Hack Job

You know how sometimes you accidentally chainsaw your furniture in half? It happens. (It doesn’t hardly ever happen, but it does happen, and I know this because it happened to me.  Although it wasn’t really an accident, just kind of … unexpected? Remind me to explain this story someday).

Anyway, sometimes you get carried away playing with power tools. You figure, “Hmmm, this old coffee table has been sitting in the garage for way too long. We really need to donate it or haul it away … orrrrrrr … *rnnnnn rnnn rnnn rnnn rrrrNNNNN* <– That is a chainsaw sound in case you can’t tell. I can do a pretty good imitation of a chainsaw if we ever meet in real life, just ask.

And next thing you know, you have two halves of a coffee table. Your next move is obvious.




You turn them into a set of benches for your entryway, of course! That’s exactly what Melissa did. Aren’t they the perfect size? Big enough to store shoes and sit on, narrow enough to squeeze easily into a small space. Pretty brilliant.

See more from Melissa and her coffee table entryway bench on her blog 320 Sycamore.

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Lusting over Balusters

Question: let’s say you move into a new home, and right smack dab in your face when you open the door is a staircase. And you don’t particularly love the staircase, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s functional and super sturdy. Should you just leave it alone and let it do its job?  Or is it worth the time and expense it would take to replace it?

You bet your balusters it’s worth it! Who do you think you are talking to? I hereby give you permission to change anything in your house you don’t love. (Unless you are renting … better ask your landlord first. [Of course, you can always ask for forgiveness rather than permission. {But you didn’t hear that from me}]).

Anyway, Anne found herself in this exact situation, and she didn’t hesitate for a moment. Down went the old staircase …





And up went this fantastic reinterpretation! She and her husband did all the work themselves and it took nearly a month to finish, but it was definitely worth it.  I love the design she achieved by spacing full balusters in between shorter sections. Such a custom look.  Extra points for repainting over those peachy pink walls too. And replacing the black outlets, like why were those ever there in the first place? Black outlets = whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

See more details on this staircase remodel on her blog Planting Sequoias.

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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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