before and after

before & after: erin’s sink + tanya’s room + allison’s crib

by Grace Bonney

d*s reader erin riddle sent in this lovely laundry sink makeover. when erin moved into her home she used this space as a storage space for tools and cleaning supplies, but erin wanted a space that would serve as a cute spot to work on laundry. working on a budget, erin took off the cabinet doors, sewed curtains to the front (hung on a basic rod) and painted the formica in a black melamine paint. the pegboard was swapped for hanging storage buckets and a light was painted white and brought over to gvie the corrner some warmth. the difference is really fantastic and is such a great reminder that a cuter room is only a few weekend days of handiwork away. thanks for sharing, erin!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on design*sponge? shoot me an email right here with your (low res please) images]


CLICK HERE for tanya’s designer living room makeover and allison’s diy crib upgrade after the jump!

this elegant living room reno comes from designer tanya jonsson. tanya and her husband recently purchased two tiny tenement pre-war apartments and combined them to create their dream home. in the process they created this beautiful living room on a budget. thanks to ebay and vintage shops tanya created a luxe look without breaking the bank. great work, tanya!


last but not least, i was really impressed with allison’s crib/bassinet makeover. i know that if i saw that ruffly before version sitting in a room i’d probably wimp out and opt for a brand new version. but allison saw potential and made over her son’s bassinet. she picked up the original for $12 at urban ore in berkeley and used an old cover to create a pattern. then she picked up some colorful fabric and created a cover that brought the bassinet from fussy and outdated to cute and modern. great work, allison!

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  • Ok…that bassinet looks amazing! I don’t have a baby yet, but if I saw that in a store, I’d think twice about leaving it! The laundry room is lovely too! So clean and bright.

  • Why is it that anything with a foreign language on it makes a space feel more sophisticated? Perhaps it doesn’t remind us of what something is for.

    Who the heck wants to be reminded of laundry?! I think the new space does that perfectly!

  • Love these makeovers! Nice curtains, good idea with the storage buckets on the laundry room wall. Gorgeous living room! and what a sweet looking crib.

  • I don’t think the person that created the area in the top picture would be comfortable working in the bottom picture, two totally different people. Also nice to see a lot of Arco lamps still being used (second before and after).

  • all of these makeovers are lovely. however, i must confess i am trying to reconcile the safety of getting a used crib/bassinet with the good idea of keeping used/old ones out of landfills

    • katherine

      if a crib is cleaned, sanitized and recovered with clean, fresh fabric is it not safe? i was just telling a fellow blogger about the comments that pop up whenever something child/baby related is posted and this is a good example. i’m wondering what about this might be dangerous?


  • Love the laundry room! I hae been looking for a black and white stripe rug exactly like that one, can you tell me where it was purchased? Great job!

  • hi, grace. there are two main concerns i’d have: the questionable presence of any lead-based paints and the spacing between the spindles/slats on an old crib. is there too much space between them through which a baby could slip through and get hurt (or worse)?

    i love seeing the “before and after” images and the “sneak peeks”. all the creativity is inspiring!

    thanks for sharing. and letting me do the same.

    • kathy

      i full respect every parent’s right to leave comments concerning safety, but my personal concern with some comments like this is that they seem to

      a) assume the worst of the parent being featured
      b) use the post as a reason to leave general concerns about child welfare (there aren’t slats in this piece).

      it makes it tough to convince parents to share anything on the site for fear of being attacked or criticized.

      in the picture you can see that the baby won’t have access to the paint (the entire bassinet portion is covered with a several layers of fabric covering) but if you’re looking to purchase a used piece yourself, you can always ask or check about the paint. if there is lead paint you can strip it down, sanitize and them repaint with a non-toxic paint.

      but i’m pretty sure the baby will have outgrown this bassinet before they have teeth or the strength to gnaw on metal tubing, right? cribs are another story, but this piece seems pretty safe to me.

      i just don’t want people to immediately assume something is unsafe before asking questions to the project owner- it really limits the type of projects we can share because parents are terrified of being judged and attacked in the comment section.


  • grace, i’ve noticed that too. i think it goes along with the fears that society creates for parents in other areas as well. nothing is safe for the kids these days.
    i think that bassinet is really brilliant and i’m stealing the idea for myself!

  • I agree with you 100% Grace.

    Anyone know where I can pick up the fabric the bassinet has? I’d love to make some pillows for my couch!

  • From one eco-conscious and child safety savvy Berkeley girl to another, great bassinet redo, Allison! I’ve restored couple of more obvious things from Urban Ore before, but honestly that place has so much stuff I get overwhelmed! I could never have seen the potential in that thing!

    And like Grace said, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about keeping your toothless newborn from chewing any potentially lead-based paint off of the bassinet stand. ;-)

  • I love the laundry makeover and the bassinette is fabulous and inspirational.

    BTW it looks just like the bassinette I bought new earlier on this year except the fabric was plain… but it was still frilly (Yuk). I’ll definitely think about recovering for our second baby.

  • I was able to find the name of the bassinet fabric; it is “cinzia” by Alexander Henry from 2008.

    I thoughtfully considered safety when recovering this bassinet. We sanitized each piece and did a bit of our own “crash testing” before deciding to use it. We even had a “no rolling” rule while Garrett was in it.

    I was comfortable placing my son in it as a newborn. He outgrew it in 2 months, which, for me, is all the more reason to buy second hand.

    As with anything, new or used, we make a decision that feels right for our family and are pleased with the outcome of this piece. I hope the criticism doesn’t stop creative parents from reusing and repurposing items that have lots of life left in them. I was able to make exactly what I wanted for a fraction of what this would have cost retail. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t find anything this simple and modern anywhere else!

  • The laundry room is amazing! If Erin sees this, please tell where you were able to purchase the melamine paint and how it is working out for you. I desperately want to do something about the old formica in my kitchen, and replacing it is not an option right now.

  • Thank you all for such supportive comments about my laundry room. The rug is the cheapie from Ikea. The melamine paint is from Benjamin Moore. We painted the counter with sponge rollers, but then tried to touch up some spots with a paintbrush – bad idea, as it left streaks. Other than that, we just try to wipe up any water splashes, as they seem to leave behind marks. It is not a permanent solution, and we’ll need to paint it again if we ever move, however it was really a cost issue – a new countertop was just beyond the budget. Since it’s in my basement, it doesn’t get too much wear and tear. BTW: We used the matte version of the melamine. It might be worth using the glossy instead since I’m guessing it is more scrubbable (the glossy, I think, is sold as the Porch and Floor paint – you’d have to ask Benjamin Moore :) Would a glossy counter be strange?

  • Thank you so much Erin!!! I was looking at some tutorials online, and most suggest several layers of a high-gloss water-based polyurethane top coat, so I will probably do that. I don’t think a glossy counter would be strange… granite is glossy and so are some other materials. Doing a google image search just now convinced me.

  • Best bassinet ever. I wish I had that for my kids.

    To all the people concerned about the health and welfare of children: all of the information on crib safety, lead paint and product recalls is readily available on the internet. Please don’t assume parents are negligent because they have chosen second-hand or to diy for their children.

    Remember, most of us grew up without outlet covers, with a play telephone with a cord longer than six inches and a ton of Playschool choking hazards, and we made it to adulthood.

  • Love the bassinet makeover and agree with the owner of the bassinet regarding the safety issues!!! My only concern was with why she didn’t go all the way and re-paint the frame in a lovely cool grey or sunny golden color to compliment the fabric? It really could have popped!

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