Dabney Frake

Dabney is a Southern-born, New England-raised, current Midwesterner. Her dog Grim is part terrier, part basset hound, part dust mop.
How To Clean Your Mattress
Rest easy on your clean mattress.
May 20, 2023
6 Brilliant Ways to Make the Most of a Narrow Bedroom
There’s small and then there is narrow. A narrow bedroom can be difficult to work with as this space traditionally calls for multiple pieces of furniture, such as nightstands on both sides of a bed and a dresser or armoire that may be difficult to squeeze in comfortably. This shape of room can also be difficult to work with design-wise as extra-long walls on two sides can feel endless and may lack visual interest.
Feb 17, 2023
11 of the Best Drop Leaf Tables for Flexible Dining in Your Small Space
Designing your studio apartment is about to get way easier.
Dec 20, 2022
I Finally Have a Name for Those Tiny Red Bugs That Pop Up Periodically
You know them by their size (smaller than a pinhead) and their color (bright red). But what exactly are these little guys?
Aug 20, 2022
Silverfish: How To Get Rid of Them and Prevent an Infestation
Look familiar? Here's what to do if you spot one.
Aug 14, 2022
Super Smooth IKEA PAX Hacks That Look Seamless & Built-In
It's getting hard to tell what's custom versus what's IKEA anymore.
Jun 8, 2021
4 Under Counter Lighting Solutions That’ll Brighten Up Your Kitchen in Minutes
This lighting fix is a dream for renters (and homeowners!).
Feb 22, 2021
6 Habits All Impossibly Organized People Have in Common
Organized people share a list of common practices that leave them well-rested and organized, while the rest of us are running around like overwhelmed chickens with our heads cut off.
Nov 5, 2020
These 12 Scandinavian Bedroom Ideas Will Instantly Transport You to the Land of Hygge
Look to Scandinavian bedrooms for inspiration when creating a sleeping space that helps you relax and catch some quality ZZZs.
Sep 29, 2020
8 Kitchen Cabinet Paint Jobs We Just Can’t Quit
White kitchens have their place, but these might just be better.
Feb 28, 2020
PSA: You’ve Only Tapped 1/15th of Sandpaper’s Full Potential
Some single-use gadgets and home tools just take up space versus regularly make our lives easier. It’s hard to purchase an entire device that just de-pills sweaters, for example, when you know it will wind up languishing in your cabinet or drawer. Which is why it’s great to discover multiple handy uses for ordinary objects and materials you already have lying around the house. Today’s unsung household hero: sandpaper.
Mar 22, 2019
Before and After: This Formerly Blank Room’s New Accent Wall Is Epic
This was a fairly ordinary room, with a pretty pitched ceiling and what looks like a lot of nice light coming in from the ceilings and skylight. After an epic months-long DIY, it’s now a stunning home office with one very special accent wall. Notice anything different?
Mar 22, 2019
Before and After: This $130 Bathroom Makeover Colors Outside the Lines
Anne-Claire recently completely a guest bathroom makeover and was so pleased with the results of that project that her own master bathroom suddenly looked, in comparison, a little sad and cluttered. She decided to change up that one too, but wanted to keep the project small and cheap (and doable), so major moves—like changing the tiles—were not an option. The whole project took a week and cost around $130.
Mar 21, 2019
Before and After: A $3K Rustic Scandinavian Bathroom Reveal
Elise’s bathroom was tiny and a hodgepodge of somewhat new, but super generic, finishes and fixtures, and a mismatched paint job. She wanted to both enlarge and update the space for her planned family, and do it on a very tight budget. The bathroom is now an incredibly relaxing, earthy space that Elise loves to be in. The stone countertops, combined with reclaimed wood vanity and black fixtures is a great combination that feels rustic and comfortable.
Mar 20, 2019
Before and After: The Best Part of This Stunning Living Room Redo Is a $5 DIY
Vancouver-based Kristina Steinmetz knows her way around a good DIY. Her site, Ich Designer, is filled with clever and sophisticated home projects and IKEA hacks that have surprisingly humble origins and price tags. We recently featured her re-done mudroom, and her latest living room makeover might be even better. Here’s a wider shot, so you can get more of a sense of the whole room. It was in good shape but definitely needed an update.
Mar 19, 2019
Before & After: Neil Patrick Harris Just Pulled Off a Secret Makeover for His Brother
If there’s anything better than a home makeover, it’s a heartwarming home makeover with Neil Patrick Harris. The child TV actor turned triple threat (musical theater star meets family man meets magician) just surprised his older brother Brian with a renovation project at his longtime New Mexico home.
Mar 12, 2019
5 Grown-up Hacks That Will Have You Calling Your BILLY Bookcase William
IKEA estimates they sell one of their BILLY bookcase every five seconds, which means there are a lot of BILLY bookcases out there in the world. It’s probably the most recognizable product in the canon of IKEA merchandise, and it’s endlessly versatile and adaptable to different rooms and situations. What better way to celebrate its 40 years on the planet than with some hacks?
Mar 10, 2019
Before and After: This Tiny Bathroom Redo Triggers Some Major Cute Aggression
Some bathrooms are modern and sleek, others are luxurious and spa-worthy. And then there are those adorable ones that you just want to squeeze. This is one of those bathrooms. If the diminutive size wasn’t enough, it also helps that this bathroom is now blush pink, which ups the cuteness factor by 100 times. (For the color curious, the shade is Sherwin-Williams Intimate White). The shade looks great with the brass accents and black hardware and fixtures.
Mar 8, 2019
Before and After: This Home Office Nails the Beverly Hills Hotel Vibe on a Budget
After living in her house for five long years, Kate felt a burning need to shake things up. She admits her style has a tendency to change and evolve, and periodically needs to explore a completely new aspect of her personality. This time, she scratched that itch in her home office. The home office had a lot going for it, with its soothing gray-green walls, comfy furniture, and plush shag rug.
Mar 7, 2019
Before and After: This Kitchen Flips the Script on Beige and Boring
Ida recently stumbled across images she took the day she closed on her condo. Apart from the fantastic light, which is one of the reasons she and her husband were sold on the place, the kitchen was pretty basic and humdrum. It’s come a very long way in the three years since this photo was taken. What was a beige and boring room now feels warm and welcoming. Ida did a wonderful job reviving this kitchen into something totally new, without changing the layout or moving things around.
Mar 5, 2019
These Paint Roller Hacks Will Save You Time, Money and Mess
Make your whole project that much easier.
Feb 26, 2019
How to Hang an Unframed Poster in Minutes
Think outside the frame.
Feb 21, 2019
3 Big Takeaways from Our Most Popular Before & After of All Time
Before and After transformations just never get old, especially when the results are utterly unrecognizable. Case in point: Back in 2013, we posted a project about an empty stairwell space that was transformed into something unexpectedly wonderful. Cut to five years later and it’s been viewed almost four million times. We recently went back to see just what made the project resonate so much with our readers.
Feb 13, 2019
The 60-Second Solution to Your Tired Home Decor
“I’m sick of my temporary tattoo,” said no one ever. Unlike real tattoos, you can wear one around for a short while, without worry you’ll get tired of the image and rue the day you put it on your skin. Perhaps even better, you can put them on stuff around your house as a playful, low-risk way to experiment with design, color and pattern. Use them on decor items you already own for a quick, easy—and potentially reversible—home upgrade.
Feb 8, 2019
5 Amazing Bohemian Makeovers For the Maximalist in You
There’s minimalism, and then there’s Bohemian style decor. If you lean toward the latter, and love the energy that comes with color, multiple layered patterns, and lots of textured decor—not to mention a jungle’s worth of plants—these makeovers are for you. Some of the people behind these transformations own their homes, and others rent, but all their spaces are now bursting with life and good vibes.
Feb 2, 2019
10 Weird Ways Bed Pillows Can Solve Your Problems
Maybe you’ve had the same bed pillow for ten years and have your sights newly set on some memory foam. Or maybe you’ve got an extra five random pillows stuffed in your closet, just in case, and it’s time to KonMari. As with most things we toss or get rid of these days, old pillows can still be used long after they’ve left their prime days behind. Here are 10 ways this everyday basic can help you out around the house, no matter what condition they’re currently in.
Jan 27, 2019
6 of the Most Livable Tiny Houses We’ve Ever Seen
Embracing the tiny house lifestyle inevitably means forgoing some comfort and convenience. Compromise comes with the territory. In exchange for a small mortgage and freedom of movement, you give up space and material possessions. Some would argue that’s no hardship, but others might miss certain benefits of a traditional home—say, a washer and dryer?
Jan 26, 2019
Tiny House Living Problems We Can All Actually Relate To
You might think that tiny house dwellers are their own particular alien breed, capable of stripping off worldly concerns and living an ascetic life without possessions or care. You would be wrong. Tiny house owners: They’re just like us! They have to deal with the same stuff the rest of us do (things like doing dishes and finding alone time), but living small means it just catches up to them a little bit faster. And they have to find creative ways around their problems.
Dec 1, 2018
Here’s Why You Should Put Your Socks in The Microwave
I am sitting on my sofa right now, writing this, wearing a wool sweater, swaddled in a blanket, and I’m still freezing. My fingers, toes, and nose feel particularly arctic, and I dread leaving the house later to walk my dog. Yep, I’m one of those people: always cold. Like a heat-seeking missile, I will shamelessly and relentlessly navigate towards warmth, wherever and whenever I can. Here’s a neat hack I use to get through winter.
Nov 28, 2018
Surprisingly Handy Things I Found at Five Below (of All Places!)
Five Below isn’t in my usual shopping rotation. But there’s one right next to my local Target and Trader Joe’s (both of which are regular stops), and I ran in the other day in a burst of curiosity. If you’re not familiar, it’s kind of like a dollar store meets Spencer Gifts, with a smattering of novelty stuff meets impulse items.
Nov 27, 2018
5 Unconventional Holiday Decorating Ideas So Worth Stealing from IKEA
Holidays often come with big expectations baked in, and there’s a lot of pressure to pull off the perfect Pinterest-worthy season. Which is why IKEA’s latest holiday photoshoot is both surprising and welcome: It breaks a lot of the traditional decorating rules. And if IKEA can do it, so can you. No need to conjure false cheer if you’re feeling dark and moody this holiday.
Nov 26, 2018
West Elm’s Cyber Monday Sale is Packed with This Year’s Biggest Trends
The holiday shopping season continues today with Cyber Monday, that glorious way to get deals without having to elbow your way past teeming crowds in the brick and mortar stores on Black Friday. West Elm has weighed in with some serious sales, some of which are also this year’s biggest trends. This year, West Elm is offering up to 70 percent off a selection of items, plus free shipping on anything that’s not furniture or rugs.
Nov 26, 2018
Before and After: A Dead, Empty Entryway Gets a Very Useful IKEA Upgrade
This blank empty space was the first thing this family saw when they walked in their home’s entryway, and not only was it underperforming in the looks department, it also just wasn’t as useful as it could be. Over the course of just one week, this space was transformed from a dead zone into a new household favorite. Before we get to the big reveal, here’s a look at the corner again, from head to toe. Not much to see here, other than some beige walls and a dog crate.
Nov 25, 2018
Before and After: See How $70 Transforms This Dark Kitchen
It's a lot of bang for less than a Benjamin.
Nov 22, 2018
A Fresh Holiday Garland Is the Only Decoration You Truly Need This Season
The holidays are upon us, and if you’re already overwhelmed by all the gift-buying and hosting—in addition going about your regular life and work—one way to deal is to scale it back and go low-key on all the holiday decorating. Instead of dragging out all those boxes of wreaths and ornaments, or lugging home a big tree, go simple and minimalist with just a little basic fresh holiday garland. Seasonal greenery never, ever fails to make a home feel festive.
Nov 17, 2018