before and after

before & after: storage (x 3)

by Grace Bonney

this before & after post is dedicated to three chest of drawers projects submitted by three different readers. first up is swedish reader malin. malin upgraded her son’s storage unit to be the perfect compliment for a little boy’s room. i (like i’m sure some of you will) liked the before unit in its existing condition, but seeing the after makes me smile because it seems like such a happy and appropriate piece for a little boy’s space. thanks, malin!


next up is d*s reader rita, who elevated her ikea drawers from drab to delightful with some wrapping paper. i’m always fond of gift-wrap based projects so this was a fun one for me. click here for more info on rita’s project.


last but not least is a project from eileen of mile wide press. eileen turned a beat-up vanity into two timeless night stands that are perfect for storing books and bedside odds-and-ends. eileen painted the pair a dark bronze green and lucked out when two marble slabs she had sitting around were the perfect size for the tops. great work, eileen!

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


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  • I love all the afters! The second one might have been even more impactful if she had painted the rest of the piece.

  • LOVE the vanity transformation into two nightstands!!! How lucky to have two perfectly sized pieces of marble, too.

  • oh my goodness for some reason I never considered the ikea dresser makeover! it’s lovely! soooo much better than that plasic stuff…

  • ohh, please tell me eileen saved the scrolly middle piece to use as some kind of tray or something? it’s my favorite part!

  • I agree with KK. That second piece is beautiful to begin with and has beautiful veneer. Painting over a piece like that makes me cringe. I wonder if folks are going to look back at this trend in five years with some remorse.

  • What great makeovers…just in time for spring! Especially love the first piece…just change the background to fit rooms for anyone – boy, girl or adult.

  • I wish I had the kind of life where I just happened to have marble slabs laying around… :) Nice work!

  • Great vision, Eileen. Junk shops look out!! I am inspired to actually complete a project when I see finished results that turn out so well.

  • the first changeover makes me cringe. If that wood is what I think it is (birds eye maple) they just ruined a very expensive pcs of furniture.

  • I agree with Kris above. The point is not to be dogmatically against painting wood. But there’s wood better left for painting- like poplar and other more dull grained woods and damaged pieces. And then there’s wood, which is dramatically more expensive specifically because of it’s grain pattern. Covering that up with paint is a bit like putting wallpaper over venetian plaster. Sure it’s a flat surface…but then, it’s not just a flat surface is it.
    Another thing is painted furniture and shabby chic specifically may be popular for a few years now, but wood is enduring – classic.
    To each his own, but things like this bum me out.

  • Love this creative transformation. You did a fantastic job creating something wholly different from what you originally had. Inspiring!

  • The last photo..The two bed stands BRILLIANT! Photo # 2 very smart…But sorry the top photo I have to give that an Oops.