Jason Loper's Recent Articles
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Before & After: Andrea & Cliff’s Updated Floating Stairs
The stairs in Andrea and Cliff’s house were looking a bit dated. Wrapped in berber carpet, they looked more like a giant cat scratcher than the beautiful floating stairs the couple hand in mind. With some hard work and a lot of sanding, the crafty couple updated the stairs while also creating a more open, airy feel to the space.Andrea and Cliff emailed in to share their stair makeover and the minute we saw what an undertaking it was (and what a difference they made!), we had to share it.
Sep 8, 2011
Before & After: From Old Door to New Bookcase
I’ve been trying to come up with a pun on this door-to-bookcase project — you know, something like opening the door to a new bookcase or some such cleverness. But, well, as you can tell by that sentence alone, i have not had much success. So let’s just make it simple: this project is totally rad!I love a project that re-imagines stuff that would have otherwise been bound for the junk heap. And Gail, from the blog My Repurposed Life, is the queen of such projects!
Aug 25, 2011
Before & After: A Rescued Rocker Gets Brightened Up
When Ashley’s aunt brought her this old rocking chair, which she had rescued from a dumpster, it was an ugly sight to behold. Still, Ashley was confident she could give it new life and, $10 later, she did just that…The first thing Ashley did was peel the fabric and foam off the chair. After removing the fabric, Ashley sanded the chair frame, then primed and painted it. Once the paint had dried, Ashley replaced the chair foam and then applied new fabric, using small finishing nails.
Aug 18, 2011
Before & After: Rope Wrapped Bar Stools
I bought these bar stools at Target about ten years ago, when my husband and I were renting an apartment with a little breakfast counter. Since then, I’ve used them in my studio, where they’ve gotten beat up and paint splashed. I moved out of my studio but I’m still not quite ready to part with the stools so I decided to give them new life…It was immediately evident when I brought the stools into our little apartment that I would need to cut them down.
Aug 9, 2011
Before & After: From Console TV to Console Table
Do you remember the days when televisions came in these giant wood consoles? Now that we hang our flat screens on the wall, it may be hard to imagine that televisions were furniture. Nowadays these old console sets end up getting set out for the garbage man. Here’s a clever re-use of one of these anachronisms:Beckie, from the site Infarrantly Creative, picked up an old console television the night before trash day and turned it into a cute new table!
Aug 1, 2011
Before & After: Rachelle’s Miraculous Rescued Chair
This chair looks like it’s on its last leg. Um, literally. The leg on this chair had rusted through and the whole thing was bent out of shape. No wonder it was sitting out on the curb, waiting for the garbage collector. But wait! This chair hasn’t quite reached the end of its life just yet …Rachelle, from Adventures in Creating, saw this old metal chair on the curb and decided to rescue it from its garbage heap fate.
Jul 28, 2011
Before & After: Percy Freshens Up the Powder Room
The “before” shot of this bathroom looks like the kind of room I’ve seen a million times. A plain old bathroom, nothing unusual, perhaps a little dated, and definitely boring. Oh, but this bathroom is anything but boring now…See, what did I tell you? The “after” is anything but boring! When I saw the changes that Percy has been making to his home over on Design*Sponge I had a moment of design envy. How can one dude be so unbelievably creative?
Jul 26, 2011
Shannan & Cory’s Geek Chic Farmhouse
Name: Shannan Martin, along with her husband Cory and 3 kidsLocation: Wakarusa, IndianaSize: 2300 square feetYears lived in: 4 — owned We see a lot of urban spaces in house tours around here so Shannan and Cory’s farmhouse is something a little different. Nestled in the lush green fields of Amish country, the couple have created a dreamy little haven that is stylish in its simplicity.
Jul 7, 2011
Before & After: Jessie’s Bright White Kitchen Reno
This kitchen seems to be suffering from a bit of a brown overload. With the combination of wood cabinetry and hardwood floors, plus the black appliances and dark green paint, this kitchen is looking a little dark. Jessie agreed with that assertion and decided to lighten up the room:Isn’t it amazing what a little white paint can do? Of course, it’s a lot more than just a little white paint at work here.
Jul 6, 2011
Before & After: Terri’s Battered to Beautiful Chairs
Sometimes I think that, with the power of paint and elbow grease, there’s never a need to buy anything new again. And seeing a before and after like this one just lends support to that theory. That something so old and battered can be freshened up to look so beautiful gives me hope that there’s plenty of life left in a lot of old things (myself included).When Terri, over at Crafty Workin Mommy, brought these two chairs home from a garage sale, her husband thought she was crazy.
Jun 27, 2011
Before & After: Jason’s Beautiful Bathroom Remodel
The red and white tile, the white laminate vanity, the past-its-prime bathtub and tile… this bathroom needs an update. Enter designer Jason Wong to save the day!That after photo is totally inspiring, right? As if replacing the vanity and sink weren’t improvement enough, adding the window to that area really opens up the space (and adds some very appreciated sunlight where it’s needed most – at the mirror).
Jun 8, 2011
Before & After: Tiffany’s Auto Shopped Chair
When Tiffany found this chair she was immediately in love. What she didn’t love was the scratchy, ripped fabric covering it. As we all know, DIY upholstery projects can be daunting so Tiffany decided to leave the recovering to the professionals. To the auto body professionals, that is.Upon the recommendation from a friend, Tiffany, from the blog Living Green with Glamour, decided to take her old chair to a local auto repair shop to have it reupholstered.
Jun 6, 2011
Darby & Justin Rejuvenate an Outdated Kitchen
One look at this kitchen sends me back to the early 1980s, when I was a wee lad ambling about the kitchen in my parent’s Indiana home. This kitchen reminds me a lot of my childhood kitchen, complete with dark wood paneling and yellow appliances. A lot has changed since the 80s… and now it’s time for this kitchen to get with the times, too.Looking at the before photo, it would be easy to think that this kitchen was beyond help.
May 13, 2011
Before & After: Casey Decorates His New Digs
When Casey bought a condo in the Minneapolis loft building where he had been renting, he transferred his luxurious style to his new home. Luckily for us, he had the foresight to snap some before pics so we could witness the transformation …Casey’s Loft Life house tour was a highlight of my summer house tours last year. When I heard from Casey that he was moving to a new, larger unit in the same building, I was anxious to see how he would transfer his style to his new home.
May 10, 2011
Before & After: A Dining Room Goes from Bland to Grand
When looking at the many before and after posts here at Apartment Therapy, it’s easy to think that everyone makes these amazing transformations over a long weekend. Truth be told, most of the projects we see take much longer. This dining room makeover, for instance, took four years of collecting appropriate pieces to go from bland to grand.Elisabeth over at bova goods developed this new look for her dining room over a span of four years.
May 9, 2011
Before & After: Brightening Up the Kitchen Cabinets
We’ve seen the transformational power of paint here at Apartment Therapy many, many times. And yet I am still awed when I see that, with a little paint on the cabinetry, an entire kitchen can be transformed …Kimberly, over at Restoration House, has slowly been rehabbing her kitchen over the past five years. She had already added a backsplash, switched out the countertop, and traded out the old appliances for new stainless steel units.
May 4, 2011
Before & After: Dressing Up a Naked Mirror
This poor mirror. Naked as the day it rolled off the assembly line, with its exposed edges, cracked with age, right out there in plain daylight for all the world to see! Something must be done about this!Faced with naked, builder-grade mirrors in her bathroom, Amanda over at The Ivy Cottage Blog, did what any adventurous DIYer would do — she made frames for them!
Apr 27, 2011
Before & After: Turning Mismatched Pots into a Window Garden
When I bought these mismatched flower pots at the end of the season last year, they were so hugely discounted that I purchased them without a plan for their use. After a long winter to ponder it, I finally pulled the pots out of storage, gave them a little makeover, and put them to use.It’s not that these pots were ugly to begin with, they just didn’t match anything in my house. Spray paint to the rescue!
Apr 25, 2011
Before & After: Rachel’s Rescued Chair
When my friend Rachel was given this chair — a secondhand hand-me-down from her sister — she was able to look past the ratty old upholstery and worn frame and see its true potential. With a little paint and new upholstery, the chair looks brand new.Says Rachel of the chair makeover: “I got this chair as a secondhand hand-me-down. My sister gave it to me after she had been given it from her older, quirky neighbor who she calls “Mr.
Apr 15, 2011
Before & After: Busting Out a New Closet
Getting the most out of a small bedroom closet can be a challenge in spatial recognition akin to playing a game of Tetris. So what if you discovered that you could expand your small closet to create a big, walk-in with enough room for even the most avid shoe buyer’s collection?I am stuck with one small closet that I share with my husband so when I saw this post detailing the expansion of a closet over at Life in the Fun Lane I was insanely jealous!
Apr 13, 2011
Before & After: A Modernized Luggage Rack
When I saw this lonely little luggage rack pushed to the back of a Salvation Army store, I felt sorry for it. Unloved and discarded by its former owner, I could see past its current beat up and water stained condition and to the gorgeous little thing it could become. Under my tender loving hands, this luggage rack has been granted a new lease on life.The quickest way to modernize this luggage rack was to spray paint it.
Apr 11, 2011
Before & After: Denese’s Sunny Table Makeover
Ah the power of a few coats of paint! This little side table looks like it’s way past its prime but with a little elbow grease, sanding, and a fun new paint color, it is transformed!The sunny yellow paint color transformed this table from a scarred old relic to a shiny new treasure!Denese at Plum Life blogged about this table makeover. The table itself has been in Denese’s possession for some time, hence its well used appearance in the before photo.
Apr 1, 2011
Before & After: Sara’s Cute Coat Closet
Closets are often the spaces that get neglected in even the most stylish and organized of homes. As I get ready to start my spring cleaning, I’m pulling some inspiration from Sara’s coat closet transformation.After seeing what Sara over at Russet Street Reno did with paint and an old vegetable bin, I’m not surprised to see that she was able to transform her coat closet from plain to cute with a just a little color.
Mar 31, 2011
Benjamin’s Modern Glam Bachelor Pad
Name: Benjamin CottrellLocation: South Loop — Chicago, IllinoisSize: 900 square feetYears lived in: 3 years — rented When Benjamin handed me his business card I noticed that the title under his name says Life Stylist. Well if Benjamin can make my life feel as stylish and lux as his home, I’m sold! The first thing I noticed when I walked into Benjamin’s one bedroom apartment was the fabric wall.
Mar 23, 2011
Before & After: Alana’s Painted Kitchen Cabinets
Faced with two sets of mismatched cabinets in her otherwise dreamy kitchen, Alana decided to paint the lower deck of cabinetry to complement the upper deck. After a lengthy color selection process, Alana dived into the project and the results are gorgeous!The upper deck cabinets in Alana’s kitchen are the vintage windowpane variety that were original to her bungalow — but the lower cabinets are all new.
Mar 21, 2011
Before & After: AJ Takes His Bedroom from Drab to Fab
After living with this bedroom for awhile, AJ decided it was a little drab. He started the room’s makeover by changing out the bedding and it all went fabulous from there…AJ blogged about his recent bedroom update at Handjobs (For the Home). The overhaul has been an ongoing process. AJ started with a new bedspread, which went a long way in improving the room. But he didn’t stop there.
Mar 14, 2011
David & Megan’s Storefront Live/Work Loft
Name: David Handschuh & Megan Ross + Arrow the dogLocation: Bucktown — Chicago, IllinoisSize: 1,500 square feetYears lived in: 1½ — rented One of the things I love about shooting House Tours is seeing all the places people call home. From two flats to high rises, I’ve seen every kind of permutation of living quarters possible. Or, at least I thought so. David and Megan’s tour was my first time in a converted storefront space.
Mar 8, 2011
Before & After: A Pretty, Organized Hallway Closet
This hallway closet needs some serious assistance! Being the only closet in our apartment other than our bedroom closet, I need to utilize every inch of space here. And, as you can see in this before photo, there is all sorts of wasted space that can be reclaimed with a little reorganization.When we moved into this apartment, the hallway closet was set up as seen in the “before” photo above — a few high shelves positioned over the clothes bar with wasted space underneath.
Feb 21, 2011
Edyta’s Modern with a Dab of Drama Home
Name: Edyta Czajkowska + fiancé + 2 adopted lovable pit bullsLocation: Des Plaines, IllinoisSize: 1,100 square feetYears lived in: 5 — owned It’s always fun to see the homes of interior designers. I had been checking out Edyta’s professional projects on her website and flickr photostream for a while and I’ve always been impressed by her amazing style.
Feb 15, 2011
Aaron’s Astor Tower Apartment
Name: Aaron and Rob + pets, Jan and Ira Katz & Simon Le BoneLocation: Gold Coast — Chicago, ILSize: 700 square feetYears lived in: 3 — owned I met Aaron through a mutual friend a couple of months ago and when he mentioned that he lives in the Astor Tower condominiums, I’m afraid I overreacted. I LOVE Bertrand Goldberg’s buildings and so of course I started pestering Aaron about a house tour. After a bit of cajoling, he agreed.
Nov 23, 2010
How To Make a DIY Grill Cover
Cold weather is right around the corner and that means the grill will be getting a lot less use. If, like me, you don’t have any place other than the balcony to store the grill over the winter months why not make a DIY cover for it? Oilcloth, which is available in an impressive array of patterns and colors, will make a cute little hideaway for your grill while it’s not in use. And with this how-to, you’ll have it together in no time!
Nov 12, 2010
Dana’s DIY Modern Casual Home
Name: Dana & Steve Miller along with sons Layne & Everett Location: Cincinnati, OhioSize: 2500 sq ft – 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath homeYears lived in: 2.5 — owned When Dana and her husband Steve bought their new construction home a few years ago, they were certain they could bring their own casual style to this boring builder’s home. And have they ever succeeded!
Nov 9, 2010
Douglas & Matthew’s Modern Apartment
Name: Douglas McClellan and Matthew LeeLocation: Lakeview — Chicago, IllinoisSize: 900 square feetYears lived in: 2 months — rented When Douglas and Matthew were looking for their first apartment together, they knew it had to be amazing. As design fanatics, they wanted a home that had enough architectural appeal without sacrificing size or location.
Oct 15, 2010
Dave’s Comfortably Eclectic Home
Name: Dave AlbinLocation: Logan Square — Chicago, IllinoisSize: just under 5,000 square feet — 4 floors, but only 2 bedroom & 3 bathsYears lived in: 15 — own Dave basically lives in the urban home of my dreams. Having turned a vintage two-flat into a single dwelling, Dave tricked out his home with every bell and whistle imaginable.
Sep 29, 2010
Tips for Storing an Air Conditioner
During this post-Labor Day week, I can sense autumn creeping into the picture. While I’m sad to see summer come to a close, there is one advantage to the impending change of season. It will soon be time to remove the air conditioners and reclaim the windows! Here are a few tips for storing an air conditioner in the off season: After removing your air conditioner, take the time to clean it before you stick it in storage. Remove the filter and clean it in warm, soapy water.
Sep 8, 2010
Tim’s Classic Chicago Two-Flat
Name: Tim LallyLocation: North Center — Chicago, IllinoisSize: 1,250 square feetYears lived in: 15 years — owned Knowing that Tim is a landscape designer, I had a hunch he would have beautiful outdoor spaces. And, of course, I was correct. What I didn’t know is that inside his home would be just as beautiful and tasteful as outside. Tim’s apartment has the typical layout of a classic Chicago two-flat.
Sep 3, 2010
Alison & Joe’s Suburban Mid-Century Thrift
Name: Alison and JoeLocation: Plainfield, IllinoisSize: 1,800 square feetYears lived in: 3 months Alison and Joe have only lived in their house for about three months but you wouldn’t know by looking at it. The way their suburban home is so completely and tastefully decorated it looks like they’ve lived in their house for three years.
Aug 30, 2010
Emily’s Light & Bright Shabby Chic
Name: Emily Location: Ukrainian Village, ChicagoSize: 1,000 sfYears lived in: Just over one year When I wrote the post about Emily’s welcoming guest room earlier this month, I knew I had to see the rest of her apartment. Luckily, Emily was willing to have us all over for a House Tour! And just as I expected, the rest of her home is decorated with her cute, light, bright, and mostly DIY shabby chic style.
Jul 23, 2010
Converting a Bi-Fold Door
I’ve never been a fan of the bi-fold doors on our bedroom closet. My biggest complaint is that when the doors are open, as you see in the second photo, portions of the closet are almost inaccessible. And with two vain men sharing one small closet, we need all the space we can get! Rather than install new doors I decided to convert these bi-fold doors into swing-out doors.
Jul 21, 2010
Jim’s Earthy Garden Apartment
Name: Jim WilliamsLocation: Andersonville, ChicagoSize: 1,000 square feetYears lived in: 2 Garden apartments in Chicago can often be dark, cavernous spaces. They are — after all — a few steps below street level. By keeping his wall colors and furniture in light earth tones, Jim has managed to make this garden apartment seem bright and open.
May 7, 2010