Updating a Dark, Dated Den

Lightened den featuring a flat-screen TV, fireplace and bookcase
Neil and Whitney Christopher’s dark and dated den looks nice and inviting after Danny and Chelsea lightened and brighten it.

When you have a dark, dated den, the only real solution is to lighten, brighten and update!

Six months ago, Neil and Whitney Christopher moved into this forty-year-old home with their children, Landry and Eliza.

Now, they’re ready for a more modern and inviting den.

We’ve masked off all the wood panels before painting.

The Projects

Paint Ceiling

The first big chore toward brightening up this den? Painting the ceiling.

Neil gets familiar with the paint roller.

Spray All Walls, Shelves and Bookcases

Neil and Whitney work into the evening and get two coats of paint on the walls.

The next morning, Neil starts on coat number 3.

We also paint the bookcases and shelves.


  1. I wanted to know what town this house is in? We are looking to get out of nevada. I would also like any real estate companies information in that town you could suggest. …
    Thanks Jeff
    Episode : updating a dark den,
    Big White House

    • Hi, Jeff! This is in Mobile, Alabama.
      HomeLight.com connects buyers (and sellers) with agents, and you might start there.
      Good luck!

  2. I would love to repeat the same look of the firplace and the the tv installed on the fireplace.I need more information on how you hid and install the cables. I called a local tv installer who informed me they would install the tv but all the wires would and it would be ugly. I explained you did this and it was beautiful without wires. Please help. Loyal believer

    • Hi, Lynnette!
      We covered the wires from the TV to the mantel with a piece of wood. You can buy also buy wire covers at the home center. Then we drilled a hole in the mantel and into the corbels to run the wire to the bookcase with the power outlet. We had to drill a hole in the bookcase to run the wires into it.
      All of the holes and wires were covered with two pieces of crown molding.
      Hope this helps!

  3. I hope that wasnt solid walnut paneling or similar because if so you just ruined it. Painting fine wood paneling is a disgrace since it is value and beautiful product once painted it might as well be fiberboard.

    • Hi, Luc!
      We always say, ‘Different strokes for different folks.’ Some homeowners (like these) love the look of painted wood to update a dark, dated room. And some folks would never paint the wood. We’re just here to make the homeowner’s dream come true. 🙂

  4. I have uncovered a old water pipe in front of my house near the road. How can I tell if it’s still in service

    • Hi, Edward! If the pipe is warm to the touch, hot water is in the pipe.
      If you feel vibrations, someone may be turning a nearby tap on or off.
      Otherwise, without disturbing the pipe, it would be very difficult to tell whether the pipe is live, and you should consult a local professional to check it out. Good luck!


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