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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 after makeover
Matthew Williams
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Jill & Max’s Family Room: After

Surround-seating. A sectional sofa creates instant togetherness, and a reupholstered flame-stitch chair adds a reading nook. Comfort reigns, with pops of teal, green, and orange bringing the casual space to life.

Campfire coffee table. Low and round, this centerpiece invites closeness as it softens the angles of the larger furniture. The foot-friendly furry rug makes the floor exciting. (Money-saving tip: Use a large, inexpensive sisal rug as a base, and layer it with a small version of the pricier rug you love.)

Windows with wow factor. Embroidered Roman shades add warmth and contrast—and function as art against understated blue walls.

TV pride. Unapologetic placement on the wall celebrates family viewing. The armoire, turned on its side and rehabbed, better complements the proportions of the low-ceilinged space. (A carpenter reconfigured the shelves and tweaked the doors so it would work horizontally.) The armoire’s generous width makes the big screen (60 inches!) look right-sized.

Light touches. Two out-of-the-way lamps—located behind the sofa and the upholstered chair—illuminate the whole room after dark. (“You couldn’t read in here before,” says Jill.) A mobile side table can be pulled up to the sofa for snacking or laptop work.

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