Colleen Quinn

How To Use an Uno Shade with a Harp & Finial Lamp
Changing up a lampshade can be a quick and easy way to transform the look of a room, but finding the perfect lampshade can be a challenge. IKEA offers a wonderful selection of lampshades at reasonable prices, but they have uno fittings. Uno fittings are a large threaded ring in the middle of the fabric shades top tripod. According to Flip The Switch blog, uno fitters are commonly found on small and medium shades, and less frequently on large and over-sized shades.
May 29, 2023
Before & After: DVD Cabinet, Take 2
Almost two years ago, I wrote about reducing the visual noise of this glass-door bookcase I use for DVD storage. Though not ideal for this purpose, the piece has sentimental value because it belonged to a neighbor/surrogate grandmother who has since passed away. My original effort to reduce the visual noise using paper I had in the house was successful, but never really made my heart sing.Skip ahead to last month when I found this beautiful inspiration image from Elle Decor.
Oct 15, 2022
Extra Seating: Colorful Floor Pillows
We love soft, overstuffed floor pillows not only for their bright and vibrant colors, but also for their ability to extend the seating in a small living room. These pillows are a great choice to provide extra seating for parties or movie nights — some are even designed for stacking when not in use.
Aug 10, 2020
Before & After: Under the Stairs Space to Reading Nook
As a kid who used to retreat to my closet floor to read in peace, I have a soft spot in my heart for reading nooks. Looking to carve out a little space, Ashley took the completely unused and unaccessible space under her stairs and transformed it into a delightful reading nook/playspace for her kids. Ashey’s “little monsters” are lucky; I confess, if this were my house, I would likely be claiming this space for my very own!
Mar 11, 2020
Before & After: Revamping A Hand-Me-Down Dresser
When Jennifer and her husband inherited this dresser from her mom and dad, she was thrilled with the extra storage but not with the look of the piece itself. The piece, which Jennifer’s parents bought back in the 1970s was dark and dated, but Jennifer knew with just a little work she could create a more modern piece for her home.Jennifer removed the handles, painted the frame, and replaced the legs in her quest to give this dresser a new lease on life.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Rescuing a Vintage Dresser
When Elisa picked up this vintage dresser for only $60 at her local secondhand shop, she knew the horrid brown paint just had to go. Though she initially considered repainting, once she revealed some of the wood grain below the paint, she decided this piece deserved a full refinish all the way down to the bare wood.Using a hand sander and liquid stripper, Elisa was able to remove all of the dull brown paint from her vintage dresser.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Trash to Treasure Table in Just an Hour
Katie bought this table 4 years ago for $30 at a yard sale, and has been using it in all its scratched glory in her master bedroom ever since. Now that she is redoing that room, she knew the time had come for the table to receive a little TLC as well. Unwilling to go through the time consuming process of a full refinish, Katie was able to transform the look of this table with just an hour of work.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Thrift Store Table Gets Shakespearean Update
When Connie found this coffee table at a thrift store, it was in pieces and the tabletop, meant to open to accommodate a leaf, was nailed shut. Though this bulky wooden piece had seen better days, it was clearly a sturdy table with a lot of life left in it — it just needed a little love and attention.Connie wanted to highlight the routed detail of the table so she used putty to fill in the split down the center to create a solid base.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Retro Dresser Goes Orange
When Angie decided to move one of her boys into his own room, she knew she needed to find some unique pieces to help make the transformation. This retro dresser had seen better days, but the shape and the size were perfect for the space. Given her son’s love of all things orange, Angie decided to add a little pop of color to the frame of this piece.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: Transforming a Dark Kitchen with a DIY Cabinet Makeover Kit
After Rachel had her new wood floors installed, it was clear she had a problem- her always darker than desired kitchen was now even more basement-like because her cabinets now matched the tone of her floor. Determined to create a lighter, brighter space without spending a lot of money, Rachel decided to use paint to transform her kitchen.Rachel used a Rustoleum Countertop Transformations Kit to transform her counters from dark grey to desert sand.
May 5, 2019
Before & After: Worn Out Armchair Gets a Colorful Makeover
Monica had been on the lookout for an armchair to paint ever since she fell in love with one such project she found online. When she finally did find what she through was the right $50 chair for this endeavor, she then changed her mind. A small tear in the fabric convinced her that reupholstering was the better way to go — until, that is, she got a quote for $300 and decided to revisit her DIY options.
May 5, 2019
Before & After: Reupholstered Wingback Chairs for the Dining Room
Jennifer picked up these chairs last year when she began planning for a dining room makeover. She knew she wanted two armchairs to anchor her dining room set, but wasn’t 100% certain how to finish them. As her vision for the space evolved, so too did her vision for these wonderful chairs.Jennifer stripped the chairs down to the wood frames then spray painted them with Rustoleum Metallic Gold with a top coat of spray poly.
May 5, 2019
Before & After: Updating Old IKEA Shelving
Sharon and her husband have had these beech shelves from IKEA for almost 20 years, and had no desire to replace these perfectly functional (if outdated) units while they still have life in them. Luckily Sharon had a vision of how she might update these cabinets — a vision she was able to implement for only $10, thanks to a well-stocked DIY supply cabinet.After a light sanding, Sharon primed the piece with an oil-base primer and then covered it with a latex paint.
Jan 11, 2013
Before & After: Refinishing an MCM Dresser
Reeves was privileged enough to have this dresser fall into her lap when her uncle decided it no longer fit his lifestyle. He in turn had been given the dresser by her dad many years before, so Reeves now has a piece of family history in her home.Sadly, this dresser had seen some heavy use over the years, use that left its mark. Reeves sanded the entire dresser, then restained the piece with Rustoleum Dark Walnut.
Dec 12, 2012
Before & After: DIY Custom Kitchen Island
When Liz and her husband completed their kitchen renovation, they still couldn’t agree on whether or not to add an island. Liza was a fan of the idea, but her husband was concerned about overwhelming their space. After months of debate, and recent entertaining experiences, Liz decided to take the bull by the horns.Once Liz started searching for an island with the proper measurements for her kitchen, she realized that such a specific size might require a custom solution.
Nov 8, 2012
Before & After: Third Time’s a Charm DIY Cabinet
When Terry’s neighbor offered her this piece to redo, she knew she had a challenge on her hands. This sturdy little cabinet had already been altered by a previous owner who removed doors and the bottom to create a mini-desk, adding odd triangular trim pieces for support. Terry knew those pieces had to go if this cabinet was going to get a new lease on life.Terry removed the V-shaped trim and lined the inside of the cabinet with painted bead board.
Oct 29, 2012
Before & After: Restoring a Mid-Century Modern Dresser
When Jamie found this lovely mid-century modern dresser at a Salvation Army store fo only $50, she knew she’d hit the jackpot. Though she didn’t love the yellowing tone of the piece, and the finish was in bad shape (especially on the top), the lines and solid construction made it a great choice for an update.Jamie used Citristrip to remove the old finish, coating the entire dresser then leaving it to sit overnight.
Oct 22, 2012
Before & After: Restoring a Sad Side Table
When Jill found this sad little side table, it was in desperate need of some TLC to help bring it back to life. Jill was able to see past the missing trim, the broken foot and the badly damaged finish on this table to the strong bones and solid wood underneath. With a little hard work and creativity, she was able to transform this table into a showpiece for any room.After taking the table apart, Jill used Citristrip to remove all the old damaged finish.
Oct 17, 2012
Before & After: Foil Finish Chest
Korrie has a passion for furniture, a passion she happily shares with her friends and community of blog readers. Though she usually find pieces to refinish herself, sometimes she benefits from what she herself calls their shared furniture addiction. This chest started out as a friend’s project, one that she passed along to Korrie when she found herself overwhelmed.
Oct 12, 2012
Before & After: Vintage Tea Cart Transformed
When Heather found this tea cart, it was hiding in the back corner of a garage, cobwebby, dirty, and even a little water damaged. Despite the dilapidated appearance, the structure was solid, and Heather knew just how to reinvigorate this piece of history to make it work in her home.Yup — Heather transformed her tea cart into a bar cart, a lovely marriage of past function and present need in her home.
Oct 5, 2012
Before & After: Vintage Settee Makeover
Julie was lucky enough to find this matching pair of settees for her sun room on sale for a mere $10! Though she didn’t love the dark wood and dated fabric, she did love the lines and function of these pieces, which she knew could be updated to work in her room.A couple of coats of white paint later, and the bases are lighter and brighter. Julie selected a new floral fabric and redid the upholstery to give these settees a new lease on life.
Oct 1, 2012
Before & After: Craigslist Dresser Gets a Makeover
When Melody found this white painted dresser on her local Craigslist, she knew that it could be transformed by a little TLC. Despite the peeling paint and damaged top, the dresser had great lines and was solidly built, making it an excellent candidate for a makeover. Best of all, Melody had a spot and a purpose all picked out for this piece once the transformation was complete.Melody’s first step was stripping and sanding the top to see if she would be able to restain it vs. painting.
Sep 21, 2012
Before & After: Typewriter Table Gets a Cartographic Makeover
Carrie obviously has better yard sale luck than most of us, as she was able to pick up this darling vintage typewriter table at a local sale for only $4 — an astonishing deal by any standard. When she bought it, Carrie already knew this table was getting a cartographic makeover.Carrie’s first step was priming the table, before covering it with white spray paint. After selecting three different maps, she modge-podged them to the three sections of the table top.
Sep 20, 2012
Before & After: DIY Compass Rose Table
Janel had an old round table that was just crying out for a makeover. After some careful thought and consideration, she decided to cover the entire table with Rub’n’Buff. At that point the table took on a beautiful burnished gold tone, but Janel wasn’t finished.Janel decided to cover the top of the table with a compass rose, and she decided to create that pattern herself rather than using a stencil!
Sep 17, 2012
Before & After: Transforming an Artist’s Easel into a Media Stand
Sheila was never a fan of the console that held her TV and other media equipment, especially given its size in relation to the awkward corner that housed the installation. Months ago she found the ideal solution to her dilemma and ordered an artist’s easel to convert into a TV/media stand. With just a little modification, she was able to transform the easel and therefore her living room.
Sep 12, 2012
Before & After: Salvaging a DIY Dresser Gone Wrong
This dresser is a telling reminder that DIY efforts to improve older furniture are nothing new — though viewing this wallpaper application as an improvement may be a stretch! Despite the poor finish, the waterfall dresser itself is a solid piece, one Sarah knew deserved a makeover.Sarah stripped off the green patterned wallpaper only to discover thick layers of paint underneath.
Sep 4, 2012
Before & After: Restoring a Discarded Dresser
Titia was out running errands when she decided to swing by one of her favorite junk stores. While wending her way through back streets, she came upon a treasure trove of furniture just being discarded, and hopped out to look. Her luck held when she found two pieces she knew she could work with — and when a passerby offered to help her load them into her car!Even before she began stripping off that terrible brown paint, Titia was certain she had found a very special piece.
Aug 29, 2012
Before & After: Rescuing a Dumpster Dive Dresser
It is obvious that Karen must a dedicated DIYer with an artist’s eye if she could find the beauty in this dilapidated dresser. Her father-in-law rescued this dresser from the dumpster knowing that Karen would be able bring this piece back to life.After waiting for inspiration to strike, Karen got to work scraping and stripping and sanding to remove the layers of peeling paint. She then painted the dresser in a slate grey and created a pattern to help celebrate her 19th wedding anniversary.
Aug 24, 2012
Before & After: Refinishing a Craigslist Console
Michelle had been searching for a media console since she moved into her condo, something to replace the modern IKEA piece that came with her home. When she saw the above piece listed on Craigslist for only $40, she immediately headed out to purchase it. She knew that after a little TLC, it would be the perfect addition to her home.
Aug 20, 2012
Before & After: Weather-Worn Desk Gets a College-Ready Makeover
From the moment she saw it, Melanie loved the quirky lines of this solid wood desk. The piece had obviously been left outside to endure the seasons; the top had essentially been stripped of any protective finish. What many would see as a fault Melanie considered a benefit — less work to strip the piece down to ready for a makeover!Melanie wanted a masculine finish for her college student son, and even considered painting the entire desk black.
Aug 1, 2012
Before & After: Vintage Bed Makeover Fit for a Teen
It is clear from the photo above that Lesli has the kind of yard sale luck that most of us can only dream about, even on our best day. When she arrived at a local yard sale, she immediately saw the perfect bed for her daughter, a bed that had somehow been overlooked by antique hunters earlier in the day. When she saw the price tag, a whopping $25, she paid immediately and accepted the help of the seller to load up her car.
Jul 25, 2012
Before & After: Adding Color and Texture to a Concrete Patio
Cindy and her husband loved the outdoor possibilities offered by their large patio, but didn’t love the boring grey expanse of concrete. With this shady spot offering a respite from soaring temperatures, Cindy knew she had to turn it into a more colorful, welcoming space for her family.After using a power washer to clean the patio furniture, she painted the metal chairs with brown spray paint to create some needed contrast.
Jul 13, 2012
Before & After: Updated Bamboo Etageres
When Mel first saw this pair of bamboo shelving units in her Habitat for Humanity store, she passed them by without purchasing. She then spent the rest of the night worrying that someone else would have snapped them up; thankfully they were still at the store when she returned the following day. With their glass shelves and ornate lines, Mel just knew these pieces were perfect for a makeover.
Jul 11, 2012
Before & After: Old-School Desk Gets a Makeover
Holly readily admits that organization isn’t her strong point, so she certainly sympathized with her client’s desire to find a “mommy desk” to help her get organized as her eldest started kindergarten. Holly found this vintage teacher’s desk, solidly built though marked by years of doodling and dings. With strong bones but in desperate need of a refinish, this desk was the perfect candidate for a makeover.
Jul 6, 2012
Before & After: Restoring a Dilapidated Deck
When Elizabeth and her husband bought their house six years ago, the inspector told them the deck stairs should be replaced within the year. Every year they would add the deck stairs to their to-do list, and every year they somehow failed to get to that project. Until this year that is- after watching the deck stairs shudder when the family pet ran down them, Elizabeth decided the time had come to reclaim their outside space.
Jun 27, 2012
Before & After: Outdated Entry Gets a Hotel Inspired Makeover
Jill’s entry from the garage had been a thorn in her side for months. Though the checkerboard floor was a great feature, the paneled walls were dark and dated; certainly not the warm welcome home she craved. In addition to a brighter color, Jill knew she wanted to add what she calls a “landing pad” for shoes, coats, bags, etc — a spot other than her kitchen table!
Jun 20, 2012