Before & after category

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DIY wallpapered trolley

DIY wallpapered trolley - before

I bought this trolley for a steal on Craigslist. You may have seen it here. You can’t tell in the photo, but it’s banged up and rickety from years of use. My friend Peter added some reinforcement to make it sturdy, then I filled in the nicks with wood filler and oiled the squeaky wheels with WD-40. Finally, I made cosmetic changes—using paint and wallpaper left over from Sunset’s Menlo Park Idea House. Thanks, Sarah! Read more »

Fabric covered dining chairs - after

Fabric covered dining chairs - before

I found these chairs curbside with a “free” sign taped to them. They have a nice shape but suffer from two problems: a shoddy paint job and cracked seats. I knew I could fix both issues. I wasn’t settled on the how part until I saw what Melissa did to her tables at ikea hacker. Perfect solution for these two chairs. The fabric serves as decoration and camouflage. Read more »

Original theme - Almost Spring

I’m pleased to unveil my new blog design. The whole process started a year ago when I picked the name, designed the logo, and leased hosting space. After giving up my search for the perfect WordPress theme, I made do with Almost Spring theme—until now. This design is a hybrid of Almost Spring and Dilectio—an opportune find because the swirls matched my logo. Score!

After many hours spent editing the code and reading online tutorials, I’m finally done. The goal from the beginning was to sell advertising to support my crafting habit. My hope is that the ads will contribute to the overall look and experience. Please let me know what you think. Note: I’m still trying to fix a couple bugs in Internet Exploder, I mean Explorer. Please use Firefox instead.

Ornate sconces - after

Ornate sconces - before

I admit these thrift-store plastic sconces look pretty good in the before photo. But trust me, they looked dated and icky on the wall. Plus they’re broken. Luckily the pieces were broken off symmetrically, so you can’t tell after a fresh coat of paint is applied. I’m tickled that the mirror and sconces look like they were MFEO. I love serendipitous finds like that. Read more »

DIY tissue box cover

DIY tissue box cover - before

I’m fed up with ugly tissue boxes. Even the semi-cool ones never match my decor. I used to buy the white tissue boxes from Target, but they discontinued them. So I took matters into my own hands. I found this wooden tissue box cover at a thrift store for a couple bucks. After removing the peeling decoupage and adding embellishments of my own, it’s transformed from eyesore to mod statement. Read more »

Salvaged window mirror - after

Salvaged window mirror - before

I saw this window frame at a salvage yard and coveted it for a few months before finally buying it. Instead of the opaque Plexiglass it came with, I inserted mirrors. I love mirrors because they can make a small space feel airy and bright. This one offers an added bonus: the illusion of an additional window. I planned to paint the frame, but decided that I like the natural, rustic look of it. Plus, it matches the wooden doors in my apartment. Read more »

Bedroom closet - beforeBedroom closet - after

Closet cleaning isn’t a flashy subject, but I can’t help it: I’m in full organization mode. I blame the new year. I simplified this closet by chucking old clothes and sticking with just one type of hanger (padded hangers and skirt hangers are on the left side).

Shoebox shelf unit

The solution to the shoe mess: plastic shoe boxes from The Container Store. Plastic shoe boxes are also available at and I built a simple shelf unit for them out of plywood that I got on Freecycle. Rick at The Barn Woodshop was kind enough to cut the wood. Once the pieces were cut, assembly was a cinch. Read more »

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