25 Incredible Living Room Makeovers From HGTV Pros

Reimagine your space with inspiration from some of our stars’ most jaw-dropping before-and-afters. These beauties are proof positive that ANY ugly duckling can become a swan.

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January 15, 2019

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Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

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Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

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Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

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Photo By: David Owen Strongman / Getty Images

Photo By: David Owen Strongman/Getty Images

Before: A Cold Hearth

A fireplace and wainscoting should add interest to this Mississippi living room, but they’re weighing it down instead. This space needs to start over from scratch.

After: Warmth and Character

Erin and Ben Napier of Home Town gave this room a wake-up call with a fresh coat of floor-to-ceiling white paint and bright new window treatments. In place of that ho-hum hearth, this family gathering spot now has a wall of photos and heirlooms — and the dark, dated tiles were swapped out for lighter (and more kid-friendly) vinyl flooring.

Before: Form Without Function

A low, acoustic-tile-paneled ceiling and an unlovely entertainment-center-slash-faux-fireplace aren’t doing this living room addition any favors.

After: Practical and Pretty

Erin and Ben built the addition’s rear wall into a proper multi-use area, complete with a working wood stove, built-in shelving and custom cabinets. The pale celadon paint Erin chose for the walls carries up into handsome new decorative ceiling beams, and bright pine panels and a graphic area rug replace grim beige carpet.

Before: Ancient History

This Mississippi home is authentically vintage, but some of its loveliest details (like the tongue-and-groove ceiling and hardwood floors) are smothered beneath ill-advised updates. It’s in desperate need of thoughtful restoration.

After: Living Legend

The Napiers peeled back decades of modifications and restored this space to its former glory, complete with period-appropriate accessories. They complemented the original ceiling and floor with traditional sconces and a ceiling fan, then paired a vintage area rug with sumptuous, comfortable-but-classic furnishings.

Before: Land of the Lost

This home is in a fabulous Indianapolis neighborhood, but it’s been hacked into three separate apartments — and a series of cramped rooms that make no sense. Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine of Good Bones have a long way to go with this renovation.

After: Urban Eden

Mina and Karen brought life back to this living room by knocking down unnecessary walls and celebrating the generous space that emerged with lush foliage, a verdant green sofa and vivid abstract wallpaper. The onetime warren now feels like paradise.

Before: Room for Improvement

There’s plenty of space in the adjoining rooms at the base of these stairs, but no one’s taken advantage of the home’s full footprint.

After: Harmonious Home

Mina and Karen made the most of the open-concept opportunity in these rooms by unifying them with deep, rich flooring, a seamless expanse of white paint and a hallway that begins and ends with retro-modern pendants. The homeowners who settle into this Indianapolis property will have no trouble breezing between their kitchen, living and dining rooms.

Before: No Desert Oasis

This mustard-colored Palm Springs "living room" feels more like a hallway in a municipal building. Who wouldn’t keep on walking?

After: Cozy Corner

Eric and Lindsey Bennett of Desert Flippers gave this area the character it so desperately needed by swapping out those jarring yellow walls and dated salmon tiles for flooring with an organic feel and neutral surfaces. They created a snug seating area that will attract visitors to the new (and infinitely more elegant) hearth.

Before: Bottoming Out

Believe it or not, the carpeting in this glum living room is the best thing about the floor — because when Eric and Lindsey pulled it up, they found that the baseboards beneath had rotted away.

After: Mediterranean Marvel

Now there’s the summery serenity this space so sorely lacked. A striking new tile face makes the hearth a focal point, and its cerulean blue flows out into the room’s accessories. Pale (and structurally sound) laminate flooring is a welcome replacement for that mean, green mess.

Before: A Sad Note

Pay no attention to the popcorn ceiling and cracked concrete floor! This living room is all about the piano abandoned beneath a green sheet.

After: Relaxing Tones

The Bennetts stripped and repaired this room’s dilapidated walls and washed them in white, then echoed that cool neutral with bleached laminate flooring and desert-hued textiles. This living room is as serene as an evening vista in Palm Springs.

Before: Beige Bunker

With dingy carpet, leftover bolts, stained walls and awkward windows, this living room has been left for dead.

After: Gleaming Chic

This bright, inviting space is as gracious as its former incarnation was grotty. In place of the world’s saddest ceiling fan, a vintage-inspired trio of globes presides over a midcentury-modern seating area and a sleek new floor that reflects every last ray of the desert sun.

Before: More Is Less

There’s a lot going on in this dark and cluttered Nashville home — so much, in fact, that this room lacks a focal point altogether. It feels more like a storage space than a gathering place — a storage space with a disco ball, that is.

After: All Grown Up

Jonathan and Drew Scott of Property Brothers: Buying and Selling eased this room back to its original purpose by adding a stone fireplace to anchor the seating area. They turned the volume down on the cacophony of colors in the furnishings and accessories and left the space humming with luxurious, neutral tones.

Before: That '90s Room

There’s no denying that this Tennessee space is put-together, but it seems to have been put together a few decades ago.

After: The Future Is Bright

The Scott brothers helped this living room wriggle free of its past by coating its stale café-au-lait walls in an au courant eggshell. So long, heavy mantel art and fussy curtains — and hello, bold strokes of color and breezy white textiles. Used sparingly, the dark tones in the room are now sharp rather than dull.

Before: No Fun

For a space that consists of little more than toys and tech, this room offers surprisingly little in the way of entertainment. There’s seating, a screen, a few playthings... and that’s about it.

After: Quality Time

The now-charcoal hearth area is a dozen times lovelier now that a flat-screen doesn’t glare over it like Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Big Brother. Jonathan and Drew Scott put the slumping old sectional out to pasture and replaced it with ultra-modern modular pieces in heather gray, and they added accessories in warm caramel tones to give the space the "wow" factor it so sorely lacked.

Before: No Country for Old Furniture

This Brentwood, Tennessee living room offers rustic comfort, but its overwhelming browns give it a serious case of the blues.

After: A Modern Hit

The vaulted ceiling now receives its due, thanks to an accent beam the Scott brothers added to draw the eye to its architecture. Massive, dramatic pendants make the most of that once-ignored overhead space, and velvety gray sofas on an area rug below form the edges of a chic conversation area before the fireplace.

Before: Closed-Off Loft

An unneeded second bedroom juts into this otherwise-expansive living area. As a sunny corner unit several floors above the street, this loft should be airy — but a few walls need to come down.

After: Jewel Box

Presto! A once-featureless pair of walls is now a soaring metal-and-glass chamber that functions as a home office or a guest room and doubles the living room’s sun exposure. Joanna and Chip Gaines of Fixer Upper also revealed an additional three feet of the loft’s ceiling to emphasize its industrial feel and expose even more of that glorious space.

Before: Yellowed With Age

The diminutive windows and dated details in this cramped room mask its potential, since there’s no reason it couldn’t be a cozy sitting area adjacent to the kitchen.

A Room With a View

The rolling Texas countryside now feels like part of the home situated in it, thanks to massive new windows and a pair of French doors that open into the yard. Joanna punctuated the bright new space with crisp masculine accessories and a pile of cozy earth-toned pillows and blankets.

Before: Faded Beauty

This grand living room’s showstopping architecture is lost in tone-on-tone space.

After: Southern Belle

Joanna helped this room bloom anew with modern takes on dated pastels. The grandfather clock she chose to anchor the space draws the eye up to the new cased opening to the dining room, and the massive windows’ white trim makes their view feel limitless rather than framed.

Before: Tired Tile

This living room has potential, but it isn’t putting its best foot forward: Its putty-colored walls are too dark, and its fireplace’s face is far too busy.

After: Flipping a Switch

Joanna inverted the room’s color scheme and changed its look completely: Putty trim now defines the bookcases’ and doorway’s arches, and warm white paint has transformed the walls and once-awkward fireplace. A decorative beam draws attention to the salvaged mirror, echoes the delicate mantel and original (now rehabbed) hardwood floors, and gives the space organic warmth.

Before: In Need of Some Oomph

The bad news: The red tones in this Texas home’s flooring clash with its walls, and the fireplace could use some TLC. The good news: There’s a dazzling room waiting to be coaxed out of these basics.

After: Picture-Perfect

Joanna Gaines zeroed in on the fireplace for this makeover, and the resulting showpiece is stunning: Handmade tiles give it a bold new look, and the fresh wooden mantel ties in with the window treatments and the beautifully refinished floor. Gleaming brass accents and weathered leather accessories complete the reimagined space.

Before: A Lot of Look

This historic Pittsburgh home has something for everyone: There’s blood-red paint, trompe-l’oeil detailing along the molding, a lonely marble fireplace and too-modern leather and steel furniture.

After: Postmodern Poise

Leanne Ford of Restored by the Fords let this living room’s elegant figure do the talking: She took the walls back to her beloved bright white to give the fireplace’s subtle details a chance to shine, then slipcovered the dark sofa and brought color back slowly with notes of teal in the area rug, velvety throw pillows and an armchair.

Before: Trapped in Time

In its present state, this historic home’s living room has more of a suspended-in-amber feel than an era-appropriate one. An awkward stone room divider, moreover, functions as a stumbling block rather than an area of interest.

After: Precious Stone

Awash in afternoon sun, the massive hearth is now the living room’s guest of honor. Leanne Ford echoed its natural tones in a pair of midcentury wicker chairs and punctuated her creamy white backdrop with artistic slashes of black in metalwork and watercolor.

Before: Seating for an Army

Between the childproofing around the entertainment center and the space-swallowing form of the giant sectional, this living room has started to feel like a fortress.

After: Suburban Salon

Jasmine Roth of Hidden Potential broke the one-and-done seating down into a series of eye-catching perches, then softened the window treatments by removing stark white shutters and adding deep, semi-sheer curtains. Houseplants and flower arrangements scattered throughout the space echo the new sofa’s tone and the sun-dappled landscaping in the yard just outside.

Before: Someone Else's Space

The California couple that shares this home loves color, art and midcentury style — none of which have pride of place in this living room.

After: Charismatic Comfort

This cozy home now reflects its owners inside and out: Jasmine gave the fireplace a smooth stucco face that mimics the building’s new concrete exterior, and graphic art replaces the somber TV. Minimal shades open to the yard, and a smattering of playful geometric pieces add an element of '60s chic.

Before: Unwelcome Guest

Awash in toys and topped with a hulking television, this fireplace makes no sense — and this living room isn’t entertaining anyone especially well. (Spoiler: During demolition, Jasmine’s team discovered the hearth wasn’t even safe!)

After: Creative Genius

An electronic roller shade now conceals the TV behind serene abstract art, and a feature wall of family photos stands in for the fireplace. With plenty of seating and storage, this is a room that actually works for a growing family.

Before: Lost in the Woods

Why is this southern California bungalow masquerading as a hunting cabin? The dated brick, stained carpeting and floor-to-ceiling paneling have got to go.

After: Bright and Beachy

Christina El Moussa of Flip or Flop brought coastal character to this space with soft gray paint on the walls, ceiling beams and fireplace. Sunny yellow accessories and sea-green mantel accents give the room a bit of Golden State glamour.

Before: Unfinished Business

This room hasn’t gotten much love of late: Note that the frame on the mirror above the mantel still sports cardboard packing corners. Attention, please!

After: Grand Finale

Jillian Harris of Love It or List It, Too knew this living room could be a showstopper, and her expert guidance brought it to this splashy new look: With architectural casing and a natural wood mantel, the neglected fireplace is now a proper focal point. Brighter white paint and playful textiles bring the space to life.

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