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22 Before-and-After Home Remodeling Ideas: Transform Your Space

Get ready to transform your home with our collection of 22 before-and-after home remodeling ideas. Even if you’re content with your current living space, there are often areas that could benefit from a little extra attention. Perhaps that once-ambitious kitchen island is now gathering dust, or your dining room feels cluttered and chaotic. And let’s not forget about that imposing brick fireplace that seems to dominate the room. Luckily, the best home remodeling ideas are often easy to implement and budget-friendly. With a fresh coat of paint, some new fixtures, and a well-thought-out reorganization, you can breathe new life into your home. From simple upgrades like a self-installed thermostat to more involved projects such as painting brick or installing a pantry unit, there are options for every taste and budget. So get ready to unleash your creativity and discover the endless possibilities for transforming your living space into something truly remarkable.

1. Before: Half-Sized Closet

Bedroom - Half-Sized Closet

The dream of having a larger bedroom closet is shared by many homeowners. However, one common obstacle is the perception that closets are confined by walls on all three sides, making it seem impossible to create more space. But what if we challenge this assumption? In our first before-and-after home remodeling idea, we confront the notion that walls cannot be moved. By questioning the status quo, a homeowner set out to explore the true potential of her closet space. The seemingly immovable walls were reevaluated, and a spark of innovation ignited. This creative thinker discovered that, in fact, the walls dividing the closet were not fixed barriers but rather structures that could be altered. With this newfound perspective, the homeowner embarked on a mission to transform her half-sized closet into something more expansive. This idea challenges the conventional wisdom that walls cannot be moved and sets the stage for a remarkable closet transformation.

2. After: Double-Sized Closet

Bedroom - Double-Sized Closet

In the pursuit of maximizing closet space, the homeowner embarked on a thorough examination of her existing closet layout. She astutely observed that her closet, like many others in bedrooms that share a wall with another bedroom, was essentially one large closet that could be divided. Armed with this insight, she devised a brilliant plan to transform her half-sized closet into a double-sized marvel. With the realization that a single non-load-bearing divider wall was the only thing standing in the way of her dream closet, she fearlessly took matters into her own hands. The middle wall, once thought of as a fixed and immovable obstacle, was dismantled, instantly doubling her available closet space. This ingenious solution not only optimized the functionality of her bedroom but also showcased the power of reimagining existing spaces. The transformation from a cramped, half-sized closet to a spacious, double-sized haven demonstrates the homeowner’s resourcefulness and determination to create the ideal storage solution.

3. Before: Neglected Kitchen Island

Neglected Kitchen Island

The kitchen island, once intended to be a central hub for culinary activities and social gatherings, had sadly become a neglected feature in this home. Lacking any allure or purpose beyond being a convenient spot to drop mail or groceries, it failed to attract anyone’s attention. To make matters worse, the overall ambiance of the kitchen was further dampened by the presence of dark cabinets and gloomy pendant lights. Realizing the untapped potential of this space, San Diego builder and designer Murray Lampert took on the challenge of transforming this lackluster kitchen into a captivating showpiece. With a clear vision and a wealth of expertise, Lampert set out to breathe new life into the kitchen island and revitalize the entire space.

4. After: Lively Sit-Down Breakfast Bar

Kitchen - Lively Sit-Down Breakfast Bar

The transformation of the neglected kitchen island into a lively sit-down breakfast bar has brought a renewed sense of purpose and vitality to the space. By reimagining the island as a gathering spot for guests, it now serves as an inviting area for socializing and enjoying meals. The addition of a countertop overhang allows guests to comfortably sit closer to the bar, fostering a more intimate and engaging atmosphere. The needs of the cook have also been taken into consideration, with the installation of a sink in the kitchen island for added convenience and functionality. Outdated pendant lights have been replaced with recessed lights, creating a more seamless and unobtrusive lighting solution. Furthermore, the introduction of a counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator maintains clean lines and a cohesive aesthetic throughout the kitchen. The once-neglected kitchen island has now become the vibrant heart of the kitchen, enhancing both its functionality and visual appeal.

5. Before: Energy-Wasting Thermostat

Energy - Wasting Thermostat

While old-school dial thermostats like the classic Honeywell Round may possess a certain nostalgic charm and simplicity, they prove to be inefficient when it comes to saving energy and money. Manual thermostats rely on individuals to physically adjust the temperature, making them prone to human error and forgetfulness. It’s all too easy to leave the thermostat set at a higher temperature while away from home, resulting in wasted energy and increased utility bills. The lack of automation and scheduling capabilities means that heating or cooling systems may operate unnecessarily, expending resources to condition unoccupied spaces. In today’s world, where energy efficiency and cost savings are paramount, upgrading to a more advanced and intelligent thermostat solution becomes imperative.

6. After: Smart Programmable Thermostat

Smart Programmable Thermostat

Upgrade your home’s thermostat to a smart programmable one, and you’ll experience a significant improvement in energy efficiency and comfort. These digital marvels offer a multitude of features that go beyond the capabilities of traditional thermostats. With programmable functionality, you can effortlessly set specific temperature schedules based on your daily routines, ensuring that your heating or cooling system operates only when needed. Whether you prefer a cozy temperature in the evening or a cooler environment during the day, a smart thermostat allows you to customize and automate your home’s climate control. Additionally, many models come equipped with a holiday mode, which allows you to adjust settings for extended periods of absence, reducing unnecessary energy consumption. By investing a short amount of time in installing a smart programmable thermostat, you’ll not only enjoy increased convenience but also make significant strides in conserving energy and reducing your utility bills.

7. Before: Storage Opportunities Wasted

Fridge - Storage Opportunities Wasted

In many kitchens, the refrigerator stands as a solitary appliance, serving its purpose of keeping food cold but leaving much to be desired in terms of efficient use of space. It occupies a significant portion of the floor area, limiting the available room for storage. However, upon closer inspection, one realizes that there is ample untapped potential above and to the side of the refrigerator that could be utilized for additional storage. The current arrangement fails to make the most of the available space, leaving valuable storage opportunities wasted. It’s time to explore creative solutions to maximize the storage potential surrounding the refrigerator and optimize the overall functionality of the kitchen.

8. After: Fridge With Integrated Pantry

Fridge With Integrated Pantry

To address the issue of wasted space around the refrigerator, a brilliant solution is to install pantry units that seamlessly integrate with the fridge. This transformation not only provides additional storage but also creates a cohesive and organized appearance. By utilizing the space to the side and above the refrigerator, the expanded storage wraps around the appliance, blending it into the overall kitchen design. One practical feature of this integrated pantry setup is the inclusion of slide-out shelves, which make it easier to access items stored in the deep refrigerator pantries. The result is a functional and aesthetically pleasing solution where the refrigerator becomes less conspicuous, seamlessly blending in with the surrounding cabinets and pantries.

9. Before: Kitchen Wall Cabinets

Kitchen Wall Cabinets

In many kitchens, the presence of wall cabinets hanging over the work surface is a common sight. These cabinets are undoubtedly useful, providing easy access to frequently used items and hiding away less appealing kitchen essentials behind their doors. However, the downside of wall cabinets is their tendency to dominate the kitchen space, casting shadows and contributing to a heavy and overwhelming aesthetic. Their imposing presence can make the kitchen feel cramped and restrict the flow of natural light, creating a less inviting atmosphere.

10. After: Open Shelving

Kitchen - Open Shelving

In a transformative move, the kitchen in question has bid farewell to its wall cabinets and embraced the beauty of open shelving. This decision has brought about a remarkable change, as the removal of the cabinets instantly eliminates the dark and heavy appearance, replacing it with a lighter and brighter ambiance. However, the homeowner emphasizes the need for careful consideration before opting for open shelving. Adequate storage solutions should be in place for items that will no longer have their enclosed homes. Everything placed on the open shelves will be fully exposed, visible to anyone who walks by. Alternatively, decluttering and removing unused or unloved items from the wall cabinets can help minimize the need for additional storage. Ultimately, open shelving offers a visually appealing and practical solution for showcasing frequently used items and infusing the kitchen with a more open and airy feel.

11. Before: Dated Brickwork

House of Hepworths - Dated Brickwork

The question of whether to paint brick or leave it in its natural state sparks a lively debate among homeowners. One of the main concerns is the irreversible nature of painting brick, as removing the paint and restoring the original condition is a challenging task. However, there are instances where the brickwork is so dated and unattractive that it becomes unbearable to look at. Such was the predicament faced by the homeowner in this case, compounded by the imposing size of the fireplace. The combination of these factors led to a decision to transform the brickwork and breathe new life into the space.

12. After: Fresh Brick Paint Job

House of Hepworths - Fresh Brick Paint Job

Contrary to popular belief, painting brick doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In the case of this homeowner, she confesses to minimal prep work and a focus on areas that could be easily rolled out with paint. The outcome speaks for itself—a fireplace that now exudes a fresh and rejuvenated appearance. Opting for a light color played a significant role in reducing the overwhelming presence of the massive fireplace, creating a more visually appealing and harmonious space. The transformation showcases how a simple paint job can breathe new life into dated brickwork, providing a quick and easy solution to enhance the overall aesthetic.

13. Before: Tired Bathroom Nook

Tired Bathroom Nook

In small bathrooms and powder rooms, the presence of a bathroom nook is often a necessity driven by limited space. Such constraints often lead to the placement of the bathroom vanity and mirror in this compact area, simply because it’s the only available space. Unfortunately, in the case of this particular bathroom, the yellow wall proved to be garish and unsightly, while the chipped cabinets only added to the worn-out appearance. Given the limitations in size, expanding the nook was out of the question. However, a touch of decorative enhancement was desperately needed to breathe new life into this tired bathroom space.

14. After: Inspired Bathroom Nook

Inspired Bathroom Nook

Revamping a bathroom nook doesn’t have to break the bank or consume a significant amount of time. With a budget comparable to a pleasant evening out, you can easily transform the space into something fresh and inviting. Simple yet effective changes, such as painting the bathroom cabinets, updating the hardware, giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, replacing the vanity light, and adding a new rug, can work wonders in revitalizing the area. By incorporating these small but impactful updates and adding charming decor accents, the bathroom nook can be completely transformed into a rejuvenating and inspired space.

15. Before: Neglected Patio

Neglected Patio

It’s a common sentiment to look at a worn-out patio and yearn for a transformation. Patios serve as focal points for gatherings, providing a space for friends and family to come together and enjoy the outdoors. However, when a patio is in a state of disrepair, overgrown with neglected plants, and lacking aesthetic appeal, it becomes uninviting and loses its charm. Nobody wants to spend time in a patio that fails to inspire relaxation and enjoyment. But fear not, as there are numerous ways to breathe new life into a neglected patio and turn it into a delightful oasis.

16. After: Remodeled Patio

Remodeled Patio

A remodeled patio can be a transformative space that beckons you to spend time outdoors. One effective way to revamp your patio is by laying down new concrete pavers, creating a defined and visually appealing area. These pavers not only provide a clean and sharp look but also make the patio more functional and inviting. To enhance the ambiance, consider adding a portable firepit as a focal point, creating a cozy gathering spot for friends and family. Another cost-effective method to rejuvenate your patio is by giving the surrounding foliage some much-needed attention. Pruning back overgrown plants and trees can instantly freshen up the space and provide a cleaner and more open atmosphere. With these simple yet impactful changes, your remodeled patio will become a welcoming retreat that you’ll love to spend time in.

17. Before: Random Dining Room

Random Dining Room

Creating a harmonious and well-designed dining room is essential for an enjoyable dining experience. Unfortunately, for this homeowner, their dining room lacked a cohesive design plan, leaving it feeling disjointed and reminiscent of mismatched college dorm rooms. The presence of random and mismatched furniture detracted from the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the space. It was time for a transformation that would bring a sense of unity and sophistication to this neglected dining area.

18. After: Dining Room Makeover

Dining Room Makeover

The dining room underwent a remarkable transformation, resulting in a space that exudes elegance and cohesiveness. A carefully curated color scheme now ties everything together seamlessly, creating a harmonious atmosphere. Each piece of furniture was thoughtfully selected, from the affordable yet stylish molded plastic chairs to the sleek mid-century modern sideboard. While most elements of the previous design were replaced, one item that remained was the bar cart, adding a touch of nostalgia to the refreshed space. However, what truly steals the show is the addition of a striking statement chandelier, which serves as the focal point of the room, captivating the attention of all who enter. This dining room makeover is a testament to the power of thoughtful design choices and the impact they can have on transforming a space into a stunning and inviting environment.

19. Before: Cramped Bathing Area

Bathroom - Cramped Bathing Area

The outdated bathing area in this bathroom was a far cry from the modern and spacious designs we see today. The bathtub, confined within a cramped alcove, created a claustrophobic atmosphere, leaving little room for comfort and relaxation. To make matters worse, the absence of a shower limited the functionality of the space, making it inconvenient for everyday use. The vintage tile, with its worn-out appearance, added to the dreary ambiance and contributed to the overall outdated look of the bathroom. It was clear that a transformative change was needed to breathe new life into this cramped bathing area and create a more inviting and functional space.

20. After: Drop-In Tub and Frameless Shower

Bathroom - Drop-In Tub and Frameless Shower

The transformation of this bathroom is remarkable, as the owner took bold steps to create a more spacious and modern bathing area. By removing the cramped alcove and replacing it with a drop-in bathtub, the bathroom instantly opened up, allowing for a more airy and inviting atmosphere. The addition of a frameless glass shower further enhanced the sense of openness and eliminated any feelings of confinement. Frameless glass enclosures have a sleek and minimalist aesthetic, making the bathroom feel larger and less imposing. This updated design not only meets the functional needs of today’s homeowners but also creates a visually stunning and luxurious bathing space.

21. Before: Old Kitchen Cabinets

Old Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen cabinets in this home were once admired for their timeless Shaker-style design. However, as time went on, the owner began to feel that they lacked the desired uniqueness and personality. The prospect of removing and replacing the cabinets was financially daunting, and even more affordable options like ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets or cabinet refacing seemed out of reach. Nonetheless, a budget-friendly solution presented itself as a ray of hope.

22. After: Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Painted Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re looking for a quick and budget-friendly way to transform your kitchen, painting the cabinets is an excellent option. Not only does painting allow you to achieve a rapid style change, but it also eliminates the need for costly cabinet replacements and contributes to eco-friendliness by reducing waste. When painting your cabinets, it’s important to choose a specialized cabinet paint that offers long-lasting durability, as standard interior acrylic-latex paint may not withstand the demands of a kitchen environment. With the right paint and a little bit of effort, you can give your kitchen cabinets a fresh and vibrant new look, breathing new life into your entire space.


What is the difference between remodeling and an update?

The difference between remodeling and an update lies in the extent of the changes made to a space. Remodeling typically involves making significant alterations to the structure, layout, or design of a room or entire home. This may include activities like removing or adding walls, changing the floor plan, or upgrading major systems such as plumbing or electrical. On the other hand, an update refers to making minor or cosmetic changes to refresh the appearance or style of a space without making significant structural modifications. Examples of updates include repainting walls, replacing light fixtures, or upgrading furniture and decor. Remodeling focuses on transforming the functionality and aesthetics of a space, while updates are more about enhancing its visual appeal or keeping up with current trends.

When do you need a permit to remodel your home?

You generally need a permit to remodel your home when the project involves structural changes, such as adding or removing walls, modifying electrical or plumbing systems, or making significant alterations to the overall structure. The exact requirements for permits vary depending on your location and local building codes, so it’s important to check with your local building department or consult a contractor to determine the specific permits needed for your remodeling project. It is always better to ensure compliance with building regulations to ensure safety and avoid potential legal issues in the future.

What home remodels increase resale value the most?

Remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms tend to bring the highest resale value when selling a home. These areas are key focal points for potential buyers, and updating them with modern fixtures, appliances, and finishes can greatly enhance the overall appeal and functionality of the space. Additionally, adding or improving outdoor living spaces, such as decks or patios, and enhancing curb appeal through landscaping and exterior updates can also have a positive impact on the resale value of a home. Ultimately, the specific remodeling projects that yield the highest returns can vary depending on factors such as the local real estate market, the condition of the property, and the preferences of potential buyers.

What is the meaning of home remodeling?

Home remodeling refers to the process of making significant changes or improvements to a home or property. It involves renovating or altering various aspects of a residential space, such as the layout, structure, design, or functionality, to meet the needs and preferences of the homeowner. Home remodeling can encompass a wide range of projects, including but not limited to kitchen and bathroom renovations, room additions, basement finishing, flooring replacements, electrical and plumbing updates, and exterior upgrades. The goal of home remodeling is to enhance the aesthetics, comfort, and value of the property, creating a more desirable and functional living environment for the occupants.

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