If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.
To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.
“The living room is the first thing you see when you enter the house, yet in this Connecticut home, it was dated and in need of a major refresh,” interior designer Amber Lewis shares. “My goal was to marry upscale farmhouse style with a cool country vibe, creating a traditional-yet-cozy aesthetic for this family with four small children.”
Meet the Expert
Amber Lewis, founder of the Los Angeles-based Amber Interior Design and Shoppe Amber Interiors retail stores, is known for her laid-back and light-filled décor that incorporates colorful textiles, earthy textures, natural elements, and brushed metals.
“The wood paneling combined with the ceiling beams and dark floor gave the space a heavy, cabin-like feel,” Lewis notes. “Our first goal was to immediately brighten things up.”
“We removed most of the wood paneling and the ceiling beams, painting everything a crisp white instead," Lewis says. "Then, we lightened up the original chocolate-stained white oak floors to give them a more natural, fresh finish. By filling the room with a mix of modern and vintage pieces, we created an airy and inviting space where everyone can hang and relax.”
- Color theme: A mix of whites and punches of gray and navy create a warm and inviting color palette.
- Couch: The deep-seated ivory colored sofa has a mid-century feel and is covered in blue and rust-colored pillows.
- Chairs: The caramel leather chairs feature padded arms with a cool buckle display.
- Fireplace: The original wood mantel adds texture to the space and is filled with an array of vintage artwork and tchotchkes.
- Windows: Bare windows allow for maximum light and contribute to the simplicity of the space.
- Vintage furniture: Accent pieces, like the coffee table, dresser, and spindle-back chair are all vintage finds that that add character to the room.
- Bench seating: Built-in nooks on each side of the fireplace provide a place for the kids to curl up.
- Lighting: The milk glass on the two brass swan neck wall sconces create a soft glow and illuminate the area above the built-ins.
- Rug: The vintage-style patterned rug grounds the space with its shades of dark blue and light gray.
- Pocket doors: Sliding pocket doors, installed to create a divide between the living and kids’ play area, are in keeping with the home’s age.
- Stools: Woven stools provide a place for the family to rest in front of the fire.