before & after: sarah’s studio + jutta’s dresser

It’s not easy to turn large, drafty warehouse spaces into bright, inviting and cozy studios. But when it happens, I immediately want to move in and live there forever. Sarah and her studio mates decided to use the space as the headquarters for two businesses: interior design studio Johnson/Soler and web-based interiors business Pushpin Revolution. They fixed up the entire place on their own, making everything from the chandelier to the work table themselves — wowza. I wish I lived in Chicago so I could see this lovely space in person. Amazing work, Sarah! — 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.)

Though I’m well into the fall mindset and have autumn colors on the brain, I spent a good chunk of time this morning ogling the summery citrus tones of this room/dresser makeover from Jutta. While the condition of the wood on this dresser looked pretty good beforehand, the “before” picture doesn’t reveal the bite marks and chewed bits, courtesy of one very naughty puppy. Jutta has owned the piece for 20 years, so when the damage occurred she decided to roll with it and transform the dresser in a way that better suited her style. The result is amazing in the context of this room, and the styling is quite beautiful, too. Great work, Jutta!


I want to paint a desk I have.. But I’m afraid of doing it!! Which type of paint should I use?


both of these posts are just lovely.
having grown up surrounded by exactly that type of blond wood, i’m entirely allergic to it (sort of like many people my senior are allergic to MCM).
what a great make over.


The workspace is light and fun. I really liked the dresser unpainted because I like seeing joinery-but that’s just my preference. The quality of the paint job looks good though.


@la Reveuse : A wonderful Parisian designer named Herve Matejewski makes -great- feather lamps in different sizes/lamps (desk top, applique, hanging). He has added a lot of new colors, I saw this September in Paris. The brand is Mat&Jewski.

Fiona Richards

The makeovers are great but I wanted to say thanks to Kristina for the link to Mat&Jewski’s feather lamp site. It’s exactly what we have been looking for.

Sarah Soler

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the comments. So happy you like our space. We had a lot of fun designing it. We made the chandelier ourselves. Look for a tutorial from us soon.

Laura W

The paint on the wall behind the chalkboard shadowboxes is exactly what I’ve been looking for to use in my living room makeover! What is it?


that studio transformation is unbelievalble! And i would never have thought that you could do something so nice with a boring cupboard like that. Looks great now!