Before: Unloved Living Room
This cozy living room wasn’t at all awful, but it was seldom used. Though a rug thrown over the shag carpeting helped define the space, and woodsy tones tied it all together, it didn't see much actual life.
After: Inspiration Station
Sometimes a makeover completely transforms the function of a room. That’s certainly the case here, where a little-used living room became an airy, inspiring work space. Neutrals and wood tones are swapped for bright whites, and the rigid seating area gives way to a clean-lined desk. The birch-tree artwork and that shag carpeting are just about the only holdovers from the original room.
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Before: Blank Slate
While this empty living room offered tons of space and light, it was certainly in need of warmth and imagination. Homeowner and blogger Amy of 11 Magnolia Lane was ready for the challenge.
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After: Fresh Family Room
White furnishings and cream walls form a clean canvas for throw pillows and other accessories that Amy likes to switch up each season. Her summer look, seen here, features navy and pale blue accents, wicker, and weathered wood.
Before: Cottage-Style Dining Room
Charming though it is, this contemporary take on cottage style comes off as a little bit dated. After the homeowners completed a sparkling white renovation of the adjoining kitchen, the bold colors in the dining room suddenly looked slightly out of sync.
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After: Going Coastal
This dining room makeover was accomplished with fresh colors and new decor. Dark gray walls were repainted a serene green, and the cottage-style chairs and table were supplanted by sea-grass chairs and a painted wood table. The driftwood and sea-glass tones, enhanced by gently weathered wood accessories, conjure up the ambience of a picnic by the shore.
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Before: Limitless Potential
Blogger Emma of A Beautiful Mess found this room a bit dark, with its deep brown floors and murky, drab walls. The bank of windows, however, held out a ray of hope.
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After: High-Style Screening Room
Emma transformed the space into a welcoming spot for lounging in front of the TV. To prevent the prominently placed screen from diminishing the beauty of the room, she painted a black stripe to camouflage the TV when it's not in use. This bold move is intensified by bright white walls, a statement light fixture, and pops of yellow. Cowhide rugs add texture and pattern while complementing the original wood floors.
Before: Outdated Den
In another room makeover from A Beautiful Mess, a dated room screamed out for attention. While the wood beams, fireplace, and built-ins were lovely details, they were in dire need of a refresh.
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After: White and Bright
As demonstrated here, a coat of white paint works wonders. Whitewashing the brick fireplace and opting for a glossy black firebox gives the space energy and contemporary flair.
Before: Clean But Plain
The garage is rarely a glamorous place, but this one was particularly grim. On the plus side, though, it was clean and spacious.
After: Garage Gone Gorgeous
This fearless homeowner decided to dress up the garage and turn it into a lovely and livable space. After applying painter’s tape in a spiffy geometric pattern, she painted the floor white (a daring choice for a garage), then removed the tape to reveal the gray concrete below. The finished space serves as a home gym, home office, and storage area—and she can still park her car in there too.
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Before: Underwhelming Design
This undercooked room was the central hangout in this first home of a pair of happy newlyweds who, like many young nesters, were a bit short on furniture and cash. The spare interior and uncovered concrete floors made the space feel cold and a bit bereft.
After: Woodsy Wall Treatment
Introducing an expanse of rustic wood is a clever and low-cost decorating trick to warm up a space. Here, a wall covering of planks lends texture but can be taken down easily when the homeowners want something new. To complete the room makeover, pretty but inexpensive accent chairs, a sizable plant, and a neutral rug all play a role in defining this sitting area and making it much more welcoming.
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Before: Forlorn and Forgettable
Dingy white walls and dinged-up cabinets made for a pretty depressing bathroom. The blah, windowless space cried out for some personality.
After: Black-Accented Bath
Black paint conceals the cabinet's imperfections and offers a sophisticated contrast to warm blush-pink walls. With soft touches like the subtle palette of the shower curtain, vintage-style mirror, and wood accessories on the white vanity, the room is both calming and dramatic at the same time—no easy feat.
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Before: Banged-Up Breakfast Spot
Hand-me-down furniture and a mishmash of timid paint possibilities gave this dining space a provisional look. The white tile floor was in decent shape but needed an injection of bold color to save it from being hopelessly bland.
After: Like-New Nook
A deep navy blue, paired with white trim and the white floors, makes a powerful statement. With navy-and-white geometric-patterned curtains and a plain white tablecloth, the dining nook takes on a crisp, clean attitude that's accentuated by the swooping light fixture—a stylish finishing touch.
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Before: Cold, Contemporary Style
This dining area had light and space to spare, but with dowdy light fixtures and plain beige walls, it was crying out for a dining room makeover. The homeowner enlisted the aid of a friend who helped her make some smart choices for the space.
After: Faux-Aged Dining Room
Aiming for a “Spanish European look,” the homeowner hired a faux-finish specialist to give the walls the appearance of aged, peeling stucco. Industrial-style chairs and light fixtures add an unexpected oomph to the old-world decor, while a buffet under the windows grounds the space and adds functionality.
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