I used to hate our living room. It was all things 1960s - dingy orange wood paneled ceiling (and end walls), dark beams, a hideous front door, angular bookshelves, no light, and this silly step at the front door some architect thought would appeal to our mamalian den-dwelling need for security. You get the point, it was a weird room.
Today, that's all gone...and it feels so nice.
The vertical grain bamboo floor, tile at the entry, new door, casing & millwork are all very nice. But the most powerful transformation happened by merely painting the ceiling white. Don't get me wrong, it took a lot of work, but it was so worth it. We used an shelac-based primer and latex trim paint on the ceiling using our professional paint sprayer. If ever using a sprayer one Thompson Tip for you is to use the most fine tip possible. It will reduce the amount of paint coming out and this will reduce your drips & runs if you are not experienced. There is so much light in this room now, even though we painted the walls a deep dusty gray. The power of paint helps me to love this room!