before & after: constança’s ikea flat

d*s reader constança’s beautiful apartment was featured in the spring 2009 issue of ikea family live magazine but i couldn’t resist sharing it here today. constança and her husband brought their lisbon, portugal apartment in pretty bad shape and decided to renovate it and start by painting everything white. to keep things on a budget they bought all of the basics at ikea and sewed everything they could themselves, using ikea fabric. the result is a bright, cheerful home that any budget-friendly design lover would be proud to call their own. click here for more information on the transformation, here for more (gorgeous!) images on flickr, and here to visit constança’s etsy shop. thanks, constança!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email with your pictures right here!]

[images above: constança’s bedroom, before and after]

[image above: constança’s kitchen, before and after]

[images above: constança’s living room, before and after]


Very cute- I love Ikea for its stylish affordability, especially with the economy the way it is. And what a difference some new shelving and paint can make!


Oooh…I love the pretty blue bedspread and the colorful kitchen. It really pops. Lovely!


Ooh i like the see through table in the last shot! I’m guessing it’s ikea too? Lovely.


I especially love the last picture, what clever storage solutions! The transformation is simply amazing.


It looks amazing! Unfortunately, I don’t live within 6 hours of an Ikea. I just tried ordering something from them today, and they wanted $244 in shipping for 2 small Alex cabinets! Yikes.


Thanks so much for this b/a!! It’s lovely to see such a practical makeover…makes me feel like I could do it too!


Even though I didn’t want to end up with an all-Ikea house when we moved overseas to Germany, we did. But you know what? I’m thankful for the affordability and credit-card financing we were able to enjoy. We didn’t have to wait 10 months to save for a bed frame, let alone a mattress, or closets. Is it our dream home? no, but it’s great for the current situation.


Love the mix of patterns on the bed. keeps it from looking too Ikea-y. The kitchen is so fresh and fun!


I hate IKEA – How can someone have the whole flat decorated with IKEA bemuses me? Urggh…

Bethany Rose Hildenbrandi

The tiling in the kitchen is fantastic and I love that you designed around that. Great job!

Tess Mattern

I love the coffee table in the final shot! Any idea what it’s name would be on the IKEA website? I did a search for coffee tables and it is not showing up.


Looks beautiful, and you completely transformed the space.


I couldn’t help but noticing that not all is Ikea or Portugese…Your iron board cover looks like a real HEMA design – being Dutch I have a good sense for it…Nevertheless as affordable as Ikea, but nicer and more original.

Love your kitchen shelves with cute stuff on it!


I like this! I own a LOT of Ikea stuff myself, the trouble is that your home can end up looking like every other home in your street (or entire area, really). So I’ve taken care to mix it up with vintage stuff. This one has a lovely clean look, you can really imagine them living by the sea.


As a huge Ikea fan for over … decades, must say, your apartment can be on display in some ikea store! :) Great job!!!


waouh ! bravo !
c’est tout de suite tellement plus frais !!..
particulièrement la cuisine : avec une vraie personnalité ! j’adore.