before & after: diana’s table + michelle’s lamp candles


I love seeing before and after projects where the “after” is so well crafted, it looks like something you would find at a small boutique or design shop. This little side table from Diana is lovely, and I love all the details, particularly the Moroccan-style tile patterns, which Diana made from a zillion plastic fuse beads, and the clean wooden grid she built to house them.

Clearly, a lot of time and care went into this table, transforming its humble “before” to a uniquely modern and eclectic “after.” Diana was also clever enough to leave the tiles unglued under a protective sheet of glass so that she can swap them out at any time for new tiles or patterned fabric squares. I would sort of hate to see them go, but I trust Diana would only do it for something even better. Great work, Diana! — 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.)


There are many categories of before and after projects. We’ve seen new coats of paint, complete redesigns and heavy construction jobs. One of my favorite “before and afters” is just a good old scene change. Sometimes to transform something completely and make it useful again, you simply need to imagine its potential in a different part of the home. Sounds easy, but sometimes the idea can only happen by accident.

Michelle found these fixtures at Goodwill and planned to use the chandelier portion for her entryway lighting. Rather than waste the glass frames, she decided to try them out as candle centerpieces on her dining table. Done! I love the large scale of these on the table; it’s unexpected, but totally dramatic. The prism shape also makes them perfect for bouncing around all that lovely candle light. A genius reuse, in my opinion.

Click here to see the full project, including the reworked chandelier parts, which are now hanging in her entryway. Great work, Michelle!

  1. katie says:

    love the chandelier idea. So cool.

  2. Sing says:

    Loving the lights turned into candle holders, those are great.

  3. chrissi says:

    love the way the lights on the table turned out….wow! i am going to be on the hunt for something like this :)

  4. Nathalie says:

    the lamps are fabulous! great job michelle!

  5. annawithlove says:

    This is so innovative! I love it, what great ideas!

  6. Peaches says:

    I think my dentist’s office still has a lamp like that in teh lobby.
    great idea!

  7. What a great idea with the chandelier!
    cool stuff..

  8. Casa e Cose says:

    I adore that table! I need to go out and find me some bead and do a project with my son – great!
    And the candle holder lights are superb

  9. Susan says:

    Such a simple but classic centerpiece for the table…and dirt cheap! I’ll never look at cast off lighting the same…good eye!

  10. Ann Dillon says:

    Love the lamps as candle holders, would look nice with colored sand as well, like red at Christmas time.

  11. Caroline says:

    It looks totally gorgeous, I love it!

  12. ann says:

    the candle holder lights are great. it’s not a complicated project at all, but so smart!
    i like the table as well, but want to see more views!

  13. Kristen says:

    Using the lamps as candleholders was such a great idea! I love the scale. And I had totally forgotten about plastic fuse beads until I saw them on another project recently – cute idea! Both of these makeovers are so original!

  14. Heidi says:

    Can I get a source on that vase in the last shot? I have been looking all over for something like that and haven’t had any luck. Thanks!

  15. Kaylee says:

    This is a very smart and practicall idea! I absolutely love it!
    -PinkyKmK

  16. Deb says:

    A nice look would be white sand and a smaller pillar candle would match the weight of the lamps.

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