Category Archives: Before & After

2015 the year to remember…

January 2015

We bought a hundred year old cottage in Michigan, right next door to the cottage we currently share with family.


And also spent most of January shopping for wedding dresses with the bride to be:


Joyous occasions!  Tomorrow, February and March

Some of my favorites...

My Updated Washer and Dryer







Laundry, one of my least favorite household chores.  So, why does it have to be boring?  My philosophy at our summer cottage is life short and why not have some fun along the way.  My husband just shook his head after the new washer and dryer arrived.  Imagine his surprise when he headed out to put in a load of laundry.  The M?  for Mom of course!

Some of my favorites...

My Red Mudroom








I finally found myself alone in the house on a Sunday!   So, while I’m thinking about my daughter who just got engaged last Friday, I decided to clean out the mudroom.   I almost forgot what it looked like.  The rug found on eBay is the best buy in the room.  It has held up for 10 years with 4 kids, friends and family and still looks great.  Ok, one room down and a few more to go before the engagement party.

Some of my favorites...

Craigslist Makeover


Found on Craigslist:  Queen Bed $40



Craigslist Bed After Painting



At home in the cottage.  You gotta love the power of paint.

Linking to:  Wow Us Wednesdays, Furniture Friday, Metamorphosis Monday

Some of my favorites...

College Midterms


For my University of Michigan daughter who just finished her midterms, enjoy your Spring break.  You’ve earned it.

Some of my favorites...

Master Bath Renovation


When we purchased our house 16 years ago, the master bath had been remuddled by the previous owners.  It was extremely outdated, the closets were small, it had one sink and a whirlpool which was only used to catch laundry.  After considering over 12 different drawings for the space, we chose the plan below.




Now brace yourself, below are the before and after pictures.



















We are not quite done yet, as it still needs a little styling and window treatments, but for now, it’s just perfect.  Sometimes I can hardly believe it is the same space.  Separate sinks and closets make for a very happy marriage here.

Sharing with:  Metamorphosis Monday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Tweak it Tuesday, Wow us Wednesdays, Furniture Friday

Some of my favorites...

Quick Bath Makeover



Isn’t it amazing what a new cabinet from Home Depot and a Nate Berkus rug from Target can do for a kids bathroom?  Linking to:  Furniture Friday, Metamorphosis Monday, Thrifty Chick Decor

Some of my favorites...

Gel Stained Syroco Bookends




My collection of vintage Syroco bookends has always fascinated me.  I enjoy the stylistic carved detail but have never loved the orange cast on the faux wood.  Yesterday, I decided to try using the General Finishes Java Gel Stain leftover from staining a pine table which you can read about here.  The results?  Much better.  I think I may have to stain them all.

Linking to:  Metamorphosis Monday, Knick of Time Tuesday, Tweak it Tuesday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesday, Vintage Inspiration Friday,

Some of my favorites...

Painted Maple Shelf












This shelf was the perfect size to hold my collection of Japanese majolica flower baskets.  I’m not a very successful gardener, however, I do really well with ceramic flowers.  Anyway, it was maple and I wanted a red shelf.  So, I fished out some leftover red paint from the mudroom and applied a black glaze to tone down the red.  I haven’t sanded off any off any of the edges as I’m still trying to decide on the final look and actually feel that it needs a little more glaze on the back beadboard.  Finding the perfect wall to hang this on in my house is a challenge.  My husband reports that we are all out of walls.  We’ll see.

Linking to:  Furniture Friday, Wow Us Wednesdays, No Minimalist Here, Vintage Inspiration, Inspiration Friday, Funky Junk Interiors

Some of my favorites...

General Finishes Gel Stain

My husband said that this was the best stain that he had ever used.  I am a believer!  Our daughter put in an order for her table to be stained “espresso”.  I asked if she didn’t just want me to spray it black?  No, espresso.  After looking around Blog land I decided that we, collectively, would give the Gel Stain a try.

Front side of knotty pine table.

Back side of knotty pine table.

My husband, the re-finisher, reported that the Gel Stain has the consistency of pudding and went on easily with a sock.  Very little goes a very long way.

TA DA!   Table with 3 coats of General Finishes Java Gel Stain and 3 coats of Gel Topcoat satin urethane.

I took the liberty of doing some table styling here at home.  But, something tells me that my daughter will not be setting up the table this way at her apartment in the city.

The 1800’s Nippon tea set from is from my husband’s great grandmother.  The peonies are finally in full bloom from our front yard.

A coffee table should always have a few good books and a couple of bookends.  This table is on the way down into the city this weekend.  I can’t wait to see how it looks in her new home.

Linking to:  Wow Us Wednesdays, Furniture Friday, Vintage Inspiration Friday, Metamorphosis Monday


Some of my favorites...

Painting a Wall Stencil


When I was in Ann Arbor for Mom’s Weekend, we saw this wall painted in a shop downtown.  I thought it looked very fresh.  Some of the rooms in this house need a new look and I was trying to figure out how to paint this pattern.  I should have known where to go.  Every time one of the kids ask me something I either don’t know and don’t have the patience to answer my response is “Google it” because of course the answer is out there somewhere on the great wild web!   So, I finally found it this morning when I was looking at the links from Wow Us Wednesday.  Here is a step by step tutorial of how Christina at Remodelando la Casa did it.  Now I know.

Some of my favorites...

Striped Foyer




 It took a lot of tape and a lot of patience when I painted the stripes in my foyer.  My friend Diane would stop in and check out my progress.  She didn’t believe that I would ever get done.  Vintage stucco walls do not wallpaper well and I really wanted to see a pattern in the foyer.  I’m happy with the way it turned out.  Stripes are timeless.  The staircase pictures are changed out seasonally so the summer pictures are just about ready to go up.

Linking to:  Wow Us Wednesday, Funky Junk Interiors

Some of my favorites...