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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.

Jill Bannister and Max Maxwell's living room before makeover
Matthew Williams
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Jill & Max’s Family Room: Before

The location: Irvington, New York

The “before” story: A year ago, Jill Bannister, a nurse, and Selwyn “Max” Maxwell, a hospital administrative assistant, bought a small converted gatehouse whose charm was exceeded only by its repair needs: “The wiring, the roof, the gutters, the chimney—all had to be redone,” says Jill.

 

Why Jill and Max stalled: “After we painted the walls, we had no money left for anything else.” The sunny family room featured huge bare windows and a handful of motley pieces, including a massive armoire for the TV.

 

What they hoped for: Jill longed to make the space cozy for homework (daughter Zoe is 12), watching sports, and entertaining friends.

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