Tuesdays With Dorie

Your eyeballs are in for a treat today.  If your chair has a seat belt, now would be a good time to buckle it.

Ok, so Dorie is a bit of a local legend here in Phoenix.  (Even though she just moved to California, boo!) She’s one of those people that just has the knack for creating a beautiful home and making it look effortless. I featured her historic home makeover in the past, but it doesn’t stop there.

Apparently this effortless style gene is genetic, and she’s passed it on to her daughter Rio who also began restoring historic homes under the name Project Beautify.  Here is their latest, and it’s ridiculous. It makes me want to punch my own house in the face.

Let’s start with the kitchen.  I’m sorry if it makes you want to punch your own kitchen in the face, but I understand.

oak - kitchen - before

Dorie's - Kitchen - Makeover | betterafter.net


Gadzooks. It’s … so stunning.  Is that a fireplace in the middle of the kitchen?  Let’s swing around the corner and see …


living room - fireplace - before

Dorie's - White- Living Room - Makeover | betterafter.net

Yes, a three-sided fireplace.  If I could insert the cat-making-the-Home-Alone-face emoticon right here, I would. I’m swooning, I’m literally swooning.  Good thing I buckled my chair belt.

Let’s take a look outside.  It used to be a one-way trip to Snoozeville. But now …


dories - house - before

Dorie's - Exterior - House - Makeover | betterafter.net

Charm! Color! Style! Flowers! I love the new walkway up to that adorable door. I love it all. It’s so darn inviting.  Why yes, I WILL come in and stay awhile, don’tmindifIdo.

Lots more to see at Tuesdays with Dorie.

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Ranch House Redos

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Americans! Don’t worry if you are stuffed to the gills and barely squeezing into your stretchy pants. There’s always room for eye candy!

Enjoy these delicious DIY delacies by Melanie at Ranch House Rehab. And when I say DIY, I mean it. This girl can do it ALL. She’s not afraid to tackle anything from landscaping to plumbing to roofing to flooring. She’s my DIY idol.  Her kitchen is gorgeous, and looks like the perfect place to prepare a Thanksgiving feast.


red and oak kitchen before

White - Farmhouse - Kitchen - Makeover | betterafter.net

Her dining room is equally fab, the only thing it’s missing is me, sitting at the table, inviting myself over to dinner.

tan dining room before


White - Farmhouse - Dining Room - Makeover | betterafter.net

Funnily enough, Melanie and I both live in the valley, and have lots of mutual friends, and are online pals, but we’ve never met in real life, and I’ve never actually seen her beautiful house in person. Such a shame.  We should remedy that.  I’ll start by inviting myself over to dinner.

yellow living room before


 Farmhouse - Living Room - Makeover | betterafter.net

Melanie has been hard at work on the exterior of her home as well, and it’s come SO FAR! Head on over to her blog Ranch House Rehab to read more about what possessed her to buy this house in the first place and see all the incredible progress she’s made.


ranch house rehab exterior makeover

ranch house rehab exterior makeover after

Hope you are having a super happy Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for more holiday blog reading, why not take a tour through the Better After archives? :)

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Stage Manager

Trying to sell a home?  Here’s one tip … probably your listing pictures should NOT include Christmas decor.  That just screams “This house has been sitting on the market for MONTHS!

Here’s another tip: Don’t underestimate the powerful power of staging.  It’s so powerful, it should be one of the elements.  They should have named the group Earth, Wind, and Fire and Staging.

You could hire an expert, like the staging-guru Robin at Madison Modern Home, who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to really set the scene.  I love how she updated this fireplace, makes a world of difference here.


glass wall - white living room before


modern living room - gray brick - makeover |betterafter.net

This dining area also benefited from her expertise. Notice how the large-scale table and chairs makes you think the room is much more spacious than the crowded little set before did? I like how she even pulled the chairs away from the table, emphasizing all that spaaaaaace. Heck, you could have a barn dance in here if you wanted to now.

plain dining room before


modern dining room - sleek- makeover |betterafter.net

But if hiring a pro isn’t in the cards for you, don’t fret.  There are lots of steps you can take to make your home staged to sell.  Clear the clutter and personal belongings, define each space clearly, use furniture and accessories to enhance your home’s best qualities and distract from its worst, and you’re already on your way!

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A vision of living room luv.

Hey gang!

I’m pretty much back to normal, hooray!  About 90% there.  Not seeing perfectly yet, but at least the pain is gone.

HOLY COW, THE PAIN. Thank you so much for all your kind comments and emails checking on me and wishing me a speedy recovery. It really means so much.  Big thanks especially to the commiserators who have gone through PRK too, and reassured me that there is indeed an end to the terrible pain and sensitivity and blurriness and pain.

My doctor really didn’t prepare me for it at all, and I was certain I had destroyed my eyes permanently and my new normal would be stumbling around my darkened house wailing and cursing. There was one instance where my protective contact lens shifted while I was alone, and I couldn’t get it back in place, and it exposed my eye for one horrible horrible hour. I surprised even myself with the guttural howling I was capable of. It was seriously pleading-with-God type pain.

Anyway. Whew.  Glad that’s over.  Can’t wait to join the ranks of everyone else who insists that corrective eye surgery was the best decision of their lives.

And now, let’s get to a makeover why don’t we?

If your home could use an update from that wannabe-yellowish-beige color that was so common a few years ago (ask me how I know, I spent three years with walls the color of urine) (but hey, if you still like it, don’t let me stop you, you go on with your warmy-beige-loving self!)

But if you’re so over it, check out this lightened brightened living room from Alicia at Thrifty and Chic.  Maybe it’s just my tired eyeballs talking, but I find the monochromatic palette so very soothing.


big living room before

White - Bright - Living Room - Makeover |betterafter.net

PS: We finally have a Slipcovers With Shelley Giveaway!  Congrats Rhonda Anthony!  Please check your email.

Don’t forget, Better After readers get an EXCLUSIVE 30% discount on all Shelley’s products, from her DVDs to her ebooks, including the new Styling Cents, so hop on over there and take advantage of that deal.

Use code BETTERAFTER at checkout.

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