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: Sarah Saves a Bar Cart
This bar cart was far from perfect, but it sported some nice mid century stylings. Sarah picked it up at a thrift shop and set out to banish the bad stain and bring back its former glory.From Sarah: I have been seeing the most adorable bar carts lately, and after spotting this one at a local thrift store, I knew there was plenty of work to be done.
Mar 13, 2013
Before & After: Jenna’s Living Room Makeover
Jenna’s living room was filled with furniture that she loved, but that wasn’t working in her new home. Here’s how she transformed the space by letting go and bringing in some new color and pieces: From Jenna: Over the past 3 years since moving into my home, this space has been forever in transition. Much of the room was filled with furniture that was meaningful to us, but just didn’t fit.
Mar 4, 2013
Before & After: Sophisticated and Dramatic Wainscoting
I came across this project from a comment left in my recent post Brags! What DIY Project Are You Most Proud Of? It came from Julia from the blog Chris Loves Julia. They were looking to change up their living room for a more sophisticated yet casual look and Julia fell in love with some dramatic wainscoting images and got the bug to re-create it at home.It took them just a few hours over two days to put it up and then one day to paint it.
Mar 1, 2013
Before & After: Charlotte’s Flea Market Find Makeover
You might walk by this unassuming stool at a thrift shop, but Charlotte saw potential. See how she gave this flea market find a fresh facelift. From Charlotte: Back when birds were chirping and grass wasn’t buried by 24″ of snow, I grabbed this wheelie stool at the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT. The seller clearly thought he was getting the good end of the deal charging me $10. But a simple coat of spray paint later, and it has a new lease on life.
Feb 25, 2013
Before & After: A Beautiful Vintage Dresser Gets a New Look
It’s not often that we see a before that looks so much like, well, an after. Natty admits that the dresser was in great shape when she got it, but she was looking for something more modern and personalized. After all, a dark stained wood isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and sometimes even beautiful pieces can stand to be a new kind of beautiful.
Feb 22, 2013
Before & After: Laura’s Family Room Finds a New Purpose
Laura spent seven years using this room, with its high ceilings and statement fireplace, as a family room. But considering its pass-through and access to the kitchen, she found a new purpose for the space that felt more natural. The process of transforming a living space into a dining space may not have been without challenges, but the results are stunning!
Feb 21, 2013
Before & After: Charlotte’s Colorful Connecticut Living Room
When Charlotte and her family moved from New York to Connecticut, they fell in love with this 100 year-old house and its bay window. With so much white everywhere, it was a blank canvas. Check out how she transformed this living room with color:From Charlotte: We moved to the Connecticut suburbs from NYC into this sweet 100 year-old house. The previous owner had a love affair with all things off-white (carpet, walls, trim, window treatments).
Feb 19, 2013
Before & After: Quick and Simple Chair Makeover
A furniture redo doesn’t have to be drastic or especially time-consuming to make a big impact. This lovely chair had a lot of potential, but was a little drab — a few quick fixes made a huge difference!Lisa from All Things Campbell spotted this chair for $20. It had a few minor problems, but she was confident she could fix it up and make it work… and for only twenty bucks, she didn’t have a lot to lose!
Feb 15, 2013
Before & After: A Battered to Bold West Elm Parsons Desk
I just love Cinderella stories involving second-hand furniture. When I saw this blog entry about scoring a $40 Parsons Desk (usually $349) from my dream source, West Elm, and then making it even better–I was excited. A sander and a coat of paint produces a unique piece of accent furniture!Naomi Stein of Design Manifest purchased this West Elm Parsons Desk second-hand with a few scratches and dents and turned it into a hot pink creation all her own.
Feb 14, 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
Before & After: Plain Brown Headboard Gets a Playful New Look
Tori was on the hunt for a new bed for her youngest daughter — her older daughter had a cool, unique bed, and she wanted to find something just as awesome for the younger one. So she found this plain headboard on Craigslist and gave it a playful new spin.A little paint, some stenciling, and some clever upholstering gave this headboard a totally new look! Now her daughter has a great colorful new bed, customized by her own mom.Thanks, Tori!
Feb 13, 2013
Before & After: Charlotte’s Craigslist Chairs Get Chevron-ed
I check in with Craig (and his list) on a daily basis, and when I came across a pair of matching wooden arm chairs, I pounced. I talked the seller down to $75 each and brought them home for a facelift. We have a bright red coffee table I had sprayed at an auto detail shop, and I thought these could be a nice complement. A million hours later, all the nail heads and staples were out and I was ready to spray.
Feb 11, 2013
Before & After: Christina’s Tiny Bedroom to Bright Office Plus Guest Room
The second bedroom of our house is only 8 feet wide and 13 feet long. In spite of its size, we still needed it to function as an office/craft room and a guest room that would sleep 2 people. The major projects here were pulling up the carpet and painting the walls light gray and the ceiling blue. Then we found the perfect sofa bed for small spaces and built a wall shelf behind it since there wasn’t room for end tables. The whole transformation cost about $800.
Feb 8, 2013
Before & After: Noelle’s Painted IKEA LACK Hack
LACK hackFrom Noelle: I decided to tackle my own project with my ages old white Ikea Lack coffee table using Cece Caldwell’s paint in Destin Gulf Green. I figured the worst that could happen is that I’d have to head out to Ikea and buy another Lack coffee table if it was a total bust.
Feb 7, 2013
Before & After: Ellen’s Bad Stain to Fresh & Clean Coffee Table
We have had this coffee table for 12 years. It was the first piece of “grown up” furniture we bought as a couple, so it is quite sentimental to us. It has inlay detail on the top, and we had glass custom made to fit it so that we wouldn’t scratch it (I always referred to the glass as the giant coaster). In recent years, the table was looking increasingly orange (I think because the rest of our decor is slowly leaning towards 50 shades of gray).
Feb 6, 2013
Before &amp After: Laura’s Refreshed Nightstand
I found this little piece at the Salvation Army for $7.50. I was looking for a nightstand and knew this would be perfect. The top had water stains where cups and glasses were placed, but other than that it was in good shape. Because I feel that I am drowning in brown furniture sometimes, I decided to paint the drawer fronts white. After sanding and patching the holes from the hardware, I used a high gloss lacquer spray paint on the drawers and stained the rest of the piece.
Feb 4, 2013
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: 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: Aged Steel-Look IKEA Cabinet
Tricia from Simplicity in the South loved the vintage industrial look of Restoration Hardware’s steel cabinets, though their prices were not in the budget. She had an idea that with a little paint and some upholstery tacks, she could transform an old IKEA PS cabinet into something a little less schoolyard and a little more industrial chic.
Oct 17, 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
The Power Of Paint: My Lamp Before & After
Though I’ve been doing this a long time, the power of paint to transform things still astonishes me. Take this lamp (or lamps, since it’s part of a pair) for instance. They’ve been moving from room to room as I’ve tried to work their weird green base into my home’s neutral color scheme. But it wasn’t working.
Sep 25, 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
How To Get a Bird Out of Your House
Bird in the house! Bird in the house! Oh my God, there’s a bird in the house! OK, first things first: Relax, this happens to everybody. (It does, right? It’s not just me?) I personally ran through about a million scenarios before remembering that I know absolutely nothing about birds. So while the bird continued to fly around in a crazy tizzy as though it were my fault he was trapped in my house, I called a friend who owns like 10 birds.
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
Real Life Lessons from a First-Time Painter
I have a confession: I’m a design writer who, until recently, had never actually painted a room. I’ve spent countless hours staring at fan decks, and I’ve memorized more shade names that I care to admit, but as someone who has hopped from rental to rental, rarely staying put for more than a year at a time, painting never quite seemed worth it. But as of this month, I’m proud to say that my neophyte status is no more.
Aug 9, 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: Wine Red Painted Console
A client recently asked if I could paint over furniture — he was sick of the look, but the piece was functional and he didn’t want to throw it out. Why not?You could take your furniture to a shop and have it sanded and sprayed and spritzed in a dust-free environment and perhaps it would last for all time, but that sounds a lot like expensive restoration to me. Or for Plan B, try this:Give your sideboard a light sanding (220 grit), dust it off and paint over it in an oil-based paint.
Jul 25, 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: From Crummy To Fabulous Faux Bois Concrete Floors
What happens when carpet isn’t an option and your hardwood flooring has been discontinued? Well, if you’re Mandi Grubler, you head to the hardware store and come home with a few cans of paint. See how she schooled this concrete floor into submission.Mandi is always willing to roll up her sleeves and test the DIY waters for the rest of us. This time around, she’s painting the concrete floor in her daughter’s room.
Jul 12, 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: Urban Outfitters Inspired Nightstands
Meagan, of the blog Craft Habit, recently acquired a pair of hand-me-down Ikea nightstands, but really had her heart set on the GiGi nightstand from Urban Outfitters that, at $150 a piece, was out of her price range. So, set on having more minty fresh goods in her house, she transformed the IKEA pieces into such a good match, we’d be hard-pressed to decide which version we like better.
Jul 9, 2012
How To Turn Your Digital Photos Into Abstract Art
Joining the ranks of beginner-friendly image styling apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic, comes Textify.it, a simple web app that allows you to transform your images into Monet-esque impressionist art with just a few clicks.Original image of cloudy sky. Textify.it, which is a simple web app, visualizes images using loads and loads of text.
Jul 5, 2012
Before & After: Bedroom Dresser is Painted No More
Karen scored this dresser when it was left behind in a friend of a friend’s garage. She took that dresser with its one green painted drawer home and painted it white and cream to match her bedroom, and there it has lived for the last seven years. She and her husband are working to update their master bedroom, and Karen decided this dresser was just asking for a makeover.
Jun 18, 2012
Before & After: Red Paint to Mahogany Dresser
When Sarah picked up this painted dresser for $25, she knew the bright red paint and mismatched knobs had to go. Since the red paint wasn’t quite her thing, she immediately covered the dresser with a coat of citri-strip. Once that round of stripper revealed the mahogany beneath the paint, she knew her makeover would be both more complicated and more satisfying.After stripping the entire dresser down to the underlying wood, Sarah pretreated the base and then stained with Minwax Dark Walnut.
May 17, 2012
Before & After: Two Tone Coffee Table Makeover
Catherine’s husband Danny owned this rather orange coffee table when they first met, and she freely admits to having spent the last few years moving it around the house in an attempt to hide its rather bright hue. The flaking finish plus some penmanship practice in one corner made this piece ripe for a makeover once Catherine found her inspiration in a post by a fellow blogger.
Apr 26, 2012
Before & After: Rescuing a Battered Buffet
When Susan first saw this battered buffet, it was anything but love at first sight. Water stains, peeling veneer, and missing drawer pulls — this buffet had them all. Thankfully, it also had wonderful lines, solid construction, and some beautiful carved legs peeping through the grime and abuse. With a gritty determination, Susan set out to restore this buffet to reflect its proud past.
Apr 19, 2012
Before & After: A Side Table Lightens Up
Ashley picked this table up at a thrift store for only $10, a great deal for a piece with this much hidden storage. Despite the obvious benefits of such a table for a growing family, the look of the piece is dated and too dark for Ashley’s plan to brighten up her living room. Though this project required a lot of time and attention to detail, the end result is a great addition to Ashley’s evolving living room.
Apr 13, 2012
Before & After: Vintage Veneered Dresser Goes Back to Basics
Sarah got herself a great deal on this painted dresser — or so she thought until she started sanding off the paint on the top and found not solid wood but veneer. Battered veneer patched with wood filler. Veneer she knew she would have to chip off bit by bit. Veneer that ultimately required a chisel and a heat gun to remove completely. Despite her hatred of the process, the end result was certainly worth the effort.
Apr 11, 2012
Deciphering the Power Label On Your A/C Adapters
Turn over the charger or plug to any electronic device and you’ll notice small print and symbols related to the power requirements of your device. But what do all those symbols all mean and why do they matter when plugging in…Let’s look at some of these terms individually and talk about what they might mean to you.The Power NumbersWattageThis is often the first marking you might find on your A/C Adapter. It simply notes the power of the adapter.
Apr 2, 2012
Before & After: New Life for an Old Light
Fusty light fixtures are a surefire way to show that you haven’t freshened up your decor in a while. A long while, in some cases. When Kristine, the talented Aussie behind The Painted Hive, wanted to brighten up a little nook off her parents’ master bedroom (a “retreat” for her mum), she knew this fixture needed a serious makeover.It’s hard to believe it’s the same wall sconce!
Mar 29, 2012
Before & After: Vintage Nightstands Get a Crisp, Clean Makeover
After taking a break from furniture refinishing for a year to have a lovely baby, Cathy decided to get back in the game when she found these wooden nightstands listed for sale online. Solidly built but not very attractive, these nightstands were crying out for a makeover.Cathy sanded everything down to remove the old finish before using her paint sprayer to cover the bases in Benjamin Moore Moon Rise. She chose to retain the original wood tones of the top, staining it with Minwax Red Oak.
Mar 28, 2012
Before & After: Updating Dad’s Childhood Beds for the Next Generation
When Alisha and her husband decided the time had come to rearrange all the bedrooms in their house to better suit the needs of their growing family, they were lucky enough to have some old family favorites to help set up a new room for their toddler son that could double as a guest room when necessary. Alisha knew she wanted to reuse the beds that had belonged to her husband when he was a child, but also knew they needed an update to fit with her vision.
Mar 23, 2012
The Ups & Downs of Ground Floor vs. Upper Floor Homes
Have you taken a look at last week’s House Tours? David and Teresa’s aerie had me contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of living high and living low. Each has their pros … and cons:My own home is on the ground floor. But for the last two months, I’ve been living on the top floor. It has literally given me a whole new perspective. Here’s what I’ve discovered from my own experience.
Oct 17, 2011
Before & After: Steph’s Customized Roller Blind
We just love simple solutions to customize everyday items. In this case, the item in question is a simple roller blind. Take a look at how Steph dressed up the blind after the jump…Steph, from BirdHouse, painted this tree silhouette on the IKEA Enje roller blind in her bathroom. This is a fun way to create a one-of-a-kind window treatment. If you like the project but think you lack the artist’s touch, you could also stencil a pattern onto a roller blind.
Oct 10, 2011
How to Hang a Doorway Jumper from a Floor Joist
Among the truckload of hand-me-down baby gear we received was an E and I Bungee Baby Bouncer. It has a huge pincer on top to latch securely over most standard door frames. Therein lies the problem. Nothing in my DIY house is standard and the pincers do not open wide enough to fit around my custom door trim.
Oct 5, 2011
5 Completely Free Ways to Make Your House a Home
We’ve talked time and time again about all the little things you can do to make a house feel like a home. You can have warm enveloping lighting, plants for fresh air and fun additions of color, collections and artwork, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how to make your home feel like a refuge; it doesn’t have a single thing to do with your decor or the design of your space and nothing costs a dime – it’s all totally, 100% free… 1.
Sep 13, 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
The Easy Way to Remove a Stuck Light Bulb (with Tape)
Old apartments come with a lot of character. They also sometimes come with really old fixtures, the kind of fixtures that are caked with centuries of wear and tear. Those kinds of fixtures don’t like to let go of light bulbs too easily. Luckily, you have this tip in your back pocket.Don’t let a stuck bulb be a bigger problem than it has to be. Before you go bonkers trying to loosen that dead bulb (and inevitably break it* in the process—natch!
Aug 12, 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: 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
Summer Blockbuster: Building A Backyard Movie Theatre
Summer is finally here and it’s time to rally up friends, head outside, and enjoy every last minute of it. What better way to relish a perfect warm weathered evening than to gather some comfy chairs and blankets, snacks, and a flick for an impromptu backyard movie night?Now, the quality of this DIY depends on how much effort and money you want to put into it. So here’s what you will need to get started.1.
Jun 27, 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: 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
Save Money By Running Appliances/Recharge At Night
Utility companies generally charge higher rates during peak hours, during the day when the load is highest with everyone awake and using their stuff. During off-peak hours at night the rates are quite a bit lower. Here are some tips to take advantages of the lower evening rates to save money on your utility bills!Check out your bill or utility company’s website to find the posted rates for peak and off-peak hours.
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
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
How To Flatten a Curling Cowhide
Craigslist finds are what I live for. And this cowhide was one heck of a bargain. Except that the smaller ends keep curling up and I trip over them. I tried taping them down to the floor, I tried rearranging the cowhide so that the curling bits were under the sofa. Until I found out the easiest way to tame a curling cowhide.What You NeedMaterials:Cowhide2 rags (for absorbing water)pile of heavy booksspray bottlewater Instructions1. Lightly spray the top and underneath of the cowhide with water.
Feb 28, 2011
Before & After: Guest Room Paint Job
This is the tiny guest room at the end of the hallway in my house. It started off as an ugly room with paneling and a paint job that was old and worn. It sorely needed a new coat of paint, and since I didn’t love the room to begin with, I felt brave enough to do something bold:The room is seriously small – it really only fits a full size bed. Remembering that small rooms really can go dark, I took the plunge.
Feb 22, 2011
Wood Epoxy Fixes Around the House
Last month I wrote about how my dog’s New Year’s resolution was to ditch the dog food and start on the ‘woodchip’ diet. After she chewed through all of our windowsills, the AT community was wonderful in helping me figure out the best way to fix it! My husband took a reader’s advice and used wood epoxy, in this case J-B Weld KwikWood Epoxy Putty. See the step-by-step results below. First, he removed any splinters and lightly sanded the damaged and surrounding area.
Feb 17, 2011
Before & After: A Demo-Free Bathroom Renovation
I know there are those among you for whom the classic pink-tiled bathroom is a national treasure worth saving at any cost. And while I admire your commitment to preservation and in theory agree with you, in practice I know better — six years ago I bought a pre-War apartment with two pink tiled bathrooms and that turned out to be two too many for me.
Feb 7, 2011
How to Choose and Place the Perfect Ceiling Fan
If you’ve ever been told that installing a ceiling fan is a great way to keep cooling costs down, you ought to keep that friend close because they’re exactly right. But if you buy the wrong size ceiling fan, or install it too close to the ceiling or walls, you could be counteracting all of the good work your fan should do for you.SizeThe size of a fan probably has the most effect on how well it cools down your room.
Jan 31, 2011
The Best Way to Close Off Any Vent
Remember when we discussed whether or not it’s OK to close off air vents to unused rooms? The answer was that, yeah, it’s OK to do—in moderation. But do you know the most effective way to close off those air vents? Here’s a quick trick that will have your vent sealed up in no time—all you need to do is make a trip to the craft store.Think you need a screwdriver or super-tiny fingers to shut down your extra, extra bedroom for the winter? Nope.
Jan 18, 2011
Repair Cracked China with Milk!
Unless you drop your china and it shatters into a million pieces (which is usually my luck), it probably only suffered a small crack from a fall or mishap. Instead of just waiting for the day it inevitably breaks for good, try giving it a milk bath. Yup, your china is getting a day at the spa!Curious about how it works? The idea is simple. You place your cracked piece in a pot and cover it with two cups of milk (or more if needed). Next, heat over low for an hour.
Jan 10, 2011
How To Turn Old Paperbacks into Custom Hardbacks
(Welcome to New York Times readers! We’re republishing this project described in “Expanding the Creative Horizons of Your Printer” by Sonia Zjawinski – enjoy!) We love to integrate books into our decor, but does your child have favorite books that aren’t quite in display condition? Beat up paperbacks can easily be turned into custom hardbacks with some scrap cardboard, fabric, a gluestick, and an inkjet printer.
Sep 24, 2010