Farm House Fresh

Man, it’s stories like this one from Better After reader Bethany that make me wish I had bought a 136-year-old fixer-upper farm house. Too bad those don’t exist where I live.  The closest I could come is buying  a 25-year-old faller-downer meth house, which is nowhere near as charming.  No thankies.

But she scored big with this beautiful home built in 1878, which switched hands a few times before it ended up being purchased by her grandparents in 1972.  Eventually, it came into Bethany’s possession and she has been bringing it back to life ever since.

Luckily it had been lovingly cared for and only needed a few cosmetic updates, including new lighting and uncovering those original fir floors.  136-year-old floors! Wow, what a treasure.  Bethany, start a blog already, we need to see more!

farmhouse dining room makeover

farmhouse dining room makeover after


farmhouse dining room makeover floors




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Window Shopping

If you ever have the opportunity to knock out a wall and add a window, I say DO IT!  There is never a bad place for a window.  I take that back.  One time I visited a house that had a powder room right off the front door. The toilet faced the front yard, and directly in front of the toilet was a huge window.  Most awkward bathroom ever.

I take that back.  The most awkward bathroom ever was this one bathroom in a restaurant that we used to stop at on our way to my parents house.  It didn’t have a lock on the door.  Not a broken lock.  No lock.  And it was large enough that it simply wasn’t possible to use the facilities while holding the door shut at the same time.  You basically just had to do your business with your hands covering your face, because you were certain to be walked in on at least twice.  I … uh … heard this from a friend.  A friend who also stopped there … on her way to my parents house.  Ok, fine, it was me.

ANYWAY.  This kitchen was screaming out for a window, and once Christine happened upon one with the perfect fit, the rest of the kitchen makeover fell into place.  Do you love the shaker-style doors?  They’re the SAME doors! See all the great details on her blog Simple Moments.


white and oak kitchen before


white kitchen wood countertops |


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Don’t be faint, paint!

Do you hate your kitchen cabinets and want to paint them, but you’re too scared that if you did they might turn out terribly, and then you’d hate them?  Do you see the flaw in your thinking there?  You’d be right back where you started, and only out a few gallons of paint! Big whoop!

BUT chances are, you won’t do a terrible job because you’re pretty brilliant, I happen to know, and they will turn out fabulously, and you will LOVE them! And throw a party just to show them off! And make more friends, because of all these parties you keep having! And probably get a new job with more money thanks to these new friends! Wow, your life just made a turn for the better, all thanks to being a little gutsy and painting your cabinets like you’ve always wanted to.

Here’s some happy inspiration from Jesse at NineRed.


oak kitchen before


white and blue kitchen makeover |


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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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