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A budget-minded living and dining room makeover

After living with an outdated living room and a dining room that was less than ideal for the couple's love of entertaining, Candace and Fred Schiffer of Lindenhurst decided it was time to make a change. Instead of turning to a designer, they looked to a shopaholic friend. April Willi suggested nixing the dark colors for updated gray walls and neutral furniture in the living room. A table in the dining room can accommodate a dinner party but still allows Candace and Fred, a chef, to share an intimate dinner. TOTAL COST: About $15,600 -- SYLVIA E. KING-COHEN

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