23 Before-and-After Living Room Makeovers

Designers take these living rooms from ultra-dated to oh-so-dreamy. You won't believe these must-see remarkable living room transformations.

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August 05, 2019

Photo By: Lambert Home

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer

Photo By: Mali Azima

Photo By: Mali Azima

Photo By: Mali Azima

Photo By: Julie Soefer Photography

Photo By: Julie Soefer Photography

Photo By: Claire Paquin

Photo By: Regan Wood Photography

Photo By: Claire Paquin

Photo By: Regan Wood Photography

Photo By: Claire Paquin

Photo By: Regan Wood Photography

Photo By: DiMauro Architects

Photo By: Warren Jagger Photography

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Photo By: Phoebe Chuason

Photo By: Michelle Gage

Photo By: Kyle Born

Photo By: Claire Paquin

Photo By: Regan Wood

Photo By: DiMauro Architects, Inc.

Photo By: Nat Rea

Photo By: Marie Flanigan Interiors

Photo By: Julie Soefer Photography

Photo By: Ashley Ausland

Photo By: Marisa Vitale

Photo By: Ashley Ausland

Photo By: Marisa Vitale

Photo By: Caitlin Jones Ghajar

Photo By: Aubrie Pick

Before: Tired Traditional

This traditional living room features a dated mix of warm yellow and red hues. Deep marigold walls, heavy red drapes and bulky, brown leather furniture give the space a dark and cluttered appearance.

After: Revived + Refined

Designers at Lambert Home transform the dark and dated traditional living room into an airy and enviable transitional design. A crisp paint job lightens the walls and a set of creamy barrel accent chairs add fresh seating for friends and family. The dated drapes are replaced with neutral, geometric curtains and the cognac sofa is energized with three ivory toss pillows.

Before: Beautiful Bones

If you can look past the busy floral sofa, the cluttered sewing station and tacky built-in bar, you’ll see that this historic home is full of charm and potential. The planked ceiling is adorned with substantial wooden beams that bring architectural interest to the design and visually expand the space.

After: Crisp Contemporary

Never underestimate the power of white paint. Interior designer Lucie Ayres revives the dated living room with wall-to-ceiling white paint that both calms and enhances the original ceiling beams. A minimalist-style sconce and sleek gray sofa modernizes the space while a slew of punchy yellow toss pillows and a cobalt-coated built-in bookcase add personality to the design.

Before: Dusty + Distracting

Dingy, dusty walls and bulky, espresso-stained wood trim work in tandem to diminish the beauty of this expansive family sitting room. Dated, warm-toned furnishings bring additional darkness to the design and create an almost cavernous appearance.

After: Elevated Design

Interior designer Lucie Ayres coats the walls and ceilings with bright-white paint to create a clean, cohesive slate for cool, contemporary furnishings. An oversized chartreuse painting creates an electric focal point on the wall. space and coordinates with a cobalt sofa and neon toss pillows to energize the space with contemporary style.

Before: Distracting Contrast

This expansive living room appears unfinished and overwhelming. Collected knick-knacks clutter the mantel and walls, while a group of too-small furniture leaves a lot to be desired at the center of the grand space.

After: Airy + Fresh

Designer Lucie Ayres transforms this space from cluttered and messy to crisp and contemporary. Ayres replaces the mantel tchotchkes with a chic vignette of abstract art and charming yellow blooms. A striking blue sofa appears proportional in the grand space and provides homeowners with chic and cozy seats for late-night, fireside conversations.

Before: Bulky Fireplace + Bad Floors

Clunky, aged floor tiles lead the way to a bulky fireplace that features a large wooden mantel and a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall stone facade. Dull green paint coats the room’s remaining three walls and a bland ceiling fan collects dust overhead.

After: Brick Fireplace + Blonde Floors

Blissful Design Studio takes this living room out of the stone age and into the future with a minimalist-style brick fireplace and beautiful, blonde hardwood floors. The contemporary tufted sofa and chairs are cozied-up with rustic accents like a gingham area rug, distressed vintage chests and piles of marigold floral pillows.

Before: Unsightly Stone

The earthy stone fireplace lacks subtlety and brings a dark and dreary energy into this family living room. The rough gray and brown stone overwhelms the senses and overpowers the space.

After: Classic + Cozy

Buh-bye, brown! Goodbye, gray! The once-overwhelming wall is made effortlessly elegant with a handsome brick fireplace surrounded by fresh, white walls. The bright walls draw the eye to the striking firebox and provide a fresh backdrop to the custom, gilded graphic paintings that flank the remodeled fireplace.

Before: Dingy Colors

The beige built-in bookcases feature ornate details and an antique finish that appears dirty and dated. The shelves are cluttered with an unsightly collection of contemporary black picture frames and random red accents.

After: Crisp + Clean Contrast

Elegant, black built-in bookcases frame a striking white fireplace and create a high-contrast, high-style look in this once overdone and outdated living room. The shelves are outfitted with gilded sculptures, marble vases and spirited graphic prints.

Before: Overly Ornate Mantel

This traditional mantel is overwhelming and tacky with opulent columns, a faux-aged finish and a swirling vine firebox screen. Overhead, a large television and a random, decorative iron wall accent appear bulky and out-of-place.

After: Understated Elegance

Less is much, much more. The over-done mantel is replaced with a creamy cast stone fireplace with a sleek, clean-lined exterior and a fashionable, herringbone interior. Decorative fire glass glitters within the firebox in lieu of traditional gas logs.

Before: Soaring Views

Soaring ceilings are met with stunning windows and beautiful views in this outdated living room. Dark mustard walls and off-white trim surround the arched windows and dull their visual impact in the space.

After: Striking Views

Interior designer Minhnuyet Hardy uses inky paint to enhance the accent trim surrounding the striking arched window in this reimagined den. Soft gray paint brightens the walls and embraces the abundant sunshine streaming through the windows.

Before: Sterile Style

Cold, cream tile floors, flat taupe walls and a big beige sectional make this one lackluster and uninviting living room. A single red throw blanket drapes across the back of the sofa to coordinate with a large red plate above the mantel in attempts to add color to the ultra-bland, ultra-beige design.

After: Layered With Warmth

Interior designer Marie Flanigan layers neutral hues and lavish textures to create a cozy, inviting family living room. The once barren space is now abundant with depth and dimension thanks to snowy shiplap walls and a sophisticated, pillow-clad sofa. Flanigan enhances the light, neutral furniture with naturally warm elements such as the cognac hide rug and jute lamp. Subdued shades of plum and olive bring personality into the design without overpowering the space.

Before: Totally Tacky

There are hundreds of creative and beautiful ways to display family photos in your home. This is not one of those ways. The drab marigold den features heavy golden drapes, mismatched furniture and a traditional fireplace that’s working double-time as a makeshift family scrapbook.

After: Total Smoke-Show

Interior designer Claire Paquin peeled the polaroid vignette from the mantel and replaces it with a stately mirror flanked by traditional nickel sconces. The gaudy gold walls are coated with a fresh vanilla hue and the wooden mantel and molding throughout are painted glossy white. Golden ikat drapes dress the windows and matching, marigold pillows are used throughout the space as a nod to the original space.

Before: Dated + Drab

Sponge-painted marigold walls appear dirty and disheveled in this family living room. The orange-stained hardwood floors and matching china cabinet mirror the golden walls and yield a flat, monochromatic design.

After: Regal + Timeless

Royal purple accent chairs and golden drapes pop against the airy taupe walls and white trim in this reimagined living space. Espresso-stained hardwoods replace the off-putting orange floors in the original space and bring contrast and dimension to the design.

Before: Monochromatic Marigold

The large living space lacks function necessary for a contemporary family home. Cluttered corners frame an empty floor and bring disorganized chaos to the space.

After: Decadent Royal Hues

Clever furniture placement maximizes the use of this space. A large sofa takes center stage, opposite of the newly remodeled fireplace and provides a plush place for conversation with two velvet armchairs and a punchy, purple bench. Behind the sofa, two contemporary wingback chairs offer first row seats to enjoy a concert by the family pianist.

Before: Blank Slate

An empty attic offers endless opportunities for homeowners. This space is full of potential with a pretty, arched ceiling and sweet, square window.

After: Cozy Coastal Sitting Room

The attic reaches its full potential with this cozy, coastal sitting area. The ceiling sports salty-white planks and nautical navy hardwood floors bring a coastal touch underfoot. A small table and chairs provides a place to eat and play beneath the handsomely-trimmed window and plush armchairs provide snuggly spots to curl-up for good books or and great conversations.

Before: Uninspired Traditional

Arched windows, substantial molding and handsome hardwood floors provides this traditional living room with plenty of design potential. The cloudy, yellowed walls and outdated furniture distracts from the beautiful, architectural bones of this space.

After: Vibrant Transitional

A little paint goes a long way to enhance the original beauty of this transitional living room. The formerly yellow walls are covered with an airy white hue and adorned with custom moldings for added flair. Spindle-style armchairs with tassel-trimmed pillows adds youthful energy to the space and a luxe, tufted gold ottoman pairs with a gilded floral chandelier to bring a touch of drama and glamour to the design.

Before: Dreary Mid-Century

Dark, dysfunctional and oh-so-dysfunctional – this mid-century modern living room is begging for a full-blown facelift.

After: Fresh Facelift

Interior designer Natalie Meyers knocks years off the space with bright-white paint, updated furniture and a captivating color palette of blue and marigold. The original stone fireplace remains intact and is enhanced with a slew of natural textiles throughout the space.

Before: Bleak Corner

It may not be much to look at now, but this disheveled space has great bones. The two windows have unmatched views of the backyard and wash the space in natural sunlight.

After: Colorful Corner

Cheerful aqua paint coats the walls and sparkling-white trim surrounds the windows to create an enlivened and polished look. Espresso-stained hardwood floors contrast against the airy blue walls and anchor the space beneath the pretty, patterned armchairs. An oversized pink abstract painting and funky brass sconces add warmth and personality to the design

Before: Full of Potential

This charming sunroom features a wall of arched windows that captures striking views of the lush backyard landscaping. The dated yellow walls and tattered carpet cloud the potential of the space and distract from the architectural character.

After: Captivating Contemporary

Gold, be gone! Pale gray paint coats the walls and allows the custom window treatments to shine in the space. A funky silver chandelier illuminates the family room from overhead and pops of teal and chartreuse energize the charcoal sectional and arm chairs.

Before: Historic Fireplace

The historic fireplace in this Rhode Island living room is beautiful but doesn’t fit the needs of an updated, contemporary family home.

After: Classic Cottage Facade

The team at DiMauro Architects, Inc. reimagined the historic brick fireplace into a traditional and inviting focal point for this coastal cottage home. Icy-blue walls and blonde hardwood floors enhance the whitewashed millwork and highlight the pretty, pastel tiles surrounding the flickering hearth.

Before: Distracting Arches

An arched entertainment center distracts from the beautiful wall of windows and cozy fireplace in this dated, traditional living room. The center features dark-stained wood shelving and a trio of unnecessary burgundy arches overhead.

After: Transformed Transitional Entertainment Center

Designer Marie Flanigan removes the overdone arches and installs a single, sophisticated built-in entertainment center and shelves in their place. Heather gray grasscloth lines the back of the built-in and a smart navy cabinet extends the length of the unit.

Before: Dark Den

Cramped and cavernous, this uninspiring living area needs a complete makeover to fit the needs of a modern family of five. The stained carpet and drab yellow walls make the space appear messy and grimy, even after cleaning day.

After: Sun-Drenched Sitting Room

Dove gray walls meet the snow-white planked ceilings and create an open and airy aesthetic in this family room. Interior designer Ashley Ausland adds a built-in media cabinet for storage and rips out the stained carpet and replaces it with honey-tone hardwoods.

Before: Poor Function

A cramped media unit is positioned oddly against the corner of the room. The piece appears cheaply made, covers a window and is overflowing with clutter.

After: Plush Window Seat

Designer Ashley Ausland reimagines the space and accounts for the homeowners’ growing family with a custom-built window bench and cabinet storage. The stylish nook offers additional seating for friends and family during movie night and the cabinet and draws keep the distracting DVD and book clutter out of sight when not in use.

Before: Lackluster Living Space

The quirky layout, ill-fitting rugs and dysfunctional storage make this living room uninspiring and bland.

After: Open Floorplan + Opulent Views

Interior designer Caitlin Jones Ghajar turns the drab design into a dream pad by embracing its wall of windows and using neutral furnishings, luxe texture and sleek-lines throughout. Warm wood built-ins provide out-of-sight storage for booze, books and board games while an expansive area rug anchors the design and adds airiness underfoot.

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