before & after: kelly’s dresser + karen’s chair

kelly at high street market sent over this faux bamboo dresser makeover. she found her green dresser at a thrift shop and decided to upgrade it with new white paint, hardware and a little elbow grease. the final result? a fresh, clean start. thanks for sharing, kelly!

[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! (we’re still looking for 5 more before & afters for the book)]


CLICK HERE for karen’s chair makeover after the jump!

d*s reader karen adcock bought this chair at a consignment store in her hometown of columbus, ohio for about $50. karen explained, “the stuffing was old, the fabric was stained, and some of the piping was coming off but i loved the lines of the cute chair and its small scale.” she owned it for over a year when she finally found the large-scale damask she’d been searching from (from thomas paul). after reupholstering the chair she cleaned up the frame and now has a brand new office chair from which to work. great work, karen!


  1. Christa says:

    This is inspiring! My son recently left for college and I’m in the process of redoing his dresser now. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Freck says:

    That green fabric does so much for that chair. Amazing B&A!

  3. Simone Rene says:

    Lovely transitions on both pieces. I like that the improvements highlight the original design concepts and don’t obscure them.

  4. Thanks, Grace!!! What a great surprise!

    High Street Market

  5. Suzanne says:

    This is really inspiring. I need to learn how to reupholster ASAP. I have a beautiful couch AND loveseat that need some love.

  6. SFDC says:

    Too funny — i just commented on the other post about Thomas Paul fabrics, and that is the exact one I used! It looks great on that chair.

  7. Natalie says:

    where is that beautiful mirror in the second picture from? gorgeous!

  8. Emma says:

    That dresser is lovely – but I am in LOVE with that sunburst mirror! Where, oh where can I get one too?

  9. I love the armchair, very good job.

  10. Sarah G says:

    Kelly I love your dresser makeover, It looks so clean, fresh and feminine. Great work! did you get the new hardware here in Philly? I would love to hear where.

  11. donna says:

    You are so lucky to have found that dresser. I remember seeing a similar one in a magazine editorial featuring the apartment of a Williams Sonoma Home designer and it was over $1000.

  12. CLF says:

    I like the dresser “Before” (just needs new hardware) and the chair “After.”

  13. Erika says:

    Kelly – where oh where have you been all my life, or at least the past year!? I have a chair that I want to recover in a colorful damask and this is EXACTLY the kind of pattern I want. Could you tell me (if you remember) what the exact fabric name/SKU is? Did you order from the website?

    Great job, btw!

  14. tmoore says:

    Kelly, the dresser is fantastic! Your subtle changes transformed something dated into something timeless and elegant. The hardware is beautiful. Where did you find it?

    Also, while I’m gushing, PLEASE tell me where the crewel bedspread came from!

  15. arroyo says:

    I really like the brass hardware on the dresser.

  16. Julie says:

    I love that the dresser now looks like it is smiling. It’s very happy.

  17. Karen says:

    Erika, I’m glad you like my chair redo! The fabric is Thomas Paul’s Silouette in Kiwi. It is actually available at Calico Corners (but they do not list the designer’s name.)

  18. Thanks for the comments on the dresser! The hardware is from Restoration Hardware and the mirror is an EASY (and cheap) DIY from Pier 1. I blogged about both:



  19. Christie says:

    Too Funny…..this was my teenage room furniture!!!! What a shame I did not keep it, such a transformation.

  20. I have that exact chest. I have painted it but not changed the knobs. Thanks for the ideas!

  21. Korina says:

    I bought the nightstand to this dresser at a thrift shop near Santa Cruz not too long ago knowing the lines were great for a refurbish. Apparently I was right. Your dress looks great! If you still have the hardware (which I love) and would like to get rid of it, please let me know.

  22. miss liss says:

    Dresser looks great, though what I really love is the duvet(?) cover.

  23. Percy says:

    Wow! I am absolutely in love with that chair.

  24. Cole says:

    Kelly, Where did you get your crewel blanket?

  25. fatalefemme says:

    loved the dresser before (poor hardware!) but LOVEEEE it after. Great work.

  26. Miss B. says:

    Love, love, love the dresser! Why can’t there be something with such good bones at a vintage store near me? I wish I knew what she did paint wise it looks so glossy and perfect!

  27. Julie says:

    Not sure but looks a bit like satin impervo – we used it on our woodwork and looks similar.

  28. Maree - New Zealand says:

    Oh Kellly – what haver you used on the drawer handles? It’s just the look I have been searching for!

  29. Eva says:

    I think it’s kind of a pity the white paint covers the tiki-feel of this cupboard… it looks okay but i think you can get more out of a closet like this.

  30. Sara(Mrs.B.) says:

    The mirror is on sale through 11/29/09 for $39.99 I’m off to Pier 1 now! I am shamelessly cpoying the paint upgrade – it’s gorgeous. Thanks for the inspiration.

  31. Mel says:

    You did an amazing job at the re- upholstery job. How did you learn? Does anyone know of a step-by-step how to guide…maybe in video format?


    1. grace says:


      you tube, e-how and the diy network all have tons of video upholstery tutorials. it’s hard to write it out in text steps, you really have to see it to learn.


  32. Claudia says:

    I love the chest makeover. Knobs color is so great!May I ask what paint color did you use?

  33. howard hahn says:

    oh my i am so horny with delight about that dresser. i waant to polish those knobs all day. thanks.

  34. ashlina says:

    I am obsessed with the check redo. It’s amazing! What an eye you have.


  35. cat says:

    i have a night stand that i redid that i believe matches the bamboo dresser. i feel like im seeing a long lost sister to my little night stand. got mine in s.c. on the side of the road.


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