Cottage-Style Makeover

A dark, cluttered great room is transformed into a bright, functional family space.

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Before: Cluttered Chaos

The wooded ravine in Cindy and John's backyard is the reason they fell in love with their home, but inside, the view was less than spectacular. Wood paneling on the 14-foot-high ceiling of the great room and a dark brick wall absorbed all the natural light, and the bulky hearth around the fireplace took up a huge amount of floor space. Oversize furniture made the dark room seem small and cramped. Add to that the mountain of plastic storage bins holding their three kids' toys and Cindy's collection of Japanese dolls and the clutter factor was high enough to block out the view they love so much. Cindy and John called me in to shed some light on this dark, cluttered, not-so-great room and create a bright, comfortable gathering space.

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