10 rooms totally transformed
Before: Hardly working wall
Kristine Franklin of The Painted Hive needed a central family workstation and was able to create one by claiming some dead space just off the kitchen. After calculating the dimensions that she'd need to accommodate books, a computer, and miscellaneous tech equipment, she designed a wall unit that could function as a small home office while fitting in well with her homey style.
By Jane Dagmi
After: Hard-working wall
Tall, slender double-deep bookcases provide copious and movable storage, while base cabinets hide the “ugly technological thingamabobs” such as the printer and tower. Eclectic artwork gives the space a quirky lift, and a refinished bamboo Chippendale chair lends a bit of vintage glamour.
Before: Oak aversion
Jen Jones at I Heart Organizing had a kitchen update on her mind almost from the moment she moved into the house she and her husband built in 2001. At the time, working within a tight budget, they outfitted their kitchen with oak cabinetry and laminate countertops. It wasn’t until she could not bear looking at the oak one more day that she forged a greater plan.
After: Cabinet conversion
Painting the cabinets white and the walls rich brown made the room feel warmer. Jones gave the built-ins a custom look by adding wainscoting along cabinet sides and crown molding up top. Although she still hankers after a different countertop and a few other changes, the improved and refreshed mood of the space far outweighs the investment in time and money.
Before: Bedroom blahs
Designer and blogger Liz Marie Galvan believes that the bedroom should be an inspiring end-of-day retreat. “You spend so much time in there, sleeping, unwinding from the day, spending time as a couple,” explains Galvan, who came up with a master bedroom redesign that infused a lackluster space with an eclectic cottage vibe.
After: Bedroom hoorahs
The floor-to-ceiling wood-plank headboard, both earthy and romantic, is the room’s most important new feature. Galvan’s husband built the DIY pallet headboard by randomly varying the board measurements before attaching each board to the wall. Paint and a new layout also played big roles in this cozy sanctuary makeover.
Before: Outgrown room
When it was time for her 4-year-old daughter to graduate from the nursery to a big girl room, Cassie Freeman at Hi Sugarplum! was on it. With an ongoing mission to “kick the '80s out of our home,” Freeman came up with a sophisticated yet playful redesign that relied on energizing traditional elements with bold color.
After: Room to grow
In a series of 39 blog posts, Freeman meticulously detailed the aesthetic transformation of her daughter's room. Some of the many projects that delivered a lot of bang for the buck were the formal yet fun cherry monogrammed pelmet and the classic faux molding made from foam trim.
Before: Half done
In Cristina Garay’s Maryland home, the kitchen and family room are at opposite ends of one long, open space. After making over her kitchen to feature a black, white, and stainless palette, the Remodelando la Casa blogger felt compelled to address the balance issues on the other side of the room.
After: Balancing act
The floor-to-ceiling overmantel, constructed of half-inch MDF, complements the classic kitchen cabinetry just yards away and creates a focal point. The entertainment area anchors the length of the room, but its chocolate tone keeps it from dominating.