Living room makeovers Refresh your look with rich new colors, a fireplace facelift, natural light, and more Design ideas from living room remodels around the West Before: Santa Monica cottage living room The small, rather dark 1930's living room gave way to a light-filled, loftlike space (see next page). Pinterest After: Airy cottage The living room is now a colorful new gathering area. Light floods into the room and reflects off the white walls and mantel. For contrast, the wooden floors are stained in a custom mix of ebony and dark walnut shades; the high-gloss polyurethane top coat reflects even more light. Designer Julie Hart sparks the interiors with colorful accent pillows, throws, and pottery that she coordinates with a rotating collection of art. See more of this airy cottage makeover Before: Craftsman living room Despite a lot of tight spaces in this 1900s Oakland Craftsman, the owners saw potential. Next, see how they took advantage of the home's natural light. After: Light-filled living room Filmy white shades diffuse sunlight through the sitting area—helped by pale fabrics and rugs. Small is beautiful (before) This nondescript living room felt dark and cramped. It had little presence of its own. Small is beautiful (after) Bright red colors and opened walls made an ordinary house special. See the complete makeover on Sunset.com. Midcentury abode (before) This living room's previous incarnation included a massive gold-veined mirror that concealed the unfinished double-sided fireplace. Plantation shutters blocked an enormous expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows. A team of workers had to chip away for days on their hands and knees to unearth the original terrazzo floors. Midcentury abode (after) A handful of dramatic pieces stand out against this room's quieter elements. A pair of towering vintage majolica lamps (Carl's Lamps & Custom Shades, 323/651-5825) creates a yin and yang effect atop an understated low credenza of wenge and white CaesarStone (a quartz-polymer material). The mix of items from another era with midcentury classics and some contemporary pieces keeps the overall look anchored to the home's origins while adding individual style. Read more about this midcentury remodel Sunny living room (before) This cramped, dead-end living room in a 1940s tract home had little light and no drama. Sunny living room (after) See the complete makeover on Sunset.com. Now the ceiling soars. Tall glass doors replace the small windows flanking the fireplace. A striking stairway leads upstairs, and ribbed cast-concrete fireplace create an inviting gathering place.