Renovations: Drab ‘befores’ and amazing ‘afters’

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A beautiful house is easy to achieve with a new paint job and some clever design tricks that don’t cost a bomb. (Rawpixel pic)

A home should be a sanctuary where you can rest and rejuvenate after a tiring day stuck in traffic after leaving the office or stuck at home with screaming, demanding kids.

But not everyone gets to come home to a house redesigned by Nate Berkus or Malaysia’s own Eric Leong.

However, a new paint job and some clever design tricks can make a world of difference to the place you call home.

Check out these before and after renovation projects for inspiration – then get down to some creative work.

1. Kitchen

This dull, outdated kitchen is hardly likely to inspire home chefs. (

Notice how the top cabinets have been removed to make room for open shelving.

The entire kitchen has been given a bright coat of paint to lighten it up and a kitchen island adds extra work space.

Invite guests into this kitchen as you whip up a gourmet meal. (

2. Kitchen

A few minor fixes can give a kitchen a whole new look. (

Some modern appliances and a classy colour scheme is all it takes – and it’s like a brand-new kitchen has just been born.

3. Dining area

This traditional family dining room does not really have a lot of personality.

Dark and rather dull, this dining room is hardly the place for happy family dinners. (

Transform the dining room with some chic Scandinavian furniture and fixtures.

The floors have been re-stained a darker shade of ebony and the white walls reflect more of the natural lighting into the entire room.

Scandinavian furniture and light colours have transformed the dining room into a bright, happy space. (

4. Living room

For some people it is enough to just put together a basic furniture set with a TV console and cabinet storage. But this can be so dreary and uninspiring.

Beige on beige on brown does not induce a cheery mood. (

Sometimes all that’s needed to change the entire mood of the room is some light-coloured paint on the walls and a few trendy design pieces. Add a splash of colour with bold cushion covers and you’ve got a beautiful space to rest and relax.

Let the sunshine in with bright colours and modern furniture. (

5. Bathroom

Oh dear, the less said about this one the better.

Best not to even open the door of this bathroom. (Pinterest)

Give the bathroom a makeover by replacing the flooring with darker tiles and repainting the walls.

It’s a good investment to update the bathroom cabinet, countertops and the plumbing fixtures. (Don’t forget to replace that ugly towel rail beside the shower too.)

A bathroom to be proud of. (Pinterest)

6. Bathroom

Another simple idea for a bathroom with an oversized sink cabinet – get rid of it and instal a smaller one.

A smaller cabinet makes the space seem bigger. (

7. Front porch

The front porch functions as an introduction to the family. Check out how Malaysian property designers 2’s Company (formerly JTJ Designs) helped this family put their best foot forward.

This front porch is not exactly welcoming. (

Hard to believe that this is the same house. A secure autogate with a modern design was installed and more privacy was created with a garden wall on the balcony area.

Choose a classy dark colour and voila, you’ve got a brand-new house that will impress.

A few smart touches make this house look like the new kid on the block. (

8: Bedroom

Before deciding whether or not to keep the room’s original design, think about how all the space can be utilised for maximum effect.

Before designing a room, consider how all the available space can be utilised for maximise effect. (

Replace the ceiling fan with a modern light fixture and transform the closet space into a vanity area. Paint the vanity area to create depth and contrast.

With a few simple touches, this room has been transformed into a haven. (

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