Let the sunshine in.

Wowza! I asked and you delivered! I now have a huge batch of ugly lamp submissions to sort through. I have my pepto-bismal on hand and I can hardly wait!

If you haven’t heard back from me, don’t fret.  I just returned late last night from an out-of-state funeral and haven’t had much time to answer emails.  In fact, if you’ve emailed me at all this summer, there’s a good chance I haven’t gotten back to you, but I fully intend to! Remember how summertime chews me up and spits me out into a sweaty ball of frenzied failure? You too? Just me? Cool.

Anyway, I am still accepting ugly lamp submissions until August 21, so send ’em on in. More details here.

And now, please welcome Debbie and her charming bedroom makeover. Before, this room was super nice. Hardwood floors, tons of natural light. It seems to me that this is a space off of the bedroom, probably meant to be a sitting area or somesuch. If this space was in my bedroom, I would have kept it exactly the same and used it for twirling.

Turret Master Bedroom Before


Turret Master Bedroom

But in a bold move, Debbie made it the center of the bedroom instead! Fantastic. Can you imagine waking up every morning surrounded by sunbeams? That would probably start your day off right every time.  See more on her page  Refresh by Debbie

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Craig-ers can’t be choosers.

Susan was excited when she was alerted to this free dresser. Then she visited it in person and had major second thoughts. However, as the laws of Craigslist demand, once you visit an item in person, you are obligated to take it. (This is of course, not true. But I know I can’t be the only person who feels that way.)

She knew there were hours and hours ahead of her to repair it and make it usable again, but, like that bad boy that your mom didn’t want you to date in high school, it had such rugged beauty and charm that she couldn’t resist.


Blue Chest with Stained Top Before

Blue Chest with Stained Top Makeover

She tamed it with milk paint and stain and a shiny new set of cup pulls, and it’s gorgeous! She says the paint gave it a look of ‘washed denim,’ which looks like a perfect description to me. See it on Susan’s blog Saw Nail and Paint.


What’s that you say? You want another rugged makeover featuring that lovely juxtaposition of blue paint and with dark stain and this time you’d like it to include chicken wire and coffee sacks? Wow, you’re rather picky, but ok!

Better After reader Krista recently shared this project, another Craigslist find that needed some love.

She says “Once I sanded it down, I discovered the cool side panels with the diamond design that I couldn’t bear to cover up with paint.  I also ran into a huge problem with the doors on the bottom.  The veneer was severely damaged and not worth repairing in my opinion.  I wanted to do something different and took a chance on creating tufted panels using an old coffee bean sack as new covers for the doors.  I think it gives the cabinet a fun and funky look!”


Aqua Cabinet with Tufted Panels Before


Aqua Cabinet with Coffee Sack Panels

I LOVE how she uncovered that design on the side panels! And how fun are the coffee-sack upholstered doors? I think that’s a Better After first! Thanks for sharing Krista!



Psst! The Ugly Lamp Contest is coming!

Submit your ugly lamp pictures and join in the fun!

Send your original picture to betterafter(at)live.com, subject line UGLY LAMP before August 21st.

More details here!

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Wicker Upper

Guys, I’m a little worried.  The submissions for the Ugly Lamp Contest are not many. Have we already unearthed the ugliest lamps in all the land and have nothing left to give? Have we pillaged the ugly lamp landscape, leaving it desolate in our wake?

No! No, I say! There is still much ugly to be had.  Dig deep comrades. Keep a sharp eye out at your thrift stores. Troll your neighborhood yardsales. Sneak a pic in your great aunt Hilda’s living room. Get those submissions in! Your country needs you. (More details here.)

And now, here is Angie at Knick of Time with proof that ugly still exists in the world. Or should I say, existED. There was not much to love about this wicker sofa, but Angie was up for a challenge and came by it so inexpensively she figured she had nothing to lose.

Grain Sack Wicker Sofa Before

Grain Sack Wicker Sofa


She sewed new grain-sack-covered cushions and hid the broken wicker with a little slip-cover skirt action.  And white paint, which fixes almost any and all eyesores.  I put it on my zits every morning. Just kidding don’t do that. Or maybe …

grainsack sofa up close

A little upclose action on the details. So sweet!

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Brick by Brick

Hi-YAAAA!  <– That sound you hear is me karate-chopping my way through Monday. HaHA! Take that Monday! I am feeling fine and in control of my life today, because I managed to wake up early – hours before everyone else in fact – and I Got. Stuff. Done.

Mostly just some laundry, but it feels good.  I also took some vitamins and had breakfast and ordered things on Amazon and learned how to make these symbols on the keyboard: ¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠. So yeah, it’s pretty much already a great day.

¡I hope your day is great too!

Here is some makeover goodness to start you out right.

Kelsey at The Peacock Roost was not in love with her living room when she first bought her house. The paint color was eh, the trim was dark, the fireplace was not attractive, the shelves were wimpy, and the brick was too brick-y.

Blue Living Room with Whitewashed Brick Fireplace Before

Blue Living Room with Whitewashed Brick Fireplace

“Too Brick-y” is a real thing that affects millions of Americans.  Fortunately, it can be remedied as Kelsey has proven here, with a light white-washing that keeps the integrity of the bricks while toning down their aggressive color.

She also bulked up the built-in storage and lightened the paint colors. Cute furniture and accessories never hurt either. Looks amazing times infinity Kelsey! ∞




Psst! The Ugly Lamp Contest is coming! 

Submit your ugly lamp pictures and join in the fun!

Send your original picture to betterafter(at)live.com, subject line UGLY LAMP before August 21st.

More details here!

Subscribe Contact Pinterest Twitter Instagram Facebook
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