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Before & After Room Inspiration

by | Sep 12, 2008 | Creative Before & After, Decorating Inspiration


Before & After Room Inspiration


Before & After Room Inspiration



Before & After Room Inspiration


Before & After Room Inspiration



Before & After Room Inspiration


Before & After Room Inspiration



Before & After Room Inspiration


Before & After Room Inspiration



Need to get inspired for an “after” photo, but you are still stuck in the “before”? Sometimes it is hard to get going because you imagine the task to be more complicated or costly than it might actually need to be. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling when you need inspiration and you are short on cash.

1. Remove everything out of the space. This really gives a clear perspective of what you have to work with.

2. Consider the bones of your space. Oftentimes you can makeover a room simply by diminishing the impact of things you don’t particularly like. For instance, if you have an ugly window, wimpy trim or less than fabulous mantle you don’t necessarily need to replace it to transform the room. Try to blend unattractive features into the background by avoiding big contrasts in paint colors. Walls, trims and doors can all be the same color. This paint technique can be a really effective trick for a quick and clean makeover.

3. Add to the architecture. If you are lacking in architectural features, why not bring in a couple of bookcases or cabinets and paint them to match your trim? With the right paint job and careful placement, your room will look like you splurged on built ins for a fraction of the cost! If windows are small or uneventful, adding a chunky rod hung higher and wider than your windows can feature great curtains that give your windows greater presence.

4. Minimize imperfections and add some focal points. A few imperfections or less than ideal features don’t usually necessitate a complete remodel. Most rooms can be transformed with much smaller changes. Even many kitchens can be redone on a modest budget. The key is to minimize things you don’t like, emphasize the things you love, and invest in a couple small updates to key areas. New faucets, paint, lighting, and new cabinet hardware can be great places to start. With an empty room, it is much easier to visualize what can be done to improve it without breaking the bank.

5. Add only positive contributors back in. With a few cosmetic updates taken care of, you are ready for the fun part. Putting it all back together again. But this time, only put back what adds to the room. Instead of filling it back up with clutter or random things you had in there before, try to unify your new room with items that contribute in a positive way. It would be better to have a nearly empty room than too much clutter or things that don’t really work in the room. Don’t be afraid of empty space!

Speaking of before and afters, we have a little project going on at our house. Remember project #431 on my to do list, the site of the “dead giraffe incident“? Well, there might still be a dead giraffe in there somewhere, but not for long!
Before & After Room Inspiration

That hallway is getting a makeover. It had the dingiest wallpaper ever, and I am happy to say that after this complete mess, the paper is now a fading memory. Now, for primer and paint. Simple makeover, but it will be much fresher and cleaner.

So, how about you this weekend? What projects do you have going on?

Photos: HGTV Green Design


  1. Brenda Kula

    The living room looks really polished. Much, much neater, cozier, and the colors are yummy.

    Brenda Kulas last blog post..What I’m Thankful For Today

  2. Bella Casa

    I recognize that gorgeous white comforter from the Pottery Barn, I wanted that one so badly for my bedroom….

    It’s funny that brick backsplashes are back in style…my home was built in 1976 and we have a brick backsplash (and a couple of brick walls and torn down wallpaper like your hall….) and here we are 2008 and they are back in style…good thing for my kitchen, lol, ’cause we are not remodeling it anytime soon, if ever…

    You know what, I sent your garden tour or garden drive by, I forget to a gazillion people many moons ago when I first discovered blogs…everyone who loves gardening was in awe…I remember even saying in the email that I need to visit this magical place called Oregon, lol ;) It seems like your neck of the woods is just the perfect spot for gardening :)


    Bella Casas last blog post..Blissfully Domestic and A Giveaway!

  3. Rhoda

    Oh, I just love Before & Afters! Those are great examples & I couldn’t agree with you more on emptying out the space. That’s what I did with my last redesign and it was so much fun to put it back together in a much better way.

    Have a great weekend with your project,

    Rhodas last blog post..Grandma’s House

  4. Candi- Teal Chic

    I love this! The kitchen looks AMAZING! I love the bedding. Is it from brocade home? Lovely!

    Candi- Teal Chics last blog post..Give Peace A Chance

  5. Emily

    You had to know I’d love this makeover post!! Love this inspiration! I can’t wait to see your after photos.

    We’re painting our kitchen (finally!) a nice color and doing one wall in chalkboard paint for the kiddos.


  6. julie size

    Please keep us in your prayers. The eye of Huricane Ike is headed directly over our farm. We expect a few rough days with all of our animals. I will try and keep the blog updated as best as I can.

    julie sizes last blog post..3:30PM Update

  7. Layla Palmer

    Holy Wallpaper Mess, Batman!
    That stuff is NO fun!
    Good luck with the re-do. I will be anxiously awaiting your updated pics!

    Layla :-)
    The Lettered Cottage

    Layla Palmers last blog post..MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION GIVEAWAY!

  8. Deb

    I just love those because they start out as “real” ugly rooms and end up as “real” pretty rooms. They are changes I can make myself–and that says a lot!

    Debs last blog post..Collecting Friends

  9. teresa

    That’s so funny that you would be posting “Before, and After” pictures today, I just today purchased a headboard at a Warehouse sale- that is going to be the center of a room make over I’m working on.
    Great timing- and your tips are way helpful!-

  10. Connie

    My project this weekend is going to be my bedroom. I just don’t know for sure yet, what I’m going to do. Your before and after pics give me inspiration and some ideas. Thanks. You might want to see my wall project from a few years ago when I was remodeling my kitchen and walls. I posted a couple of pics. and the how to’s this past Tues. or Wed. i can’t remember. Thanks for the ideas. just at the right time.

    Connies last blog post..To Trade or Not to Trade? That is the question…

  11. Kristen

    Wow. These look amazing. I love transforming rooms. My project this week was my living room. A new sofa and a mirror over the mantle work wonders…can’t wait to see the new hallway!

    Kristens last blog post..Nice and Cozy: Fall Nesting

  12. Janet (Shabbyfufu)

    Hi Melissa! I just have a closet to redo right now and it seems like a daunting task that I have been trying to avoid. Thanks for your great tips and pics~XO~ Janet

  13. Jen

    Wow, wow, wow….unbelievable, and such great tips. We have 1000 sq. feet of unfinished space on our third floor and the only thing standing in the way of doing it… all the STUFF, and a plan. I need to implement many of these.

    [email protected] Beauty and Bedlams last blog post..It started so beautifully…but wait…

  14. Maven

    I’m getting geared up to do an “after” on our back garden. We’re building raised beds this weekend and are planning to do an english style herb garden. I’m very excited about it!

    The rest of our house is “after” at the the moment. We finished the last of our big reno’s this spring.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Mavens last blog post..Licking My Wounds with Comfort Food… Braised Chicken and Apples, Roasted Garlic Mashed, and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Spinach

  15. Pat

    I just had a flash of memory that concerned the last wallpaper removal, at the farm. I promised J, we would never have wallpaper again!!
    I love that tile in the kitchen after. I know someone who used that tile in a kitchen makeover. Gorgeous!
    Great post, Melissa!

    Pats last blog post..~Cabinet & Mirror Ledge Faux Pas?~

  16. The Summer Kitchen Girls

    Hey Melissa!
    That before and after of the kitchen is amazing! The before reminded me of an ’80s video game!!
    We have no weekend projects at the moment – just a continual one (since April) of finishing the attic into a “bonus” room. At least it is out of the way, and out of sight! It was “scheduled” to be done by the end of this month…..ummmmm, I’ve moved that date until Christmas for the “grand opening” now!!
    Have a great weekend!!

    The Summer Kitchen Girlss last blog post..Airstream Performance Clip

  17. Irene

    Well, I have quite a clear picture of the “before”. Now about the “after”, part…

    Irenes last blog post..Happy Weekend

  18. jennifer

    Amazing transformations and wonderful tips on how to go about your own project. Love the colors in the new living room. The mantel really pops.

  19. cynthia

    that first picture made me gag!
    as for the garage…VERY COOL idea! and of course, i love the painted woodwork in the AFTER living room too!

    cynthias last blog post..yipee…it’s friday!

  20. jane

    first i thought the living room ‘before’ looked like a garage (or functioned like one), and then the next photo WAS a garage. both are dramatically improved! your list of tips is excellent! and now i am equipped to tackle my garage. daunting, but doable if i follow the list. i look forward to seeing what you do in your hallway. HEY! i have one of those very stepladders. does everyone have one? jkj

  21. Edie

    I did the whole ‘garage makeover’ a few years ago and we used it as a playroom. Now, it’s a schoolroom for homeschooling our kids. It’s so wonderful because for at least 6 months out of the year , it’s an indoor-outdoor room. I love your ideas!

    Edies last blog post..Friday Night with the Wadsworths…….

  22. Jen

    Hubby is making a mold a will be pouring a concrete countertop for the bathroom this weekend. After the bathroom is done, building an 8 x 11′ bookcase/wall unit is next on the list.

    Jens last blog post..The Sink

  23. Becky

    I love all the before and afters! My project for this weekend is to finish my bedroom ceiling. I’ve been putting it off for way too long. I think my reward will be a new chandelier! Better get to work!

    Beckys last blog post..My latest project

  24. Pearl Maple

    Before & after photos are inspiring, to see how far you can change a space with a bit of a do over but yet not really doing that much is very exciting. Sometimes it is enough with a little lick of paint and bit of a clean up to make a difference.

    Am in the middle of a whole house do over, that for time and budget reasons is a bit here and a bit there, really would have preferred to do a whole room at a time to see the difference soon.

    Pearl Maples last blog post..Sky Watch Friday

  25. Kirstin

    We just poured concrete all the way around our house so this weekend we are on a break as we cannot get into the house till tuesday. I’m not sad about that. FYI, we are building a house

    Kirstins last blog post..Porches are done

  26. meg duerksen

    fun pics.
    i can’t wait to see what you have in store for that hallway.
    my weekend project was making baby onesies as gifts. they are so tiny…hard to sew on.
    and reviewing the sunday school lessons for the 3 year old.
    nothing too exciting.

    hope your sunday is wonderful.

    meg duerksens last blog night

  27. Jenn P

    All my rooms are stuck in the before stage! My walls are all off white and there isn’t a window treatment to be found anywhere (other than the blinds). Thanks for the before and after photos.

    Jenn Ps last blog post..Remembering 9/11

  28. Lisa

    I do feel like my entire house needs to be redone – but a little at a time, right?

    We are currently trying to finish a yard redo and I will post pictures of it when we are finished. Inside – all I’m attempting right now is a bit of Fall nesting here and there! :)

    Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolatess last blog post..Would You Like Chocolate With That? ~ Chocolate-Almond Pie

  29. Shannon

    those are all GREAT B&A’s
    This weekend my hubby and I went shopping together on a date night and chose a couple new furniture pieces for the new house. I’ve got so many projects to do it’s almost overwhelming.

    Shannons last blog post..Wow, I think it might actually look professional!!!

  30. Villa Anna

    I too LOVE makeover posts! Those pics were outstanding – so inspiring, especially the garage! Melissa, I can’t wait to see your hallway “after” picture. Hopefully in the near future I’ll have a few Before and afters to show off myself.

    Anna :)

    Villa Annas last blog post..Another year older…

  31. Aunt Bea

    I love the before and after of the garage space. I’ve been seriously looking at my garage and ‘wondering’ if I dare!! I read your blog frequently for ideas, thanks! Don’t ya just looove wallpaper?!!!! Yeah, I agree with you…pull the junky paper off that wall!! I think that just a coat of paint would be rather nice. Don’t forget to show pics of the finished hallway cause I’m just drooling to see it!

  32. Madelyn

    These before and afters are amazing! Each room has truly been transformed! I would love to re-do plenty of rooms in my house. Thanks for all the wonderful pointers!

    Madelyn @ Southern Weddingss last blog post..Southern Wedding of the Week: Esteban + Somerlea, Part II

  33. karen

    Love before and after pictures. What’s going on this weekend? oh just the continuation of a whole house remodel! Going to be sold and then I move. So while my pal is finishing up the new surround on the fireplace, i’m going to write my blog and then put some more items on Ebay so I dont have to pay to move them AND then pack more things to put in the garage. I hope this project is all done in 4 weeks!!! He still has to lay bamboo flooring in 3 bedrooms BUT all the travertine is done in the dining room, kitchen/family room and hallways. ALL the new light fixtures are in and all the new bathroom fixtures are in. Then the last thing I’ll have to do is get the new window coverings up…whew I”m tired already…guess i will go do my blog LOL :) Karen

  34. Tara


    Baking projects..that is about it! Hee-hee~!

    Taras last blog post..Hammock Time!

  35. Ms.Tee

    Wow – what great before and after photos. I really appreciate the tips, too. I am going to be working on our office soon – and I’m going to take your advice and just remove everything before going forward. :)

    Ms.Tees last blog post..Fall Decorating and a Special Guest

  36. Porchlight Interiors

    Even though we do this for a living – I never get tired of a good before and after! These images are great – such amazing improvements. I’m inspired! Tracey x

    Porchlight Interiorss last blog post..Quiet Moment!

  37. Dana

    Oh that kitchen wall! Loving that.. that stone is beautiful!

    Danas last blog post..Dear Elijah

  38. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger

    Somehow I didn’t see this post originally and have to say those first two before and after’s were AWESOME. I want to make out with those rooms…is that wrong?!
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..Photography GIVEAWAY =-.

  39. Courtney

    Wow these rooms look great! I especially love the kitchen, and the zig zaggy baskets on the last living room photo- that is really unique!

  40. Kristi Mulrean

    My 8-year-old daughter and I are sketching plans for her room redo currently. Neither of us are big designers, but she knows she would like her room to look more “impressive” (her words not mine). The picture of the garage where the baskets have been hung from the wall in varying sizes is fantastic. My daughter has lots of odds and ends that would work perfectly in that type of an arrangement, but in pastel colors rather than the neutrals. The before and after pictures are all really great and offer me the encouragement I need to get moving on our project. Thank you for the great ideas!


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