NECN Room Makeover: How We Transformed The Room (part 1)

My NECN room makeover segment aired this morning so now I can show you all the behind the scenes and the process as it unfolded. This is what the room looked like on my first visit. (click on any photo to enlarge it)

room before

room before

Besides the clutter, the major problem with the room was that it was really dark, the furniture placement wasn’t working and the room did not reflect the personality of the awesome young family that lives there which is made up of Mom and Dad, 3 young kids, 2 big dogs and 2 cats!

My design plan for the room was challenging given we only had a budget of  $500.00:  Rearrange the furniture to get a better floor plan (free), lighten up the room with paint, get some art work up on the bare walls and replace the Taupe and Brown colored window treatments that were not working with the decor. I also needed to find seating to replace the over sized checked chair and ottoman that were the only 2 things not staying in the room.

The homeowners biggest complaint was that the room was too dark. The two windows in the room face into dark green trees so almost no natural light enters the room. The dark and dated brick wall flanked by the dark stained bookcases made the room even darker. I suggested we paint the brick a soft white as well as the dark stained built in book cases to lighten up that end of the room.


By pure chance, the husband is a carpenter so he chose to box out the brick with wood but painting it White would have the same “lightening” effect. Look at the difference in the after photo of this same wall.

bookcase wall after

bookcase wall after

After the book cases were painted I “shopped” the homeowner’s house to find accessories, collectibles and photos that I then used to style the bookcases (no more over stuffed and sagging shelves). We added inexpensive baskets from Homegoods to store Legos and small toys out of view.

The walls were originally painted White but as I blogged about in an earlier post that you can read HERE, the color White only comes to life in a room with lot’s of natural light. Since this room receives almost no light, the White only made the walls look gray and dingy. Instead, I chose an on trend soft neutral that added some depth and color and really livened up the room.

Since the Red sofa was staying, as was the Red, Brown and Orange area rug.  I chose to use Red as our accent color throughout the room. I  painted an old dresser that was being used as a TV stand Red to match the sofa.

Here is a photo of the dresser before:

 TV stand before

TV stand before

and here it is after after a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint…much happier don’t you think?

TV stand after

TV stand after

The walls were completely bare of art work so to add more color and a little personality I enlisted the homeowners children to create colorful art for an art wall. Each child now proudly points out their contribution to the room. The frames (originally Brown)were found at a yard sale for $4.00 and I painted them the same color Red as the dresser.

Here is a photo of that side of the room before:



and here is the wall after:

art wall after

What turned out to be another focal point of the room was the homeowners wedding quilt.It had been rolled up in a bag for over 10 years and it was especially emotional for them to finally see it displayed. She made the quilt herself and all the guests signed it. Here is the wall we hung the quilt on before:



and here it is after. As you can see I put the sofa on this wall so that it is now directly across from the TV. The wedding quilt hangs prominently between the windows.


Lastly, since I posted all these “before” and “after” photos, I thought it only fitting to show a “during” image….just a small hint of how much work went into this $500.00 makeover.


In my next post I will share a few more low cost tricks we used in this makeover.

Would love to hear what you think? Do you like the transformation?

If you would like a makeover of your room give me a call!



18 Responses to NECN Room Makeover: How We Transformed The Room (part 1)
  1. Sheila @sZinteriors Reply

    I LOVE the transformation! You have done an incredible job, Linda. I can only imagine just how thrilled your clients must be! Way to go!!!

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Sheila, yes the homeowner is thrilled.

  2. Kristie Barnett, TheDecorologist Reply

    What a huge improvement!!! That had to be a lot of work – great job and congratulations for being on a TV SHOW!!! That’s really awesome!!!! Love, love that Annie Sloan piece you did 🙂

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thanks Kristie, it was one of those cases where it took a village to get everything done in the time frame we had. Myself, Homeowner, Homeowner’s mother, Mother in law, husband, and kids all worked to make it happen.

  3. Susan Kanoff Reply

    WOW, WOW, WOW…does this sum it up? Linda you are amazing and so talented. Congrats on such a fabulous job.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you Susan for the kind words and your ever constant encouragement.

  4. Reflections Interior Designs Reply

    Oh Linda, I can only imagine the time, effort and thought that went into arranging that large room.
    How wonderful that you took each family members gifts:
    Children’s art
    Mom’s quilt
    Dad’s carpentry skills
    and used them to make a huge impact in this room.
    I’m sure they’ll look around the room and point out their contribution to their friends and family.
    They are very lucky to have you!! Truly wonderful job.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Jil, you are so kind to leave such a nice comment…I thank you so much for such positive feedback!

  5. Pauline Reply

    I think you are a magician in real life! 🙂 Even after you explain it, I don’t understand how you did it. Your makeover result is beautiful.

    • Linda Holt Reply

      Thank you so much Pauline for taking the time to comment!! and just between us, the room makeover was a breeze compared to my terror and fear of being on camera 🙂

  6. Hannah Dee Reply

    Wow, wow and triple wow! Great job, Linda! Love the yellow front door!

  7. liz sweet Reply

    I loved the entire room, but especially the bookcase wall. Good job Linda!

  8. Merit Tukiainen Reply

    Congratulations! Incredible transformation and an even more incredible effort!

  9. Vanessa Reply

    So very, very impressive. You worked magic on that room!

  10. Kelly Reply

    Wow!! It looks so great Linda!! The homeowner’s must be so thrilled. Clean, updated and fresh!! Hope you get lots of work now when people see this. Seeing is believing and it looks wonderful! So happy for you!!

  11. Monique Johnson Reply

    Linda what a transformation! Great work…the family must be so pleased!

  12. Dani Burchman Reply

    What an incredible transformation Linda! I’ll bet that family will want to spend all their time in that happy room.

  13. [...] had planned to follow up my NECN Room Makeover Post  part one a lot sooner but after the loss of our ...

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