Thursday, February 5, 2009

Befores and Afters

People are always saying how ironic it is to fix up your home just to sell it.

Zeb's dresser before
We're not selling our apartment. We can't - because it belongs to our landlord. But still, putting a lot of work into it just to move right on out of it feels strangely self defeating sometimes. Most of these changes, it's true, we'll be bringing with us because they're objects. But they were all added to our household with specific walls and corners in mind - specific walls and corners that will not be going with us to our new house. There will be walls and corners there of course, but they might be different colors and sizes and the light on them will be different and I really hope that I don't have to start all over, but sometimes that's what it takes to get your house just right. Don't tell Zeb I said that.

Zeb's dresser after
It is a well known (and often lamented by a certain someone) fact that I have some mad Craigslist deal finding skills. When we got married we splurged on a dream couch from Urban Outfitters (later proved to be one of my worst purchases ever), and we bought a bed. We figured those two things were important and the rest could accumulate later. Random bookcases and cupboards, on the eyesore side, were given to us to hold us over. Slowly, oh so slowly and with much diligence we've replaced hand-me-downs and make-do's with things we love to look at, loved the price, and that fit certain nooks in our home just right. The above dresser/cabinet is one such example.

$5 Salvation Army lampshade before

It is also a well known fact that I spend a lot of time on Apartment Therapy. There are new posts about every five minutes and I read every single one of them. They give me many ideas. Apartment Therapy combined with spray paint and/or Mod Podge have enabled many a DIY project. See below, lamp and cabinet. And chandelier. And spice rack.

Shade made into lamp after
Lamp matched to hand-me-down Ikea-hacked cupboard

I take it back. It's not self defeating. Because I love that particular wall of our house now. It does and will make me happy every day that we live here and that's worth a lot.

$15 Craigslist chandelier before

Chandelier after an attack of spray paint
Has anyone else heard of the theory that you should have at least three sources of light in every room for optimum ambiance? I'm up to two in every room and I definitely think it's helping.

$5 Thrift store spice rack before

After - fresh spices and paint

Is it tacky to mention the prices? Because that's most of the fun for me. Even if I had $40 to spend on a cute spice rack, I wouldn't, because it's so much better to get it and rehab it for $6. And then to boast about it. Sorry if that's bad taste.

It's looking better around here. The walls are filling up, so is the floorspace. Just in time to pack it all up. It was nice while it lasted. 


Marianne Elixir said...

1 - I am oooing and ahhhing.

2 - You make me want to invest in paint (um...and some sandpaper)

3 - I LOVE that you post the prices. Isn't that the best part?! I am also a notorious Craigslist deal finder. It's good we are not competing in the same city =)

4 - The chandelier is my favorite.

5 - Do window's count as light sources?

6 - I take it back, I do wish we could be neighbors, even if it meant sharing the local Craigslist deals with you.

7 - I am resisting the urge to look at the apartment links you shared...we'll see how long I last.

Sarah said...

I wish we could be neighbors too! There's always enough Craigslist to go around :) And one of my guilty secrets is that I never use sandpaper because I don't have the patience. The paint will probably chip off in a year but I'll be wanting to do a different color by then anyway. And Home Depot has 99 cent spray paint. It's the best.

Marianne Elixir said...

99 cent spray paint?! I think I know where I might be sending my husband this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!

Melanie said...

I really love that spice rack, and that the lamp shade matches your cabinet! Do you guys have a date set?

Trespasser said...

It's ridiculous how great you make things look. You need to come decorate my new place. janes

Valerie said...

Amazing post. I love the comparisons. I can't believe you had all the pics from before and after.

meg said...

i loove before and afters. also i love that you posted the prices. that's totally the best part. getting a deal and creating something you love is way better than spending tons of money on something you like but had nothing to do with creating.