Home Projects | Easy DIY Projects, Before & After Home Makeovers, and Plants & Gardening How Tos
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Living Room Layout Challenge, Revisited: A Before & After Based On Your Advice
One of the best things about Apartment Therapy is the community of real voices weighing in on real-life design dilemmas and challenges. No matter how (relatively) easy it is for me to dish out advice to others about interior decorating and layout, I find I can get stuck in a decorating rut when it comes to some of my own spaces.Sometimes, all it takes is getting fresh, new perspectives on a room to overcome design challenges, especially when it comes to layout and furniture placement dilemmas.
Aug 15, 2012
Before & After: Origami Lack Hack
I love the blank slate presented by Ikea’s Lack table — one simple design, endless possibilities. And I particularly love this creative hack from blogger Naomi Stein of Design Manifest, which reminded me of my childhood love for origami.That’s right — origami. Naomi took paper — specifically, some grasscloth wallpaper left over from another project — and used it to cover her Lack table and completely change its look.
Aug 13, 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: Stripping Paint to Reveal a Walnut Dresser
Stripping paint often proves time-consuming, frustrating, and sometimes even dangerous — but just as often, it’s worth the effort! This dresser (seen here without its drawers) was found with layers of paint — a thick coat of white being the most recent.The Crafty Canadian (from Crafty in Canada) did some research on the manufacturer and made an educated guess that underneath the layers of paint there would be beautiful solid walnut.
Aug 7, 2012
Before & After: A Shed Goes from Farmhouse to Modern
David needed to replace his rotted out farmhouse shed and wanted to go for a more modern look. Instead of shelling out the big bucks for a readymade modern shed, he took a stab at building one of his own for a quarter of the price. I have to say I am in awe of his results.For $3000, David demoed, hauled and started building from the ground up. It only took him a few days and some hard work.
Aug 3, 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
Before & After: A Tin-Foiled Nightstand
Silver metallic furniture pieces have been on the scene for a while now and don’t seem to be heading out anytime soon. Mandi wanted to try her hand at creating one without a trusty silver spray can in hand but using a common kitchen goods instead. See what she pulled off after the jump…At first I was skeptical, but by the end of her tutorial I was thoroughly impressed. She didn’t just glue on some tin foil and call it a day (which probably wouldn’t do the trick).
Jul 6, 2012
Before & After: Old-School Desk Gets a Makeover
Holly readily admits that organization isn’t her strong point, so she certainly sympathized with her client’s desire to find a “mommy desk” to help her get organized as her eldest started kindergarten. Holly found this vintage teacher’s desk, solidly built though marked by years of doodling and dings. With strong bones but in desperate need of a refinish, this desk was the perfect candidate for a makeover.
Jul 6, 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: Lucite Bathroom Stool
Most bathrooms are small, wet places, so choosing appropriate furniture is often a challenge. Learn from Jenny, who took a flea market lucite stool and fixed it up to work in her bathroom.Jenny from Little Green Notebook spotted this scratched up stool at a flea market and decided to use it as a seat for when she’s bathing her kids.For wet or messy locales, laminated fabric is a great alternative.
May 31, 2012
How To Make a Book Cover Disguise For Your Wireless Router
My philosophy about technology in the home is akin to a strict private school headmaster’s opinion about children: technology should neither be seen nor heard until required/requested. Even though Apple’s Airport router is fairly benign aesthetically, I prefer to keep the wireless router tucked inside a floating shelf, next to other blinking light culprits like the cable modem and home security system, a trio of otherwise mismatched clutter if left out all together.
May 29, 2012
Before & After: Upgrading a Builder’s Grade Kitchen
When Kalie and Travis moved into their house a year ago, they knew they had a lot of things to change to make it feel like home. Thrilled to finally have an outlet for their passion for decorating, they have been gradually implementing their big plans in their self-defined little house.They changed out the light wood floors for dark, and installed new custom cabinets built by a friend.
May 23, 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: From IKEA Basic to a Vintage-Look Card Catalog
Vintage card catalogs can be found for a pretty penny, but Kristen from The Painted Hive devised an amazing, inexpensive DIY using — you guessed it — an IKEA product.Kristine wanted an old card catalog, but didn’t want to fork over the large amount of cash that they often sell for. So she got creative, and used IKEA’s MOPPE mini chest of drawers (which replaced the ‘FIRA‘ and for some reason can only currently be found at the UK site).
May 4, 2012
8 Ways to Turn Your Tablet Into a Bedside Clock
When we travel we use our iPad as the bedside clock. It’s large, and thanks to the Internet it always has the correct time. Of course there are an astounding array of apps out there to transform your tablet into a bedside clock, so we’ve curated the best of them in this week’s handy dandy tablet app feature.
Apr 27, 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: Drab Basement to Airy Playroom
There’s a reason basements often become cluttered dumping grounds, they’re usually dark, uninviting and an excuse to hide your mess away. If you have an underused or unappealing basement, take some cues from designer Frances Herrera who transformed this one into a bright, welcoming playroom.What was your goal for this space – what did your clients ask for?My clients needed an inspiring place for their 5-year-old daughter to play, craft, and entertain her friends.
Apr 20, 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
How To Make a Toy Grill for $20
After being blown away by so many stunning DIY play kitchens, we’ve decided to take the cooking outdoors for summertime. This toy grill can be knocked out in a day for a grand total of under $20 (even less if you already have a plastic mixing bowl on hand). It’s easy! You only need to know how to cut a dowel with a handsaw and drill a hole. And if you’ve never tried before, now is the perfect time!
Apr 13, 2012
How To Make a DIY Drum Shade
For this DIY, Isabelle LaRue of Engineer Your Space explains how to make a custom shade to spiff up a less-than-exciting ceiling fixture. Renting doesn’t mean you have to live with boring ceiling light fixtures. Instead, you can camouflage them with a DIY drum shade! Find more of Isabelle’s DIYs for renters at her website, Engineer Your Space.
Apr 12, 2012
Before & After: Ottoman Transformation
When I saw the photo of this ottoman, I had to look twice because it’s just like one I picked up at the local thrift store several months ago! Just like the one above, mine isn’t in terrible shape, but the upholstery is certainly outdated and could do with a bit of sprucing up.Jill Browning is certainly more proactive than I am and she did just that, gave her ottoman a fabulous makeover. And where, pray tell, do you think she got that lovely fabric from?
Apr 12, 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
Before & After: Roadside Dresser Transformed for Teen Boy
When Ms. Bliss found this lemon yellow dresser by the side of the road, she was certain it still had some life left in it. She was already working on redoing her 13-year-old son’s bedroom, and knew the added storage would be a great addition to that space. With only minimal damage to be fixed, this dresser was an excellent candidate for a more masculine makeover.Ms.
Apr 6, 2012
Before & After: Plain Curtains Gone Girly
There was nothing wrong with the plain silk curtains in Maegan’s ultra-feminine home office (which we profiled as a Tech Tour last year). But, when she spotted the luxe tassled curtains in Carrie’s apartment while watching old episodes of Sex and the City, she knew she could recreate the look for less.All it took was a few yards of elegant black tassel trim — as well as a few hours of patient pinning and hand-stitching — to really upgrade this window treatment.
Apr 5, 2012
Easy DIY Outdoor Rug
This month we’ve been focusing on how to make your outdoor space look and function best for your family. If you’re in need of a super cheap outdoor rug fix, we’ve got a solution for you. This bright and cheery burlap rug is easy to make and cost us less than $15!Materials: • burlap • acrylic paint• painters tape or stencils• clear acrylic caulk Instructions:Step 1: Spread out your burlap (fabric.
Apr 5, 2012
Before & After: Bright Craft Room Redux
From all-purpose craft room/storage room to spectacularly organized and inspiring workspace, this craft room makeover is enough to make the best of us a little envious.I love the industrial touches with the work stool, table legs and chains that hold up the shelving. It doesn’t go over the top and retains a refined edge.The makeover was done by Real Simple so of course they focused not just on the aesthetics, but functionality and organization.
Apr 5, 2012
Before & After: Restoring a Childhood Wood Bed
Maury (Mars for short) is slowly but surely redoing her guest room to make it an inviting place for friends and family to visit. Since she is working with a budget, she is reusing furniture from her childhood- furniture she loves but that looks well-loved in return. Using some familiar products, Mars managed to transform the look of her childhood bed for this new adult space.Oh the joy and wonder that is Howard Restor-a-Finish and Feed-n-Wax!
Apr 4, 2012
Before & After: A Fire Station Playset
Most people would consider this playset good to go, as is. It’s big, in great shape, and loaded with features. Clear a space, secure that puppy to the ground and let the kids get crazy. But some folks are not satisfied with good to go — they envision great to go. And then they make it happen.Whee-ooo whee-ooo, call the fire department because this project is blazing with awesomeness. Michell from Girl in Air scored this play set used for a fraction of what it would cost new.
Apr 4, 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: IKEA Circus Tent
Crystal loved the price and concept of IKEA’s CIRKUSTÄLT play tent, but she wasn’t a fan of the loud primary colors especially to use in her daughter’s softer-hued bedroom. She picked out fabric she did like and got busy with her sewing machine…Voila! She used the same “bones” of the tent, but completely new fabric that is more her style.
Mar 26, 2012
Before & After: An Elegant Bedroom Redo
When the folks at Fixing It Fancy bought their home in Hudson, Wisconsin, they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them. They powered through the wood-paneled home room-by-room. Here’s a look at what they dreamed up in their bedroom… They began with tearing down the wood paneled walls. They decided on keeping the panel on the ceiling and painting it white, which really gave a nice, open and airy quality to a once claustrophobic room.
Mar 23, 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
Before & After: A 24-Hour Boy to Girl Bedroom Makeover
Many of the ‘Befores’ of our Before and After posts are hopeless spaces where any bit of attention would be a marked improvement. But sometimes the room itself is fine and it is the needs of the occupant that dictate the change. In this case, a little sister was moving into her big brother’s room. To make things interesting, the makeover was a birthday surprise and had to be completed in just one day. The suspense is killing me!Voila!
Mar 22, 2012
Before & After: Drab Dresser Makeover
When David found this drab little dresser, he immediately had a vision of a kid-friendly makeover involving chalkboard paint. That plan lasted right up until he had a conversation with his sister, a mom of three who was not a fan of the idea of chalk dust anywhere near her kids clean clothes. David immediately switched gears and came up with a wonderful backup plan involving vintage graphics he found online.
Mar 22, 2012
Before & After: IKEA Changing Table Into Home Office Desk
Like many of us, Weiya was searching for an affordable solution for her storage woes, searching for a piece which could work as a landing strip for her personal belongings (keys, diaper bag, etc), while also provide additional storage underneath, and surface area for her laptop.
Mar 20, 2012
Before & After: Rescuing a Damaged Veneer Table
Katie picked up this bruised and battered table from her favorite thrift store for the unbelievable price of $16.91. Despite the peeling veneer and the damaged finish, Katie knew this table was solidly built and had a lot of life left in it.With no way to fix the damaged veneer on the edge, Katie was forced to remove it using a damp cloth and a hot iron. She then used lacquer remover and sanding to take off the finish and the gold foil design on the top.
Mar 16, 2012
Before & After: Handsome Navy Nightstands
Jonathan Lo, who is no stranger to DIY, interior design, and making things beautiful, is at it again with these painted nightstands. As an addition to his handmade (of course) headboard, he wanted a sleek pair of end tables to contrast the weathered look of the bed. I think he achieved his goal…This crisp and classic navy blue adds such a handsome appeal to these nightstands. Often folks will cringe at the thought of painting any wood, whatsoever.
Mar 14, 2012
Before & After: Same Stuff, New Look
Think you need to spend a lot on new furniture to give your space a total overhaul? Think again. This compact kitchen office gets a 180° makeover from the pros at Martha Stewart using a new color and a few inexpensive additions — a task chair, acrylic desk organizers and a rolling window blind (really!).
Mar 13, 2012
Before & After: Updating Lucite Tables
As you can see from the photos, these lovely lucite tables were already a wonderful component of this fun turquoise living room. Of course, sometimes we tire of even lovely tables after looking at them day after day without change. Thankfully, there is an easy and inexpensive way to update these tables without making any permanent alterations.Blogger Meeha Meeha spent only 12 euros on hot pink adhesive film to transform her tables for to help fight the winter blues.
Mar 9, 2012
Before & After: Leg-o-matic Chairs Rehab
Another great project from one of my favorite DIYers, her projects are always creative and impressively well-executed. She doesn’t disappoint with her latest project, refurbishing vintage Leg-o-matic chairs. Had you ever heard of these chairs before? I hadn’t but totally want some now! See her amazing results after the jump.The craftswoman is Janine from Salvage Love. She found these 1962 vintage Leg-o-matic chairs at a local thrift store and was smart enough to snap them up.
Mar 8, 2012
Before & After: An Art Gallery’s Picture-Perfect Basement Renovation
Just off of Washington Square Park in Philadelphia, there’s a small art gallery called the Bridgette Mayer Gallery. A champion of innovative contemporary art, owner Bridgette Mayer exhibits international artists from around the world. She also just finished an amazing year-long renovation of her gallery. With it, the exhibit space has more than doubled in size. However, it’s the basement (or Level A, as Bridgette calls it) remodel that really struck me.
Mar 2, 2012
Before & After: Cast Away Card Catalog Turned into a Marvelous Media Stand
I’ve happened upon several card catalogs at auctions in the past, but truth be told, I could never figure out what to do with them. They’re a little small for CDs and a little low to the ground to do much good, but this family in Portland had grander visions than I.This library card catalog has come a long way with a few simple add ons and is now a practical piece for any home.
Mar 1, 2012
Restoring a Solid Wood Desk
Rhonda has the kind of friends we all need — friends who give away beautiful solid wood desks on Facebook. Desks like the one above that have strong bones despite the visible wear and tear caused by years of hard use. Rhonda and her husband knew this desk would shine up to a become a showpiece in their home, and boy were they right!Rhonda’s husband took charge of this project, removing all of the old chipped veneer before sanding the wood smooth.
Feb 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
Before & After: Empty Corner to Comfy Back Porch Seating
Courtney and her husband are lucky enough to have a wonderful outdoor deck, but weren’t sure how to best use this odd empty corner. Inspiration struck and they decided to construct an outdoor day bed to provide some much needed lounging space for a party or a quiet afternoon. Using a combination of new and reclaimed wood, they built a custom seating area to fill up that empty corner.
Feb 24, 2012
Before & After: Restoring a Craigslist Dresser
Back when she moved into her new condo, Michelle decided the time had come to replace the IKEA dresser in her bedroom, a dresser purchased back when she was in middle school! After scouring Craiglist and thrift stores for months, she finally found the perfect piece for her new home, and picked it up for only $50 delivered.
Feb 17, 2012
Before & After: Family Room from Dark to Light
Wood panelling doesn’t always do great favors for a space and this room is an example of that. With heavy furniture this room was a dark and oppressive space, but with some brighter furnishings and white paint the room is completely transformed.The wood panelling really brought down the mood of this room, but I do love the look of panelling on ceilings, so we kept that and painted it out white.
Feb 15, 2012
Before & After: Thrift Store Dresser Gets a Coastal Makeover
When Tammy picked up this dresser, it was already painted a soft blue and the drawer fronts were already sanded down to the bare wood- clearly this was someone’s unfinished DIY project. Never one to back down from a challenge, Tammy immediately had a vision of a coastal vibe dresser honoring her family’s annual summer trip to the beaches of North Carolina.Tammy left the blue paint on the frame of the dresser, but sanded down the top to match the bare drawer fronts.
Feb 11, 2012
Before & After: Sophisticated Master Bedroom Makeover
This master bedroom needed a modern update and some TLC in order to transform it from drab 1980’s tract style into a sleek and sophisticated sanctuary.When you live in a home for awhile, it is easy to get used to certain architectural elements that may not be helping a space out. This space had a large soffit surrounding the room that seemed to enclose it in a negative way.
Feb 8, 2012
Before & After: Cabinet Goes from Sleepy to Uniquely Stylish
This snores-ville cabinet could definitely use a slap of paint to liven it up a bit. There is no question about that. But to give it even more personality, more pizzazz, what can you do?We’re reminded once again at the power of adding the right hardware; look at what a pair of mismatched, unexpected knobs does for this piece.Want to customize your cabinet in similar fashion? The brass finish Secret Key Handle from Anthropologie is available for just $4.95.And those lovely numbered knobs?
Feb 7, 2012
Before & After: Simple Shelves Become a Stylish Cabinet
Most of us have a set of shelves that are decidedly more functional than they are fashionable. This shabby set survived the move into our new house and managed to look even shabbier sitting on our brand new tile floor and adjacent to a freshly painted wall. It only took me three years but it finally got a makeover more befitting its new station in life.The epiphany came as I was sketching plans for a cabinet and realized that, duh, a cabinet is basically a set of shelves with a back and a door!
Feb 6, 2012
Before & After: Thrifted Chair Goes Gold
As Brittany herself says, this story began (as so many here do) with a trip to the thrift store. Celebrating the sale of an old white coffee table, Brittany was delighted to find this sticky, smelly, and admittedly in need of repair chair for the bargain price of only $5. With a little elbow grease and gold leaf, Brittany created a marvelous addition for her home.After removing the seat, Brittany sanded the whole chair with 400-grit sandpaper, then wiped it down to remove any dust.
Feb 3, 2012
Before & After: Old Trunk to Out of the Ordinary Filing Cabinet
In the past I’ve tried several times to turn an old trunk or camp box into a filing system. Sure they work and I had things inside to keep all my papers and accessories organized, but I was missing out on some serious structure that makes it all truly come together. Check out this great before and after that makes this thrifted object into a serious piece of office organization.
Feb 3, 2012
Lizzie’s Wallpapered IKEA Lack Table
With a $20 price tag and simple design, the Lack table from IKEA is just screaming for customization. Ssshh … listen carefully. Can you hear it? Please, dear DIY diva, take me from a cookie cutter cheap-o table to a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture! Lucky for you, little table, Lizzie heard your pleas. Oh, humble IKEA Lack coffee table. How we do love to see what clever DIYers can do to enhance your simple little design.
Jan 27, 2012
A Bright Kids Bathroom Refresh
Bathrooms are something of a catch-22 when it comes to remodeling. On one hand, unless it is one solely intended for guests, not many people see it besides you and your family. But on the other hand, since it tends to be the room where contemplation occurs most naturally, thoughts often drift to how much better it could look with a bit of work.
Jan 25, 2012
Before & After: Entertainment Center Turned French Play Kitchen
When Ann Marie decided to take on a project for her son’s school auction, she was lucky to find this old entertainment system for free on Craigslist. After some hard work and for only a $15 investment in supplies, she transformed this unwanted piece into a showstopping French kitchen that any child would love.
Jan 25, 2012
Before & After: IKEA Trondheim Madeover With O’verlays
It’s a rare home that doesn’t have a little IKEA in it. Hacking IKEA furniture has become a sport for design-loving nuts such as ourselves. There’s no shortage of creativity and ingenuity but we also like to see the simple hacks that give a lot of bang for the buck. If you haven’t yet heard of O’verlays, jump below and take a look at what they can do.
Jan 17, 2012
Before & After: $60 Galley Kitchen Transformation
Dana and her boyfriend Ryan love their beach getaway at Cape May, but nothing could make them love its outdated galley kitchen. From the mixed wood tones to the plastic backsplash, this 1980s kitchen was not the rustic coastal kitchen they knew their vacation home deserved. Despite the tiny budget, they managed to make big changes that capture the relaxed attitude every beach home should exude.
Jan 9, 2012
Before &amp After: DIY Dining Table Rehab
Though this thrift store dining table was missing a leaf and had obviously seen some hard use in the past, the classic lines and solid wood construction were just crying out for a little TLC to become a showpiece in someone’s home. Priced at only $15, this table was a steal despite the problems with the fininsh on the tabletop. Though this makeover does involve some paint, the wood purists among you should also be happy with the final result.
Jan 4, 2012
Before & After: Vintage Radio Cabinet Becomes the Star of the Party
Sherry and her husband lucked out when they stumbled upon this vintage 1930s radio in a store that was closing the very day they dropped in to browse. Though the radio components were beyond salvage, the cabinet was just crying out for some TLC in order to become a showpiece in their home.Sherry’s husband devoted hours of time and lots of elbow grease as he sanded, glued, clamped, and stained this piece to restore the finish to its original glory.
Dec 16, 2011
Before & After: Contemporary Bathroom Remodel
I met architect Branka Knezevic at the AIA home tours a while back. When she was contracted to remodel an outdated bathroom in a ranch home, she promised me a big reveal with before and after photos. For the last few weeks she has strung me along with “the bathroom is almost finished.” Now, it is finally finished and the result was definitely worth the wait! The owner of the home wanted a bathroom that had a sleek and modern design.
Dec 16, 2011
Before & After: Making Over Nightstands for Mom and Dad
Allison didn’t have to look very far to find these project pieces- her parents have owned them for over 36 years! Part of the bedroom set her parents got for their wedding, these nightstands lived in Allison’s childhood home before making a move to her parents’ cabin 10 years ago. When the cabin sold, these pieces came to Allison to work some makeover magic.Solidly built pieces by Lane, these nightstands are dark and heavy; Allison herself calls them “ominous”.
Dec 14, 2011
Before & After: A Fresh Look for an Old Office Chair
This $3 Goodwill score didn’t beckon to me with its good looks — the beige body and stained corporate-blue upholstery weren’t exactly stylish — but it felt really sturdy and comfortable when I tested it at the store. It wasn’t much uglier than the chair I was already using in my home office, either, and when I flipped it over, I discovered it was made by Steelcase.
Dec 13, 2011