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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.

Amy and David Low's kitchen after makeover
Matthew Williams
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Amy & David’s Kitchen: After

Patterns, patterns everywhere. Fancy but fun wallpaper juxtaposed with green “fish scale” banquette upholstery and an oversize industrial pendant deliver eclectic cool. Eliminating the overhead exhaust (a downdraft vent on the cooktop replaced it) makes the room seem bigger and airier.

Cabinet about-face. New flush-mount doors on old painted cabinet frames feel fresh and sophisticated. Rich bronze handles are an earthy, distinguished touch; hardware is a worthy splurge in the kitchen, where it has such a strong visual presence.

Floors benefit from the company. The new palette—especially the play of gray countertops against white wood—makes the throwback linoleum tiles seem intentional.

Decked-out dining. Colorful, curvy chairs and a clean-lined wooden table are a nod to the kitchen’s midcentury roots. The banquette, tricked out with hidden storage and vibrant, wipeable outdoor fabric, is space-efficient, crisp, and neater than having chairs on all sides of the table.

Glow without glare. Sleek sheer shades banish vertical blinds. Now plenty of filtered light comes through, and the less-than-stellar view can be muted at will.

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