Living Room, Laugh, Love

This before living room wasn’t terrible, just empty.  Easy enough fix. But anyone can put furniture in a living room. That’s not the hard part. The hard part is making it both comfortable and chic. Keeping it cozy but not cluttered. Mixing in eclectic elements without looking like you’re having a yard sale. With enough sentiment to make it personal but not to the point that your visitors want to blarf. (If you have wedding pictures hanging in your guest bathroom, I might be talking to you).

I’d say Kaylee nailed it on all accounts!

living room makeover before living room makeover - after

Cozy, chic, colorful, comfortable, and she even incorporated an enormous wedding picture that blends in seamlessly! *Slow clap.* I’m impressed.

Plus, she had to paint all that trim from gray to white, so that counts as a major makeover to me. Currently, my ambitious self is trying to convince my lazy self that we need to paint all the off-white trim in the house white-white, and she’s not having much luck.

See more from Kaylee at Kaylee Coles.

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The best of the best of 2015

Today we’re wrapping up the best of the best of Better After’s 2015.  If you missed the first half, don’t worry your pretty little head; you can find them all right here.


One of my very favorites from July was undoubtedly this retro home renovation from Better After reader Gwen.

1958 Home Exterior Before copy

1958 Home Exterior

If that little yellow gate doesn’t make your heart pitter-pat, check your pulse my friend. Hit the link above to take a peek inside!


In August we met the talented Amanda at Ferpie & Fray.

Peachy Pink Mini Buffet Before

Peachy Pink Mini Buffet

I would highlight all of her work if I could, she’s just so good! She has a gift for making things look timeless and trendy at the same time. This coral chest makeover and more are available for your viewing pleasure right here.


September brought us this playful playroom makeover by Jennifer at Dear Lillie.

Pink and White Play Room

Pink and White Play Room Before

Jennifer is another ultra-talented gal and every room of her home is perfection. I’d move in a heartbeat. If she ever decides to sell her house, I call first dibs. I don’t even know what state she lives in, but I don’t care.


One of my favorite makeovers in October was from one of my favorite people, my dear friend Denise.

Formal Living Room Before

Formal Living Room

Her living room makeover is legendary, and click the link to see her equally awe-inspiring dining room makeover too!


November started a dresser revolution thanks to this makeover from Brooke at Start at Home.

Cream and Wood Storage Bench Before

Cream and Wood Storage Bench

Dressers everywhere began to realize that they still had much to offer, even with broken drawers or *gasp!* no drawers at all!


And so recent that you probably remember it like it was yesterday, comes my favorite from December, this dining room makeover from Better After reader Leatha.


dining room before  Cow Kitchen 2

It’s that cow. Gets me every time. Plus the whole room looks fabulous and I’m pretty darn impressed by that hand-crafted table too.


So that was 2015! What do you hope to see more of in 2016? Or less of? It’s always so interesting to me to see trends cycle through over time. What can stay around forever as long as you’re concerned, and what needs to GO already?

Here what has my vote:

Stick around:

  • subway tile
  • white kitchens
  • gallery walls
  • succulents
  • wallpaper
  • stripes


  • shabby chic
  • woodland creatures: owls, foxes, squirrels (Still cute in a nursery though)
  • vinyl lettering
  • marsala
  • mason jars
  • wood pallets

But hey, that’s just my opinion. If you want to deck out your marsala-soaked house in mason jars and hedgehogs, you go girl. Never let trends (or bloggers, or bossy Buzzfeed articles) dictate what you love or don’t love! It’s always good to grow and try new things and refine your taste, but also don’t forget to just do what you like. Trends come and go so quickly anymore that it’s impossible (and expensive!) to try and keep up. Our homes aren’t disposable – our style shouldn’t be either.

So be happy being you! That’s the moral of my soapbox. (I hope it made sense. I was only interrupted like 200 times trying to write this. #terroristtoddlerproblems)

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From Stakeout to Standout

I’m just going to assume that the previous owners of Tasha’s home were some kind of elite armed-forces unit secretly stationed in unsuspecting suburbia. Because who else is going to paint a room army green with beige trim? NO ONE ELSE.

But the call of duty obviously called them somewhere else, so they moved on and Tasha moved in.

The wall color was one of the first things to go, along with the beige carpet and the monstrous stone fireplace. But don’t worry!

Blue Contemporary Living Room Before

Blue Contemporary Living Room

She didn’t rip it out, she just gave it a cement makeover for  … you’ll never guess.  Ok, try to guess.

$3000? No, even though that’s what she was quoted by a few companies she researched.

$1000? HA! You are still way off.

$100? Surely that’s not possible. Is it?

YES. It really truly cost her $100 to turn that heavy stone fireplace into the sleek contemporary cement version you see before you.  Read all about it on her blog Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body.

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From Whoville to Ooohville!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Specifically, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  (If you are looking for a holiday movie to base your home decor around, that’s not the one. Home Alone is a good one, but that’s not the point). Here’s the point: Nancy’s before living room was dark, dated, and looked a bit like the Grinch himself had shimmied down the chimney and stolen every last crumb of cheer.

Nancy was not having it.  Let’s see how she worked her magic:

Toshiba Exif JPEG

White Fireplace copy

Hello cheer explosion! It’s like a perennial springtime in here now. So fresh, airy and light. Nancy says one of the most helpful changes was mounting the TV over the fireplace, which freed up tons of room and allowed furniture placement to flow.


yellow and white living room makeover

yellow and white living room after

And wouldn’t you say that it’s true … that this room seemed to grow three sizes too? I would.

High five Nancy! Much more to see on her blog Artsy Chicks Rule.

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