The living room is the heart of the home, a coveted spot for relaxing, binging your favorite show, or enjoying a calming night of wine and takeout. It’s a room that deserves our utmost attention, and we are constantly gushing over spectacular living room makeovers completed by top designers in our Makeover of the Week series. Experts took these dated and nonfunctional living rooms to their fullest potential and created unforgettable spaces for their clients.
We rounded up seven stunning before and after moments from living room makeovers that wowed us—and you’ll be sure to love the final results.
A Cramped Apartment Turned Midcentury California Cool
“I needed to start from scratch when it came to furniture and accessories, and bring life and personality into a bleak and boring new-build apartment,” she said. “My goal was to create a quintessential California cool vibe with hints of a Japanese influence.”
The result was an earthy color palette, minimalist furniture that wouldn’t take up too much space, and a coastal feel that keeps the space bright and airy.
From Dull and Drab to Connecticut Farmhouse Chic
We are definitely taking notes from this renovation by Amber Lewis, who turned this worn-down living room into a space that is equally relaxing and chic. “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," Lewis said.
In removing the paneling from the walls, re-staining the floors, and filling the room with a mix of vintage and modern pieces, the living room soon became the perfect blend of old and new. The space is now bright, inviting, and so stylish.
From Lackluster and Unfinished to Glam and Dreamy
“I took a mostly unfurnished living room and gave it a contemporary feel using bold furniture and accessories," Brooks said. "Luckily, because the room had zero identity, the clients were open to whatever I suggested.”
The space is now a textured dream with lush colors, textures, and modern patterns, including gold fringed poufs, a shimmery grey rug, marble-topped tables, and eye-catching wall art.
A Cluttered Space Turned Bright and Coastal
Before, this living room was a cluttered space full of distraction without a concrete design story. But interior designer Libby Langdon saved the day and created a space with flow and coastal connection.
"This young family wanted their waterfront home to embody the Florida lifestyle, but they still wanted it to feel like their year-round residence and not too beachy,” Langdon said. “They didn’t make a lot of structural changes in the living room, leaving things like the original paneling and the limestone fireplace stone intact, but we moved quickly to update the décor, including the seafoam green wall paint.”
Unique nautical lamps and coastal finds from the client’s travels differentiate this space from a typical beach house, and the design now tells the timeless story of this waterfront home.
From Layered with Fringe to Bold and Darling
“This house had great bones, yet the décor needed major modernizing,” Howard said. “The formal living room paid homage to the '80s, when heavy drapery, fancy fringe, and gold accents ruled.”
To bring the space up to date—yet still incorporate a bold uniqueness to the space—Howard opted for a punchy chartreuse to contrast the black and white furniture and accents. The space is livable and approachable while still embracing playful and fun décor elements.
A Revamp to this Historic NYC Apartment
“A young couple purchased this 1904 turn-of-the-century New York City apartment in the iconic Cocoa Exchange building several years ago when it was first converted into condos,” Gargano said. “One of the most distinct elements of the building is the unique triangular shape, evident in the curvature of the dining and living room areas. The unusual form, while beautiful, created some design challenges.”
For a more inviting and soft feel to the space, Gargano installed white oak floors and painted the walls a warm white. Neutralizing the furniture and décor elements make the living room a timeless abode for the owners.
A Nod to the 60s That Is Now Bright and Spacious
The living room in this Victorian-style home hadn’t been renovated since the 1960s—and it showed. With a dusty mauve floral couch and drab curtains, the space was in dire need of a revamp.
Krista Wostbrock, the principal interior designer at Krista Wostbrock Design, was there to help bring the living room up to speed. “I wanted to create a happy retreat with lots of soft colors and natural light,” she said. “Painting the walls and ceiling a bright white was a start, then I added furniture and accessories in soft shades of blue and sand to give the room a peaceful vibe.”
With the space now being bright and airy, the clients can enjoy days basking in the sun from the stunning windows and lounging around on the blue leather recliner.