How a Designer Duo Turned a Dreary 1902 Living Room Into a Showstopper of a Space

a 1902 bungalow makeover

Design: Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry; Photo: Cody Ulrich; Graphic: MyDomaine

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.

“Our clients resided in their home for twenty years and decided it was time to update their living room so they could better entertain friends and have a livelier family space to hang out in,” says interior designer Beth Dotolo. “We wanted to highlight the room’s gorgeous turn-of-the-century molding and architecture while making the space a reflection of the couple’s vibrant personalities.”

Meet the Expert

 Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry, co-founders of Pulp Design Studios in Seattle, Dallas and Los Angeles, are known for their luxury designs with an unexpected flair. 


Courtesy of Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry

“The room’s small size, heavy color palette, lack of natural lighting, dated furniture, and an inglenook with spacial issues all added up to a room that needed a fresh rethink,” notes interior designer Carolina Gentry. 


eclectic living room

Design: Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry; Photo: Cody Ulrich

“Our goal was to create an eclectic space that would be beautiful and dynamic, yet livable in a meaningful way,” says Dotolo. “We wanted the homeowners to be able to continue showcasing some of their most beloved pieces while upping the design. Painting the paneling white and adding wallpaper created an instant lift, while painting the inglenook a darker brown separated it from a visual standpoint and made the area feel like a special feature. Keeping the windows curtain-free allowed in more light.” 

What Changed:

  • Color theme: Black + white + moss green + turquoise + cobalt blue + magenta = an eclectic mix of colors that bounce around the room. 
  • Sofa: A vintage-like velvet green sofa provides eye candy while paired with a mix of solid purple and black and white print pillows. 
  • Coffee table: Thanks to its oval shape, marble top, and unique iron spindle base, the table looks modern and vintage at the same time.
  • Armchairs: The dual swivel chairs are covered in performance fabric for durability. 
  • Wallpaper: The black and white art deco wallpaper features leavy palms and colonnades, highlighting the room’s architecture. 
  • Molding: The room’s original molding was painted a bright white to draw attention to the walls and wallpaper. 
  • Ceiling pendant: A bronze sunburst pendant adds flare to the ceiling while its glass diffuser reflects and refracts light around the room. 
  • Fireplace: The molding in the inglenook was painted a rich brown to ground the existing beige tile, while a pair of simple sconces provide ambient light over the mantle and a circular gold textured mirror plays nicely against the wallpaper. 
  • Sconce: Unique glass plated and antique brass sconces add an earthy element. 
  • Side tables: The slim side tables match the beige armchairs and mimic the geometric styling throughout the space.
  • Floor: The bright blue rug pops on the original oak hardwoods and adds to the room’s eccentric vibe. 
  • Wood cabinet: An antique cabinet provides a place to store books. 
  • Accessories: Photos, books and a looming black crow are displayed throughout the room. 

Shop the Look:

eclectic 1902 bungalow makeover

Design: Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry; Photo: Cody Ulrich

Vlad Side Table
Lumens Vlad Side Table $925.00

“This end table provides the perfect perch for a martini or glass of bourbon,” suggests Dotolo.

Surya Empress Ems-7008 8'0" x 11'0" Area Rug
Rugs.Shop Surya Empress Ems-7008 8'0" x 11'0" Area Rug Varies

“I love how the bold blue color and the geometric pattern of this rug brightens up any room,” Gentry says.

CR Laine Sofa 1930-01B
Flemington Department Store CR Laine Sofa 1930-01B Varies

“I love the fearless green velvet and the fact that this sofa is large enough to lounge on head to toe!” says Dotolo.