4 DIY Home and Furniture Makeovers to Inspire Your Inner Designer

'Saratoga Living' Design Editor Susan Waldron guides you through a fantastic flip.

(Susan Waldron)

Hi again, friends! This month, I’d like to share some before-and-after photos of some stand-out projects from my own home. As you know, my style of decorating and designing is very hands on and DIY; I always try to incorporate found objects or thrift shop pieces into any room I take on. I also love to inspire others to look at what they already own and think they might be tired of, and be confident that they can use it in a different way. 

I don’t want to scare you away, but a lot of my projects involve painting. It’s really OK, though: The first time I picked up a brush and a can of spray paint, it wasn’t pretty. But I told myself then and still do now, “It’s only paint!” If you’re not happy with the results, a little sanding here and there can give a piece an entirely different look. Or, you could always just try again. 

Here are four examples of how you can turn a tired piece of furniture (or an entire room!) into the centerpiece of your home (on the left is the “before”; on the right is the “after”).

(Susan Waldron)

A: This dressing table was sweet to begin with—and a bargain to boot—but what a difference some paint and changing the pulls made.

(Susan Waldron)

B: Essential oils are popular now, and I needed a convenient place to store mine. So I created an “apothecary” cabinet using an old shop cabinet and, yes, some paint. Keep an eye out for an old medicine or curio cabinet.

bonus: The light above my apothecary cabinet was also a DIY project and required no wiring work at all. I simply removed the wiring from a sconce, hot glued a battery-operated puck light to the inside (the one I used has a remote) and hung it on the wall. It makes a great night-light—or would be perfect anywhere you just want a little glow.

(Susan Waldron)

C: This rescued buffet got a new life with a simple coat of white paint. Do you have one that could use a little love, too?

(Susan Waldron)

D: This attic used to be nothing but walls and insulation. Using flooring underlayment, plywood cut into strips as “shiplap” and salvaged split-rail fencing as beams—plus a few coats of white paint—I transformed this once dark and gloomy space into one of the brightest in my house.


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