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What do you get when you take a 3-person design team, 2 days, about 3K in funds, a living room with a ton of potential, and homeowners that have good style? A pretty satisfying weekend living and dining room makeover. This one even impressed us. When we started the project, I actually wasn’t sure how well it was going to turn out – we were on both a time and budget crunch. But it truly turned out to be one of my favorite makeovers to date. It mainly just involved using what they already had, adding some Craigslist and thrift store pieces and supplementing with Target furniture and accessories.

before & after living room

A lot of people can be unsure how to incorporate new things into their own home with what they already have, and many people are skeptical about buying home goods from major retailers. Back in the day, big box stores sold cheap, generic looking garbage, but these days, this stuff is really, really good. Especially from Target, if I do say so myself.

So click on through to see the whole makeover, but when you have a second, watch the whole makeover on this video. At one point in the video I do a headstand and Charlie Henderson has a pretty adorable cameo in it.

I typically write more about the process, but that video kinda sums up how it went down (so sorry about that totally weird thumbnail of the video, something is up with YouTube and we can’t change it right now. So annoying …)

Click on through to get the breakdown, resources, links and all the before/after photos.


This lovely couple, Erin and Carson, were clients of Brian’s and Erin and I were friends from high school, so when we pitched the idea to Target I had them in mind. We knew the house had a lot of makeover potential and they were normal/cool/stylish people to work with.

The problems were as follows:

1 The furniture was oversized. That leather sofa actually has a lot of potential, but the beige overstuffed sofa was the stuff of nightmares – and both of them together were the culprits in the space inhibiting all chance of coherence and good flow.  We thought about keeping that leather sofa because the color of it is actually pretty and in the right look/space/design it could look kinda 70’s cabin or something. But she wanted something more modern, and more seating. Besides trying to find club chairs that fit in our budget and that were the right scale to work with that massive sofa was really hard. Those chairs would need to be big, but that space wasn’t big enough so adding huge club chairs would be just adding to our problems.

2. No consistent color palette or design plan. They wanted blues, grays, blacks, whites and hits of pink – I promise I wasn’t forcing it on her. I promise.

3. A lot of random accessories that was making it feel cluttered. She had good chachkies but no place to display them properly.


4. They had this great white brick wall, but there were a few issues – their fireplace looked small on it without a mantle, the buffalo skull was hung too high (and it was bolted into the brick so we couldn’t really move it),  and the TV wasn’t exactly looking like poetry in motion over there. It needed to be mounted and that media piece needed to be replaced.


5. The dining room had a table that we liked, but the base had been faux-aged with black paint that was kinda coming off. It was actually an antique, so whoever decided to faux-age it was really doing it a disservice. It would be like painting crows feet on Meryl Streep – she already has the most perfect crows feet on any 65-year-old in the world. The chairs were fine but were two different seat heights and combined with the table it did feel a bit granny. They had that big mirror that was hung with a serious cleat so it wasn’t moving, and a pretty adorable little window that was begging for some plants.

But there was a lot of good news:

1. The walls were freshly painted Benjamin Moore Gray Owl – one of my favorite grays (Erin is an avid reader of the blog and had seen me use it in a few projects).

2. They had a really pretty blue rug (from CL but I think it’s originally from Room and Board).

3. They had a TON of good art – from thrifting, their families and Carson is a pretty incredible artist, himself.

4. The house had a really easy lay out to work with, with simple/pretty mid-century architecture including a really nice white brick wall and really good windows/light.

So we came in on a friday, solved the problems and left on Sunday with it looking like this:


Here’s how it went down – Erin and Carson were very open to everything. They had just bought and renovated the house so we were on a serious budget. Basically we just wanted to get a new sectional, use what they already had, add some Target pieces and whatever we could find thrifting around to make the space. We met with them a few weeks before to see the space and have time to order any furniture we needed (the dining chairs, console and media unit took about 2 weeks to arrive).

Here is what ISN’T Target:

1.  The sectional, which we found on Craigslist for $800 (originally I put $600 which I now remember was what we offered, but we ended up paying $800 – selective memory, I guess).

2. The coffee table, from a thrift store for $25 then painted white and gold.

2. The side table (thrift store $35),

4. The lamp, which they already had and we painted the old shade with watered down house paint – which is the simplest most genius upgrade to a fabric lampshade that you can do.

5. All that awesome art – It was a combination of thrift store pieces they already had, serious paintings by Carson’s grandfather, and paintings by Carson himself.


That seascape is ridiculous. It was painted by his grandfather (as was the Plein Air over the piano). I really need to go back in time and convince my grandparents to become painters because man, I could use some beautiful paintings like that.



In 2 days that room felt IMMEDIATELY so much bigger and happier, and yet we added way more seating.

About the mantel …. we debated for a long time what to do. I didn’t want to do something that looked ‘contemporary’ because it was a mid-century style house, but it was kinda begging for a mantel. So I found these pictures as inspiration:

midcentury mantel-offcenter

Yes. Something simple, streamlined, off-center and floating would do. So we had Carson whip it up. Also I offered Carson a full-time job to hang out with us and just build cool stuff for us on our whim, but he’s all, ‘I’m too busy animating the next ‘Frozen”. Whatever.


He made that by hand, from scratch. Well, technically they bought $80 worth of Walnut from a lumber yard, then he cut it, mitered it, faced it out, and after putting in huge bolts into the brick, shoved the wood (with blocks with pre-drilled holes) on the bolts. It took him 1/2 a day and only cost him the $80.


That thing looks GOOOOOOD. So pretty and simple and now we can engage the whole wall with some more leaning art and a few books. Remember how hight that buffalo skull looked before? Well, all of a sudden its the perfect height, thanks to the mantel. And then we painted the hearth that dark gray (we didn’t paint it white because it’s a wood burning stove and would have gotten filthy, dark and ash-y immediately.

Brass duck bookends | White and gold accent table | Art – vintage, Carson’s work



That white and gold accent table is pretty darn adorable. Technically its an outdoor table/stool (it even has a hole on the top for water drainage) but I don’t see why you can’t use it anywhere inside (by a bathtub?).


The TV got mounted  – which they did before and YES, mounting on brick is not awesome.  It took Carson a couple of days and he actually had to dig out a few bricks to put the cords behind the wall, etc. But it looks so much cleaner. We replaced the media unit with this adorable one from Target. When we first installed it, I was super nervous that it was too small since it was practically the size of the TV, but I forgot we had to deal with their speakers that can’t be in a piece of furniture anyway (unless it’s completely open and therefore would look messy). So once we put the right sub-woofer flux capacitor thing and the right/left speakers next to it, it actually was the perfect size. And yes, it was a real decision to leave them in the ‘after’ shots. Obviously my inner beauty addict wanted to remove them from the shot, or hell, remove the TV with photoshop, too, but we are really trying to show more realistic spaces these days. We thought about putting an image on the TV, but I couldn’t figure out what wouldn’t actually look ridiculous. Ugh, of course now I think of it: a picture of my Best Friend Forever, Kristen Bell, cuddling with a sloth (I may be rewatching the Vmars movie right now as I write this).


After we installed the media unit, we realized we had a bit of space there in the corner and they really didn’t have very many places to put any books or smalls, so we ran back to the studio and grabbed that leaning shelf (leftover from another Target shoot) and it fit perfectly.

TV media stand | Leaning white shelf | Photo frames | Concrete planter | Basket




This Ceramic hanging planter is one of those things that I saw randomly in the outdoor section in Target and was like ‘WHO HAS BEEN KEEPING THIS THING A SECRET!!!!!’ Its cement, dipped in gold and totally wonderful. Plus it hangs!!!!!


1. TV media stand | 2. Frame | 3. Leaning white shelf | 4. Brass bird | 5. Buffalo skull | 6.  White and gold accent table | 7. Basket | 8. Frame


Coffee table vintage painted Super white | Wood tray | Metallic textured pillow | Quilted velvet pillow | Blue vase | Ceramic lamp



Sectional | Dining chairs | Ceramic trayCream pillow | Patterned pillow | Blue wave throw | Emerald side chairs | Rug | Photo frame | Lamp with lampshade painted in Hague Blue – vintage | Campaign side table – vintage | Brass planter – vintage | Art – vintage, Carson’s work


There seemed to be some space behind the sectional that could be utilized, but putting a side table there would have been really low, or kinda awkward. So that is when you go for the old ‘sofa table’ – which is basically just a table the height of a sofa that goes behind the sofa. We found this one on Target’s website in espresso, which is something I like in my mouth but not on my furniture. But it was $70 and it was so simple and the PERFECT dimensions. So we bought it with the intention of painting it a color that worked well in the space.


We had some extra ‘Hague blue’ which is a navy that has a decent amount of green in it, so we slapped a few coats on it. We did have to sand first, then sand between coats and let it dry for a full day before putting anything on it.


I love how it turned out. We popped those two benches under there to help it not feel so dark

Blue tufted bench | Wood and metal tray | Console painted in Hague Blue | Photo frames   | Emerald side chairs | Ceramic lamp | Concrete and gold planter | Rug


1. Sectional | 2. Rug | 3. Ceramic tray | 4. Coffee table | 5. Super white | 6. Patterned pillow | 7. Cream pillow | 8. Emerald side chairs | 9. Ceramic lamp | 10. Wood and metal tray | 11. White lamp | 12. Brass planter | 13. Blue wave throw | 14. Hague Blue | 15. Console | 16. Blue tufted bench

Now into the dining room:
before & after living room


We didn’t have to do too much in here. The dining table top had already been stripped, but we repainted over the base with a dark gray. We added these super cute and comfy chairs from Target that were higher (before, Erin had to sit on her feet) and pulled the colors from the living room into the dining room. We found this chandelier at a thrift store and replaced the generic nipple fixture they had before. We kept his tea cart in the corner (you can barely see it) and hung that simple black and white botanical.

Chandelier | Dining chairs | Dining table – vintage painted Trout gray similar here | Mirror – vintage similar here | Botanical print – Erin’s own similar here | Blue vase | Blue bowl


The window was the perfect place for some pretty plants and a few organic shapes. We kept it mostly succulents since it gets a lot of light and most anything else would have been burned to death.


We were surprised/happy to find almost all of those vessels from Target, in the outdoor department. I’m sure they are going to sell out, but grab some of those white or gray concrete planters next time you pop in (also how cute is that modernist bird?).

White planter | Ceramic hanging planter | Dipped planter | Concrete bird | White canister | Grey canister | Copper tumbler | brass, horns, driftwood, wooden bowl all vintage



We threw in some pretty manzanita and antlers to break up all the vessels – she had been hoarding them for a while so it was the perfect play to display them.


1. Mirror  | 2. Chandelier | 3. Antlers | 4. Dining chairs | 5 . Dipped planter | 6. Copper tumbler | 7. White canister | 8. Dining table | 9.  Trout gray | 10. Concrete bird | 11. Ceramic hanging planter | 12. White planter | 13. Grey canister

Let’s recap, shall we? Probably my most favorite thing to do besides a makeover is stare at some before and afters. Get to it:


before & after living room

before & after living room

Here are some logistical questions: We went in on friday with Brady (Ginny was out that day) and another dude Francis and removed all the old furniture and brought in all the new pieces. We had an idea of where everything was going but it wasn’t definitive. After we got a first coat of paint on everything, we ran to shop where we bought all the supplementary pieces (including those green chairs which weren’t in the original plan). On Saturday we finished painting, hung the gallery wall, and styled the whole room. There were 4 of us helping, in addition to Erin and Carson. I think they ended up spending around $800 of their own money and used the $2k from Target. So the whole makeover cost $2800 which isn’t too shabby. Its a wildly different space that is so layered without being messy and so pulled together without feeling perfect.

before & after living room

before & after living room

before & after living room

before & after living room

I typically write more about the process, but this time we decided to shoot a whole video about it above, instead.

Well, folks, what do you think? Are you into this concept? Would you like to see more of these weekend makeovers? If yes, tell me in the comments (and feel free to, you know, share it around, too).  And obviously ask any questions that I may not have covered … Happy Monday.

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt. Video by Scrunch Media, concept by Emily Henderson, in partnership with Target.

Fin Mark


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208 responses to “Weekend Makeover| Mid-century Eclectic Artist

  1. I love it! Gorgeous!! Come make my house look prettier! Love the weekend makeover, makes my Monday start out right. Also need to get me to a Target…

  2. It’s always a little sad when the “before” space already looks better than my house. 🙂

    That after, though… wow. It is gorgeous. I love it so much. Carson’s grandfather’s artwork is amazing. I can’t believe what you found on CL or through thrifting. I never see anything even close to that when looking locally.

  3. Loved this transformation and on a budget! The mantel is amazing, and the couch was a score! I want every single concrete planter.
    Keep these posts coming.

  4. This makeover is so perfect! I love the colors, and I like how inviting it feels. Sometimes, designer makeovers translate to rooms where you don’t feel like you could plop down, take a nap, or hang out in, but this room looks gorgeous AND comfortable, which is a big deal to me. I also like the weekend makeover concept because it’s easier to drawn design ideas from for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of money but wants her home to look beautiful. The weekend makeover doesn’t seem to involve major overhauling that usually translates to major spendage. I like that you kept the TV speakers in the photos, because, really, let’s keep it real, right? Design is for all people, but 99% of people don’t have the cash to make their home look like a magazine cover. I like the weekend series because it feels more relatable! And I LOVE Target. We just bought a new house and I told our realtor that one of my top three priorities was living within seven minutes from a Target. I lucked out and now live within ten minutes of TWO Targets. Life is good.

      1. I’m with Lana on the need for the designs to be relatable and it feeling like I could just go in and sit on that couch right away. Feels so homely and friendly. Love it! Please do more of these posts. It’s so encouraging!

  5. LOVE this makeover, the post, everything! One of my very favorite spaces you’ve done – very gorgeous without feeling like “OMG I could never recreate that in my home.”

    YES to more weekend makeovers!!!

  6. It’s gorgeous. You’ll did a wonderful job. It is interesting to me that you put a lot more furniture and display pieces into the house and yet the house looks so much bigger.

  7. The after space looks huge! Do you know the dimensions of the living room? I am redoing my house and trying to figure out if I can fit a similar furniture arrangement.

  8. More makeovers, yes please! I like this partnership with target if it means you actually get to use their things in a real live person’s space. Two thumbs up!

  9. absolutely love the weekend makeovers!! I’m so jealous of their art collection…. if only my gallery wall looked that effortless!

  10. What a beautiful transformation. I would definitely tune in for more of this sort of real life, real budget makeovers. The art gallery wall and the mantle bring the whole room together. I am amazed at how much seating you added and yet it looks bigger!

    We bought a very similar black expandable dining table at IKEA in 2014. It is called Ingatorp.

    Have you ever tried Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for repainting painted (or wood) furniture? It is exceptionally easy, fast (drys in 30 minutes!), eco-friendly, and requires NO sanding whatsoever. You can also customize your color by mixing existing ones. I highly recommend it.It looks like you could have achieved the “Hague Blue” color with a combination of Aubusson blue and Napoleon blue, with perhaps a little Graphite to darken it. Great post!

    1. You know, I have heard of that paint but I haven’t tried it myself. I should order it so we just have some on hand because we RARELY have time to order for these kinds of makeovers and typically if its for a client we have it painted by a pro. But when it comes to these fast jobs I think that using the chalk paint would be such a good idea.

  11. I love the Weekend Makeovers!

    In this one I particularly love that you “dared” to paint a brand-new Target table! (I bet the Target people spilled their coffee when they saw that!). Good for you. It makes me trust you more to see that you don’t change your style/vision to fit the sponsor’s offerings.

    And, thanks for showing the realistic use of the couple’s own items, including the speakers.

    1. Ha. We thought about it. Had it been one of their new pieces and had it been part of their line I don’t think we would have done it. But that piece was $70 on clearance and the perfect size, such a score, but it needed to be a different finish. Hopefully they are cool with it 🙂

  12. Love this!! Love the afters, love the budget, love the weekend timeline! This is inspirational and obtainable, the perfect combination!!

  13. Love this kind of makeover. It’s real life. It all looks so cohesive and effortless, not overly styled and just a great looking room. Would love to see more of these kinds of makeovers – plus of course your more glam ones too!

  14. This. Was. The. Best.
    I haven’t even read it yet. But had to comment after the video which literally bright me to tears!
    Emily henderson, you make deign work your gift to the world!
    You’re making the world a better place!
    Thank you!

  15. This is fabulous! It is really nice to see you incorporating Target stuff directly into people’s home with their existing stuff. Super practical.
    Charlie pushing the shopping cart is seriously precious. That kid is cute stuff.

  16. Yes, yes! I love weekend makeovers… they are so much more attainable (or close to attainable!) for me! And I love videos too! Great job, Emily!

  17. I loved this!!
    My only worry is that these will take too much effort and you’ll get tired and not write this awesome blog anymore. So, really, whatever you cook up that keeps you happy is what we love. 🙂

  18. This was amazing. Love how it turned out. And, you are so good on camera! Love how normal you are and how much enthusiasm you exude. Great post!

  19. Yes – I love the weekend makeover, feels like ideas that I could use as opposed to having to spend a billion dollars and hire everyone and move walls. We aren’t all going to move walls, even if we want to…sigh. I love both the weekend options, real house issues and the more idealistic, shockingly beautiful giant professional professional remodels.

    Now I just need you in my house for the weekend….

  20. Love, love, love this make over. We have a fireplace very similar to this one and have been trying to visualize an “after” look. Thanks for showing it to me! I would so look forward to more weekend makeovers. Thanks.

  21. A MILLION TIMES YES! posts like this are amazing. so relatable (except for the whole $600 amazeballs craigslist sofa. i never find awesome shit like that for that price in austin.), so well done, such a great mix of old and new. you’re hitting it out of the park lately, lady. i’ve always loved your blog (and your voice), but in the last year or so it has transitioned from mere eye candy into practical designs regular folks can realistically translate to their own homes.

  22. Wow, this stunning. The room looks so much bigger and airier too. I can’t believe what a difference that mantlepiece made to that entire wall, and I love that it’s off centre, such brilliant detail. Absolutely love this.

  23. Love it, and my favorite part was the video! Usually I’m not a video person, but this one was so full of personality and information. The cute couple really helped, too (she’s adorable, and he’s got that sexy Chris Hemsworth Thor vibe). Great job! and that final shot of Charlie ended it on the perfect note…

  24. love this post so much!! also appreciate the kristen bell/v. mars shoutout. if you need more v. mars, there are 2 audiobooks available on are actually pretty good!

  25. Emily, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
    You give me hope for my lack of budget, I bow to you and your style. More of these transformations, please!

    hugs from Italy

  26. DEFINITELY more weekend makeovers! Quick, budget-friendly makeovers are actually my favorite thing that you do. And this one is amazing!

    1. I second this!! For most of us, this is how we do it. Makeovers and great design have to fit in with a life that includes work, family, and budgets. Not that I don’t totally appreciate great design at any cost, but that’s not real life for most of us. I would LOVE to see more of these kinds of posts!! Thank you so much!

      1. YES. Thanks guys. Hopefully Target will order more of these, because I’m down to keep doing them forever. The run ‘n gun style is in a way so much more fun than laboring over things for months and months. xx

  27. Love this. It’s so light and airy. We actually have a dining table almost identical to that one (a hand-me-down from my in-laws). I was going to wait and gently try to separate my husband from the idea of keeping it but this makes it look workable. So yay!

  28. This a great improvement and a wonderful example for Real Life.

    Just one question: where’s the dog bed? I have a dog. He wants to be where I am. I’d love to see some examples of including pets in living room design.

  29. Just adding another YES love these more realistic posts, speakers and all. Would love to see more. I just repainted a bathroom vanity and all my kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and can confirm what the above commenter says. It’s very easy to work with and dries quickly but is not a typical paint. You can roll it on with foam cabinet rollers, but it’s always going to have some inherent texture, and there is an added step of sealing it with wax. I love it, but I was expecting the experience of using it to be more similar to other latex or oil paints I’ve used in the past and it’s definitely it’s own thing, so just something to be aware of. If you do experiment, I found waxing with a rag rather than the suggested brush to be infinitely easier and faster.

  30. I think I scrolled back and forth through this post 3 or 4 times to see and re-see all the pretty pictures, but this makeover is AMAZING!

    I am INSANELY jealous of all of their art. I started collected for a gallery wall a few months ago and still only have a few pieces that I love…

    I’m highly considering those side chairs for an empty spot in our living room after you’ve used them. I can’t believe how affordable they are!

    Also the video was so much fun to watch. Also this comment is long! You’re awesome as usual, Emily!

  31. This looks so much better! I love the idea of this for a series and though Target isn’t my absolute favorite, it is nice to see which pieces you choose and how you incorporate them to look a little more high end. I do wonder though–and I totally understand if you can’t really speak to this because of your business relationship with them–but do you ever have troubles with the quality of some of the Target furniture? I was just about to buy that leaning white shelf, which looks great in the above, but after clicking through and reading the reviews, I’m pretty torn…

    Regardless, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the makeover and the ways that you make smaller budgets work just as well as bigger ones.

  32. Loved this post and wish you could come and do the same thing for me. I live in Durango, CO and feel like I have the basics but not the layered and cozy look that you always come up with.

  33. Fantastic job! I love this series! Erin is so cute, I want to put her in my pocket. Cost of entry into Emily’s world = super cewtness. 😉

  34. Fantastic post! I would love to see more like this. I’m not loving my living room, too much brown. How did that happen. Am trying to think of how amazing it would be if you were to redo. Thanks for the inspiration.

  35. Hey, are you trying not o mess with our minds? Some pix the vent is there, some pix its not! 🙂

    I think this is one of the best before/after projects I have ever seen that was purely stylistic, and with budget in mind. As usual, you killed it.

  36. What I really like about this is how doable this is. It’s very child friendly but so stylish. I love this. I’m going to my thrift store today so look for art! Also that mantle. Omg. Thank goodness I’m married to a handy man 🙂 I’ll have to show him this.

  37. Love this weekend makeover idea! We have a mystery room (that’s exactly what we’ve called it for the 5 years we’ve been living in this house) that we finally know what to do with. We have a 6-month old who needs a playroom. We don’t want to buy anything too valuable for a playroom (also have your couch review bookmarked for this project) but do want it to be fun & happy. This is exactly the kind of inspiration I need.

  38. I love this post! And I covet that sectional like whoa, it is completely amazeballs — how is it fair that something like that can be found for $600 on Craigslist? I swear nothing like that exists where I live. ~heart-rending sigh for the hopelessness of life~

  39. i love this so much! you are a genious! you have the ability to make everything look so airy, yet still warm and cozy, and with so much personality. love love love!

  40. My husband and I are debating whether to paint our brick walls white. He says no, I said yes. I going to show him this makeover. And yes that MANTEL is awesome, too. However, why did you get rid of that great coffee table? Was it due to size?

  41. This makes me so happy! Though it reminds me of how much I miss your show! I love this partnership with target and hopefully these video makeovers continue. So great to see you and real homeowners with real budgets work together. You need to be on tv, damn it!

  42. I love love love this makeover. The best part is that it is affordable and realistic! The video is wonderful – it is nice to see another perspective of the room and see the client’s reaction! Seriously perfect.

  43. Wonderful! Yes do more, more , more of these weekend makeovers. I am sending this to a friend who wants to do something but is having a hard time seeing how. Think this will help! Thanks as ever!

  44. YES! More weekend makeovers!!! Also, I could cry… because I live in Canada where all Targets are currently closing (which I’m sure my husband and his wallet are secretly rejoicing over) but it’s so sad! I am from Portland and still visit often so I will have to make massive Target trips every time I go to Oregon now. Also, I agree, before and afters are soooo good. I could sit and stare at them all day. Come makeover my house!

  45. So so good. The afters are so stunning! I couldn’t believe the difference especially on the mantel wall. Would definitely love to see more weekend makeovers (but I pretty much feel that way about everything you post). I learn so much from reading your blog!

  46. Love,love, love! Thank you for the dining table inspiration! Would love a sectional post like the sofa one you did a little while ago. I don’t have the patience/time to wait for a CL find like that.

  47. I also love this makeover! One question–when you buy upholstered pieces like that couch on Craigslist and you don’t have them recovered, do you usually get them professionally cleaned or is there some other option? It looks like this couch was in great shape, but I’m imagining some upholstered pieces might need a little help with smells, etc. thank you!

  48. I’m stuck in a bathroom all day potty training my boy and this seriosuly brightened up our whole experience. We watched the video together and he asked if Charlie was his friend. Haha so cute 🙂

  49. YES! Amazing post and I love that it makes everything seem more affordable!! So much cute Target stuff too… I’ll have to get there this weekend!

  50. I LOVE THIS!! It’s so awesome. Great job and lucky, lucky clients:)

    That coffee table is the table of my dreams, seriously. I’ve been looking for something like that for 2+ years.

    I love the weekend makeovers – please keep them coming.

  51. I deeply appreciate when you keep things like the speakers and tv in your after shots! It makes me feel better about the way my house looks. Yours is the first design blog I’ve read that actually talks about the process of photoshopping for decorating magazines … it NEVER occurred to me that they did that!!! (I felt really dumb about it for a day or so .. I know…)

    Anyway, the point of this comment is that I enjoy your design work and your candid writing about the whole process … before, during, and after! 🙂

  52. Emily, this living area is so sylish, comfortable and attainable. Thank you for a great post and the inspiration that comes along with it. Would you consider doing a post on dining tables, similar to the sofa post? I moved into a new home and have had such a hard time with the big box store furniture….nothing appeals to me. I would love great sources for dining tables and area rugs. Thank you…..

    P.S Charlie is sooooo adorable, he makes me smile.

  53. Yes, more of these please! This makeover was so stylish and fab, but it also felt accessible and realistic for someone like me who is on a budget and can’t go buy a whole bunch of pricey furniture.

  54. I APPRECIATE that you left that air vent showing on the big gallery wall in some of the photos. I’ve been struggling/ignoring a huge wall in my house that has 3 air vents placed asymmetrically and this has shown me that a gallery wall is indeed the way to go.

  55. This is GREAT! Love the video – it’s so wonderful to see you in action again and hear your adorable voice. And also to see clients reactions – very satisfying. This partnership with Target is so much a win win. They increase sales, we get very achievable design advice. Perfect! Loved this in every way! Thanks!

  56. Holy smokes this makeover is great! I love everything about it but I’m really in love with the sectional and the coffee table. Isn’t it just amazing what you can do with paint?

  57. I’d love to see more of these! These makeovers on a budget feel more attainable than your full blown, full house makeovers. (Although I love those too.) Would you mind sharing how much you would have charged for this makeover?

  58. I saw you had a lot of comments and i wasnt going to ad in – but then i watched the VIDEO! I LOVED IT! It’s like a mini Secrets from a Stylist. I would love to watch more of these! So much inspiration from real people and rooms, Thanks for leaving in the speakers!

  59. Yes, love to see these weekend makeovers. I love that you were able to use some the existing pieces. This is exactly what we need. Too bad I live in Arizona, or I would “volunteer” to be your guinea pig 😉 Fantastic.

  60. Yes please! The weekend series is dope. It is inspiring to see what can be done on a budget in two days. Keep them coming.

    Ps. I may have to hand over my queen of craigslist reign after seeing this post cause ya got me beat.

  61. Love this so much!! After we canceled our cable I really missed getting my fix of diy/decor shows…this totally satisfied that craving! Please do more!

  62. Oh my gosh, please come to my apartment for a weekend makeover. Heck, I’d take a one day (any day!) makeover. This is really inspiring!

  63. Love this post–remember when you did that little survey, this is exactly the stuff I love reading/viewing; something super gorgeous, but super simple and on a reasonable budget. Thank you for your fabulousness!

  64. Wow, what a way to start the week for us readers and this lucky couple–looks like they won the design lottery! Crazy (very omg) that this makeover happened just over the weekend. Their new space looks amazing and all the details like the too cute succulent arrangements on the dining window just make the space look so happy! And omg, what a handy dandy dude…can’t believe he made the mantel. The asymmetrical mantel idea is just genius. Also, love how all the different shades of blues and blue-greens in the furniture play off the colors in their paintings, without looking monotonous at all [problem i have sometimes b/c my fav color is blue too]. And, i agree about the seascape painting–so amazing. I think it looks like Ariel or Ursula could pop out of the waves! So…Definitely love this weekend makeover post! You guys are so awesome, Emily and team! And just the icing on the cake that you gave us such a fun video too…so cute that your little Charlie was pushing the Target cart and yep, where else to go besides Target on a rainy day? Just a quick question to end my gushy comment, is that double-tier metal tray thing on top of the tea cart from Target too?

  65. You killed it!!! I love this makeover, and would LOVE to see more like it! I love seeing a mix of new (budget) pieces and thrifted pieces, with their own accessories and stuff thrown in. This is brilliant and I love seeing how with a little forethought, something fabulous can happen quickly.

    Let me know if you ever come to Florida! 😉

  66. Your work makes me re-think what I’ve usually seen defines mid-century. You make mid-century look refined yet comfortable, and not at all kitschy. You’re like the mid century design guru!

  67. What a difference. I am sure they are thrilled! Heck, I am thrilled for them. Such an awesome change in just a couple of days. Any time you want to visit Chicago Emily, I would love to have you stop on by 😉

  68. Absolutely loved this! I think it is great to see how a makeover is completely possible with a small budget and things that you already have! Would love to see more and if you ever need another house, you are more than welcome to come to Cincinnati!

  69. This is just so amazing. I smiled the entire time reading this post. You make me feel like anything is possible! Thank you for everything that you do!

  70. Love love love! I’m actually in the process of re-decorating our living room in similar colors, so it’s exciting to see the pieces in my imagination all together – beautiful! Love the mantle, too!

  71. i love this! It is super do-able, both in terms of budget Nd in terms of types of furniture used. I especially love making do with what you have or can afford–and then painting or re envisioning the piece. More weekend makeovers, please!

  72. Love this make over so well done. I have watched the video like 3 times now.
    Source Question in the video on the tea cart, there was this tiered tray thing with the bar wear on it. Where is that from?

  73. I love this! A budget makeover and Charlie pushing the target cart, Made my day! Also “the TV wasn’t exactly poetry in motion over there” you make me laugh. Thanks:)

  74. Q: What type of paint did you use on the hearth? Been wanting to paint my wood burning fireplace but not sure if I can use regular house paint.

    Love this kind of post, thanks for the consistently inspiring work!

  75. Lady, Target gets their money’s worth out of you! There is no source on the Internet that makes me want to go shopping quite like you do, and I hope they know that.

    Which is to say, it’s lovely. I wish you were in Denver so you could help me hone my design vision.

  76. I just adore the way you take the time to explain WHY something works or doesn’t work and then show us alternatives. The credenza series was perfection on that, and so is this post. The bonus on this post is that it seems really attainable for those of us on a budget because Target. Any of us can find our way to Target or a thrift store. Now I need to pick up some of those Target concrete planters. And vases. And trays…

    Thank you!!

  77. Beautiful makeover…but it looks just like your house and many other projects you have already done! I love your style but it would be amazing and inspiring to see that translated to a larger range of color palettes and styles

  78. Love this post!! And I read this blog religiously because you can make a room look so fabulous for under $3000, keep up the awesome work!

  79. Love this. I can’t believe those results for under $3,000, I do believe you because you’re so honest but it seems unbelievable. Fun video, with Charlie stealing the show. I don’t know how you keep the crowds down when you’re in Target shopping like that.

  80. loved this post! definitely would like to see more of this (budget/real life friendly make-overs)…totally something I could implement in my own home (of course, it would be better if YOU came and did it, ha!)…can’t wait to see more of these!

  81. Yes! Do more! Love that I get real advice for the real house I’m living in and the satisfaction of a makeover story all at the same time.

  82. Yes! I’d love to see more posts like this in the mix!
    I love the relatable budget and mix of craigslist, Target, and DIY (because those are what I can afford). I love seeing a beautiful space that is actually lived in (so thanks for keeping the TV and speakers for the shoot).

    Is it weird that when I see a beautifully designed and styled space, I want a follow-up picture of what it really looks like every day?

    This post made me almost giddy as I scrolled and scrolled and there was more and more great content. Well done!

  83. Wow! So inspiring and such a beautiful transformation! Love seeing this type of quick makeover with normal, everyday people. Also like that you kept the speakers and TV in the after photos. Even though it’s not super aesthetically pleasing to include those type of things in your wonderful “after” photos, its nice for readers to see how you deal with those types of issues in real life decor situations. Love this!

  84. I love every. single. thing. I would move into this space in a heartbeat. The blue color palate, gorgeous art, sectional, leaning shelf, mantle, succulent garden, gah!!! So gorgeous!!

  85. YES! More of these please! The room looks fantastic and really seems so simple to achieve. The fact that it was on a budget is awesome too!

  86. I love everything about this post … it’s so great to see design makeovers aimed at being budget friendly as that is the reality for so many of us. I do love Target too so this was a fab post. (We bought our house 18 months ago and found our sectional on Craigslist for 600, but it took us a good 6 months of patiently looking.)

  87. I LOVE this post! Such a coincidence because I am getting a mantel that looks just like that! It’s a huge hunk of black walnut, a 4″x6″ beam. The only thing is that my piece of wood was definitely not only $80… Try $216! I’m so jealous of the killer price! But hey, great minds think alike 🙂 I also love the clean, streamlined look of the mantel.

  88. love the whole thing! And would absolutely love to see more weekend makeovers!! Dumb question- the color of the rug and the sectional are similar, how do you know when that will work? I think I must be operating on a false notion that the rug and sofa should typically be a contrasting color? It looks great!! Thank you!

  89. i love your style. It’s just looks like georgeous people live there 🙂 actually live there, not just styled it and now they look at the space and live somewhere else. If that makes any sense at all.
    And I love all the light. I wish my place had so much light ( southern exposure with this crazy shutters architectural things that are the bane of my existance but taking them of is not really an option but they block so much light and the building across is not helping. Anyway… I just saw in one of the last before photos they had a dog bed in front of the sliding doors. Where did you put it in the end? I have a retriever and him sleeping on my bed is not an option or the sofa so it’s a problem that I have been trying to solve for a while. Where do you put a pets bed so it looks nice and cohesive and not like “here is my huge red with white paw print dog bed in the corner of my room” ?
    And the gallery wall, oh that gallery wall! I want to marry it 🙂

  90. More weekend makeovers! I love this — it is nice to see real people with real stuff and real budgets reflected on blogs. As much as I like the other more staged posts — this is my preferred type of post. Also, I am normally all about the written word but the video was pretty awesome! Made the whole experience come to life. And how adorable is that couple? So darn cute. I want to move into their house (specifically their family room) and just hang out. Think they would mind?
    Keep fighting the good fight Emily! You rock!

  91. Now if only I could work out how to get all those great Target items…in Australia! The room is so beautiful Emily, congratulations.
    Target – please bring your amazing line out here!

  92. Gosh, I’m waiting for the day that Target starts shipping to Europe 🙂
    This looks amazing, and gives me so much inspiration to putting together my own rental. Lived so few years in my latest homes, put this gives me inspiration to make a huge difference on a small budget!! Love your videos <3 A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

  93. Love everything about this and these are my favorite posts. Now do you think you can convince Target to come to Australia for the weekend and do a weekend make over at my house. It’s not far, really……

  94. Please come to Australia and makeover my 105 year old cottage!!!! Pretty please!
    LOVE this makeover – if only Aussie target was as great as the US version

  95. My heart skipped about 5 beats when I saw this on my Pinterest feed this morning 🙂 So inspirational! Tutorial on painting a lampshade??

  96. This is just beautiful and informative and helpful! Thank you so much for spending what must be hours to provide all the links and “get the looks.” I’ve been trying to find handsome, affordable planters for a while, and this post nailed it. Maybe it was explained, and I missed it, but how is one awarded the honor of an Emily Henderson/Target makeover? I’m sure the queue would go around the block. Also, for those of us not in sunny Cali, maybe you could do a skype or digital makeover working with a local stylist?…..We have great Targets out here; we’re dying of cabin fever buried under all this snow. Make our day!

  97. It’s 12 degrees here and I have a terrible head cold, but this post made me smile. This is what makes this blog one of my favorites. It’s a room I feel like I can walk into with my three year old and hang out. Okay, maybe he’d climb that ladder shelf and knock over a few heirloom photos, but I could just pluck him down and show him all the cool plants. So beautiful, affordable and fun. More please.

  98. This is WONDERFUL!! I love both the room, and the “weekend makeover” concept.

    Do you think you can get Target to sponsor a makeover in my living area? 🙂

  99. I love love love this makeover! both the idea of a quick and budget design and the execution are fantastic. While I adore everything you do and have followed your work avidly for years this feels so attainable it’s very encouraging. Now I just have to figure out how to get you to come to San Francisco and help with my living room……

  100. YES! I love this space and I would love to see more weekend makeovers. It’s so inspiring to see what con be done in a limited time with a reasonable amount of money.

  101. This is a GREAT post. You totally transformed the room without doing anything too crazy, which most of us don’t have time (or money) for. It is actually doable for us readers! I also really liked you how kept it real. Showing the TV and stereo placement is important to me in a living or family room. When I was planning my family room, the number one thing was how to do the seating and TV placement so that people could comfortably watch TV.

  102. I loved this post so much I had to comment! A doable budget + a great room = awesome design by EH! I’d love to see more of these weekend makeovers, and hello, can I propose that my great room be next? It’s a big room with lots of potential, we already have some great pieces, we have a small budget too and we just need you Emily and your team. And hello we live in Vegas. A weekend makeover in a very fun place. Let me know. Okay? Ok!

  103. this is such a fun post. thank you for showing a real life couple, with a real life budget and real life solutions. i hope you do more posts like this. of course, your styling and design process also helps us non-designers see how you got to the ‘after’ from the beginning shots of the couples home. thanks for such awesomeness!

    – jaime

  104. LOVE IT. Seriously love it. And for goodness sakes, yes. More weekend makeovers! Also- love that you guys left the speakers in the photos. Here’s to real life!

  105. I LOVE THIS POST! Seriously, please do tons more of these quickie real life makeovers! This is killer sponsored content, too. Emily, you rock. There is so much inspiration here, plus it’s amazing to be able to see an inexpensive makeover for a real life couple with real world limitations going on.

  106. Amazing job and I love the achievability factor in a weekend project (although clearly your “weekend” project is like a normal person’s monthlong project)! Keep ’em coming (and please come back east and take pity on a working mom in NYC)!

    Lovely art too…

  107. Hi Emily, I only started reading your blog a few months ago (I know, late to the party!) and I’m not sure but I think this might be my first time commenting. I just wanted to say I really, really loved this. I find your descriptions of the process and the technical reasons for styling things a certain way really useful. I think of myself as artistic and creative and yet when I look at the rooms in our house they don’t quite look complete. If only I had a little more Emily in me! And if only I had a Target nearby! (In fact, seeing as I live in the countryside in the UK where there are no Targets, they couldn’t really be further away but never mind!)

  108. Love, love, love. Keep doing this. The only thing is more details on the prep–though you only had one weekend in the space, you clearly did plenty of planning beforehand to make sure you maximized your time in there efficiently. Did you source the couch with them in mind and store it somewhere else beforehand? What happened to their furniture that you didn’t keep? How did you make sure everything dried on time that had been painted? Since many of your readers (myself included) are DIY-inclined, giving more info on the actual nitty-gritty of the work would be interesting. Can you show more pictures or describe in detail how the mantel was made and hung? Helpful to know from a woodworker’s perspective. How did he actually drill in the wall and hide cables? Love this feature!

  109. This might be my favorite one yet, I love this makeover!

    Quick question: What kind of plant is that next to the leaning shelf? I’m looking for something like that for my living room.


  110. I love your blog, but this is probably one of my favorite posts ever! Just so attainable. So livable and beautiful as always, too. Love this concept!

  111. I loved this post! I didn’t watch the video but found plenty of content in the post – you and your team really outdid yourselves. I loved that it was accessible to the average person but still had plenty of your style!

  112. Just one question: how can we become candidates for weekend makeovers?! Great job, can’t believe it only took a weekend. It looks so thoughtful.

  113. OMG! LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Especially the video, it made everything come together so nicely (and Charlie’s cameos are the best!). Weekend makeovers are such a great idea, I really hope we can see more of those! And how I wish there was a Target where I live (Austria) – finding great looking furniture for reasonable prices is so hard around here 🙁 Am still very inspired after reading this to try and make my living room look a bit more like what I’ve just seen 😀

  114. More, more, more (please.)!!! I love this whole post. The budget and timeline and space feel so relatable. This is seriously some of the best work I’ve seen in blogland in a long time. Thank you!!

  115. This is great! Did you use a special paint on the hearth flooring? I have similar brick colored flooring in front of my fireplace and never thought to paint it!

  116. I am obsessed with this makeover! It’s so grounded and realistic to me! Don’t get me wrong – I love to ogle high priced rooms as much as the next person, but I love when I can view a room makeover where the total price is as much as one piece of furniture in many other makeovers!!

  117. Just so Target knows how amazing these posts are I might have gone to two different stores(or more) this week to score several of the items you used. I was determined to come home with the metallic stool and some planters. The stool is amazing THANK YOU I’ve been searching for a modern garden stool under for what like seems like forever!!!!

  118. Hi!

    I love, love this room!Could you tell me what the finish is for the hague blue paint you used on the console table…?

    Thank you!

  119. Hello, well done on this project. We’re looking to do something similar for our mantle. What are the measurements of the slab? How thick and what depth did you go with?

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