BEFORE: Lost Style
A furniture set can hold back a room's sense of style. Partnered with a nondescript brown color palette, the bedroom was ready for an infusion of style.
AFTER: Style Fusion
The room's previous pink walls and oak furniture caused everything to recede and nothing to stand out. Now, with a palette of oatmeal and blues -- plus furniture in varying finishes -- the room is dynamic and stylish.
Makeover Lesson: Mix it up by stepping away from the furniture set. Look for other ways to unify the space, such as through a color palette or style details.
BEFORE: Uncharmingly Vintage
Old homes offer character but need the right furnishings to bring out the charm. Like a lot of rooms in vintage homes, this living room faced the challenge of an awkward layout. The long, narrow room is also the front entry of the home.
AFTER: Colorful Welcome
An infusion of color updated the tired living room, while classic furniture and motifs pay homage to the home's historic roots. The room's main patterns -- the Jacobean print on the curtains and the plaid on the Louis XV-inspired chairs -- are repeated on pillows to create a unified look.
Makeover Lesson: Don't get stuck on a style. If you like classic furniture but prefer bright colors, don't feel you have to go traditional all the way. For a balanced, pulled-together look, use patterns and furniture styles that match your "root" style, but use a color palette with a bit of pep. Here, lighter shades of blue and green expose traditional style, but the pastel tones keep the look from becoming stuffy, as do pops of warm pink and orange.
Go to the next slide to see more details from this living room.
Watch and learn more about this living room makeover.
BEFORE: Not-So-Good Vintage
Quality vintage pieces with smart design have a place in today's decor. But sometimes the old has to go. In this bathroom, a cheap, dated vanity was bringing down the style and function of the space.
AFTER: Up-to-Date Pretty
A fresh gray color palette captures the timeless beauty, while a transitional vanity combines elements of classic, contemporary, and cottage style.
Makeover Lesson: Shop for deals and don't put a dream material out of consideration. The 1-1/2-inch-thick Calacatta marble countertop with a beveled edge was a remnant.
BEFORE: Beige, Beige, Beige
A monochromatic palette has its place, but without texture and material variations to back it up, the palette can fall flat. Case in point: this boring beige bedroom.
AFTER: Beige and Beyond
Statement-making furniture and just-right doses of color lift this bedroom from the beige doldrums. A few large-scale pieces, both the headboard and the pair of bedside lamps, add drama.
Makeover Lesson: It's OK to be restrained with color -- this bedroom retained neutral walls, flooring, and bedding. To avoid straying into boring territory, introduce a few pops of color in a limited range. Here, orange and aqua designs on neutral backgrounds enliven the bedding. The orange headboard is a warm tone, which pairs nicely with the golden beige walls, and the warm-on-warm look blends, rather than contrasts, which tones down the orange.
BEFORE: Cave Dining
The square footage of this dining room was lost thanks to an awkward layout and no sense of direction. A bland brown color palette and lack of soft features, such as window treatments and a rug, created a cavernous, uncomfortable space.
AFTER: Flow and Form
The window seat at the end of the dining room begged to be used. With the table positioned next to the window, the seat can now be used for dining. Additional mix-and-match seating gives the room a casual vibe. Soft pink walls give way to brighter colors on the upholstery and pillows.
Makeover Lesson: It's OK to spurn convention in decorating. Make your rooms work for you. By moving the table to one end of the room, rather than placing it in the center, the window seat now has purpose and a home office worked its way in on the opposite side of the room.
BEFORE: OK but Ordinary
A timeless, clean-lined sofa and fun apple green armchairs were a step in the right direction, but without any additional color and few accessories, this living room was devoid of warmth and fell short of its potential.
AFTER: Fab and Fun
Moving the sofa to a place of prominence in front of the large double windows gave the room an anchor and left room for an extra armchair. Colorful accents and details, such as the artwork and drape trim, add the final flourish.
Makeover Lesson: Use the foundation you have; makeovers don't have to start completely from scratch. Evaluate what you already own, and build on it. For example, if you haven't budgeted for a new sofa, work with the one you have, or shop for a slipcover.
BEFORE: Bare and Boring
Drab colors, empty walls, and lack of style were only the beginning of this living room's laundry list of issues. Add a monstrous mirror and a dominating brown sofa, and this room was in desperate need of a rescue.
AFTER: Bright Outlook
Moving the brown leather sofa from the middle of the room to the wall minimizes its size and dominance in the room and leaves space for extra seating. Sky blue walls and shades of green blend with neutrals for a nature-inspired space.
Makeover Lesson: Put your color palette on repeat. By using dark brown elsewhere in the room, such as on the coffee table and striped fabric, the existing sofa looks right at home in the revamped space. The blue wall color is repeated in the chair fabric and pillows, and the green is reprised on accessories.
BEFORE: Blank Slate
With a few pieces of furniture but lacking color or accessories, this living room reads dull and impersonal.
AFTER: Style for Less
Bargain scores and accessories give this room a lift. Twin bookcases fill an empty wall and add storage and display space. With a neutral base of furniture, easy-to-change accessories add color.
Makeover Lesson: A revamp doesn't have to cost a fortune. Scour discount stores, flea markets, and thrift shops. Embrace the DIY spirit and get a custom look with your own two hands by adding trim to curtains, making your own art, or whipping up a pillow from a piece of fab fabric (and don't limit yourself to yardage -- cloth napkins, table runners, or scarves are all proper pillow fodder).
BEFORE: Disconnected Bedroom
An eye-catching headboard was a step in the right direction for this bedroom. But without a supporting cast of accessories, color, and pattern, the carved design fades into the background.
AFTER: Green Retreat
Spring greens and leafy motifs lend an air of freshness to this once boring bedroom. Crisp white bedding and window treatments counter the earthy palette, creating visual balance.
Makeover Lesson: Think in layers. Bamboo shades filter light and provide privacy, but the addition of drapes infuses style onto the bedroom windows. Similarly, on the bed, a modern leaf duvet dresses up the plain brown comforter, and stacks of pillows add visual variety.
BEFORE: Overstuffed and Underutilized
Oversize furniture might be comfortable, but its large footprint can make a space feel cramped and limit the flexibility of a room. If your home is short on space, rooms that can multitask become even more important.
AFTER: Bright and Functional
Slimmed down, yet comfortable, furniture replaces the behemoth sofas and chairs. A bouquet of oranges -- from sherbet to tangerine -- and plucky greens brighten the space. Plus, the sofa folds out into a bed, which means the space can double as a guest room. And freed-up floor space left room for a desk (not pictured), creating a corner office space.
Makeover Lesson: Pay attention to scale. In small spaces, large furniture can make a room feel even more cramped. Look for pieces with open designs, like these etageres, or with feet, which provide visual breathing room between the furniture and the floor.