Amazing home transformations

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2 rooms, much improved

Easy upgrades to dining and living rooms transform a typical tract home

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  • Before: dining room

    Before

Dining room

BEFORE: The "formal" dining room was anything but. A dated wood-topped metal railing seemed out of place. At the other end, bifold louvered doors ― one always kept closed to block the view of the television ― separated the dining room from the more casual family room.

AFTER: Two small doors and a wall create a more elegant relationship with the family room while providing built-in space for the television (on the family room side). The old railing was replaced by classic turned-wood balusters. The color scheme now spans two rooms, with celadon in the dining room chairs and the white of the balusters reflected in the adjacent living room.

The golden yellow walls warm both spaces and make a glowing background for the furniture. "Painting is such a simple thing, but color really livens up these rooms," says Peters. And the use of muted accessory colors helps each room reflect its own understated personality.

DESIGN: Gregory A. Peters, ASID, Peters & Associates, San Francisco (415/282-7041)

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