks for the contest.

  144. Kathryn C says:

    would love to reveal our beautiful hardwood floors and the wood accents throughout the house

  145. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    my makeup area!

  146. Betty C says:

    I’d like to reveal my bedroom’s true colors.

  147. Tabathia B says:

    I want to reveal a brighter and more open living room for reading

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  148. CharityS says:

    I want to reveal the artwork in my home.

  149. Tabathia B says:


    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  150. I would like reveal all the amenities of my kitchen with better lighting.

  151. heather c says:

    I’d love to reveal my fabulous living room decor!

  152. V. Russell says:

    I have a reading nook in desperate need of some new lighting! I want to reveal that so I can enjoy it!

  153. Seyma Shabbir says:

    I want to reveal my lovely living room!

  154. Buddy Garrett says:

    I want to reveal the fabulous look of our bedroom.

  155. I want to reveal my cave like bedroom, it’s always so dark.

  156. says:

    I would reveal a better reading area in the famliiy room.

  157. tina reynolds says:

    I want to reveal my playroom and familyroom we spend the most time in those two rooms

  158. Harmony B says:

    My living room room needs to be Revealed, its a sad place right now

  159. Stephanie says:

    I want to reveal a brand new bedroom

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