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Before & After: A 1950s Kitchen Gets a Modern DIY Makeover
When Kelly and her husband moved into a 1950s fixer-upper in late 2012, they knew their kitchen — with original (in Kelly’s words, grime-encrusted) pine cabinets, aluminum-wrapped laminate counters and linoleum floors mixed with asbestos — would need some aesthetic upgrading. They even started working on this room two hours after closing on the house! From Kelly: To say that it was a labor of love is an understatement.
May 17, 2014
Before & After: IKEA Hack Makes the BESTA Even Better
Suzanne saw potential in IKEA’s popular BESTA shelf, and not just as vertical storage. When flipped and tweaked, she was able to make it into something else entirely. Keep on reading to see the pretty remarkable transformation… This might just qualify for a hack and a half. Using the IKEA BESTA as a base, Suzanne custom created a DIY tufted banquette that’s sophisticated and stylish (and offers extra hidden storage as a bonus).
May 8, 2014
Before & After: A Bunch of Old Pallets Gain Purpose
Kevin rounded up some old wooden pallets by driving around to various warehouses, and through Craigslist. He had a project in mind, and just needed a bunch that were roughly equal sized. Want to see what he did with them? This impressive reclaimed wood backyard deck is the result! After measuring the space, he laid the pallets where he wanted the deck to be. Starting with the first row, Kevin lined up all gaps and used pavers to level and support the pallets.
May 5, 2014
Before & After: An Art Deco Dresser Is Restored to Its Former Glory
They gave the wood a good sanding and decided on a two-tone stain which really makes those Art Deco details pop. Christina says, “We picked away at it once a week for the summer, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results, and the memories of working on it together!” Thank you Christina! Re-edited from a post originally published 5.5.
May 5, 2014
Before & After: A Stylish Office and Guest Room Combo Transformation
Christina’s second bedroom is a tight eight feet wide by 13 feet long. But, despite the small size, she needed it to function both as an office and craft room, and a guestroom that could sleep two people. Christina turned this room with beige walls and bland carpet into a light and inspiring space to work and entertain guests! From Christina: The whole transformation cost about $800.
May 4, 2014
Before & After: A $70 Bathroom Makeover That Looks Like A Million Bucks
Kimberly joined in our Apartment Therapy Style Cure in 2013 and, even though she went into this bathroom update with pretty low expectations, she wound up getting a huge style upgrade on a budget. Kimberly says, “I am so happy with the final result and I would have never done it without the encouragement from you and your readers. Thanks for guiding me along, AT!” See more pictures of Kimberly’s new bath at Turning it Home Thank you Kimberly!
May 1, 2014
Before & After: A Sorry-Looking Ceiling Gets Some Stunning DIY Ingenuity
Emily and Shane hated their textured ceilings, but felt stuck with them because they weren’t ready to deal with the mess and trauma of drywalling. Finally, they just couldn’t take any more of those ceilings, “staring down at us,” so they took a gamble on another option, and boy, did it pay off. They covered it with beadboard! What a great way to give the ceiling a beautifully coffered look with surprisingly little effort and money.
Apr 28, 2014
IKEA Hacks: DIY Ways to Make Cheap Wardrobes Look More Expensive
We often turn to IKEA for cheap storage options, which makes their basic wardrobes a popular item in a lot of homes. Clever DIY projects and hacks pop up as people discover ways to upgrade the units to look more expensive and custom-built in their spaces. Here are 8 great projects to think about yourself: Designer Tommy Smythe updated his PAX doors with molding and vintage knobs. Combined with the sleek black paint, this new storage looks high-end and beautiful.
Apr 16, 2014
Before & After: A Seriously Stylish Kitchen Renovation on a Budget
Does this kitchen look familiar? It is the Apartment Kitchen. I believe it was installed in every apartment built between 1978 and 1995. It is difficult to hate the Apartment Kitchen — it just is. But there is not much to love about it, either. So when One Kings Lane editor Kerstin, who had the Apartment Kitchen, met stylist Megan Pflug, who was looking to do an “easy but stylish” kitchen before and after, she jumped at the chance. Yes — it is the same kitchen. I know.
Apr 11, 2014
10 Clever DIY Projects to Hide Household Eyesores
Here’s the unfortunate truth about 99% of all living spaces: every house and apartment—large or small—likely has something that’s weird, oddly placed, or just plain ugly. These persistent little problems (cords, vents, pipes, outlets) might drive you nuts, but stay they must, especially if you are a renter. The only solution is to get creative…. Here are ten common household eyesores, and DIY projects and ideas to help you disguise them: 1.
Apr 3, 2014
Before & After: A Craigslist Piano With A Surprise Inside
We sure didn’t see this one coming. Lanae calls her boyfriend Brandon a “crafty DIY person.” You’re not wrong, Lanae, you’re not at all wrong. Turns out, Brandon is a pretty awesome boyfriend, too. Lanae tells us how this totally inventive piano bar came into being: For Christmas last year I mentioned to my boyfriend that I’d like a bar cart for our house. Brandon did not want to go to IKEA for the standard bar cart set-up.
Mar 26, 2014
Before & After: A Refreshed and Revamped Kitchen For $1000
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to dramatically improve the look of a space, as proven by the kitchen Julia and her boyfriend share in Montreal. Some budget ideas, affordable products and a lot of DIY labor made this kitchen brighter and more pleasant. From Julia: My boyfriend and I bought a duplex house in Montreal less than a year ago. We were able to buy in the city, but we didn’t have much money for renovations after.
Mar 22, 2014
Before & After: IKEA Hemnes Nightstand Gets an Inventive Upgrade
Joy recently replaced her black IKEA Hemnes dresser set with something vintage but kept the matching nightstands beside the bed. She liked their shape and function but knew she’d have to tweak them a bit to fit into her new decor. Amazing. We’d never have guessed that these white and wood wonders came from the big blue box. From Joy: Since the nightstands are solid pine, I was able to sand off the black finish and stain the drawer fronts in a warm walnut shade.
Mar 21, 2014
Before & After: From Cat Scratcher to Purrfect Chair
This chair was spotted in the free section on Craigslist, and listed as the “Attack Cat Chair.” Apparently, the owner couldn’t bear junking it, and Cat (yep, that’s her name too) was happy to take it on as a project. Cat used discounted remnants to reupholster the 1961 chair. It was more complicated to work on than she expected (especially when it came to the tufted back and buttons) but she made it through!
Mar 20, 2014
Before & After: St Patrick Himself Would Be Proud of This Sideboard
Who’s wearing green today? Cindy won’t be getting a pinch. She came across this free cherry wood sideboard, took it home and gave it a St. Paddy’s worthy makeover you won’t soon forget. She sanded and primed this sideboard and rolled on two coats of high gloss green. Then she polished up the original hardware to give it a glamorous shine. Cindy says: I was dying for a pop of color in my entryway/kitchen area and Kelly Green was just the color I wanted.
Mar 17, 2014
Before & After: A Narrow Galley Kitchen Gets an Urban Update
When first-time homebuyers Nadine and John Paul bought a century home that was split into a duplex, they decided to rent out the bottom half and live in the top half. Now with a little additional money to spend on their new purchase, they decided to tackle the kitchen first, which was tiny, uninspiring and not at all luxurious. From Nadine: My partner, John Paul, is a carpenter by trade and owns a business building custom furniture.
Mar 15, 2014
10 DIY Ideas That Will Make a Big Impact in a Room
Know you’ll have a few hours strung together this weekend to tackle a DIY project or two? Looking for something that will dramatically change the look of a room? We’ve gathered some of our favorite projects that take an afternoon to a full weekend to complete. One might possibly inspire a room makeover this weekend for you! We looked for challenging but doable ideas, some probably just for homeowners but plenty that renters can try, too!
Mar 15, 2014
Before & After: A Cramped Kitchen Gets a Big Change
Architectural designer Teddy desperately needed to update this kitchen but had major budgetary restrictions. No matter. See how just $300 worth of supplies made a huge difference. Wow, what a difference. We love how, even though all the major elements are the same (cabinets, backsplash, countertop), the color change and the addition of small details totally transformed this space.
Mar 10, 2014
Before & After: Liana’s Cheery Dresser Update
This dresser had great bones and even some fun details, but was falling apart in a few places and had some missing drawers. Liana didn’t tackle this DIY project for awhile after she found this piece, but when she did, her ideas (including a free element anyone could use) really transformed the entire look into a functioning piece that works for her just the way she needs it. From Liana, I love the idea of restoring furniture, this is my second attempt.
Mar 2, 2014
50+ DIY Projects for Your Entryway
You’ve just stumbled upon the mother lode of DIY projects and ideas for your entryway. That’s over 50 ways to make your landing strip, hallway or foyer pretty, organized and inviting. So dig right in and find something that works for you and your home: double functionalitySmart storage solutionperfect entry benchpaintable patternumbrella standcute ideacoat hooksfabric wall organizertiered cake standwall-mounted landing stripshoe storage See anything here that could work for you?
Feb 26, 2014
Before & After: Creepy Metal Eyesore Gets a Second Glance
Ick. Even for the most intrepid DIY folks, this old metal cabinet is daunting. It is rusty, peeling, and no doubt has some sharp edges on it somewhere. Along came Graham who saw potential in the project, and set to work transforming it. Many thanks to Krista Winters for sharing Graham’s success! Re-edited from a post originally published 2.13.
Feb 13, 2014
Weekend Project Ideas: 10 Power Tool-Free IKEA Hacks to Try
These IKEA hacks will take some effort, sure. But, you won’t need any power tools, extension cords or impossibly tiny allen wrenches for these transformations. These are the sort of projects you could do in a few hours with some of your existing IKEA furniture (or hey, if you want to get wild and brave IKEA to purchase a fresh piece to hack, knock yourself out). You could enjoy looking at — and using! — these projects by tonight.
Feb 9, 2014
Before & After: Tasha’s Tragic Living Room Gets Gorgeous
Tasha tells us that she still cringes when she looks back at these photos of her room. The army green walls, the beige trim, badly sealed stone fireplace and carpet just weren’t her cup of tea. Says Tasha, “No thank you.” Tasha and her husband did the all of the work themselves. They ripped out the carpet and bamboo flooring and put down dark laminate floors, then painted the walls a beautiful dark blue to make this large space feel more cozy.
Feb 3, 2014
Before & After: Lynn’s Lightened & Updated Kitchen Corner
Lynn and her husband, an energetic couple in their early 60s – 70s, had a dream to “age in place,” and planned to do so in a 27-year-old condo they purchased in its original, uninspiring state: vinyl flooring, wall-to-wall carpeting, almond-colored appliances, Formica countertops and more. They gave every inch of this condo a face-lift, and this cute corner of the kitchen is a taste of their simple but effective updating style.
Feb 2, 2014
Before & After: From Uninspiring Shelf to Ultra-Functional Floating Storage!
When Griffin found this old shelf just “collecting dust” at a local thrift store, she knew there was some place in their home for it, perhaps the garage or maybe the playroom. But it was some creative thinking (and not even that much work!) that transformed it into a surprisingly sophisticated storage piece for a dining room! From Griffin: With the help of my husband we started by removing the base which was made up of 2x4s.
Feb 2, 2014
Before & After: Maggie’s MALM Makeover
Maggie’s IKEA MALM dresser was super functional but pretty plain, so she got creative and gave it a budget makeover that adds plenty of glam style. Holy Hollywood Regency! Maggie used overlays to create contrast on the drawers and, as for those cool knobs, she really went all out. From Maggie: The knobs are standard stock from Lowe’s, but for big impact I used a plumbing flange to really make them stand out.
Jan 27, 2014
Before & After: Karrie’s Antique Dresser Rescue
Karrie first found this dresser at a local thrift store for $50. She felt it was a bit pricey because of its badly banged-up condition, but she had fallen in love with the lines and the size; it would be perfect in an entryway, used as a side table or in her office as a printer stand. From Karrie: Originally I was hoping to just sand it down and keep it natural with a clear-coat but the wood veneer was in bad shape and breaking apart, so I had to rethink my approach.
Jan 26, 2014
Before & After: Rubina’s Sophisticated Mini Library Makeover
After Rubina customized her IKEA Billy bookshelves the first time, they just sort of sat there, half empty. There was something about them that just wasn’t working, but Rubina didn’t quite know what it was. A realization about the patterned paper led to a new creative fix — and a clever customization detail that turned these bland bookshelves to something simple and sophisticated, the perfect backdrop for books and accessories!
Jan 25, 2014
Before & After: Jacob’s MALM Miracle
You know we always love an IKEA hack, but this one is pure, unadulterated genius. Jacob dismantled his old MALM double bed and was left with two sets of slats. Rather than throw them away, he found a way to upgrade these leftovers into a whole, new project. So awesome! The chest is not only made from repurposed materials but Jacob also cleverly made a table with storage — one of our favorite small space tricks.
Jan 22, 2014
Before & After: A $6 Side Table Makeover
A sad, old table handed down to Jessica from her grandfather was a sturdy side table, but lacked the style she was looking for. It was an unexpected designer piece that gave Jessica the inspiration to transform this side table into something else! Jessica spotted a Bernhardt Cabrillo Nailhead Chest in Architectural Digest Magazine and loved the look.
Jan 18, 2014
Before & After: Claire’s Contrasting Credenza Makeover
Claire found this credenza with tons of potential on Craigslist for only $30. But, though the lines were beautiful, the shape nice and the extra storage space it would provide a bonus, the finish was banged up and the color didn’t fit with her tastes. We love that Claire kept some wood color along with adding a fresh white paint to the piece. It brightens up the piece without completely obscuring the natural and beautiful wood.
Jan 11, 2014
Before & After: Rachel’s Simple Yet Sophisticated TV Storage Solution
Rachel had tried plenty of solutions for her home’s media center over the years, from credenzas to painting the wall behind the TV and more, but nothing ever quite fit her style or made the most efficient use of space. It wasn’t until she came across two rough and tall storage pieces that she was able to envision the perfect solution — and do it all for under $250!
Jan 5, 2014
Clever DIY Ideas & Solutions for Life’s Little Persistent Problems
Every home has at least one tiny, annoying thing that drives us nuts. And we all need simple but clever ways to finally deal with it. These posts won’t cure cancer but darn tootin’ they will make your days that much more bearable. So get ready to have perfectly folded fitted sheets, straight artwork, and non-slamming doors. I’ll just say it now: you’re welcome.
Dec 23, 2013
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! You’re Way Too Big For My House!
I have always been a Christmas person. Even as a child, it wasn’t just the presents that made this my favorite holiday. It was the weeks-long build-up and all the traditions along the way. In early December my mom would get out all of the decorations from the attic and we would help her decorate the house, something in nearly every room. The grand finale, of course, was trimming the tree and it was so pleasurable to open the boxes of ornaments – “remember this one?
Nov 21, 2013
35 DIY Advent Calendars to Make Now So You’re Ready for December
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and my kids are already asking me if Christmas is here yet. I’m sure I’m not the first parent who has had this problem, and this is why I think the advent calendar must have been born—so that parents everywhere can have some peace during the twenty-four days (or more) until the big day is here. So here is my gift to you—thirty five of my favorite DIY advent calendars, from the simple to the complex, from the modern to more traditional.
Nov 15, 2013
Beautify Your Bathroom in a Weekend: Super Easy Ideas for an Instant Style Boost
When folks aren’t happy with the look of a bathroom, sometimes it’s because it is in need of some major changes: a renovation. For most of us, though, creative decoration will instantly help boost the look of this often woefully under-styled space.
Nov 14, 2013
Before & After: IKEA EXPEDIT Transformed Into Rustic TV Console
Who hasn’t owned an IKEA EXPEDIT shelving unit at one time or another? These shelves are to storage like Keds and Vans are to sneakers: basic, affordable, and available in plain white. But maybe you’ve had one for awhile now and are itching to change things up and customize it with a little more character beyond the plain old white finish. Check out how one EXPEDIT owner hacked his cabinet into something with more rugged character.
Oct 3, 2013
A Secret Kids Room Through the Closet
Many kids fantasize about having a secret, child-size room just for them. My own kids have a secret room, but it’s more accurately called “hide behind the couch” or, sometimes, “throw a blanket over your head.” Parents Fey & Mark in Cleveland Heights, Ohio discovered they had unused space below their stairs and decided to do something really special with it.
Sep 17, 2013
Before & After: Dining Room Goes From Dated to Dreamy
Adrianne’s 1950’s home had a dated dining room in major need of a revamp. Well, it’s dreary no longer. Take a look at it now: What an amazing transformation! From Adrianne: We installed hardwood flooring and did some DIY wainscoting, baseboards, and crown moulding. We also brought in some of our favorite DIY pieces, like our vintage card catalog buffet and driftwood art. The dining table and chandelier are awesome vintage Craigslist finds.
Sep 16, 2013
6 Clever Ways to Customize Kitchen Cabinets With Contact Paper
There are tons of adhesive wall decorations out on the market right now — call it contact paper, vinyl decals, shelf paper or removable wallpaper. Any of the above is a great go-to for enhancing your kitchen cabinets on the fly. Easy to remove, and very affordable, these are also a very do-able stopgap measure before your dream kitchen makeover.
Sep 9, 2013
Before & After: Rusty Filing Cabinet Makeover
Have you ever been intimidated by refinishing metal furniture? Joanna shows it’s entirely possible, and gets great results with a little time and elbow grease. She found this little cabinet in a parking lot and instantly saw its potential. Want to see the result of her work? Read on… The cabinet is now totally bright, cheerful and ready for its new life in Joanna’s house.
Jun 13, 2013
Before & After: A One-Weekend Bathroom Refresh (+ Painting Tips from a Lazy Perfectionist)
With the warm season starting, I’ve become obsessed with all things white. So I’ve returned to my rental white walls in the bathroom, which feels so fresh and clean for summer. Check out the results below. I used the same color on the baseboard and moldings so I didn’t need to worry about that clean line of paint as the color changes (the most frustrating part of a painting job to a self-proclaimed lazy perfectionist).
Jun 3, 2013
5 Budget Kitchen Upgrades You Can Make This Weekend
Happy weekend! If you’re the sort who relaxes by doing projects around the house, one of these low-cost kitchen upgrades might be just the thing for you. Ranged in order from least to most ambitious, here are 5 kitchen pick-me-ups that you can have done before Monday. 1. Change your hardware. For a little money and not much work at all, you can update the look of your kitchen by switching out the hardware.
May 31, 2013
Before & After: A Sad Dresser Gets a Second Chance
Sarah took her chances on a very typical dresser at Goodwill — you know, the ones that are a dime a dozen and often get passed up by everyone. Follow me after the jump to see the incredible transformation that turned this sad little piece into a unique gem… She first sanded down all the old paint (always test for lead first) and then stained it with a lovely Mahogany Gloss Stain.
May 3, 2013
6 Ideas for Updating Thrift Store Art
Nothing adds character to a space like art. But if you’re on a tight budget, your options might be a little limited. You could make like a college student and thumbtack a poster of The Starry Night to your wall — or you could make like a savvy DIYer and take some thrift store art to the next level. Related Video: The Secret To Buying Thrift Store Art Here are six ideas for updating thrift store art.
Apr 10, 2013
Before & After: A Fresh Look for a $5 Thrift Store Dresser
To my mind there are two basic types of ‘Before and Afters’: the jaw droppers that leave you amazed at the utter transformation of a thing or place and the less dramatic, but no less inspiring ones that show a vast improvement to something with minimal expense of time and money. The latter is the case with this dated dresser repainted in springy colors as an appealing addition to Lynne and Darren’s guest bedroom where they host their 2-year-old grandson, Nicholas.
Apr 3, 2013
Before & After: Karyn’s Island Bungalow Remodel
Karyn, an interior designer, found the perfect island bungalow in Coronado, California. Of course, it needed a little sprucing up before it would be the entertaining and living space she dreamed of. Check out how she transformed this studio into a chic, multipurpose space: How gorgeous is this? We love the navy and white against the dark bamboo floors. From Karyn: I had just moved to the island of Coronado and had the perfect bungalow apartment in mind.
Mar 14, 2013
Before & After: Andrew’s Long Time Coming Bungalow Kitchen Update
When I shot Andrew’s Vintage Berwyn Bungalow house tour, the kitchen was in the early stages of being torn apart for a rehab. It took almost two years but Andrew finally put the finishing touches on his new kitchen and is ready to share it with the world. Before I show you the “after” photos, let’s take one more look at the dated old kitchen that Andrew inherited when he bought his house: Those cabinets! That ceiling fan! Oof!
Mar 8, 2013
DIY the $50 IKEA VITTSJÖ: 5 Colorful Hacks
For years IKEA’s EXPEDIT has been a ubiquitous storage solution for homes everywhere. But recently the Swedish furnishing giant’s VITTSJÖ has been showing up more and more on my design radar. It doesn’t scream IKEA, and you’d never guess the system starts as low as under $50. The black metal and glass shelving system has a nice industrial quality on its own, but it seems to really shine when it’s given a bright coat of paint.
Feb 13, 2013
Embrace Summertime With the 29 Best Flowers for Window Boxes
Some of your best bets for beautiful curb appeal.
Apr 17, 2012
12 Ways To Get the Canopy Look Without Buying a New Bed
Whether you can't afford a new bed or just want to give your current bed a bit of a romantic makeover, here's a plethora of DIY ideas for a canopy bed.
Mar 29, 2012
How To Fix Dents in Wooden Floors & Furniture (With an Iron!)
Many years ago a teacher told me that you could steam out a dent in a piece of wood (one where the wood fibers had been compressed, not where they had been removed) using a wet rag and an iron. This technique was meant for unfinished wood, but unfortunately, most of the wood we deal with in our homes has some sort of finish on it. With some research I learned that this technique can work with finished wood but it depends greatly on the type of finish you are dealing with.
Feb 28, 2012
How To: Remove Candle Wax from Just About Anything
Fabrics, hardwoods, walls, oh my!
Jan 25, 2012
How To Make Homemade Reed Diffusers
Ban those plug-in air fresheners for good.
May 26, 2011
How To Make Felt Food: Our Gigantic List of Free Online Tutorials & Patterns
Over 150 patterns and tutorials to make your own, adorable felt food.
Dec 17, 2010
Borax and 25 Ways to Use It
I’ll let you in on an embarrassing little secret…a few weeks ago my husband and I had a little problem with mice in our apartment. Our maintenance guy came to check for holes in the wall and set traps yet they kept coming back. When a friend recommended sprinkling borax near our walls, I was curious what other things I could do with borax.Borax, or sodium borate, is a naturally occurring substance that is also eco-friendly.
Aug 23, 2010
These Patio Garden Ideas Will Make You Want to Spend All Your Time Outdoors
Create your own oasis in the tiniest of spaces.
Jun 16, 2010
5 Overlooked Plants That Can Survive In The (Almost) Dark
Live without much natural light? These off-the-radar options are for you.
Jun 16, 2010
Spruce Up Your Fence with Hanging Pots
Hanging gardens seem to be everywhere these days thanks to Woolly Pockets. If you like the idea of a wall garden, but perhaps want something a bit more colorful this is an adorable alternative. Using terra-cotta pots, this garden can house herbs or flowers. And each pot can easily be brought indoors if needed.For outdoor spaces that lack a decent yard or for walls that need some decorating, this is great, easy project to add a small garden to your space.
May 12, 2010
How To Make a Clementine Candle
I learned this fabulous little party trick when I was a school teacher years ago and have been showing other folks how to do it for years.
Dec 17, 2008
How To Make Your Own Tassels
Tassels are a great way to add color and texture to absolutely anything. Beautiful additions to gift wrap, home decor, and fashion —they are a project you should absolutely add to your DIY repertoire. Tassels can be made out of an array of materials, from silk and wool yarns to basic cotton embroidery threads. While there are a number of ways you can construct a tassel, we chose a basic method you can use on any material. Yarn or Thread Scissors 1.
May 23, 2008