before & after: christine’s desk + elizabeth’s lamps

invitation designer christine van duyn sent in this great desk makeover. christine had been working from her home but decided to find a retail space when she outgrew her home studio. the process of making over the raw retail space seemed daunting and expensive, so christine decided to get the majority of her new furniture and fillings from antique shops and flea markets around town. her favorite upgrade is this table she found down the street. she stripped, sanded, stained, and shellacked the table, then applied a sweet little white trimming for the final touch. it’s now right at home in christine’s chic retail space. thanks for sharing, christine!

[have a before & after you’d like to submit for the d*s book or website? just shoot me an email right here with your images!]


CLICK HERE for elizabeth’s lamp makeover after the jump!

elizabeth from mabel’s house sent in this fun lamp before & after. for less than $20 (including the cost of the lamps) elizabeth upgraded her finds by adding high-gloss aqua paint and recovering the old lampshades with burlap and black ribbon. i absolutely love the burlap/ribbon combo- it really takes the lamps from fleamarket find to classy accessory. great work, elizabeth!


  1. I’m curious as to why she used shellac instead of varnish? It looks amazing in that space.

  2. Laura says:

    I quite like the messy top image of the table, hehe

  3. katelynjane says:

    Love the table! And the lamp is awesome too…I love the table it’s on! :D I want one!

  4. Freck says:

    I love before and after Thursday!!!!

  5. lin says:

    Freck, I get excited for Thursday specifically because of Before-and-Afters!

  6. Kerry says:

    I just picked up that exact table on craigslist for a deal and have been pondering paint finishes. Looks fab and provides me with some really nice inspiration.

  7. erin says:

    Love, love, love it! Both of these, the lamps & the table. I’m curious about the burlap for the shades, what kind of adhesive was used. It would be great to get a little DIY description of how that was done. I have several vintage lamps with old shades, and would love to use the burlap/ribbon treatment instead of scouring stores for the right replacement shade.

  8. Connie says:

    Love the table, the white trim really calls attention to the table’s curves.
    The lamps are very cool. I especially love the red side tables.
    Great job ladies

  9. Renee says:

    both are great makeovers but i love the lamp!! i never thought to use burlap and ribbon-great idea!

  10. HeyNowHadley says:

    Is the high gloss aqua paint a spray paint, or liquid? (If liquid, any application tips?)

  11. Liz says:

    Thanks so much! I used high gloss spray paint, Krylon, (indoor/outdoor), blue ocean breeze (color). As far as application goes… spray VERY light coats so it wont drip on the glass surface. It takes a while, but it’s worth it!

  12. donna says:

    That table makes me swoon.

  13. Great lamps! They easily look like something you’d pay $100 each for.

  14. Ashley says:

    I love the white detail on the black table!

  15. Novi says:

    The table has attitude and the lamp is now delightful!!!

  16. Kelly Oshiro says:

    Congrats Christine, you go girl! I promise to make it to the shop soon to see it in person!

  17. Elizabeth’s lamp looks fabulous! I’ve just completed an almost identical project for my daughter’s room! :D

  18. curlyred says:

    stunning. I love the contrast and elegance.

  19. Liz says:

    Erin, I’m going to post a lamp shade recovering how-to today on my blog…

  20. Mel says:

    I’m dying for the fancy gold cash register (I think?) in the table’s “after” image. How fantastic! Both B&A’s are nice, as well!

  21. i just love the bright colors

  22. Wendy says:

    I love the lamp color. Thanks for the color name.
    The table is so different. The white detailing is terrific. Way more exciting now.

  23. Always a fan of making an boring piece look stunning. The table is simple and fabulous. Less is sometimes more!

  24. I am so loving that table makeover! In the before photo, it was truly a boring, unextraordinary piece of furniture, but the after is gorgeous, especially with the white detail!


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