Astonishing Home Makeovers You Won’t Believe

A Special Treat Today from two wonderful readers featuring some astonishing home makeovers!

The first one, Sarah wrote me a quick note nearly 3 months ago:


Is it sacrilege to paint mahogany paneled walls?


I said:

Well Sarah, some would say so, but I’m not one of them. lol

I had my antique mahogany bookcase painted some 15 years ago. You can see it here:

The color is off because I took the photos at night and that is what I came up with after copious amounts of editing. The wall is yellow, but the cabinet is an off-white. I think there’s also a photo of it in my old home in my portfolio. It’s the one with my dearly departed Peaches on the glass coffee table.

Hope that helps!




By the way, it is absolutely fine to ask me a question like that, but please do not ask me what color to paint something. I cannot possibly answer that because I’m not there. A lot of people don’t understand that.



Today, I heard back from Sarah.


Hi Laurel,

 I emailed awhile back asking if you thought it was okay to paint mahogany paneling. You gave me just the answer I needed from a respected source – Yes! I wanted to send you a picture of the room before and after. In addition to painting, we had a desk built into the wall to open the center space, library lights installed above the shelving and the shutters removed. I hope you approve! Thank you for your help. I absolutely adore your blog and the inspiration and tips you provide us interior design fanatics.




The before dark paneled den. If I’ve seen one of these, I’ve seen 50 over the years.

That’s how common they are around these parts.


paneled-room-after home makeovers

And this is the room now, with a fresh paint job.

How lovely and fresh is that! I love it. It’s so bright and cheery now.

This is a room I could spend time in. Love the pendant light too!



I know y’all are going to want to know the color cause I know you guys. I was curious too. It’s Benjamin Moore White Dove. One of the Laurel Home Paint Color Collection colors. Of course!

dark-paneled-den-before-and-after-benjamin-moore-white-dove-home makeovers

I made a graphic for your pinning pleasure. I know that a lot of women– sometimes have fights with their husbands about painting the fugly wood paneling. Maybe if they see this it’ll convince them it’s a smart move.


Originally, the post was only going to be about fabulous Nancy Keyes’ homes, but Sarah sent me these images just today.

Who can forget last Sunday’s post with that fabulous exterior makeover.


Well today we are going to go inside that home. And then, I’m going to blow your minds with the home makeover she has created in her present home in New Jersey.


Prepare to be dazzled!


beverly-porch2A little paradise, isn’t it?


atlanta-deck-with-diamond-painting-and-antique-furnitureAlright. This isn’t just a chica with astonishing taste.


I said to Nancy: Just to clear. Am I correct that you are not a professional designer. Is that right? If not, you should be. Your work is definitely magazine material.

Nancy said: I did go to design school and decorated houses in Atlanta.

[Aha – I knew it!]


I don’t have sources here

and have no desire to schlepp around trying to find things.


[me neither, girlfriend!]


I was a real flea market, antiques shows and shops “decorator”.


Hate choosing new “stuff” and there is NOTHING here! The shops are dismal. You would expect being so close to NYC it would be different. There is so little style here it is amazing!


[It is the same here in Westchester County. People on the whole are just not that into decorating or even caring.]


All of my Atlanta friends lived for design…

[yes, that is true!]


Then, she went on to say…


I love it here though! Grew up here and moved to Atl when I was 24…always wanted to come back to the beach! So I grew up with so many of my friends here…My grandmother was a designer in NYC, my mother had great taste and lots of my stuff was my grandmothers and my parents!


So, there it is. OH! and something else. She mixed all of her own paints, so please don’t ask what they are. There are several colors in my paint collection that look very close, however.


Moving on. Her present home that she’s been renovating for a while. I don’t have the entire home, but you have to see…


The kitchen.


Remember when I did a couple posts about “unkitchens” or unfitted kitchens as is the more proper name.

Well, that was when Nancy wrote me the first time and asked if she could send me her pics.

“Sure,” I said.




Lots of people send me photos of their homes. I understand that not everyone has a lot of money or has a developed style or even understands. So, I took a look at this image and prayed that this was the before.

And it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen. But it is dated and the layout isn’t so great with the black fridge sticking out like that, etc.


Well, they moved the entire staircase out of there.


And this is what this kitchen looks like now.


Just putting some space here.

Are you ready?

Ready now?

Ta da!!!




I love this so much I really want to throw up. That’s how much I love it.

I want to have sex with this kitchen.  (with kind permission, of course) ;]

Okay, I know, I know…

You wanna know the paint colors. Hey, me too, me too!

But alas, it’s not to be. Custom-mix again. Nancy wanted a gray that goes the best with stainless steel.

And by golly, she sure got it.

The walls look pretty white, but it’s a photo, so who knows? But if I had to take a guess, I would say Chantilly Lace, but it could be Cotton Balls or Simply White. Impossible to know.




And once again, a graphic for your pinterest boards.

Now, for the Bathroom

I don’t have a before. I’m sure it was gross.

vintage black bathroom in the manner of Mark D Sikes - designed by Nancy Keyes

Seriously? We are going to have to get this woman out of retirement!

But Nancy confessed that she shamelessly (her word) copied Mark D. Sike’s fabuloso bathroom.



It really is fabulous and it’s close, but it’s not exactly the same. Remember when we talked about the secret weapon that I recommend for creating the home of your dreams?


 No, this is not Nancy’s home. I wish it was mine. Oh man! It must be French. And indeed this lovely is by Jean-Louis Deniot.



Nancy said that she copied his chandelier too! It looks fabulous in the kitchen!


fabulous garage that looks like a guest cottage home makeovers - home renovation - beautiful garden
And what have we here? A little guest house? No folks, that’s the garage!!! I told Nancy that I want to live there. I’ll bring my little space heater and a microwave. I’ll be fine.

Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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