before & after: lindsey’s headboard + lauren’s fan

this beautiful before & after comes from lindsey smith in louisiana. as newlyweds and first time homeowners, lindsey and her husband didn’t have a big budget to spend on new furniture. expecting their first child only a few month away, they decided to focus on spending money preparing for their little one instead. so when it came to decorating their bedroom, lindsey got resourceful. inspired by a gustavian bed at viva terra, she decided to create her own version of the headboard using salvaged wood. working on the visual team at anthropologie in baton rouge, lindsey was lucky enough to inherit a pile of wood that had been salvaged from fallen trees during katrina and used as part of an in-store fireplace display (below). when the holidays were over the display came down and lindsey lugged the wood home. working with her father-in-law (who knows to mill wood), lindsey used a projector to get the shape onto the wood and then it was cut and the pieces were attached. the final result is a beautiful (and budget-friendly) new headboard. congrats, lindsey!

[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)]

[image above: some of the wood in use at the anthropologie store display]

CLICK HERE for lauren’s vintage fan makeover after the jump!

lauren from elephant on a wire sent in this vintage fan makeover. after finding this discarded fan for free, she decided to clean it down and freshen it up with some paint and a little elbow grease. the finished product now has a new home on lauren’s window seat. thanks for sharing, lauren!

  1. hot damn! i LOVE that headboard!

  2. Melinda faranetta says:

    Thanks for great inspiration. I can’t wait to try this using vintage boards and a Moroccan shape for my boys twin headboards.

  3. Melissa says:

    Genius idea for the headboard! That’s HOT. The fan is rad, too! The blue is a great choice.

  4. Christa says:

    That is a terrific headboard idea! I’ve been looking for an idea for a guest room and this may be IT. Thanks, design sponge!

  5. kar says:

    Wow. That headboard is beautiful. What I wouldn’t give for a little carpentry know-how!

  6. Devin says:

    This is such a great idea! It turned out so well.

    I’m confused though. Is the crafty designer Lauren or Lindsay? The description went back and forth between the names.

    1. grace says:


      ack! you’re right, sorry, i got the L-names mixed up. just fixed them ;)


  7. Love, LOVE, love this headboard.
    This is it. I have been musing on making one and I love it. Thank you!

  8. completely smitten with the headboard. So inspiring to see someone use something so simple to make something so awesome. Nice work!

  9. My dad fixed up a couple of old fans like that for me. I wish I’d gotten B&A pics. They make great accents to any room, and if wired properly, can be really functional on a hot day. :)

  10. Alix says:

    Can anybody tell me where Lauren’s striped bedspread and pillow shams are from?

  11. jen says:

    love them both, but that headboard is AMAZING!

  12. Wow, that’s a great headboard project–and wood from Anthropologie, of course it’ll look cool!
    Nice to see a cute vintage fan looking its best again =)

  13. That headboard is amazing! It looks better than the real thing!

  14. Minna says:

    Hi Grace, do you know anything about the original procurement of the wood from Katrina? Is there an non-profit that salvaged the wood and sold it to companies (Anthropologie in this case)? I am very glad of the re-use, but I hope that the value of that wood made it back to the communities afflicted by Katrina. Thoughts?

  15. That headboard is just brilliant!

  16. Gregory says:

    Alix – The quilt and shams are from West Elm – either ’08 or ’09.

  17. Gregory says:

    Minna, my dad has a portable lumber mill. Essentially, friends and family with downed trees on their land called him for help to remove the trees. Rather than cutting it all into firewood, he milled what he could. He loaned some of the wood to Anthro for their display and didn’t need the “ugly wood” back. Ugly wood makes better headboards than pretty wood.

  18. Kodi says:

    That headboard is gorgeous! A bit of an ambitious endeavor for me though I feel…

  19. d*s fan says:

    That headboard is unbelievable! So simple, inexpensive, trendy, classic, eco-friendly, etc. all at the same time! Man, I want that headboard!

  20. Crystal says:

    The headboard is Lovely!

    Ana white has the plans for the whole bed on her website …

  21. Mads says:

    I was hoping that there would be some information on what she used to clean the fan. I see that she painted the base, but what techniques/products did she use to get the rust off the fan blades? Or was that just paint too?

  22. Danielle says:

    That headboard is perfect, and perfect for the times. Great job. The fan is great too! I love before and after day!

  23. Emily says:

    That’s gorgeous! I’m so impressed!

  24. gosh people are so dang crafty! i love it.

  25. omg soooooo in love the headboard!! it’s so super amazing! I have been looking for a proper bed for so long….mainly browsing old Victorian stuff (which I cannot afford..but adore) But I love this and can afford to do it myself! Yippeee! problem solved!

  26. Hannah says:

    oh my goodness, the headboard is such an amazing idea, I’m so getting my boyfriend onto making something like that, love it!

  27. Molly says:

    @ Mads

    I am wondering the same thing. I would guess she rubbed it down with steel wool and repainted it.

    Did she have to rewire it? Or was it already working? How about a little “how to?”

  28. Catherine says:

    I love the whole before and after thing. I actually get excited to see what the ‘after’ looks like. Some say I need to get out more!

  29. Oh my! That headboard is incredible!

  30. caroline says:

    I’ve been lusting after that exact headboard on Viva Terra for the last eighteen months, but it’s waaay out of my price range. I’d love to attempt that project but I can’t imagine cutting wood in my tiny NYC apartment!

  31. jonahliza says:

    that headboard is to die for!!

  32. Phyllis says:

    That headboard is AWESOME! Love the justaposition of the traditional shape with the rustic texture of the wood. A+++ on design and thanks for sharing.

  33. heather says:

    love!!! for all of those with crafty desires but no wood-working skills, consider asking around at the local hardware store… a lot of time they will cut wood for you, and if they can’t do it there, they might be able to suggest someone who could do it for you, probably wouldn’t cost much at all.

  34. cristina says:

    heather – asking around the local hardware store is a great idea…so many people are out of work that people probably wouldn’t charge much and would feel better just for having something to do. Good question about the provenance of the wood too – such a great community here.

  35. Stephanie says:

    The bed is just wonderful. Great job on that! It was the fan that caught my eye though. Beautiful job of cleaning and painting it. Is it also refurbished inside as well?

  36. Sus says:

    Not sure what Lauren used, but I have used a product called Naval Jelly to get rust off. You can find it at Home Depot. You brush it on, let it sit for a little while, then scrub it off with steel wool. It won’t eliminate the rust completely (usually) but it’s great for getting little speckles of rust off.

  37. sooo Sundance ….
    love it!

  38. Evie says:

    I love that headboard! It looks like it would be very reasonable to recreate!

  39. Denny says:

    I love that fan. My daughter is so creative. Her elephant keepsakes are amazing!

  40. Christy says:

    I am so impressed with the headboard! This is a creative alternative to just buying a headboard, given you have the time of course… Great Job!

  41. Lauren says:

    Whoops! I was so excited to have my fan posted on Design Sponge that I forgot to check the comments!

    To answer some questions: The wiring on the fan was done for. I cut the cord off, but the motor is still inside to give it some weight.

    As far as cleaning, I used steel wool everywhere I could and then my boyfriend’s dad (handyman that he is) sandblasted the blades. I then used rustoleum paint and a basic craft brush to paint the body blue. The blades were left as-is after the sandblasting.

    I hope that clears up the confusion!

  42. Hannah says:

    I just made a headboard inspired by this post.

    Thank you for the inspiration

  43. Susan Schiller says:

    Looks nice, the headboard, but: in case you don’t have old wood at hand, you can utilize wallpaper called scrapwood wallpaper. You can find and buy it at bodie and fou ‘s website. Designed by a famous Dutch designer. Looks phantastic.

  44. Annie says:

    I know this was posted ages ago, but I just found this post via pinterest. I’ve been looking for a green paint similar to that of the headboard photo. Any recommendations?

  45. Scott says:

    I could totally see that headboard in a cabin or some other woodsy type place. That’s just the vibe and style that I get from it. And the fan looks much better in blue than the brownish color it was before. Cool stuff.


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