Yay for Gray!

Long ago, beige paint was enjoying quite the heyday. I remember being super jealous of one of my first friends to graduate from apartment living into a brand new home back in 2002 or so.  Oh, to have beige walls and brushed nickle hardware! Beige was the standard, white walls were pshhhh, so boring.

But the pendulum has swung again, and beige has been bumped aside. Currently, gray is king of neutral hill, for now at least. What do you predict will be next? I’m guessing it will start back around again at white. There are only so many neutrals, right? Who knows?

But I’m still on team gray, especially since there are tons shades and variations to play with. You can have a blue-based gray, green-based gray, greige, light grays, dark and moody grays, all kinds of gray! Can beige do that? Not without veering into urine-colored territory it can’t. Ask me how I know.

So here is a rockin’ living room makeover featuring – you guessed it – gray.

Gray and White Living Room Renovation Before

Gray and White Living Room Renovation

Doesn’t it make the white trim pop? (I’m sorry, I really hate that phrase “make it pop!” but alas, there is none better).


gray renovation

Gray and White Living Room Renovation 1

Goodbye brown and yellow (colors that should never, no never be paired together), and hellooooo gorgeous.

Gray and White Living Room Renovation before 2

Gray and White Living Room Renovation 2

Even the red tile around the fireplace got the gray treatment, and good thing, because that would have stuck out like a sore thumb literally. Red and pulsating and painful to behold. But now, its all a serene space awash in light. Fabulous update.

See more details from Brooke and her fab-ified living room at Re-Fabbed.

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Birch and Rescue

I don’t know who lived in this house before Kimberly moved in, but judging by the picture, who could it be other than an Christmas-loving old-school-VHS-watching fluffy-towel-folding grandma? I bet she was super fun. I bet her grandkids called her Christmas Grandma.

However, her decor was the opposite of fun. That’s where Kimberly came to the rescue. Behold:

Aqua Living Room with Trees Before


Aqua Living Room with Trees

Oh yeah! That’s better. There’s so much to love here, from the cozy arrangement of the furniture to the whimsical hand-painted birch trees on the wall. I love how she even painted the trim around the air conditioner and disguised it with a plant, because honestly why was that even trimmed out in the first place? Explain yourself Christmas Grandma!

Much more pics to see from Kimberly at Quirky Cool Living.

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Brick by Brick

Hi-YAAAA!  <– That sound you hear is me karate-chopping my way through Monday. HaHA! Take that Monday! I am feeling fine and in control of my life today, because I managed to wake up early – hours before everyone else in fact – and I Got. Stuff. Done.

Mostly just some laundry, but it feels good.  I also took some vitamins and had breakfast and ordered things on Amazon and learned how to make these symbols on the keyboard: ¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠. So yeah, it’s pretty much already a great day.

¡I hope your day is great too!

Here is some makeover goodness to start you out right.

Kelsey at The Peacock Roost was not in love with her living room when she first bought her house. The paint color was eh, the trim was dark, the fireplace was not attractive, the shelves were wimpy, and the brick was too brick-y.

Blue Living Room with Whitewashed Brick Fireplace Before

Blue Living Room with Whitewashed Brick Fireplace

“Too Brick-y” is a real thing that affects millions of Americans.  Fortunately, it can be remedied as Kelsey has proven here, with a light white-washing that keeps the integrity of the bricks while toning down their aggressive color.

She also bulked up the built-in storage and lightened the paint colors. Cute furniture and accessories never hurt either. Looks amazing times infinity Kelsey! ∞




Psst! The Ugly Lamp Contest is coming! 

Submit your ugly lamp pictures and join in the fun!

Send your original picture to betterafter(at)live.com, subject line UGLY LAMP before August 21st.

More details here!

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Just Do It

I currently have a bookcase in my garage that is very similar to these before tables.  Jacinda found these tables for a steal online. I paid $2 for my bookshelf at a yardsale.

Her tables needed to be stripped. My bookcase needed to be stripped.  She buckled down and powered through SIX DAYS of stripping and staining.  I spent approximately one horrible hour stripping, then made a sandwich.

She finished her tables and is enjoying their fabulous new look in her living room. My bookshelf has sat in my garage for over three years.  I’ve moved with the dumb half-stripped thing two different times!

But, if Jacinda can do it on three tables with curved legs and carved details in less than a week, by George, I can do it to my little bookcase too.  For reals. I’m going to do it. Seriously. Hold me to it, you guys.

White and Stained Top Coffee Tables Before


White and Stained Top Coffee Tables

See more on her blog Northern Nester.

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