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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.

Spanish rustic dining room after the makeover with Tami and family
Jonny Valiant

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Tami's Dining Room: After

Use warm tones and summery textures to create an inviting atmosphere without sacrificing airiness.

Sunny yellow walls take advantage of natural light and balance the coldness of a travertine floor. Bright buttercup works with the home’s Spanish architecture and the earthy colors of its other rooms.

Crisp hacienda curves on the chandelier and the table base pick up on Tami’s chair backs and create drama against the yellow backdrop.

Low art and sconces, plus a mirror, align to visually “lower” an awkward sloped ceiling and makethe space feel more intimate. (Candle sconces require no wiring and work just as well.)

A lively rug anchors the table, warms up the floor, and eliminates the echo. Stone is a neutral, so any pattern, like this southwestern stripe, can work with it. A flat weave is smart in a dining room because it lets chairs slide easily. Use a rug pad or tape down the corners to keep the rug in place.

Sheer curtains add softness and show off the arched window by high-lighting its shape. The Shaws are a casual family with three kids, and formal curtains would have clashed with their lifestyle.

A simple sideboard that blends quietly with the decor (but doesn’t match exactly) brings some eclectic cool and adds storage.

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