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!

  1. Wow!! These are so great!!

    Love these transformations!

    -Chic Done Cheap

  2. Renee says:

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

  3. I wish I had that collection of amazing cameras! What a great use for these things. The drawers are pure genius!

  4. Justine says:

    what a unique way to showcase little artsy pieces! thanks for sharing :)

  5. Laura Evans says:

    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!

  6. So jealous of that camera collection, thats such a great way to display them!

  7. jennifer says:

    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.

  8. amy says:

    AHH…thanks so much Kate!!

  9. Wow what a wonderful art display and so creative. I just love it. Can’t wait to check out the rest.

  10. Nicole* says:

    what a genius idea for those drawers! thats awesome :)

  11. Katy says:

    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!

  12. Sue says:

    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.

  13. m says:

    i love both of these SO much.

  14. dominiqueb says:

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

  15. Eric says:

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

  16. Gosh! the last one makes me so jealous too, that looks amazing

  17. annawithlove says:

    brilliant! what an idea, love it!

  18. Lynne Rutter says:

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

  19. Katie (australia) says:

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

  20. Jessica says:

    Wow i LOVE the mail sorter – what a huge difference!

  21. Peaches says:

    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!

  22. kate G says:

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

  23. That is so clever! I love the finished product.

  24. Michele says:

    The drawer project blows my mind.
    Seriously!

    And I am coveting that perfect camera display piece.

  25. Zandri says:

    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

  26. noelle says:

    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!

  27. hena tayeb says:

    I love love love that camera display.. dying with envy here..

  28. angela lopes says:

    uaaauuu simply amazing :)

  29. Leslie McCray says:

    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.

  30. Barbi says:

    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!

  31. I LOVELOVELOVE the drawers! What a great idea!

  32. Matina says:

    wow!!!!!!!!! this is great!

  33. kupi says:

    i know an old camera collector who would LOVE that display!

  34. Renee says:

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

  35. Lucy says:

    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!!

  36. brittany says:

    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!!

  37. Shannon says:

    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!

  38. Raven says:

    That mail sorter is the living dream!

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