Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recent Before and Afters from Your Favorite Shelter Magazines

There's nothing like a great "before and after" feature to excite a decorating junkie like myself, and I've noticed some compelling ones around the web lately.  I love dissecting them piece by piece, noting what an enormous difference changes in color and furniture placement make.

This open living area featured in House and Home (an awesome Canadian shelter mag) went from stark and cold to inviting and warm.  I don't love everything about the 'after', but I do think dividing the space into separate dining and seating areas (grounded with area rugs), adding layers of lighting with the chandelier and table lamps, and of course adding the color and moldings, made an enormous difference!

This "makeover in a day" featured in House Beautiful is a ton of fun (to see it chronicled step by step - all 60 of them - click here).  Again, notice how dividing the space into separate living and dining areas works so beautifully in a long and narrow space, and how layering and accessorizing with color and texture adds so much depth.  My only (major) complaint?  Why oh why the hideous tie-dyed rug?

Clearly anything would be an improvement for this hideous bathroom featured in Better Homes and Gardens.  They did a complete overhaul that came out beautifully, but I bet a low-budget version featuring paint and new hardware could have made a decent difference, too.  I love the darling fabric used for the roman shade, and how they pulled the various tones from it with the towels and other accessories.

Lastly, Boston Globe Magazine recently featured makeovers of nooks and other small spaces.  This turret in a historic Cambridge home had a lot of potential, but was difficult and awkward to use.  The homeowner solved two problems at once - increasing closet and storage space while rendering the turret space not just useful but integral to their use of the space.  I especially love that this renovation did not affect the historical integrity of the space.  Personally, I'd add roman shades in an awesome color fabric and change out those frightfully boring pillows for something more interesting.

Have you made over any spaces in your home lately?


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