White Paint, Small-Space Remodel

HGTV Magazine shares how knocking down a wall — and using buckets of white paint — can totally transform a space.
By: Steele Thomas Marcoux and

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Photo By: Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Photography by David Tsay; styling by Dani Fisher

Photo By: Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

After: Remodel Success

After knocking through the barricade, she brightened up all the walls with white paint. She brought in new white cabinets and counters, plus fun pops of color and graphic patterns. "It was six weeks of total chaos, living with a miniature fridge and a microwave in our home office, but it was definitely worth it," she says. "Everyone wants to hang out here. I think it's because our great room turned out so great."

Bright Space

A single fixture and uncovered window mean more light. Bright white on all the surfaces makes the room light and happy.

Cool Feel

She chose white quartz countertops with a squared-off edge and white Carrara marble tiles for the backsplash, then offset the cool feel with traditional Shaker-style cabinets.

Contemporary Lighting

Industrial pendants hang above the island (Mercer pendant, schoolhouseelectric.com). "I wanted the kitchen to look modern but still feel cozy," she says. "The best way to do that is to mix contemporary with classic."

Adjustable Barstool

The Dalfred barstool adjusts from 24 3/4" to 29 1/8" tall (IKEA stores).

Clever Color

Amber furnished the living room space with a striped rug, a rattan chair, a suzani-covered ottoman and a white slipcovered sofa piled high with bright pillows. "I stick with neutrals for the stuff that's hard to change, like upholstered pieces and walls," she says. (Striped 7'10" x 5'7" rug by Stockholm Rand flat-woven from IKEA)

Updated Fireplace

Painting the fireplace white makes it recede without erasing its texture. (Rattan Hennie chair, serenaandlily.com)

Perfect Backdrop

A white sofa is the perfect backdrop for a fun mix of pillows. "I add color and pattern with rugs, pillows and artwork — things that are easier to swap out."

Graphic Pattern

Vintage suzani-upholstered ottoman, from store.sleepingpartners.com

Outdoors In

White double-pane sliding doors replaced the original aluminum ones. The leafy curtain fabric gives a nod to what lies right outside the doors. (Fabric: Fig Leaf by Peter Dunham Textiles, peterdunhamtextiles.com)

Book Nook

Extra space carved out beside the fridge made room for shelves (painted plywood secured to the wall with screws). "The bottom shelves are filled with kids' books, so my little girl loves to hang out there. It's her space," says Amber of her daughter, Gwyneth. The leather folding stool can be pulled into the living room for extra seating.

Personalized Art

A reproduction of a London subway sign makes Amber's British husband feel at home. (Artwork Custom 20 1/2" x 60" bus scroll, $299, transitdesign.com)