The 10 Best Before and Afters We’ve Seen So Far This Year

published Sep 19, 2019
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Y’all have been sharing some really fantastic before and afters with us this year, so we wanted to take a sec to highlight a few that stood out as especially brilliant and inspiring. Ready? Let’s roll.

Credit: Lauren Liess

10. Before and After: This Dramatic Living Room Redo Now Looks Bigger and Brighter

Lauren Liess of HGTV’s “Best House on the Block” took a very basic, relatable living room space and made it look like a dreamy vacation home with a few simple design elements that you can recreate in your own space. Adding reclaimed wood beams helps the room feel custom and a bit exotic, all while bringing the warmth. And yes, those bookshelves are styled to the max, but there’s no reason yours couldn’t also get a neutral book look with book covers—just grab some recycled paper grocery bags. Suburban builder-grade homes, there’s hope for you yet! 

9. Before and After: This Rental Kitchen DIY Is the Best Thing on the Internet

Next up: This rental kitchen DIY, for all of our readers who feel stylistically cramped by their leases. We love all the smart solutions that Jess Bunge (senior market editor for Emily Henderson) came up with for her kitchen, but we do have a favorite: the countertop cover. The way that plywood warms up the kitchen and magically creates an undermount sink is just beyond brilliant. I’ve lived in too many kitchens with ugly laminate countertops, and it gave me hope that a beautiful kitchen can be in anyone’s future—renters included!

Credit: Courtesy of Hilary Brown

8. Before and After: This $17k Reno Transformed a Dated Bathroom into a ‘1960s Italian Dystopia’-Style Dream Room

Hilary Brown’s renovated bathroom is bringing us a little bit of the ’60s, a popular color palette from the 1980s, and whole lotta geometry. Surprisingly, it’s a fab combination!

7. Before and After: Check Out This Chic Solution for a Living Room with an Asymmetrical Fireplace

We’ve all probably been in a space where you just can’t stop staring at an oddly placed feature that should have never made it past the design stage. Kristyn Jackson was the recipient of one such oddly placed feature, and came up with a strong solution for her asymmetrical fireplace by building out a tall shelf over the two extra rows of brick that can hold firewood. It helps even out the brick on either side of the fireplace, while adding style to the space and taking it from “awkward” to the coziest spot in the house. 

Credit: Ashley Wilson

6. Before and After: A Cramped Porch Becomes a Pastel Laundry Paradise

“Just because a laundry room is a utility space, doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty,” Ashley of At Home with Ashley told us. Yes! She created the dreamiest laundry room with a newly vaulted ceiling to make it feel roomier, the prettiest floral wallpaper you’ve ever seen, and hand painted flooring in pastel stripes. It’s basically pastel perfection.

Credit: Arianna Danielson

5. Before and After: A Pink ’70s Makeover for a Split-Level Family Room

Are you ready for this one? Arianna Danielson‘s pink makeover is giving us lots of throwback vibes in the best way. Blush pink walls? Check. Ruby rug? Check. Floral upholstered occasional chairs? Check, check!

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp for Emily Henderson

4. Before and After: A Smart Design Solution for a 1920s Dining Room

Bringing the big feelings is Arlyn Hernandez’s dark and dramatic dining room. Full disclosure: She’s Emily Henderson’s editorial director, so she’s got game. She and her husband moved into their 100-year-old Mediterranean-style rental and had to tackle a slightly annoying design detail: how to position the dining table under the chandelier without blocking the entryway to the kitchen. The most beautiful and bold decision? She painted the walls and ceiling in Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue after asking her landlord for permission. Wondering about painting your rental walls? Can’t hurt to ask! 

3. Before and After: A Home Formerly Called ‘The Skittles House’ Is Now Light and Bright

Yes, “Skittles” House. The before sure was a doozy! Ashley Amaral and her husband, Alipio, removed the color from the walls but were intentional in bringing it back in linens, artwork, and furniture throughout the rest of the house. This before and after is an inspiring example of how a house with white walls can be full of color—and still feel calm and inviting. 

Credit: Courtesy of Designer Karen Hickey

2. Before and After: An Outdated Retro Kitchen Gets a Fresh Remodel, But Keeps the Gorgeous Vintage Vibes

If you have a soft spot for vintage or original design, Hilary Alexander’s kitchen remodel will not disappoint. The “before” itself is pretty charming—there’s a vintage oven and table and checkerboard floors. And yet, interior designer Karen Hickey transformed the space, moving the needle from “kitsch” to “elevated vintage charm.” The reno features authentic 1940s wallpaper, a beautiful refurbished stove from the 1920s, and modern cabinetry that improves the functionality of the space. 

1. Before and After: One of the Best Kitchen and Dining Room Remodels of All Time

In her kitchen/living room, Cali Gabrielle transformed something that had a thick layer of all of the worst design elements of the late 1970s (hello, drop ceiling, wood paneling, parquet flooring) into something downright cheerful. Scraping away the dark paneling and opening up the ceilings allowed her to expose beautiful, original details of the 1916 home.