Rattan you out.

If you had told me a few years ago that rattan would be back in a big way, I would have reacted the same way I did when my plumber told me he’d be here between 8:00 and 9:00 this morning to fix my broken faucet: doubt and disbelief. Maye an eye-roll.  I was right about my plumber (it’s noon and I’m still waiting. Ugh! I have stuffs to DO!) but wrong about rattan!

Kat at Katch of the Day rescued this dried up desk and painted it a mossy shade of green. There’s currently a rattan desk for sale on a certain website … we’ll say it rhymes with “Fun Swings Train,” priced for nearly $2000! And it’s not nearly as cute as this one! Great find Kat.

Green Rattan Table Before


Green Rattan Table Makeover | betterafter.net


And speaking of rattan, pretend we weren’t, because this dresser features zero rattan. But Karen painted it a similar shade of green and did a really lovely job of distressing it. Much better than the rabid possum or angry child who distressed it in the first place.




Oh yeah, and there’s also a fern leaf detail.  You may have noticed it.

Fantastic! Head on over to her blog  Art is Beauty and take a closer look. The restored top is especially gorgeous.


Mystery Thrift-Off news: I have selected and notified all participants! I haven’t heard back from a couple of them yet, so check your inbox, maybe it’s YOU!

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Let’s talk about stripes, baby.

If you ever find yourself in decorating paralysis, here’s a tip. Go take a nice long look at your closet.  “Lindsey,” you are thinking, “be serious. I need help decorating my living room. I can’t even pick out a throw pillow to save my life. How is staring at my closet going to help? Am I in time-out?”

No, no, no, of course not.  There’s just no better place to find your own personal style than … hello … the place where you physically keep your personal style. What looks do you gravitate toward? What patterns and colors you are attracted to? Would your favorite sweater serve you better if you chopped it up and turned it into that throw pillow? All good questions to ask yourself.

If you looked into my closet, you would find a lot of black and gray because I’m very boring (but at least I know what I like) and lot’s of stripes! I do love a good stripe.

So, if you are a fellow stripe-lover, you are sure to find inspiration with today’s makeovers, starting with this adorable nightstand.

Gray and White Striped Nightstand Before
Striped Furniture Makeovers | betterafter.net

Gray, white, and red can never be wrong together. So darn cute. I feel like the handles are coming in for a hug. From Danielle at 2 Little Super Heroes.



Shanna’s side table was very similar to Danielle’s, but she sent her stripes in the opposite direction. Oooh, slimming! I love the punch of the red handles here too.

Blue and White Striped Nightstand
Striped Furniture Makeovers | betterafter.net

See more at Restoration Redoux.



And lastly, who says your fridge needs to be boring? Well, nobody actually ever says that, but we’ve come to accept it as truth.  Nuh-uh. Not for Katie. Why not have a striped fridge? I certainly can’t think of a good enough reason not to.

Black and White Striped Fridge Before
Striped Furniture Makeovers | betterafter.net

She created this look with nothing but black duct tape, and it’s amazing, and you can see it at Kate’s Design Space.

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Modern Day Mod

Raise your hand if your grandma had the Broyhill Brasilia set. Mine did! I always really loved it, even as a child. Even when it went through a stage where it was considered like, so old-fashioned.  That’s probably how this one ended up in the hands of a sticker-crazed tween who obviously had no appreciation of its elegant craftsmanship and timelessness. Tsk.

But Larissa came along and resurrected it into a modern day beauty. I love the update! A fresh new look that stays true to the original design. What if she had just ripped the curvy piece off and replaced the handles with some Ikea knobs? I shudder to think.

Well done Larissa! See more at Prodigal Pieces

Wood and White Dresser Before


Wood and White Dresser Makeover | betterafter.net

Oh wait, she’s at it again. She also freshened up this dresser with paint and stain and I love it. I love it real good.

It looks ripped from the pages of a West Elm catalog.  Actually, I just went and browsed their website, and it’s better than anything they’re currently offering. (Don’t tell them I said that! I still luv you West Elm!)

That’s the beauty of restoring old furniture. Once you get past the musty odors and probability of cat pee, you’ll usually find quality construction that was meant to last a lifetime.

Mid-Century Wood and White Dresser Before
Mid-Century Wood and White Dresser Makeover | betterafter.net

See it at Prodigal Pieces.



PS: Today is the last day to get The Ultimate DIY Bundle before it’s gone forever!



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Restaining furniture and thoughts about things.

You guys, spring break is seriously kicking my butt.  What’s that?  It’s not even spring break anymore? That was last week? Well then, I’ve spent this entire week just trying to recover from last week, and it’s kicking my butt in the face.

I blame the baby, a stage-five clinger who has recently upped his clinging game so hard, I think he might legitimately be trying to nuzzle his way back into the womb.  It’s cute. For the first ten hours of the day. Basically my baby is what’s kicking my butt. He’s 14 months old now, so not technically a ‘baby,’ but he’s not walking yet so he’s not really a toddler either. He weighs nearly 30 pounds, so my back and I are really ready for toddling to happen.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to relax on spring break!  What’s that?

Anyway, he’s loosened his grip long enough to take a nap, so maybe I can get something done around here, like straighten up the mountain of clutter currently overtaking my office. (Hilariously, there is a book on top of Mt. Clutter called “The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui“).

Oh yes, and share a makeover or two. Or three.


Today we’re talking stain, the quickest and easiest way to refinish furniture. Ha! Of course it’s not. Staining furniture requires much work and preparation and sandpaper.  But it’s all worth it.  (Hmm, that’s pretty much the same thing everyone tells you when you’re in the checkout line at Target and your baby is clinging your face off so hard that he pulls out half your eyelashes, which actually happened to me yesterday, but it’s all worth it!)

Anyway. This desk was all worth it, and it’s from Faye at MacGIRLver.

Stained Desk Makeover Before

Stained Desk Makeover | betterafter.net


Beck used a little elbow grease to prepare this walnut table for stain, plus an acetone and lacquer thinner mixture, steel wool, a toothbrush, mineral spirits, and sandpaper. It’s all in the prep.  But you know what? It’s worth it.

See more at Beckwith’s Treasures.

Walnut Stained End Table Before

Walnut Stained End Table Makeover | betterafter.net

This highboy also needed a lot of work, but, you guessed it.  It was worth it! The gorgeous grain of the wood really shines through now, and is almost out-shined by the polished brass handles. Mmm.  I love me some polished brass, yes I do. Beautiful.

From Jan at Chairished Furnishing.

stained highboy makeover

stained highboy makeover after




Hey! Did you miss the Ultimate DIY Bundle sale? Good news! They are opening up a FLASH SALE on Saturday, so you can get your hands on your own.

Simply subscribe to this FREE mini-ecourse with MyQuillyn from TheNester.com. The ecourse is short and simple, and intended to inspire folks to rediscover their creative side.

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On Saturday, March 29th, each subscriber will be given the opportunity to purchase their copy of the Ultimate DIY Bundle 2015.

Don’t miss out!

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