before & after: sarah’s rug + kat’s planters

These two before & afters share a couple characteristics. Not only do they inject a much-needed dose of sunny yellow into my otherwise cold and drab November day, but they both display a significant amount of DIY ingenuity.

This painted floral rug from Sarah has turned on a light bulb over my head — why would I ever need to settle for a boring rug again? Inspired by a luxurious floral tufted rug she spotted at Anthropologie, Sarah decided to grab some paint and a brush and try her own hand at a large-scale printed rug. The result has a lovely painterly quality and it really ties the room together :) I’m sure the “after” is even more satisfying for Sarah, considering she managed to save a bundle and recycle an old rug. Great job, 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!)

Our second sunny-hued project comes from Kat, who, along with her husband, managed to build these fall planters in a weekend out of some salvaged wood, a few cast-off rusted tables, and some “as is” Ikea table legs. Looking at the “before” image of the materials, I have to admit that I had no idea what these would turn into, but I love the result! I actually think the rust looks really nice with the yellow hue, and these planters have a modern and eclectic style you certainly won’t find anywhere else. Great transformation, Kat!

  1. Megan says:

    Holy DIY Rug! That is one of the most unique ideas I have seen. I love it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. kendra says:

    i love the rug! that is beautiful! i would love to do that. but i’m curious, how does it feel on your feet? is it still soft?

  3. Susan says:

    I am mad for this rug! What kind of paint did she use? Did she have to prime/seal it with anything? So cool!

  4. Casey says:

    The rug is beautiful! But I’m curious about how she did it. Did she paint the entire rug the light color, then paint the design over that? How did the dark edges take the paint? I have a similar woven rug – I think it would look great with a large, all over pattern like this one.
    I also love planters with legs, great idea!

  5. Jo Chopra says:

    Wait! Can Sarah share the step-by-step on how she did the rug painting? It’s such a complete transformation it’s hard to see how it happened.

  6. Jen says:

    Follow the link to Sarah’s website and it shows the DIY steps

  7. f says:

    There is a link in the post to Sarah’s explanation of how she painted the rug:

  8. I’m new to DesignSponge and already I’m in love. I’m Jo Chopra! Can we get some instructions on how Sarah created this awesome rug?

  9. Krista says:

    That rug is SOOOO amazing! Love it!

  10. Kara says:

    Sarah’s website has a great step by step. I just looked at it and found it to be quite thorough.

  11. What a difference- amazing- great idea, this painted rug !!Ilove the planters as well- very pretty.

  12. Jackie says:

    Okay, how often does one get great modern decorating advice AND a reference to “The Big Lebowski?”

    Love this blog!

  13. Wow! That painted rug is amazing. It’s always so hard to find high style rugs at reasonable prices. Way to go Sarah for taking matters into your own hands! It turned out beautifully. Now make one for me? :)

  14. I l-l-l-looooove that rug idea!

  15. hena tayeb says:

    that rug is blowing my mind!

  16. WOW AMAZING!!!! love, the rug!!

  17. MsChilePepper says:

    That rug really DOES tie the room together! Sure hope nobody pees on it. *grin*

  18. Christine says:

    I’m SO impressed with that rug. You’ve got talent, girl :)

  19. Amanda says:

    Please give us a DIY on how to do a rug like this! I have a rug to be recycled right now!

    1. grace says:


      there’s a link to the how-to from sarah in the post ;)


  20. rug is just fantastic… the color combo of bright yellow against indigo. Just stumbled upon your blog and love it!

  21. Nicole says:

    I absolutely LOVE that rug idea since my cats have ruined my area rug. Can anyone suggest an inexpensive rug that would be mostly cat-proof? I wonder if the indoor/outdoor rugs would be tougher?

  22. That rug makeover is Amazing! Such a bold and fantastic idea.


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