With Far Eastern elements and artistic ideas of rustic country designs comes an eclectic and emerging “junkyard” type of dining area. The true charm of this room, besides the hardy butcher-block type dining table, is the onyx pipe-metal lighting overhang, the two-door glass bureau buffet, and the ‘not-exactly-matching’ armless parsons and round back chairs, roughly unfinished but uniquely complete.
Keep a file of your favorite samples and inspirational images even if you can’t afford a makeover yet, or haven’t found the home of your dreams. This homeowner/designer kept all the fabric samples that she loved in a bag until she found the right home to settle in. She'd also been acquiring updated yet traditional pieces for just the kind of collected look she liked.
With the multihued curtain fabric as her jumping-off point, designer Ashley Whittaker splashed an amped-up version of pink in three places in the living room—the footstool, the contrasting pillow welt, and the slipper-chair trim. "We wanted the home to feel bright and colorful like Florida but not like a vacation home," says Ashley. She pulled off the cozy yet elegant vibe by grounding the sun-and-surf palette with serious touches, such as the antique demilune tables.

A shadowbox filled with small mugs and tiny bottles provides a lovely backdrop in this character-driven eat-in living area. Flour boards, crates, cloche bells, tin buckets, and glass jars make excellent décor items for the refinished cabinet top, and an old dough mixer completes the look when filled with metal or glass plant holders filled with lush green plants.


There are various ways to renovate a living room, and therefore, a range of associated labor costs. In general, labor typically accounts for about half the cost of the project, assuming the use of an electrician ($65-$85 per hour), carpenter ($70 per hour), and general contractor (10%-20% of project) as well as specific flooring or window installers and painters ($50 per hour). For the renovation of a 300-square-foot living room costing around $7,400, labor accounts for roughly $3,500 of the total.
General stores are a reminder of warm cozy days gone by. As a theory for room décor, those memories return full on by design. One-dimensional wall hangings, an antique-looking corner buffet with drawers, straight back accent chair, and mesh wire centerpiece with shadow box holder and a tin tub accent evokes memories of pies baking, noses twitching, and mouths watering.
Remodeling a finished basement is costlier. The demo can cost from $1,500 to around $3,000 to prep the site. System upgrades include expanding the HVAC and electrical, but even if you already have a bathroom in place, remodeling can add $1,000 to $4,000. Finally, the finishing work can be kept low if you stay with the basics, but upgrades to hardwood floors and other luxuries will add $7,000 to $10,000 to the job. On average, expect to pay $13,200 to $30,500 for this job.
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