before & after: kristen’s dresser + desk

these next before & afters come from the talented kristen fountain davis of kfd designs. i love the sort of aged, distressed paint job both pieces got, and the reminded me that i forgot to announce a new column starting next month: before & after basics! next month, barb from knack will be joining us on thursdays to share a before & after 101 process. ranging from how to strip furniture and stain wood to how to pickle a piece of furniture or create a pattern with tape, barb will be teaching us the tools of her trade and covering many of the techniques you see here in makeovers every week. she’s working on her posts as we speak so stay tuned for those starting in july!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

CLICK HERE for kristen’s desk makeover after the jump!

  1. Stella says:

    The flaw on the bottom left drawer is given charm with the makeover, that is quite impressive. As well, this is probably the first time I love the use of a color best described as dirty highlighter yellow.

  2. christina says:

    i don’t know that i could love this any more!!!

  3. summerland says:

    Yeah baby! Love the distress-y-ness of the striped dresser. Could look great in several settings. Well done.

  4. Kodi says:

    Oh I love this!

  5. ashley akers says:

    I have a dresser just like that. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Alix says:

    I think the desk is adorable, but with all due respect (seriously, because I couldn’t make over a shoebox), I think the dresser is just plain ugly.

  7. Felicia says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the dresser!!! It is absolutely stunning!!!

  8. Kate says:

    That firdst dresser is just what I needed to see today. My baby’s room has a dress like that…no details, just flat. I have been agonizing over what to do to it. Distrssed paint job it is!

  9. knack says:

    love kristin, and her beautiful work….and this striped yellow and gray piece is my favorite piece of hers!

    way to go kristin !


  10. robin says:

    wow! they both look great! very unique and fun pieces

  11. georgia says:

    Sorry, but ugly and uglier comes to mind. How long do you think people will have these pieces in their homes before repainting them…?

  12. Kate A says:

    Can’t wait for the new column!

  13. Leigh says:

    can’t wait for the ‘before & after basics’! I just picked up a desk at a thrift shop for $20. It has great potential but needs some serious help. I’ll definitely be tuning in for tips.

  14. mollie says:

    i love before & after’s as much as the next girl, don’t misunderstand, but does anyone else ever think to themselves, “dear God, what have they done to that beautiful piece of furniture?!”? sometimes it just needs a fresh stain.

  15. Bettina Lynn says:

    Love seeing these! I just re-did my desk for my studio and posted it on my blog! Now I’m working on an old card catalog I picked up at a flea market…I’ve never been too “into” furniture redo’s but I’ve got to admit I’m liking the results!

  16. maranda says:

    love the first one! when i saw the before pic i was a little sad that it was getting a make over, but then i saw the results-fantastic!

    and so what if you get sick of it and decide to repaint it in a few years?! isn’t that part of the fun?

  17. Brittany says:

    The desk is cute and nice touch with the new pulls, but I like the dresser way better in the before picture!!!

  18. Ronnie says:

    I love all these before and afters!

    I’m in the process of doing one myself right now! hopefully it turns out just as nice.

  19. jonahliza says:

    these pieces are so inspiring. i love it! can’t wait for the new column. i definitely need some help.

  20. karen cheung says:

    I’m afraid I’m with Mollie on this one… but I’m a big fan of wood.

  21. thank you guys! :)

    wood lovers, i feel your pain. i, too, actually really loved the piece ‘before’ as well…but, i am not in the staining business, i’m in the paintin’ business! it’s what i do! :) i thought sanding down the corners and the edges to give the beachy look was a good way to sort of maintain the sweet rough, wooden look that the piece screamed at you when it was in its before state. also – it’s actually not ‘highlighter’ yellow in real life…it’s a beach-umbrella yellow!

  22. This reminds me of my favorite quote and one that I hold dear and true for my design business:

    “Decorators should never insist on throwing out everything the client has. Even when they are far from perfect, loved possessions add personality!” – Billy Baldwin

  23. I think that dresser is ruined….but I’m very traditional, and the makeover was done well if you like that style. The desk would be sweet for a girl’s room, but not an adult space. It is also well done.

  24. donnie says:

    I enjoy seeing the before and afters and am always inspired. But with this one, I have to agree with some of the other comments…not a huge fan.

  25. lisa says:

    i am in love with that dresser. you’ve inspired me to do mine in seafoam green and white, distressed of course. thanks :)

  26. Lisa says:

    Kristen wins hands down!

  27. i love the vintage vibe of the “after” dresser. job well done!

  28. Jenny says:

    Kristen and her work are amazing! I am a huge fan and this dresser is absolutely perfect!! It totally makes the space it’s in and it makes me want to decorate a whole room around it! Amazing job!

  29. Jess says:

    Le dresser est sublime!

  30. Lisa says:

    I think both are super cute! Obviously, painting furniture is not for everybody – but there are plenty of fans out there.

    I have a question: are you using wallpaper for the desk’s pattern on the drawers?

  31. Melissa Swanson says:

    I heart that dresser! Beautiful! I love the stripes. I love yellow and gray. And distressed paint. It’s pretty much an amalgamation of all the things I love.

  32. lisa h. says:

    ♥♥♥ the dresser ♥♥♥

  33. Sara says:

    Can’t wait for Before and After Basics! It’s just what I need (especially the stripping paint one…).

  34. Carolina says:

    The little desk would be great for a daughter’s room. Not really liking that distressed dresser too much:(

  35. Michele says:

    Love the stripe dresser. I am going to do the yellow and cream stripe on two smaller dressers. Thanks for the inspiration!!!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.