before & after: amy’s drawers + natalie’s mail sorter

This is one of my favorite Before & After projects of late. It might be because I’m partial to loose drawers; they can be used for so many things, and vintage drawers have their own unique personality that gets hidden when they simply sit inside a cabinet. Amy clearly shares my attitude on the reuse potential of old drawers. She repainted and connected four of them to create an awesome display piece over her desk. The dark and white contrast is so dramatic, and I especially love the way the handles look — it’s a lovely one-of-a-kind art piece that also provides storage! Great transformation, Amy! — 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.)

This project makes me so jealous — what I wouldn’t give for a vintage piece like this!! I have to admit, though, that even if I had somehow snagged the “before” version of this piece, I never would have been able to make it look as beautiful as Natalie has done here. The combination of steely blue and rustic dark wood is so perfect; clearly, Natalie has great taste that extends well beyond her gorgeous collection of antique cameras. Needless to say, I’m going to be storing this in my design files, and I can’t wait to see what Natalie comes up with next. You can follow Natalie and check out more of her projects on her blog, The Wright House. Thanks for sharing, Natalie!


I love the idea of using drawers as shelves – amazing! And I love the way the mail sorter turned out!

Laura Evans

i’m not sure which i want more … the mail sorter or the camera collection itself!

& i love the drawers on the wall … wonderful functional display pieces!


my new goal in life is to find a mail sorter and turn it into that! i have the cameras already and my ikea cd tower just doesn’t do them justice.


Wow…that mail sorter turned camera display is the best thing ever! I’ve been struggling with a good way to display my own camera collection; apparently I need to look for an old mail sorter!


I love Natalie’s piece. I have an old pine CD box from that is about 13 years old that looks so much like top of this piece. I have kept it in my sewing room. Each time I look at it I think I should paint it and hang it on the wall. I can use all the compartments for small sewing things and it would look great on the wall. This inspires me. Thanks.


both are great!
soo envious of that camera collection! eeps!!! that piece and display are really well done.


Love the camera organizer. Have a small collection myself and would love to show them off.

Lynne Rutter

that mail sorter is a brilliant way to display the camera
collection; each small object in its own cubby. i love it!

Katie (australia)

Perfect pigeon holes! Not only a great authentic fix up but
perfectly put to use displaying your camera collection.


Love all of them, but man, those drawers turned shelves-slash art display is amazing! Best furniture reuse project I have seen in a long time. Well done!

kate G

Oh my god look at that collection of cameras. that mail sorter is AWESOME!!! I want it… and the cameras.


The drawer project blows my mind.

And I am coveting that perfect camera display piece.


I have a huge collection of vintage cameras. The mail sorter idea is perfect to display them. I’m hunting for one online right away! Thank you


I actually attempted this last year! I got all the drawers and painted them teal and robins egg blue. I never hung them, but instead built them one on top of the other against the wall – it was a really cool space saver!

Leslie McCray

great job on the mail sorter.

what I want to know is where is the rest of that great dresser? Hopefully shelves somewhere or a tv cabinet.


Both of these ideas I love but the drawers are really catching my eye. I have a creative space (for scrapbooking, drawing anything creative) and I have been looking for a cool way to display my current or fav projects. I am also a Mom so I love to display my girls art work, I think this would look so good and they would be so proud. I will be on the look out for drawers!


Wow, Natalie, I love your key board and computer desk lamp, from recent posts on your blog. Very cool.


Ahhhh! I have the mail sorter – mine is a tad bit smaller, and I have been struggling with what to display. Cameras – what a great idea!!


we also have an extensive camera collection, but they’ve been collecting dust on a table. what a great way to show off the collection and keep them safe! love it!!


OMG I love love love that mail sorter! I have quite the camera collection but they look so great displayed like this! I have them on shelves in my livingroom but now I will have to keep my eyes open for something like this! Good job!

Those drawers are really cute and creative too, never would have thought of that!