Category Archives: before and afters

making this : wraparound kitchen shelving

March 18, 2013

before and afters / diy / kitchen / the apartment

last time i posted about our kitchen, it looked really really bad. i don’t know who these people are that only need four cabinets, but i am not them people. as you can see from the photo, it looks like they went the cheap way with it and said it looked enough like a kitchen with the one wall cabinet and saved the money and left.

but here it is now! stuff everywhere!

in order to do shelving across the whole wall AND the corner and small wall on the side, we didn’t know how to go about it for cheap. we considered getting wood cut but the price and math and thickness worked out that we went with ikea lack shelves.

because of the weird lengths of our walls and ikeas three size options, we used three 74 3/4″ long lack shelves and six 11 3/4″ long lack shelves. meaning we had to use two tiny shelves instead of medium sized on the other wall.

here is the only process shot. it was a nightmare getting these to line up.

because the mounting hardware for the lack shelf is hidden in the back, it’s a matter of lining up the hardware versus where the shelf actually sits. so basically it’s too hard for the normal civilian. there was a lot of swearing happening.

where they all meet is good, it’s not perfect at all. i’m used to it now, but looking at these photos makes me cringe a tiny bit.

we were freaking out for the first few days that they’d just collapse so we put a couple of hopefully invisible brackets on the long shelves and painted them white.

and if there’s an earthquake, we’re fucked. i mean. when there’s an earthquake. ugh.

until then, i’m super happy.

yeah, those corners need some fixing.

also, where the hell do i put that gross microwave? i don’t feel like buying a new one. where do people put microwaves?!

(almost) fifty shades of my entry table

October 4, 2012

before and afters / living rooms

As is our life, we’ve been still trying to figure out what to do about our living room and that damn door. I got really sick of the huge painting being right above our couch so I decided on a new plan… can you tell what that is? I’ll reveal it soon. To go with the new look of the room and to embrace my new love of colors, the entry table needed to pop a little more.

And then my weekend of painting the entry table three times to completion began.

I started with this crazy idea that I would paint it this totally not-me color, a purple-y pink color. (it’s behr raspberry pudding) What the hell was I thinking?! The second I dropped the paintbrush I knew it wasn’t right. And I wasted $15 and two hours for nothing. GUH.

Then I decided on a coral color. (behr wet coral, the same paint I used on the rast interior) Wow. What a shitty idea. But I was determined to live with my mistake. So I brought it into the living room and stared at it for an hour.

The color is really kinda cool, but it just didn’t work. Remember how I said I was painting our office navy? I decided not to. btw – I have pretty much finished our office. It’s also coming soon.

Oh hey look at that white couch! CUTE!

Anyway, we had bought this last color with the intention of painting the office and I thought it was my only option to save money and a 45th trip to home depot. (behr underwater)

Now you would think I would have to sand this thing like crazy. I repainted it the day I bought it so that makes it four layers of paint at least. And of course I tried. And gave up within 5 minutes. If I paint it again, I will definitely have to get rid of some of the layers because it’s really thick, but you just need paint with primer and you can ignore that.

It’s a pretty good color, way more me but still incorporates a little more color into the room. So whatchu think?

OH MY. Is that a fake plant sitting there? I guess I was serious about that huh…

It basically looks real! Basically. Also, that’s a smock paper box. My most exciting purchase with a coupon at the art store. And a photograph of two children in awesome costumes that I don’t know that has been with me in almost every apartment I’ve lived in.



making this: litterbox redo

July 25, 2012

before and afters / diy / pets

By the time I am posting this diy, the kittens have outgrown this lovely litterbox I made for them. Jerks.

Anyway, I bought the smallest litterbox the pet store had in this ugly beige. And a white shovel for it. Well they weren’t very cute at all! So I decided to spray paint both. I spray painted the shovel with a brass spray paint.

Could something that picks up poop look any fancier? I think not.

Then I drew this pattern with a sharpie. It was so ugly. So I spray painted it AGAIN and started drawing again.

Much better! What an adorable place to take poops!

before and after: bedroom sconces

July 11, 2012

bedrooms / before and afters

Yet another thing we bought for our house that I haven’t been super happy with was the sconces for our bedroom. The reason was the shades that they came with, which I could never find the right size to replace them with. Buying lamp shades online seems way too confusing.

Ugly before? As hipster as it is, I really like exposed edison bulbs, so decided to just buy the bulbs and remove the shade. I’m so so happy with them now. And because the wattage on them looks much darker than of a normal light bulb, our room has become a dark romantic dungeon. OOooooooo!


our new and improved dining room

June 13, 2012

before and afters / dining rooms

You know that exciting time when you move in with your dream man and everything is so fun and exciting and picking out (and agreeing on) things is such a thrill? And then later on you realize that maybe you chose things because you chose them together and maybe you know better than your boyfriend.

Anyway, we took foreeeeever to pick out dining chairs. And when he actually liked some chairs, I was like yeah ok you like them I like them too. And then we took them home and I was like ugh.

But after months of me complaining, we sold them and got new ones! We went with black wishbone chairs. What a difference.

We also switched the position of the table. Doesn’t this look better?! And omg – our built in really looked pink before.

OOOOOOOOOOO. These chairs are such an improvement!

making this: a sweet little gold dipped jar

June 4, 2012

before and afters / diy

Our windowsill next in the kitchen was feeling a little lonely. So I grabbed some chattering teeth (why not) and an old jar and filled it with some weird fake foliage stuff I had laying around. Um, that needed a gold accent stat.

I don’t really have any process shots because the process was taping it and painted it… a million times. The paint needed something to stick to so I used a couple coats of matte medium, but it just was a matter of getting the paint thick enough to not show through when it was sitting in front of the light. I would say this was about 6 coats or so.

Easy (a tad time consuming) little fix. And now something pretty to look at when washing dishes.

organizing this: the fridge

May 30, 2012

before and afters / kitchen / organizing

This is an intimate post. I should be really embarrassed about what it looks like inside. Okay, I am embarrassed. Sometimes it can look pretty good after a big shopping session, but after this long and lazy weekend, I noticed it really not looking acceptable in the refrigerator.

Oh jeez. I think it looks worse in pictures? So I understood our problems. The freezer’s problem is that we love Trader Joes. Oh, and I keep a bulk supply of croissants and muffins in there too. You know, so you can have a blueberry muffin whenever you want. Adult living. The fridge’s problem is that we have a whole lot of everything in there. Especially stuff we don’t need/use/would never want to eat at this point.

I started by purging. I threw out a couple bags of frozen biscuits that looked totally gross. And frozen challah. From like a year ago. It also looked gross. I also decided that we do not have to keep our taco bell sauces in the fridge anymore. They don’t keep them in the fridge at taco bell, right?

Next, I finally transferred all the flour into the flour container. Been meaning to do that. I then decided it needed a label to look nicer. I also decided the eggs would look nicer and be more accessible if I ripped off the top of the carton. SO MUCH BETTER!

Next, organizing the fridge by category. I put the fruit in one section. The cooking stuff (fresh herbs) together. The dairy on top (duh). And organized those millions of condiments and sauces in sections as well as I could make up. I reused a plastic container (and a pretty label) for those annoying leftover tablespoons of butter.

The freezer drawers are so weird and shallow that no matter what, they looked crammed with bullshit. Especially when they’re crammed with bullshit. La Brea Bakery makes frozen baguettes. Naturally I have hoarded enough of them to fill an entire freezer drawer. Ugh. I also finally stuck ALL of the cheese in one drawer. And ALL of the onions and shallots in another (we love onions and shallots). And all of the fresh produce we forget to eat in one place.

So that’s about as organized as it can be. Not a total betty but a vast improvement.

And just to remind you of where it came from (makes the after look slightly more impressive)

Wow, that before picture really is gross.

making this: aCLOCKalypse now REDUX

May 7, 2012

bedrooms / before and afters / diy

I bought this very plain clock at Target (can’t find it online) for $7. Gideon’s been wanting a wall clock in our bedroom since I made him throw away his gross digital one. This one totally seemed like a blank canvas.

So I took the clock apart and decided I was going to hand paint a geometric pattern like this Anthropologie bedding.

AND SO – that didn’t work out. I didn’t have enough control with the paintbrushes on such an awkward surface and it was so goddamn ugly that I would never even consider hanging it my house. I had to move fast to wipe it all off so I didn’t have time to take a picture. Back to the drawing board.

I painted it grey and found some new inspiration. Something easier and something I could just do with a pen so I could have enough control.

I found these hand drawn coasters from Life is a Canvas. PRETTY! Can I borrow?

The pattern’s definitely not perfect because of it being round and me not planning ahead (maybe pencil drawing the lines?!) but we’re very happy with it. Then, to give it even more OOMPH, I had Gideon ever so carefully color the 12. You know, because it’s 12? 12?! I don’t know.