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before and afterdining room

before & after: living room reno + a bright dining room

by Kate Pruitt


This living room is a great example of how accessories can transform a space. While this “before” living room was already looking fairly pulled together, the additions by interior designer Kirsten Krason — bold patterned curtains, a high-contrast zigzag rug, the modern gilded mirror and bright colored pillows — are truly amazing. The new look is cheery, fun and full of lovely color and texture. Great job, Kirsten! —Kate

Time: A few months

Basic Steps: We used the existing furniture and mainly just changed up the textiles and wall art. When I came into the room, I instantly recognized the need to make that fireplace the focal point of the room. We did that by adding a high-impact sunburst mirror from Z Gallerie and some fun, colorful curtains. The client made the chevron rug herself! We added stripes over the sofa to fill the visual space. The client is a photographer, so we added a gallery wall behind the sofa to display some of her talent! The prints were all bought on Etsy.

Tip: I would say don’t be afraid of going with a bold and graphic curtain! Make sure you are playing up the eye-catching walls in your room, and stick with one large accent like a mirror instead of too many small elements. — Kirsten

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Photography by Ashleigh Noall

CLICK HERE to see Julie’s bright and dramatic dining room after the jump!

It’s no surprise that gray is such a common color choice for walls; not only does it look good among other neutrals, but it also sets off bright colors beautifully, as in Julie’s modern, dramatic dining room. The mix of metal, wood, solid neon brights and fresh greens feels refreshingly spring-like and cheery, and the slate-hued wall provides a lovely sophisticated touch. Great job, Julie!

Cost: $80

Basic Steps: It’s amazing the difference paint can make. I painted the space a dark gray and hung the Random Light (brought from my previous home). I love the dark gray next to the wood trim. The space needed white contrasts, so I painted my existing espresso chairs and shelves white. The shelf was a $30 thrift-store find (at Ann Arbor’s Treasure Mart), which I painted in a bright citron color.

Tip: Don’t be scared to use a dark color; it’s just paint. — Julie

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