before & after: maddy’s cabinet + alicia’s patio

This fun little cabinet makeover is just the right-sized project for me today. I see storage pieces like this everywhere — yard sales, office supply stores and occasionally on the sidewalk. It has never occurred to me to pick one up before, but this project has inspired me to hunt for one and fix it up to hold craft supplies. Maddy chose an unusual yet successful color palette, but what I love most are the mismatched knobs. It’s amazing what a knob change can do for a piece, isn’t it? Great work, Maddy! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

While the days of outdoor dining are fading fast in my neck of the woods, Australians are breaking out the patio furniture and the sunscreen. I would say that I’m envious, except that I’m a tried-and-true winter girl and must admit that I love the lowering temps. However, I am very envious of this courtyard makeover from Alicia. She decided to keep the landscaping simple by adding only lush, non-flowering greens. I love the combination of the concrete slab dining table (a score at 50% off, because of a small chip) and the organically curved Panton “S” chair replicas. The resulting dining setup is clean, organic and modern. Great transformation, Alicia!

Katie Truelove

That key handle is so clever! Maddy’s cabinet is a great reminder that a common/simple storage piece doesn’t have to look common or cost a lot of money- thanks for sharing:)


A question for Maddy or anyone that may know–

What paint/prep techniques did you use that adhered the pigment so well to the plasticy finish? I have a similar big-box furniture piece like the original, and this makeover seems very doable (not to mention super adorable)


Joann – if you have a look at the blog you will find some great techniques for priming and painting those laminated surfaces. You need a really good oil based primer and it’s best to do some sanding before hand.
I have a really plain cabinet like that and I’m totally going to paint it and give it some cool handles. Thanks for the inspiration!


I was wondering the same thing Joann was! I have a few of these oh-so-lovely cabinets and didn’t even think to paint them because the finish seems difficult to paint.


Love the cabinet-especially the handles!

But those S chairs! SWOON! I would be out on that patio in the snow because it is GORGEOUS!


LOVE the key drawer pull!

And the patio make over is lovely, but leaves me wondering… Where does Alicia hang her washing now?

heather leigh

oooh i love the skeleton key handle – never seen that before! i have a couple that i’ve been holding onto until the right idea came along, and this just might be it! <3 thanks for sharing


This is why I love furniture and interiors. The cabinet was quite boring in the before shot and then with a bit of imagination, a lick of some funky paint colours and some cool new handles, it is transformed into a really cool piece of furniture. The cabinet will now stand out in any room and immediately grab attention.

Well done!!


These before and after posts are really inspiring. It really shows what a person can do with a little work.


I’m always in awe of all of the creativity on this site. This place is addicting!

I love what the reader did with that cabinet above. Wondering if I could find a similar filing cabinet somewhere….My office certainly could use one!


great kitchen makeover! i like the red cabinets :)
the cupboard is amazing, never thought you could make a thing like that pretty. Amazing job!


PLEASE Tell me where you found the key handle… I have seen this many places but can not seem to find it!!!!