21 of the Best Room Transformations We Saw in 2018

There’s nothing more satisfying than a good makeover, so here are 21 of our favorite Before & After projects from 2018. The projects range wildly in budget and scope, and from designer to DIY.

First up is this 1950s bathroom with original tiles, tub, and countertop in pale, dreamy turquoise. While it might have been tempting to start fresh, the owner saw nothing but precious potential.

This bathroom is now unforgettable, with vivid, vibrant wallpaper full of persimmon hues that complement the turquoise to perfection. The matching window shade, gold accents, and sensational light were all chosen by Carrie Hayward of Disney Travel Babble to create a glam sanctuary with nonstop style.

(Image credit: MLS Listing)

This real estate listing photo is not particularly inspiring, but one visionary DIYer saw dramatic potential.

Vintage Revivals magically created a gorgeous industrial loft out of an ordinary living room in southern Utah by installing brick veneer to the walls and hardwood to the floors. The new aesthetic nicely emphasizes the height of the windows and ceilings.

In a touching, emotional story, a new widower was ready for a fresh start and a fresh feel to his home, which had a bit of hoarder situation.

Thanks to designer Becca Mendez of The Bam House, his home is now tranquil, modern, spacious, and open. The pale, cool tones are soothing while all the wood creates a feeling of warmth and nature.

(Image credit: Jessica Leas)

Whenever there’s a ’90s standard kitchen with paneled cherry cabinetry and dark granite countertops in a “before” photo, it’s natural to assume the kitchen is going to be all-white in the “after.” And while that is a classic look for a reason, this kitchen was about to get a kaleidoscopic makeover.

(Image credit: Jessica Leas)

Reader Jessica Leas collected ornate, colorful tiles on every trip to India over many decades and they found their perfect home in this bright, vibrant kitchen.

There are a ton of excellent camper makeovers out there—we rounded up 20 of our favorites from Instagram—but this one is truly special.

Bonnie Christine envisioned and created a graceful, elegant home on wheels in what was the shell of a nearly 60-year-old camper. Every choice that Bonnie made is gorgeous, but the true showstopper is that William Morris wallpaper.

This extremely narrow kitchen had a lot going on in such a small space, but rather than trying to keep everything minimal, its owner wisely doubled down on the drama.

By painting the mantel dark and the cabinetry darker, then adding gold hardware to match the stove, Rachel Edmonds of Raspberry Flavoured Windows created a stunning, old-world kitchen in a ’90s shell.

(Image credit: Lisa Carolla)

Going from rat-infested to rat-free is a huge accomplishment in itself, but the owner of this outdoor space wasn’t content with a simple lack of rats…

(Image credit: Lisa Carolla)

Reader Lisa, through a ton of backbreaking labor, was able to make a vacation-worthy outdoor living space in the former pit of despair. The new backyard is outfitted beautifully for quiet coffees in the morning and dance parties after dark.

The owner of this closet—and parent of the children who own all those toys—struggled to organize this closet and keep it organized, but then realized maybe storage wasn’t the best use of the space.

The closet has found its ideal use as a dog lair. Ash Brockinton of Busy Girls Society@ashbrockinton on Instagram—created this canine haven with paint, tile, a peaceful mural, comfy dog beds, and handy storage for the pups’ accessories.

There really isn’t much that can be done for a rental bathroom with dreary old burgundy tiles…

Or maybe there is! Sara Toufali of Black & Blooms totally transformed this bathroom with $90-$180 worth of tile stickers in a lush emerald hue, plus some well-chosen accessories in wood. Lively plants and watery art finish the space wonderfully.

The finishes and fixtures in this bathroom might not be to everyone’s taste, but surely everybody needs a built-in fish tank in their bathroom. Right? Water is about to be replaced by fire:

The aquarium was replaced by the faux mantel on the left, which adds to the luxe feel of this gold-filled bathroom with its indulgent soaking tub. Jessica Hurrell of Gold Is A Neutral (@gold_is_a_neutral) has brought this bathroom from majorly beige to darkly dramatic, and that starry floor is stunning.

Carpeting is a fact of life in many homes, and if it’s not exactly beloved, there are definitely ways to draw the eye away from it.

For instance, a bold geometric green-black wall is intensely distracting. The DIY statement wall unifies the room and ties together the black bed and accessories. Angela of Angela Rose Home made something truly special out of a bare box.

This crowded bathroom is about to get completely gutted and totally transformed. Spoiler alert: The big bathtub did not survive the renovation.

The room is now utterly unrecognizable, thanks to the hard work, creative choices, and outside-the-box sourcing Kevin Wagner performed on the space. Peruse all of the After photos to get a real feel for what was accomplished.

There is, indeed, a kitchen behind that dreary gray wall, but the resident architect was not content with having it hidden away in a dark nook.

Now the kitchen is truly a part of the rest of the home, and the new arrangement allows room for a handy island. The space flows naturally from kitchen to dining area to living room, thanks to the excellent work of architect Tina Ladd, whose home was featured on Sweeten.

A 280-square-foot apartment has room for basically nothing, so there’s only so much remodeling that can be done, right?

Unless you’re Kate Walter, who managed to create several discrete spaces within this tiny studio. And while every inch is used efficiently and cleverly, Kate was able to squeeze in plenty of personality and beauty.

This kitchen, while enviably sunny and boasting hardwood floors, was pretty standard. Its owner gave it an utterly charming new look for a appealingly low price.

That small bit of lemon-fresh wallpaper makes a world of difference and gives the whole room a vintage-yet-fresh zest. Gray cabinets are the perfect understated pairing for bright yellow, and Jolie Dionne of Vintage Meets Glam completed the look with black and gold finishes and accessories.

This makeover is fabulous, but the story behind it is gutting and profound. This home was purchased by its new owner’s mother in a neighborhood of Denver in which African-American residents were first able to own homes. She grew up in this 1939 home, bought it from her mom, and was ready to give it a fresh look for her family.

Laura Medicus of Laura Medicus Interiors designed this bathroom, and it’s hard to decide what’s the star of the show: the stunning floor tiles or the newly uncovered brick wall. The new bathroom has a vintage charm that must fit in perfectly with the rest of the historic home.

That is some serious wallpaper that has met its match in the massive expanse of beige counter space. While the vanity itself offered a ton of storage, the bathroom’s owner was displeased with the whole look.

Rachel Schultz of On Homemaking created a grand, regal classic bathroom where the perfectly ordinary one stood before, and all for just $965. And since this is just a powder room with no need for major storage, Rachel was able to open the space up wonderfully.

(Image credit: Brianna Thomas)

This living room was perfectly nice, but basically a plain white box—but not for long.

(Image credit: Brianna Thomas)

Thanks to the vision, creativity, and hard work of Brianna Thomas of Bloom in the Black, this room is now a glamorous salon, in luscious colors and luxurious fabrics and finishes. And as if the beauty of the room wasn’t enough, that little nook on the left under the bookshelves is a dog den that leads to a hidden dog door!

This bare-bones bathroom was a clean slate just begging for some sort of something—anything.

In one bold move, the Johansson family, whose home renovation was featured on Small Fry, completely altered the vibe of the bathroom by adding one wall’s worth of removable wallpaper. This is a low-cost, low-risk way to have some design fun.

There’s generally not much that can be done to improve a rental kitchen, but in this case all it took was $200, a flexible landlord, a lot of creativity, and one busy weekend.

Abbey of Daily Disco created this bright rainbow of a room with a few smart moves: a stainless steel sticker over the dishwasher, DIY white granite countertops, peel-and-stick backsplash tiles, and plenty of white paint and cheerfully colorful decor.

Finally, here’s one of the most vibrant, lively, lovely makeovers ever. This room started out as a fairly ordinary kitchen with a few challenges.

Now it’s a riot of color, a sunny, cozy haven made for gathering with loved ones for intimate cups of tea and festive pitchers of palomas. Johanna Dominguez went big and bold with bright paints, terracotta-like floor tiles, warm wood furniture, and beautifully painted tiles. Exposing the rafters added height and authenticity, as well as a spot for drying flowers from friends.

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