There’s nothing more inspiring than a drastic before-and-after transformation story. It’s the ultimate success story of sorts, proving no home is too small, too disorganized, or too dated for a little paint and elbow grease to fix. In 2016, we saw more than a few home renovations we loved—all inspiring, all full of ideas; from how to revamp a drab exterior to how to capitalize on even the smallest of interior spaces. It wasn’t easy when we set out to narrow down our favorites, but we gathered three before-and-afters that are chock-full of small space hacks, approachable home improvement ideas, and inviting, colorful rooms.
We kicked off 2016 with a compact Wilmington, North Carolina, charmer in our January issue. Designer Shannon Crain put every inch of this 600-square foot studio to work as she transformed it from a banana-yellow box to a light-filled and livable space.
In our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, we saw a humble 1941 cottage be reinvigorated with its original colonial charm, thanks to a few clever architectural updates. Sleek windows, an expanded entry, and sharp architectural landscaping pushed this small home to its full (swoon-worthy) potential.
Finally, Southern Living got to peek inside the home of one of Charleston’s beloved artists, Lulie Wallace. She and her husband, Harrison, worked with friend and designer Angie Hranowsky to conquer the choppy layout of her 18th century single house and fill it with her own bright, playful patterns and art.