Fine Tuning Fine Dining

Are you hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year?  Yay! I’ll be there. I’ll bring the mashed potatoes.  What else do you need help with?  Do you have enough silverware? Serving dishes? Do I have to sit at the kid’s table again? But most importantly, what’s the status of your dining set?

If it’s in need of a little attention, fear not. I’ve got some ideas to get your dining room ready to party in no time! (Ok, maybe slightly more than no time. But it’ll be worth it).

Let’s go!

First up, this example from Better After reader Liz, who sent in this stenciled table makeover, explaining that she inherited it from the grandmother of a close friend who she cared for while she was in nursing school.  Her instructions were to do anything she wished with it, as long as she didn’t give it away.

Free to let her creativity fly, she came up with this fearless and fun design:

table makeover before |


stenciled table makeover |

How gorgeous is this set from Christy at Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer?  Such humble thrift-store beginnings, but now it’s magazine worthy! It’s like a that movie where that one guy starts out living in his car and turns out becoming the CEO of a worldwide company. (That’s a movie, right?  Surely that’s a movie).

dining table makeover before |

stained top dining table makeover |

If you want to add some color to your Thanksgiving-scape beyond the cranberry sauce (that’s what it’s for obviously, because no one has ever actually eaten it in the history of Thanksgiving), how about taking the chairs for a little dip? So cute. See more of this fresh look from Laurel at A Bubbly Life.


table makeover before |


white table makeover with dipped chair legs |

And finally, if you love that distressed farmhouse look but don’t have the time to sit around waiting for your set to become distressed, guess what?  Deb has a shortcut for you. See her secret on her blog Lake Girl Paints.  That is so delightful to me for some reason.  “Let’s hurry up and make this thing look old already!” We humans are a funny bunch.

Beautiful job Deb!


farmhouse table before |


farmhouse table makeover |

Do you have a makeover to share?  I would love to see it!  Send your submissions my way at  Happy weekend friend!


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Life and Nails

It should be against the rules of life for your car to break down and everyone in the house to get sick, including the baby, who got sick enough to go to the ER in the space of a few days. Against the rules I say!

Don’t’ you hate when life gets all life-y?

If we are friends on Instagram you might have seen me in the hospital with my baby boy night before last.  He had a raging fever flare up out of nowhere with a wicked cough that left him struggling to breathe, so we hurried him in. Turns out he has a respiratory virus thing, which was scary because of that virus affecting kids on the news, but they got him fixed up, and he’s doing much better today.  In fact, he’s sitting by my feet, trying to eat a stick.  I don’t know where he found a stick inside the house, but the point is, he’s doing good. And I  just wanted to say thanks for the well wishes and concern! We are on the mend!

And here comes some makeover goodness your way, nailhead-style!  First from Jen at Girl in the Garage, who nailed it (hA!) with this cream vanity.

vanity makeover before |


cream nailhead vanity makeover |


And I love, love this vinyl chair transformation from Jenn at With Heart via Create/Enjoy. The pink was cute but unsalvageable, so after a little trial and error, she found the perfect white to show off those lines and nailhead details.  Best part: it has a twin!  Other best part: they were only $8 a piece!


pink vinyl chair makeover before |





white painted vinyl chair makeover after |


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An Insensible Bathroom

Here are some things that look awesome but aren’t sensible: White bedding. High heels. Two-seater sports cars.

I don’t have a two-seater, but I do have white bedding, and once in a while I even break out the high heels. Because the extra effort they require is worth it! Same thing with this fabulous bathroom makeover from Rachel.

Yes, an all glass shower surround is more work to keep clean than the previous frosted glass doors of un-attractiveness. Vessel-style sinks can be a pain. But neither one is as insensible as navigating the bathroom with your eyes closed because you can’t even bear the sight of it, see what I’m saying? I think you do.

See more from Rachel on her blog Chaos in the Condo.


before bathroom |

Black and teal bathroom makeover. |

TIP: The key to keeping those shower doors clean is a squeegee. The hard part is getting anyone else to actually use it.  I’ve even made up a song at my house, entitled “It’s So Easy To Squeegee!” So far it has not been effective.


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Here a little, there a little.

Everybody loves instant gratification, that’s the whole MO of this blog! Before pic, after pic, boom. You just digested an entire kitchen remodel in 15 seconds.

But don’t get fooled or frustrated when your real life projects seem to take three times longer.  (Longer than you originally planned on, I mean.  Three times longer than 15 seconds is 45 seconds.  Good luck giving anything a makeover that quickly.  I can’t even make toast that fast).

Better After reader Joan chose to do her kitchen remodel as time and money permitted, which ended up taking seven years! It’s a game she enjoys, seeing what she can accomplish on a minimal budget without going into debt.  Piece by piece she replaced this outdated kitchen, starting with stripping the fruity wallpaper and repainting, installing new countertops a year later, then new flooring and appliances a few years after that.

It’s definitely a kitchen to be proud of, and so inspiring to see what can be done with a little money and a lot of patience.


outdated kitchen before |

Kitchen makeover on a budget! |


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