Tess Wilson's Recent Articles
Page 5
Before and After: This Airstream Reno Is a Total Adventure Inside and Out
This Airstream trailer is 33 years old, and while its exterior is apparently in fantastic shape, its interior needed a lot of love. In less than three months, one power couple was able to take this rolling home from neglected to elegant. The travel trailer’s new owner described exactly what they were up against: We acquired this neglected 1985 Airstream Sovereign (34-foot) back in May 2018. Overall, the exterior was in excellent condition, so we took a chance and brought her home.
Aug 3, 2018
Before and After: This Backyard Used to Be Filled with Rats, But Is Now an Oasis
This backyard is a great size and appears to have excellent views, but it must be admitted: There’s a bit more rubble than one might hope. And a few more rats than is ideal, too, apparently. That’s right, rats: Our yard was a high-maintenance relic of an avid gardener. Looking for a way to hide an ugly garden shed, the previous owner thought it wise to build a six-foot concrete wall directly down the middle of the small yard.
Aug 2, 2018
Before and After: This New Bathroom is for ‘Crazy Dog People’
The biggest issue with this master bathroom appears to be a possible overabundance of beige, but the real problems were smelly and—literally—shocking. Since this website somehow still doesn’t have scratch-n-sniff capability, let’s let reader Lisa Carolla give us a bit more insight into what this bathroom was really like: You had to squint really hard to see the potential in our master bath, but it was there.
Aug 1, 2018
Before and After: This Bedroom Closet Now Has One Unexpected Feature
If you’re excited about getting a glimpse into strangers’ closets, you’re only going to get half the thrill you’re hoping for, because one of these closets has been converted into something a little unexpected. Here’s how the homeowner describes that closets before their makeover: The before photos were from the day we bought the house.
Jul 30, 2018
Before and After: This DIY-ed Bathroom Is Now a Completely Different Beast
This massive bathroom was 14 feet long and ready for an update, so one intrepid homeowner DIY-ed literally every inch of it. The room is now a bit smaller but far, far more fabulous. Jess of Bright Green Door, who’s behind this renovation, can explain what’s going on with this hall bathroom: It was 14 feet long, with a door into the hallway, and another door into the kitchen.
Jul 29, 2018
This Guy Built a Teardrop Travel Trailer from Scratch
Teardrop travel trailers are by far the cutest way to camp, and one ambitious Reddit user was determined to make one from scratch—even without plans! After investing about 200 hours of work and $3,000, the Reddit user made something charming from nothing. This is the most darling little trailer I’ve ever seen—and it was totally DIY. Reddit user u/ryansanderson04 even built the chassis by hand, out of tube iron.
Jul 28, 2018
Before and After: Two Bathrooms Were Combined to Create a Luxurious Space
What do you do when you have two bathrooms right next to each other? Knock down a wall and transform them into one luxurious space. When we moved in to our Edwardian house there were two bathrooms next to each other. One had a corner bath, toilet and sink and the other a shower, toilet and sink. Both had lowered ceilings, stained carpets and really the most hideous windows I think I have ever seen.
Jul 27, 2018
Before and After: This New Kitchen Can Only Be Described As Classic
This St. Paul, Minnesota, kitchen was large, sunny, and full of storage, but its owners wanted something new and bold. With the help of a thoughtful designer, they now have the kitchen of their dreams. Kassina Falstad of OlliePop Design is responsible for this renovation; here she describes the company’s approach and this project in particular: Our motto is love your house for less, as we believe everyone can afford great design.
Jul 26, 2018
Before and After: This Bathroom Tile Floor Totally Steals the Show
We’ve enjoyed a few bathroom renovations which preserved the vintage tile—dreamy blue and seafoam green—but know this right now: This is not going to be one of those situations. Don’t worry, though, because the results and the story behind this 1939 home are absolutely amazing. The designer behind this remodel shares the story of this family home: My client has lived in this home since she was 12 years old. She bought it from her mother and has raised her family in it.
Jul 25, 2018
“Proplifters” Are Getting Plants for Free from Big Box Stores
“Proplifting”—picking up fallen succulent leaves off the floors at big box stores and taking them home to propagate—is the hot new thing in the plant world, to the point that there’s a subreddit devoted to it. If you’d like to give it a try, here are a bunch of inspiring posts to get you started.
Jul 24, 2018
Before and After: This $20K Boho Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation Only Took Three Weeks
This is a nice big kitchen with tons of storage, lots of natural light, many ovens, and a cute baby blue and tan color scheme. However, it had some issues and some awkwardness that its owner was determined to rectify.
Jul 24, 2018
Before and After: You’ll Love How This Kitchen Keeps Its Character
There’s often one element in old kitchens that we’re all rooting for, crossing our fingers that it survives the big renovation. For this kitchen makeover, I’m holding my breath that the amazing pink double oven makes the cut. Reader Amanda Schaneman shares some insight into what this kitchen was really like, as photos never tell the whole story: The kitchen before the remodel was dark, dirty, and dated.
Jul 23, 2018
Before and After: This Vintage Bathroom Got a $265 Overhaul
This “before” bathroom features vintage tiles, which are beautiful in their own way, but also make the space feel a little dated. To the rescue? Modern wallpaper. The bold print took this outdated 1950s style straight into 2018. The wallpaper has so much tropical flair, and I’m intrigued by the way the green of the palm fronds works with the tile color.
Jul 22, 2018
Before and After: This Travel Trailer Is a Total Surprise on the Inside
A reader moved into this trailer without realizing how much work it needed, and it’s always so much more difficult to renovate a space when you’re already living in it—especially when your home is essentially one room. It took some serious determination and a bit of boldness, but this trailer is now home sweet home.
Jul 21, 2018
Before and After: This Porch Hack Helps Deter Package Thieves
Here’s a story from an intrepid Redditor, who kept getting packages stolen off their porch. Many people can relate: one third of Americans have reported having a package stolen outside their home. So this crafty person turned to a DIY fix. Here’s what this project involved, according to this Redditor: My solution was a lot cheaper and went up in less than an hour! Not permanent, but will do for now.
Jul 20, 2018
This Redditor Hacked an IKEA Terrarium For His Snake
Ah, the ever-reliable IKEA KALLAX: a timeless, affordable shelving unit that’s available in a variety of sizes and colors and is useful for holding books, records, storage bins, objets d’art, snakes, and so much more. Yes, of course, snakes… I have to say, the wood of the KALLAX looks pretty beautiful with all the organic matter, and the plants and rocks inside are all well chosen and arranged.
Jul 19, 2018
Before and After: This Tiny Balcony Is A Precious Piece of Alfresco Heaven
One of our readers found herself in a familiar situation: she had an outdoor space (yay!), but it was basically unusable (boo). After just two weekends of work, this wannabe balcony has been transformed into a tiny, precious piece of alfresco heaven. Reader Abby Robinson was kind enough to submit this project.
Jul 19, 2018
Before and After: This Stairway Got a Glamorous Makeover
This little stairway landing is so pretty. It’s got hardwood floors, a gracefully placed window worthy of Vermeer, a dramatic work of art, and an intriguing vintage table. Its owner did not feel so positive about the space, however, and saw potential for so much more. Seriously, wow! I love the notion of a stairway accent wall; as you’ll see below, it’s incredibly inviting from below.
Jul 18, 2018
Before and After: A $10K Kitchen That’s Fit for British Royalty
This is a very straightforward, efficient kitchen that looks exactly like at least three kitchens that I’ve been in. But it had a few issues that needed to be remedied (starting with secretly leaking pipes). Reader Ellen McCormick was kind enough to submit her project and give an in-depth description of the challenges this kitchen presented: Before the remodel the kitchen completely lacked character and function.
Jul 17, 2018
Before and After: This $46 Wood Dresser Transformation Is Absolutely Stunning
A reader found this old dresser in an alley and knew right away that she’d hit the jackpot. And after hours of scrubbing and sprucing, this dresser is even more beautiful than the day it was built. Here’s how reader Krissy Gilhooly tells the story of this exciting discovery: I found this piece abandoned in the alley behind our house. When I first saw it, I was expecting it to be rickety and have sticky drawers, as most furniture is when it’s thrown away.
Jul 15, 2018
Before and After: This Kitchen Took Five Weeks, and A Bunch of IKEA Products
This kitchen had a somewhat odd configuration—water heater and washing machine, but not a dryer?—and two of our readers were plumb sick of it. In just over a month, they transformed this slightly confused space into a kitchen that’s as practical as it is elegant. Plus it has a bonus laundry room! This is so different and exvellent.
Jul 14, 2018
Before and After: You Won’t Recognize This Living Space Now
When reader Erika moved into this house, the living room was musty and dusty. But after four months and a ton of work (and a fair amount of money), this space is transformed and totally fresh. It’s easy to look at that room before and assume the only issue with it is that it might not be someone’s taste. But here’s the truth, from reader Erika Thompson: These are the pictures that were on the listing when we bought the house.
Jul 13, 2018
Before and After: An A+ Answer to Generic HomeGoods Artwork
If, like me, you were hoping that this art hack involved adding enormous sea monsters to this idyllic beach scene, you might be the teensiest bit disappointed, but if you want to see these discount pieces transformed into lovely original abstract paintings, read on! Let’s start with a little backstory: When I came across these pre-framed mass reproduction art pieces at HomeGoods, they were the perfect size for our space but lacked the modern minimal look I was going for.
Jul 12, 2018
Before and After: A One-Week $5K Bathroom Remodel for the Ages
Yes, that’s right: sponge painting! If any of you are old enough to remember when sponge painting (or feather duster painting, ooh-la-la) was the hot new thing, this bathroom is probably bringing back a few flashbacks. While sponge painting is sure to make a comeback any day now, the homeowner was ready for a change—especially from the peeling floors.
Jul 11, 2018
Before and After: This Bathroom Keeps Its Original, Beautiful Tiles
When I first saw these dreamy blue tiles, I held my breath that they would survive this bathroom’s makeover. And when I saw the results? Legitimate gasp! This Before & After is so, so fun and incredibly well done. This is glorious! I would never have thought of that wallpaper with these tiles in a million years; fortunately, Carrie Hayward of Disney Travel Babble has a lot more vision than I do.
Jul 10, 2018
Before and After: Great Ideas for a Builder Grade Bathroom
This ordinary-appearing bathroom was harboring a terrible secret, so a renovation was urgent and 100 percent necessary. And if the finishes just happened to get (majorly) upgraded in the process? So be it… As usual, the Before photo doesn’t tell the whole story—here’s what this bathroom was like before it was gutted: Original floor tiles, missing drawers, and mismatched faucets. This is what our master bathroom looked like when we purchased the home in summer of 2017.
Jul 9, 2018
Vintage Travel Trailer Paint Jobs You Won’t Ever Forget
We had so much fun exploring The Best Vintage Travel Trailer Makeovers on Instagram that we’re back with 20 more. This time the focus is on exterior paint jobs, but the adorable trailer names—Sassafras Lou, Delilah, Sprout, Beatrice, Archie, and Mrs. Schmick—are still going strong. Let’s hit the road! These pink scallops are the sweetest, cutest thing ever, and a big change from the original mossy-green stripes.
Jul 8, 2018
Before and After: A Terrific $2K ‘Temporary’ Bathroom Remodel
This bathroom was built in the ’30s, redecorated 30 years later… and then used as-is for decades. The new homeowners wanted to give the bathroom a much-needed update without spending a ton, and the results are a delight. First, here’s a tiny bit of backstory: 1931 Craftsman BADLY needed repainting when my then-boyfriend (now husband) purchased the house in 2003… This year we did a “temporary” budget remodel on a TERRIBLE 1960s bathroom remodel.
Jul 8, 2018
Fire Columns Are The Elegant Alternative To Fire Pits This Summer (& All Year Round)
All the warmth, none of the dirty maintenance.
Jul 7, 2018
Before and After: An Ingenious Fix for Ugly Rental Bathroom Tiles
It looks great and costs very little.
Jul 7, 2018
Before and After: This Kitchen Has a Radically Different Look
Let’s be real: This about-to-be-renovated kitchen is far nicer than any kitchen I’ve ever had, so much so that I kept putting ‘after’ labels on the ‘before’ photos. But now it has a fresh vibe, new appliances, and a radically different look. After all the before/after confusion, I still had to double-check that this was the same view as the top image. It is the same camera angle, but every other thing has been changed.
Jul 6, 2018
Before and After: This Is Not the Most Practical Bathroom, But It’s Perhaps the Sexiest
This bathroom had a lot going for it—shiny floors, nice finishes, windows, generally spacious—but its owner’s feelings about it can be summed up in one photo caption: “Hey, the ’90s called and wants its bathroom back…” The cherry wood and ample amounts of beige are about to be replaced with bold black, bright white, and so much gold… Argh, I love this!
Jul 5, 2018
Before and After: Finally, A Big Change for A Neglected Master Bedroom
This master bedroom was perfectly nice but understandably neglected, having been low on the family’s priority list for years. But it finally got its much-desired makeover, and the hotel-inspired results are totally worth the wait. This is so dreamy and calm! I’ve never stayed at a Four Seasons hotel, but now I want to know if the rooms are anything like this. Stephanie of Olive and Tate is responsible for this excellent bedroom upgrade.
Jul 3, 2018
Before and After: These Homeowners Made a Very Bold Move in Their Kitchen
Why are we showing you a photo of a kitchen in a post allegedly about an entryway? Well, because the wall you see is about to disappear, opening up the entryway in a major way. Kimberly Smith of Turning It Home helpfully describes the situation: In our home was a non-load bearing wall that separated the entry way/dining room from the kitchen.
Jul 2, 2018
The Best Vintage Travel Trailer Makeovers on Instagram
Instagram is overflowing with renovated vintage trailers: they’re all adorable, and they all have adorable names. Check out the amazing work that’s been done on Sprite, Scamp, Rosie, Rubie Jane, Lula, Lorelai, Peach, and 12 others—most of these homes-on-wheels are at least 40 years old, and they all look better than ever. This minimal beauty is enormous for a trailer, but fairly small for a family of five!
Jun 29, 2018
Before and After: We Can’t Get Over This Zero-Budget Makeover
You are currently gazing upon a floor that is not only old linoleum—it is the old linoleum floor of a fish-gutting room. Is there any hope for this room, or is it doomed to be forever haunted by dearly departed stinky fishies? The old, fishy floor has been replaced with a watery blue dream; it’s like a river you can walk on. This stained plywood floor was created by Tanya of Dans le Lakehouse, and I’m in awe of her vision.
Jun 28, 2018
Before and After: This Garage Sale Dresser Makeover Gives Us the Best Feelings
This little cutie pie garage sale dresser has been hankering for a makeover for a decade—and the results are well worth the wait. Perhaps inspired by the fantastic results, the rest of this corner got itself a spruce too! Before we gaze lovingly at the dresser as it looks today, let’s hear a little bit about what it was before: The side tables were a garage sale find for $10 which we had bought at the start of our marriage 10 years ago.
Jun 27, 2018
Before and After: This Closet Makeover Was Completed in Two Days
As closets go, this one seemed so organized as it was: There are even labeled compartments for different sizes of batteries. The After will probably just be slightly fancier labels on slightly fancier bins, right? We were so wrong, y’all, because look how amazing this closet looks now. If this were my closet, I would try to find a way to jam a chair in there so I could hang out in such a perfectly organized space. The wallpaper is delightful (and removable!
Jun 26, 2018
Before and After: This Is Why You Should Never Turn Down Free Furniture
This poor old dresser was dated and unwanted, until one intrepid crafter, armed with only a vision and an impressive drawer pull collection, took it in and made it over. The results are fantastically impressive. I actually squealed a bit when I saw this—and I don’t even really like purple! This is a piece that is 100% practical (storage), while somehow also being 100% fun (tassels!).
Jun 25, 2018
Before and After: A No-Fuss, No-Nonsense $400 Kitchen Facelift
What do you do when some your kitchen is kind of dingy and depressing but also full of “that eclectic and funky 1970s charm?” You’re going to need $371, four weeks, and plenty of hard work. Here’s a full look at the sink area, along with a description of what inspired this makeover: The house was built in 1974—and it appeared the kitchen hadn’t been touched since then. The kitchen was dark and uninspiring, with muddy colors and dark finishes.
Jun 24, 2018
Before and After: This Travel Trailer’s $1K Redo Will Knock Your Boho Socks Off
This vintage trailer had been sitting neglected for years, but was finally rescued and restored by someone with a dream. It’s now as darling as you could ever hope a vintage trailer would be, with a sassy twist. Here’s a bit more about what the trailer was like before its makeover: The trailer is a vintage Layton travel trailer. This trailer had been sitting on a family member’s property for as long as I can remember. It was a mess but it had “good bones.
Jun 22, 2018
Before and After: This Bedroom Wall Has the Best Possible Paint Job
This guest room had beautiful wooden floors, a cool old radiator, and some pretty delicious blue paint, but it was gradually becoming “kind of a neglected spot.” This renovation-free redo transformed the room from an accidental storage space to basically a boutique hotel, complete with a commissioned mural.
Jun 20, 2018
Before and After: This Master Bathroom’s New Floor Tile is Absolutely Stunning
While this bathroom might not have looked bad at all before, its owner described it as “by far the worst bathroom we’d ever owned,” full of safety, sanitary, practical, and aesthetic issues. Two months later, the only issue with the bathroom is that it’s not mine. This is so stunning. I am an absolute sucker for those starburst tiles—and an equal sucker for vanities that look like (or began their lives as) furniture designed for other rooms of the home.
Jun 19, 2018
Before and After: This IKEA MELLTORP Table Is Now Unrecognizable
The MELLTORP is one of IKEA’s ubiquitous and affordable tables. It’s minimal and modern, but it also makes a great blank canvas for a DIY. Here’s how Tiphaine of Kraft & Carat transformed it. This is extremely cool, and the way the table now matches the chairs is uncanny; choosing colors that close to each other often leads to awkward almost-matching, but this looks perfect.
Jun 17, 2018
Before and After: This $15K Kitchen Reno Lives Up To Its Open, Airy Potential
This kitchen was super cozy and sun-soaked, and it boasted an ample and intriguing island/peninsula hybrid—pretty sure that’s what an isthmus is—but it had a few shortcomings: The finishings were getting worn, and the freezer was a full 70 years old. Now it’s light and airy, and full of personal charm and quirky objects. Reader Catherine S. Vodrey of OutspokenWomen.
Jun 16, 2018
Before and After: This 20-Year-Old Living Room Gets A Modern Makeover
After 20 years, this living room was ready for an update. It didn’t need a gut job, just a refresh, a lightening, and perhaps even a brightening. Now the room still has all of its best elements, plus a few new ones that suit the space—and the times—perfectly. This is so streamlined and sophisticated now. It’s a clear evolution of the aesthetic seen in the image before, which is fascinating to see.
Jun 15, 2018
Before and After: A $2 Patio Table Makeover
This glass-topped patio table was acquired for the sweet price of $0, but it had a few issues. Enter our reader Sydney, armed with a vision, an X-Acto knife, and $2. Oh, and incredible amounts of patience and precision. This is so incredibly fun and poppy now! It’s stylish, playful, and nothing but fun—the perfect vibe for relaxing on the patio.
Jun 13, 2018