Door to Adore

When I was a kid, someone asked me if I could have a super power what would it be, and I remember very clearly my answer. It wasn’t to fly, or to move things with my mind or anything cool like that. I wished that I could have the power to make things new again. Maybe you think that is a deep and reflective answer? It wasn’t. I literally just wanted to be able to touch old rusty, dented, scratched, ugly things and make them shiny and perfect again. Oh, this old bent stop sign by my house? Poof! New again!

Who would choose that lame super power over FLYING? What kind of weird kid even cares about stuff like that?  This kind!

Makeovers are the next best thing. Turning something unattractive into a better, more beautiful version of itself? That’s a super power to me.

Like what Better After reader Christina did with her bi-fold closet doors.  Previously, they were … not that cute. Very few bi-fold closet doors are. I’ve yet to meet any.

 

bi-fold closet door makeover before

 

bi-fold closet door makeover

Until now!  Yes, these are the very same doors, just trimmed with quarter-inch pine plywood strips and painted. If you have ugly closet doors in your life, you can do it too! The only super power you need is patience, because Christina reports that this job takes approximately forever.

It required lots of hole filling, sanding, priming, painting, and repeating, plus a top-coat of Varathane to harden the finish. But the end result really is worth it.


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I’m getting good vibes.

I love finding a new-to-me blog, and I reckon you do too. There is always, ALWAYS something new out there to discover in the blogosphere. Which begs the question: Are there too many blogs? Um, I’m sorry, but does anyone walk into a library and say “Whoa! There are too many books in here!” No they do not. Blogs are the best. High-five your favorite blog today.

Back to this new-to-me blog. It’s called Designing Vibes, written by Erica, who has impeccable style and is also too gorgeous to be an actual human person. She has dubbed her aesthetic ‘rustic coastal modern,’ which looks as dreamy as it sounds. Let’s take a peek at her entryway makeover for example:

Light and Bright Entry Way Before

 

Light and Bright Entry Way makeover

Such a great change without any huge dramatic effort. Just new paint, lighting and decor. The flooring and the doors remained the same, but look right at home now in the ‘rustic coastal’ mix.

Erica is in the process of transforming her entire home, a rancher built in the eighties with plenty of charm. And plenty of opportunity for upgrades, like any home built 30+ years ago. Her kitchen looks like it got a total overhaul …

 

Light and Bright Kitchen Before

 

Light and Bright Kitchen

But again, it’s mainly cosmetic changes. The flooring and counters remain the same, and the cabinets have been repainted, not replaced. Budget friendly without looking budget friendly? That’s my jam.

Her dining room is probably my favorite makeover of all. Before, so many ’80s country decor cliches were happening: wallpaper border, hunter green on beige color combo, light fixture possibly stolen from an old-timey saloon, but now?

Light and Bright Dining Before

Light and Bright Dining

Hello gorgeous! Erica is a natural at mixing styles and textures, pulling off a room that is as elegant as it is cozy and welcoming. Everywhere you look there is something enjoyable for your eyeballs to land on. Dreamy!

Much more to see of her dining room here.

 

Happy weekend friend!


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I’m all about that basement.

If you’ve been here a while, you already know why this wood-paneled before basement is giving me the sweats.

If you’re new here, let me explain that I have a mild phobia of knotty wood. No joke. It’s not like I’m terrified of the stuff, but I just feel so jumpy and anxious and weirded out when I’m around it. I should probably look into that someday and figure out why, but my plan so far is to just avoid knotty wood for the rest of my life instead. So far, so good.

Luckily for me, this look is far out of style and most people prefer to paint their paneling, presently. Also, alliteration for the win.

 

Crisp Basement Before 1

crisp basement makeover after

Yes ma’am, this is the SAME room. Where did that paneling go? Who cares! Everything has been updated and brightened up from floor to ceiling. And from the windowww to the WALL! (I hope you read that in your best Lil’ John voice). But speaking of the wall, do you see the full-length chalkboard painted on the back wall? Not only does it provide the kids with a little fun, but it also provides a great contrast to the rest of the bright white space.

Why aren’t more basements painted white? It’s a great choice for an area that’s … I don’t know … underground.

Crisp Basement Before

Crisp Basement

Night and day difference, truly. And how much do I love those painted stairs? Enough to be giving my own carpeted stairs the stink-eye right now.

This fabulous makeover comes from Heather and Dave at The Heathered Nest, much more to see over there!

Happy weekend friends.


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Shiplap Look on Any Budget

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of years, you are well aware of the trend known as ‘shiplap.’  If your cave has wifi, however, you’ve probably already shiplapped the crap out of it.  I bet it looks nice.

If you haven’t heard of shiplap, it’s basically wood paneling, most typically painted white and hung horizontally. It’s nothing groundbreaking or new, but it’s enjoying a resurgence of popularity thanks in part to Joanna and Chip Gaines and their massively beloved show “Fixer Upper.” They are big fans of the shiplap look, and so am I!

Here now are three ways to get the look yourself.

#1: You could actually hang some shiplap.

White Plank Wall Before

 

White Plank Wall

Chelsea at Creating Cotters Bay used white wooden planks to add some interest to the end of her hallway. Perfect place to add a little detail AND get some practice in before you attempt a larger wall.

 

If sawing up wood ain’t your thang, you can still get the look like Sarah did below. Can you tell what she’s using on her kitchen backsplash?

shiplap backsplash vinyl before

shiplap with vinyl planks after

#2: It’s vinyl flooring!

Easier to haul, cut, and much thinner than regular boards. And if that’s not enough to convince you, it costs less too. She made sure to space them out just enough by placing a penny in between the planks as she hung them. You want a slight gap to really nail that shiplap look. See her tips for painting and sealing on her blog All Things with Purpose.

 

Ok, so you can either hang actual shiplap, or you can ‘cheat’ with vinyl flooring, but is there yet another way?

Believe it or not, there is. And believe it or not, it costs zero dollars. That’s right, I said ZERO DOLLARS. Behold:

shiplap wall with pencil before

SHIPLAP WALL WITH PENCIL AFTER

Can you guess?

It’s pencil! (Insert shocked cat-face emoji)

If you have access to a couple of pencils and a straight edge, you could be a member of Club Shiplap before dinnertime. Head on over to Emily’s blog The Wicker House to get all the details. I believe there is a coat of sealer involved at some point, so the pencil doesn’t smudge, but other than that, ZERO FREAKING DOLLARS PEOPLE.


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