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Paint Like a Pro 

6 Amazing Room Makeovers

These decorating projects were stopped in their tracks...until Real Simple stepped in and turned a space from incomplete to incomparable.

Shanta’s living room before the makeover
Jonny Valiant
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Shanta's Living Room: Before

The location: Forest Hills, New York

The “before” story: After changing apartments abruptly (only months after settling into her previous space, which was burglarized), Shanta Speller, a Web project manager, outfitted the living room of her prewar one-bedroom apartment with a sofa and a love seat. “I tend to play it safe, buying matched sets of furniture and making sure all the woods go together. I like color but don’t feel confident about using it,” she explains.

Why Shanta stalled: Moving twice in six months made money tight, and she was simply worn-out: “I wasn’t quite up to the task of decorating.”

What she hoped for: “I wanted it to feel like a real home—lived-in and with plenty of style and character.”

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