Projects & Improvements

The 10 Coziest Before and After Transformations We’ve Ever Seen

published Aug 12, 2020
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Before: empty backyard with dirt in place of grass and no seating

Whether it’s a perfectly designed book nook or an enveloping bed with fluffy, oversized pillows that make you just want to dive in and stay all day, “cozy” is a big mood right now. These before and afters took spaces that were previously unusable—mud pits, awkward stairway spots, or otherwise wasted spaces—and turned them into bright, warm, and cozy wonderlands. So put on a cup of tea and snuggle up as you journey through the 10 coziest before and afters we’ve ever seen.

1. This Sunroom’s Before is Good, But Its After is a Stunner

Shannon Williams and her family of 7 (plus pets!) were squeezing into a tiny living room while their breathtakingly huge sunroom was being underutilized. This stunning project took about two months and $40,000 to complete. They were able to showcase their 180-degree views while making the space usable. Now they actually feel immersed in nature while cozying up for movie nights.

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2. A 330-Square-Foot Studio’s Custom Furniture and Smart Storage Ideas Maximize Every Inch

Artist and designer Jamie might have maximized every inch of her 330-square-foot East Village apartment, but don’t be fooled by the title—this apartment isn’t just a smart storage showroom, it is a charming, cozy, beautifully designed space. By painting the exposed brick white, utilizing natural light, and customizing the furniture to maximize storage but still keep an airy feel, you can see why she refers to this gem as her “little farmhouse in the sky.”

3. A Brown ’70s Kitchen Gets a Cozy Farmhouse-Style Redo

Kitchens can be cozy, too. Carmen Lepp of Carmen Interiors and her husband prove this in their incredibly cozy kitchen remodel (we see you little window seat). Three things that really helped them keep their costs down? They used IKEA boxes and custom door fronts for their cabinetry, kept the plumbing and gas range in the same spots, and purchased appliances from buy and sell pages. All in all, the renovation took about four months and they were able to keep the cooking area budget under $8,000.

4. This Blank Slate is Now a Cozy Bedroom

Cozy doesn’t have to mean bright, white walls. Dark colors can create just as much of a cozy feel as Nathalie of Regards et Maisons showcases in this renovation that took five months of DIY weekend projects. By using secondhand materials and furniture, she was able to keep her budget down, and the dark blue wall makes it feel like you’re floating on the water as you drift into sleep. Nathalie gets extra cozy points for mastering the art of the made-but-unmade bed.

5. In Just a Few Days, This “Unusable” Space Became Cozy Central

Briana Jones wasn’t sure what to do with the awkward space at the top of her stairs in her 1922 bungalow, but with a few coats of paint, a DIY bench, and a thrifted wicker shelf, she was able to take this space from unusable to a warm and cozy nook in just a few days.

6. This RV’s Cozy Bedroom Packs Some Enviable Secret Storage

Ashley of Joyfully Growing is no stranger to a good DIY project. She took her 2005 standard-looking RV and transformed it into a cozy haven with a custom-built bed and a headboard made of DIY wood planks. The light-blocking linen curtain creates some privacy for the bedroom while the color story stays inviting and serene.

7. This Dramatic Living Room Redo Now Looks Bigger and Brighter

Maybe it’s the “Beauty and The Beast” lover in me, but this before and after actually took my breath away. By refocusing the focal point of the room towards new floor-to-ceiling shelving, adding beams, hanging white draperies, and replacing the dark furniture, Lauren Liess of HGTV’s “Best House on the Block” completely transformed this outdated space into a book-lover’s cozy dream world.

8. This Sunny Living Room Redo Proves “Cozy” Doesn’t Have to Mean “Cramped”

If you’ve ever searched apartment or housing sites, you know that sometimes the word “cozy” actually just means tiny, but Rose Bickers has a family of six, and “tiny” was not something she was looking for. She created an adorably cozy space she calls the “snug room” by knocking out a wall to bring in more light and open up the area. The living room now has space for a dining table, couch, TV, and play area.

9. This Backyard “Mud Pit” Gets a Functional—and Beautiful—Redo

Jennifer Grammer, like many others, had a big, unusable space in her yard and was determined to change that. In just a few weeks, she created a perfectly cozy outdoor space by combining new and old elements—new pergola, paint, and pavers with her previously-owned patio furniture.

10. A Cozy NYC Co-op’s Stunning Renovation

Sarah Jacobson acknowledges that taking on a renovation by yourself can be challenging, but, wow. Just wow. The complete gut renovation of her 750-square-foot studio was worth the effort. Exposed brick. Clawfoot tub. Breakfast nook. Simple furniture and decor against a dreamy backdrop—this co-op’s transformation checks all the boxes for cozy central.