Living room makeovers: Interior designers share before-and-after pics and tips

From dealing with small spaces to tackling a decorating project with a tight budget, interior designers have seen — and conquered — it all. Check out these living room makeovers to find tricks from the pros when it comes to decorating challenging spaces. 

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    Living room makeovers! Interior designers fix design dilemmas in 9 homes

    Tiny spaces, tight budgets and rental restrictions: Interior designers show how they fixed decorating challenges in 9 living rooms.

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    Before and after: Designers share how they transformed these 9 living rooms -

    Before: Lost fireplace

    The couple in this home had spent seven years renovating their house and ran out of steam for the final push in their living room. What remained was a fireplace that was lost in a bland wall color and awkwardly placed furniture that made the room feel smaller than it really was.

    Casey Design
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    After: Modern update -

    While the contemporary furniture gave a modern feel to the room, interior designer Theresa Casey's most impactful decision with this room was to apply a green accent paint color to the walls surrounding the fireplace to add a "much needed 'wow' factor."

    Michael Graydon
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    Before: Aged space -

    The problem: While an impressive space, this two-story living room seems dark and outdated with maple wood accents and a heavy stone fireplace.

    Andrea Rodman Interiors, Inc.
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    After: Merry and bright -

    Designer Andrea Rodman of Andrea Rodman Interiors painted the stone fireplace and wood elements with bright neutrals to lighten the space. A large crystal chandelier and giant mirror above the mantle further reflect light throughout the room, enhancing the grandeur of the multi-story space. Similarly toned furnishings with pops of color in accent pillows and a patterned bookshelf backing create an elegant yet livable space.

    Jason Statler
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    Before: Dimension dilemmas -

    The problem: The large living area in this Miami home looked barren and sad. The fireplace was lost, the walls were empty and HGTV personality David Bromstad said it was "a room screaming for help."

    David Bromstad
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    After: Glamorous living -

    The solution: Because the room was so large, Bromstad decided to make two different seating areas for the space. "One seating area near the fireplace was created to be the cozy area of the room,” Bromstad said. “For the more formal area of the room, we created a comfortable seating area with a custom tufted ottoman to compliment the tufting on the walls."

    Picasa / David Bromstad
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    Before: Bland walls -

    The problem: "Bright white is clean but can also be very harsh in a space,” said interior designer Genevieve Gorder.

    Genevieve Gorder
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    After: Think pink -

    The solution: “Adding a vibrant color to the walls transforms the space and provides a stimulating backdrop for the room,” said Gorder.

    Genevieve Gorder
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    Before: Awkwardly spacious -

    The problem: This large living area with high ceilings and sparse furniture lacked a homey feel. The space felt cold and unwelcoming, despite its beautiful marble floors and gorgeous arched doorways.

    David Bromstad
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    After: Cozy remodel -

    The solution: "I decided to divide the room into three spaces: the foyer, the living room and dining room,"Bromstad said, using metal dividers to do so. “By doing this, it allowed me to design each space individually and not get so overwhelmed by the giant size of the room.”

    Picasa / David Bromstad
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    Before: Empty nester -

    The problem: Last updated when their kids were babies, this living room in a home of empty nesters had become an unused space.

    "Once the first grandchild is on the way, people usually realize it's time for an update because they become the hub of extended family celebrations,” designer Shannon Ggem of Ggem Design Co. said.

    Courtesy of Shannon Ggem Design
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    After: Forgotten to fabulous -

    The solution: Ggem turned this room into an inviting space with an overall neutral color scheme and a selection of sofas and chairs for more seating. She made the fireplace a dramatic focal point with Athens Gray large format tiles that extend to the ceiling.

    Mike Kelley Photography
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    Before: Tight budget -

    The problem: This formal living room was an old-fashioned space with a hodge-podge of hand-me-downs and no inviting furniture for guests, but the homeowners only had $700 for a makeover.

    East Coast Creative
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    After: DIY magic -

    Designers Monica Mangin and Jess Jackson of East Coast Creative and the TV show "Knock It Off" sorted through the homeowners' and chose furniture that would work best in the space.

    "Hand-me-down furniture can be awesome, but it can be majorly challenging, too," says Mangin. "This is where we think it's really helpful to either bring in a designer or sometimes even a friend to bring in a fresh set of eyes and show you the potential these pieces can have."

    The designers then DIY'd their way to a new room by painting furniture, adding wainscoting and creating citron-striped curtain panels.

    East Coast Creative
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    Before: Rental woes -

    The problem: The tiny living room in this New York City apartment needed personality, but renovations were limited because it was a rental.

    Kyle Schnueman
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    After: Go bold -

    The solution: “I wanted to add a really bold splash of color on the walls and keep all the furniture neutral,” says designer Kyle Schuneman of Live Well Designs. “It’s a good tip for renters who want to be able to move with their furniture, as the neutral tones could totally work in the next place and have a completely different feel.”

    Kyle Schnueman
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    Before: Carpet conundrum -

    The problem: A small, raw space includes mauve carpet that is screaming for help.

    Courtesy of Urban Orchards Interiors
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    After: Masculine style -

    Designer Lane McNab of Lane McNab Design partnered with Urban Orchard Interiors to achieve this dramatic transformation. A large area rug fixed the carpet issue, and contemporary items layered with affordable vintage finds create a stylish multi-functional room in a surprisingly small space.

    Courtesy of Urban Orchards Interiors
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