Before and After: This $500 Living Room Redo Proves the Power of Paint

updated Mar 26, 2020
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There’s a big difference between a home that feels nice and a home that feels like yours. Julie Goette and her family moved into their house from across the country, so they definitely wanted the latter—a space that could help them acclimate faster to their new city. “When we moved into our house a year ago, it was pretty and tasteful, but just not our style,” Julie says. “The family room was one of the first rooms we transformed because it is the main room we use on a daily basis, to lounge, watch TV, play with our daughter, and hang out as a family.”

The family decided to paint the entire house a light, neutral hue before they moved in, and hired a local handyman for help. Then, “after we moved in and got settled, I repainted all of the built-ins a crisp white, instead of the more yellow-hued ivory they were before,” Julie says. “I decided to add a fun ombre effect to the shelving areas to give it a fun twist, and that only cost me about $25 in paint samples.”

Credit: Julie Goette

The furniture and most of the decor came from their previous house. Julie guesses that painting this portion of the house, plus a new rug from Target, cost about $500. She still hopes to add a fun light fixture, redo the hardware on the cabinets, and replace the furniture, “but for now this was a cost effective solution for transforming the space into our own,” she says.

Credit: Julie Goette

What Julie loves most about the “after” is that familiar feeling. “Our friends look at the built-ins and see the story of our lives together, and the space feels like ours,” she says. “The best compliment someone can give me is to say, ‘This house looks like you! I know exactly who lives here!’ and that was the number one reaction we got to the family room makeover.”

Credit: Julie Goette