The 10 Most Dramatic Before & After Projects
Thinking about the new year might be the time for home improvement resolutions, or at least some serious list-making. From a formerly dingy little caravan, to kitchens, gardens, dining rooms and a few entire homes, we have run the entire gamut of before and after projects this year. The following selections represent the most dramatic and inspiring of 2011 to help ring in any 2012 renovation plans.
Dec 26, 2011
Clever Green Solutions to Everyday Issues
Some of my favorite Re-Nest posts are the ones that share clever solutions to everyday issues (you know, the kind that make you think “huh, how did I not know about this?”). From removing pesky stains to keeping pests at bay and everything in between, here’s a roundup of our favorites from 2011!TOP ROW• 1 Use Citrus Peels To Start Your Seedlings• 2 Hot Tip: Wrinkles? Forget the Iron. Use a Spray Bottle.
Dec 23, 2011
What’s On My iPhone? 10 Apps My 3-Year-Old Loves
Last summer my iPhone and I had just begun our courtship and I told you about 5 Apps I Found Invaluable. Since then our relationship has blossomed, but it’s been cheating on me…with my son. Critics bemoan that children have their heads in iPhones and are missing the world around them and generally I’d agree. But if you’re taking a long road trip – like we are today – it’s a lifesaver.
Dec 23, 2011
Bathroom Before & After Projects
We’ve had a great year of bathroom before and afters. From the controversial orange bathroom redux to the double renovation of a studio apartment bathroom, we’ve seen a lot and found inspiration even if we didn’t agree with every single choice someone made. I don’t think I would have had so much courage to tackle my own projects this year without Re-Nest and Apartment Therapy, so hopefully these will embolden someone else to do the same.
Dec 22, 2011
Nancy and Robert’s House of Festive Flair
Name: Nancy and Robert SalzLocation: Berkeley, CaliforniaYears lived in: 25 Nancy Salz says her home is devoid of architectural interest. But over the past 25 years, she and her husband Robert have embellished their three-bedroom family lair with lovingly crafted DIY projects and intriguing collections, making it one of the most colorful and creative homes in Berkeley, California. The first floor flows easily from room to room showcasing vibrant surprises around every corner.
Dec 21, 2011
Furniture Makeovers: Before & After Transformations
2011 was packed with wonderful before and after projects! Readers and editors both shared some amazing furniture re-do’s. From the old made modern to the broken turned fixed, here are just a few of the incredible before and after furniture posts of the year.
Dec 21, 2011
Before & After: Painted Furniture & Cabinetry Projects
The power of paint can’t be denied – we all know how it can transform a room, but the effect is also powerful when it comes to projects that involve the application of paint to furniture and cabinetry. Here are ten examples from the archives (including one where the “furniture” didn’t even exist prior to the paintjob!); check out the befores in this gallery and then click through on each for the always-fun-to-see afters.
Dec 19, 2011
Before & After: 15 Creative Kitchen Renovations
There’s a big misconception in the renovating and real estate world that kitchen remodeling needs to be flashy and expensive to be good. That’s simply not true! We’ve found that with a little creativity, some reuse, a new coat of paint — and sometimes not even that much work, kitchen renovations can be not only eco-friendly, but also inexpensive. Here are our 15 best before and after kitchen posts of the year!
Dec 19, 2011
Shannon & Dean Create a Contemporary Farmhouse
Name: Dean and Shannon Acheson + their three lovely kids + Penny the dogLocation: Ajax, OntarioSize: 3 bedroom, 1050 square feetYears lived in: 2 — owned The Acheson family moved into this suburban bungalow two years ago to cut down on Dean’s work commute.
Dec 16, 2011
Lisbeth Salander’s IKEA Shopping List
In The Girl Who Played with Fire — the second book of best-selling Millennium Triology by Stieg Larsson — the character Lisbeth Salander moves into a new apartment and goes shopping at IKEA — a rather mundane activity that IKEA fans will enjoy as they recognize specific product names and remember some of the discontinued products that are missed.
Dec 16, 2011
Before & After: Vintage Radio Cabinet Becomes the Star of the Party
Sherry and her husband lucked out when they stumbled upon this vintage 1930s radio in a store that was closing the very day they dropped in to browse. Though the radio components were beyond salvage, the cabinet was just crying out for some TLC in order to become a showpiece in their home.Sherry’s husband devoted hours of time and lots of elbow grease as he sanded, glued, clamped, and stained this piece to restore the finish to its original glory.
Dec 16, 2011
Give The Gift Of Spoons (It’s Cooler Than You Think)
I came across this beautiful photo of these precious wood burned spoons and I knew that I would instantly be making them for a few friends and family members. It’s heartfelt and inexpensive, so what does this have to do with children you ask? Only the sweetest gift ever!Over the years of gift giving, it’s become quite clear that Grandparents like one very specific thing for a gift. They like being reminded that they’re Grandparents.
Dec 16, 2011
How To Make a Hanging Lace Lamp
It’s hard to believe that this beautiful hanging lace lamp can be made at home with little more than some creativity, a few doilies, and a balloon. Want to learn more?While I haven’t done paper mâché since third grade, Isabelle from Dos Family created this amazing lace lamps using the basic paper mâché technique, doilies and balloons.
Dec 16, 2011
Before & After: Contemporary Bathroom Remodel
I met architect Branka Knezevic at the AIA home tours a while back. When she was contracted to remodel an outdated bathroom in a ranch home, she promised me a big reveal with before and after photos. For the last few weeks she has strung me along with “the bathroom is almost finished.” Now, it is finally finished and the result was definitely worth the wait! The owner of the home wanted a bathroom that had a sleek and modern design.
Dec 16, 2011
Chris & Erin’s Farmhouse Add-On
Name: Chris and ErinLocation: Carlisle, MassachusettsSize: 680 square feetYears lived in: only 4 months — rented I’m used to getting crushes on the homes I photograph for Apartment Therapy. But this one? This home I WANT. It fits in so perfectly with my recent obsession with the idea of living in a smaller space. Chris, a woodworker with his own shop, and Erin, a yoga instructor, massage therapist and writer with her own studio, scored this amazing rental on Craigslist.
Dec 15, 2011
Guy & Jennifer’s Contemporary California Modern Home
Name: Guy and Jennifer Genis Location: Sherman Oaks, CaliforniaSize: 3500 square feetYears lived in: 6 years — Own Guy and Jennifer, plus their son and daughter, all live in a bright and airy home in Sherman Oaks. The house lends its roots to California mid century modern architecture, but with the design savvy of designer Bryan Wark the Genis’s brought in a mix of traditional and Hollywood Regency design.
Dec 15, 2011
Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party in a Studio
With the holidays just around the corner, it’s certainly the season for merry-making with friends, and what better way to do it than with some seasonal cocktails? Many of us with small spaces are probably hesitant to host a soirée, given that entertaining in a studio can pose some serious logistical problems. But don’t let those potential complications ruin your holiday fun!
Dec 15, 2011
DIY Cleaning: 3 Household Items That Remove Tree Sap
So you brought home a real live Christmas tree and it smells as wonderful as you hoped and looks even better with all those little lights. But the sap…oh, the sap. It gets on carpets, your hands and even on pets. What to do? Try one of these household remedies.If you notice a few sap drips, first try freezing the sap with an ice cube. (Let the ice simply melt over it. Rubbing it will push it further into the carpet or fabric.) Once hardened it’ll be easier to pick off.
Dec 15, 2011
BJ & Megan’s Traveling Farmhouse Homestead
Name: Megan & BJLocation: Chatham County, NCSize: 1,800 square feetYears lived in: Renting for over 2 years Traveling homestead? you ask. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Well, in the case of BJ and Megan’s 1917 farmhouse, that’s exactly what it is. After contentedly nestling itself into the soil of Burlington, NC for the better part of a century, the owner had it relocated 30 miles away to save it from demolition in 2002.
Dec 14, 2011
Before & After: Making Over Nightstands for Mom and Dad
Allison didn’t have to look very far to find these project pieces- her parents have owned them for over 36 years! Part of the bedroom set her parents got for their wedding, these nightstands lived in Allison’s childhood home before making a move to her parents’ cabin 10 years ago. When the cabin sold, these pieces came to Allison to work some makeover magic.Solidly built pieces by Lane, these nightstands are dark and heavy; Allison herself calls them “ominous”.
Dec 14, 2011
Rachel & Jonathan’s Cozy Angelino Heights Home
Name: Rachel Craven & Jonathan CravenLocation: Angelino Heights – Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize: 1700 square feetYears lived in: 1 year Rachel invited me over to her beautiful home in Angelino Heights. I was so excited because Angelino Heights is the second oldest district in Los Angeles; therefore, there are so many stunning old homes with a lot character. Another treat was the Echo Park Craft Fair that was being held at her home later in the day.
Dec 13, 2011
Before & After: A Fresh Look for an Old Office Chair
This $3 Goodwill score didn’t beckon to me with its good looks — the beige body and stained corporate-blue upholstery weren’t exactly stylish — but it felt really sturdy and comfortable when I tested it at the store. It wasn’t much uglier than the chair I was already using in my home office, either, and when I flipped it over, I discovered it was made by Steelcase.
Dec 13, 2011
Before & After: Old Chairs Turned Ornate Frames
Before and after makeovers are always rather shocking right? It’s always some sad piece of furniture that gets a new paint job or rework to be a brighter, bolder, more modern form of itself right? They’re always so cool. This one is no different except the after photo of these chairs — well, how do we say this — they’re not even chairs anymore.We checked in with Brooke over at All Things Thrifty where this simple chair with busted caning was in need of a makeover.
Dec 13, 2011
Piñatas, A Christmas Tradition
In Mexico, Christmas festivities officially begin with the Posadas, a series of nine parties occurring every day from the 16th until the 24th of December. Posadas are said to have been invented by the Spanish priests who in their attempt to convert the locals to Catholicism began holding nine masses before Christmas due to the similar timing of the celebration of the birth of the Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli.
Dec 13, 2011
5 Gift Wrap Ideas From the Kitchen
I positively love wrapping gifts. But I’m not a big fan of wrapping paper, and holiday-themed gift bags? No thank you! In lieu of purchasing what will just be tossed away in an unwrapping frenzy, I like to turn to my favorite room in the house for something I can recycle or upcycle. Here are
Dec 13, 2011
Mark’s Original Mid Century Modern Home
Name: Mark W. KnowlesLocation: Los Feliz — Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize: 1,900 square feetYears lived in: 3 years — own Mark lives in an incredibly restored Mid Century gem that offers the best example of 1960’s modern architecture. Not only was the home built the same year he was born, but he was lucky enough to acquire some of the original furniture from the original owners.
Dec 12, 2011
Before & After: A Pink to Poodle Chair Makeover
I love the story of this chair makeover, largely because it sounds a lot like my own DIY projects — an equal mix of inspiration, serendipity, and hundreds of staples…Back in mid-November Christine, of Bijou and Boheme, blogged about picking up these lovely-lined but shabby (and pink!) chairs, along with an inspiration photo of similar chairs covered in fur. Then Christine lived with the chairs while she decided what exactly she wanted to do with them.
Dec 12, 2011
Beautiful, Non-Electric Dehumidifiers?
Q: Hello! I was searching around in the Home Hacks and I found great suggestions for adding moisture to the air in a home without a humidifier, but I was wondering if anyone had any bright ideas for dehumidifying the air without a dehumidifier? Dehumidifiers are loud, not very attractive, and an energy drain. Are there any non-electric (and even better–beautiful) solutions for a humid basement or closet? Thanks!
Dec 12, 2011
Before & After: Rolltop Desk Gets Youthful Makeover
Rolltop desks are a classic element for any office, but sometimes they can be a bit staid for a modern aesthetic, not to mention a bit big for a small space. This small-scale rolltop desk had wonderful lines and is perfect for a kid’s room, but the horrid orangey stain really dated the piece. Thankfully, Baltimore designers Kahli and Milla had a plan modernize this vintage desk.
Dec 9, 2011
Mildrid’s Elephant Sanctuary
Name & Age: Mildrid, 7 weeksLocation: Chicago, IL Room Size: 11×9 feet Mildrid is brand new, but she already has a beautiful art collection and a wonderful library, all thanks to her parents, Jurgita and Vlad. They worked hard to put together this lovely room in anticipation of Mildrid. She is still rooming in with her folks, just down the hall in the very room where she was born. When she makes the move to her crib Mildrid is sure to love this room that started with an elephant and a girl.
Dec 9, 2011
Jenny & Collin’s Bold Mix of Books & Media
Names: Jenny Carlson, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Texas and an improviser with Damned Avalanche, and Collin Cannaday, a multimedia content producer who runs a podcast, “You Should Be Watching.”Location: Allandale Neighborhood — Austin, TexasSize: 800 square feetYears lived in: 1 year — rent Jenny and her boyfriend Collin are like most of us: they love a home with built-in personality and charm.
Dec 8, 2011
TV on the Floor: Haphazard Tech Livin’
It’s apparently fashionable these days to leave your place in a mess and have folks still call it “homey.” We won’t lie – the carefree, lounge-anywhere look certainly beats the minimal modern trend we saw a couple years back, but would you go as far as placing your brand new LED TV on the floor as you would your books and unframed art?For us, the ramifications of such a move comes with immediate consequences.
Dec 8, 2011
How To Clean a Coir Doormat
Coir (coconut fiber), makes for a great eco-friendly doormat: it’s durable, made from natural materials, and can fit just about anyone’s home decor. They can also last for years if they’re taken care of properly, and it’s about this time of year that they need the most help. All it takes is a little water and a broom to keep the doormats cleans — check out This Old House’s maintenance tips, after the jump.
Dec 8, 2011
Quick History: The Evolution of the Chimney
Chimneys at Casa Mila, by Antoní Gaudi, Barcelona, 1906-1910The idea that Santa Claus comes down the chimney to deliver gifts is a relatively recent tradition — its spread is mostly associated with Clement Clark Moore’s 1823 poem, “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” (“‘Twas the night before Christmas…”) And, though fire has been the heart of the home for thousands of years, chimneys are only a few hundred years old, themselves.
Dec 8, 2011
Troy’s 750 Square Foot “Crowd Pleaser” Apartment
Name: Troy Vanderheyden Location: Hollywood — Los Angeles, CaliforniaSize: 750 Square FeetYears lived in: 2 months — rent Whenever my friend Jeff Eyser is behind a project I always know it will be well executed with charm and a sense of humor. When he was hired by the producer of his network, Troy Vanderheyden, he was given literally three weeks to completely renovate and decorate the apartment.
Dec 7, 2011
Before & After: A Chest of Drawers Gets Paper Sourced
This chest of drawers was plucked from an alley near some student housing. In its original state, it was a bit boring and beat up. That’s nothing a little paint, paper, and elbow grease can’t fix…Diana over at Fine Diving saw the potential for new life in this dresser. She started out with this gorgeous patterned paper from Paper Source, which she used for the drawer fronts.
Dec 7, 2011
Scott’s Cozy Treasure Palace
Name: Scott Radabaugh Location: St. Johns neighborhood in the North part of Portland, OregonYears lived in: 6 1/2 Scott’s home is full of personality, DIYs, vintage curios and thrifted artwork. It’s a space that perfectly reflects the creative sensibility and quirky touch of this talented color/pattern designer in Portland, Oregon.
Dec 7, 2011
Before & After: Decoupaging a Thrift Store Desk
Some people just have all the luck when it comes to sniffing out thrift store bargains. When Kim found this battered yet solid desk for the incredible price of $26, she knew she had to have it; learning it was on sale for half that was just icing on the cake. She immediately wrestled the desk into her car, determined to try out a decoupaging technique on this bargain find.
Dec 7, 2011
Turn IKEA LACK Tables Into Custom Component Rack
Although audio-visual components are getting smaller and sleeker for most of us, there’s still a segment of pro-sumer audio- and cinephiles who stay stocked with serious equipment. All that gear isn’t easy to store, but we may have found a solution that’ll give you a custom rack look for cheap.It looks like a few folks have found out that IKEA’s ubiquitous LACK side tables are a near-perfect fit for lots of AV equipment.
Dec 7, 2011
Five Tips for Outdoor Christmas Trees
Rockefeller Center isn’t the only place deserving of an outdoor Christmas tree. What about your patio or outdoor deck? Oh sure, this year’s Rockefeller tree is 75 years old, 74′ tall and a whopping 10 tons — probably a little oversized for an average backyard. But there’s no reason you can’t go to town on a pretty six footer.
Dec 7, 2011
Chris & Roger’s DIY + Modern Farmhouse
Name: Roger and Chris Stout-Hazard of Design Hazards, Buck the dog and an evil housecat Location: Agave Neighborhood — Austin, Texas Size: 1500 square feet Years lived in: 4 years — owned Roger Stout-Hazard might be best known for introducing home staging to television ten years ago with the Emmy-nominated show “Sell This House.
Dec 6, 2011
Marcia Patmos’ Modern Sense and Sensibility
Name: Marcia PatmosLocation: Boerum Hill, Brooklyn — New YorkSize: 750 square feetYears lived in: 13 — owned Three shades of gray (from pearly to charcoal) that define and ground, personal art hand-picked to delight, and an island forever banished to unlock a room’s worth of living potential, all in a thoughtful, smart, economical and collaborative facelift that reshaped the space, but not the spirit, of a Brooklyn brownstone.
Dec 6, 2011
Before & After: Linda Welcomes Style to the Entryway
Linda has a lovely home, outdoors and in, but her entryway was not feeling very welcoming. Besides being on the bland side, this entryway was also seriously deficient in functionality. Fortified with a whole lot of DIY ambition, Linda turned the entryway into a welcoming (and useful) space…As you can see in the ‘after’ photos, Linda went with a more dramatic palette for her entryway.
Dec 6, 2011
Before & After: Floorboards to Cheese Boards
Brooklyn to West‘s Ariele has done it again. In my opinion, she’s the junkyard, dumpster diving, demo-ed house DIY Queen. This gal finds discarded household materials throughout Brooklyn and transforms them into artistic, thoughtful, and beautiful everyday objects. Most recently, she’s taken floorboards and changed them into cheese boards. Genius? YES!Ariele never ceases to amaze me.
Dec 6, 2011
T-Shirt Produce Bags
I love bags, especially reusable bags. I have my reusable grocery bags, I have take-a-long shopping bags, but I hadn’t found a produce bag that I liked enough to remember to bring along until I found this tutorial for t-shirt produce bags. • Read the full post at Re-Nest
Dec 6, 2011
Fi & Livvy’s Simple & Cozy “Caltrans” Home
Name: Fi Campbell and Olivia JohnsonLocation: South Pasadena, CaliforniaSize: 700 square feetYears lived in: 1 year Fi and Livvy greeted me on a cool Sunday morning with a warm fire and a beautiful breakfast. I instantly fell in love with their small and cozy home and couldn’t believe it was only 700 square feet! There were so many special moments in their home and then their backyard topped it all.Fi and Livvy live in Caltrans housing in South Pasadena.
Dec 5, 2011
Toby & Samy’s Mid-Century Makeover
Name: Toby Shawe and Samy Badawy Location: Roxborough – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Size: 2300 square feet Years lived in: 18; Renovated 2008 – 2010 “Space becomes more an exciting entity that is allowed to exist purely for the pleasure of experiencing it.
Dec 5, 2011
Small Play Kitchens & Stove Tops
A friend and apartment dweller recently asked us for small play kitchen suggestions for her daughter’s Christmas present. We tried talking her into some DIY ideas, but she is more the DI-Buy type. If you’re in the same boat, here you go – fifteen small play kitchens (under 31″ H) so your kids can play “dorm room” and “flop house” too. My Portable Cooker by Wonderworld ($55.
Dec 5, 2011