before and afterrugs and flooring

before & after: sarah’s rug + tatiana’s sofa

by Kate Pruitt

This first project of the day is such great inspiration, not only for people who may be slightly frustrated with the lack of sophisticated kid’s stuff out there but also for anyone looking to create an inexpensive chic floor covering. It should be no surprise that this comes from the same creative genius behind the floral sisal rug makeover we published previously, Sarah Baltare.

Sarah used a couple coats of primer and simple acrylic paints to completely transform the smooth side of these foam mats into a bountiful graphic garden. I love the fun colors and the beautifully bright florals, which seem so much more enjoyable for kids than the standard primary color blocking. You can read more about how Sarah completed this look here on her site. Thanks for sharing, 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.)

I’ve never been daring enough to own a sofa like this, but this project from Tatiana proves that sometimes the more daring the better. Bold sofa lines and bold patterns are a match made in heaven in this case. While I’m usually a bit hesitant to paint natural wood, I think the dark frame with the dark print is working quite well, and the fun pillows are perfection. I’m greatly inspired by designers who choose to make statements, and I will definitely use this sofa as motivation to take my own design risks. Great job, Tatiana!

Suggested For You


  • I LOVE the idea for painting that foam floor mat, those are comfy, but kind of ugly (maybe too strong or word I apologize). What a great way to customize. That couch is also amazing.

  • I totally agree with Laura. Those foam floor mats ARE ugly. Love the after! And the throw pillows on the couch couldn’t be more fun!

  • While I’m not a fan of pink, I don’t think the “before” sofa was bad enough that I’d have changed it! It is a hard call about painting wood and I usually don’t, but the black does look spectacular.

  • I have the foam rug stuck in the top of my son’s closet right now… I’m on my way home to get started:) That was fantastic!

  • I totally had to take a double take with that rug. I didn’t even believe it was the same. Wow – super impressive.

  • Would like to know how the paint holds up over time with kids playing around on it! I hope it would. I like the old pink sofa too but the re-do is a nice one.

  • anyone know what that fabric is on the sofa? i’ve got a chair that is screaming for it..

  • Love Sarah! I’ve been following her blog ever since you featured her first rug and I absolutely adore this rug that she painted!!!

  • Okay this foam floor tiles makeover is great, especially since I have an 8 month old and am in the market for some of those. Thanks for posting the link to her site, because my big question was how to prevent smudges and smears in case of spills or drool or wet hands! I will just have to look into whether or not polyurethane is safe, and if I feel okay with it, I will be so excited to try this!

  • Both of these before and afters are amazing!

    No one should be ashamed to say the rug before was completely hideous! I hate how so much kids stuff comes in a mish mash of colors that don’t look purposefully put together.

    I too tend to prefer wood in a more natural state but I can’t imagine recovering the couch with that fabric without painting it! What a great update!

  • The foam rug is beautiful, but I do wonder how well the paint and poly hold up. Seems like the flexible surface of the mat would cause the paint to crack. Couldn’t see where this issue was addressed on the blog. Anyone have experience with this? I might like to try it out for my kitchen.

  • The fabric on the couch is from Ikea. I recovered a chair in it a couple of years ago. I also used it to make a blind. I just LOVE it.

    Great projects!

  • Anyone know where I can find the pug pillow? Too cute!! And great sofa transformation!

  • I’m pretty sure the fabric is from Ikea. I can’t find it on the website anymore, but I remember seeing it in stores and online consistently over the past two years. Perhaps it is still in stores?

  • DS readers,

    Thanks for the lovely comments regarding my rug – so kind. To address your questions regarding durability, the rug has been in place for about a month and was in my apartment for about 3 weeks before that. There are no chips or cracks in the rug and it cleans up well. There is likely to be some hairline cracks with time, however due to the priming, I know the paint won’t chip, there is a good bond on it. The mat is easy to clean with soap and water and for any moms concerned, I used a water based non-toxic and low emission poly to seal the paint. There are likely other options from your paint store.


  • Thank you so much everyone for your sweet comments about my sofa! It was a labor of love.
    As far as the fabric, I got it from Ikea. Not sure if they still carry it but they are always restocking fantastic new prints. And it’s very affordable.
    I purchased the “pug pillow” from Pillow Pillow Pillow (http://www.pillowpillowpillow.com). It’s a brilliant site and they have a lot of unique products.
    If you have any other questions that I didn’t address feel free to email me at blog.tatiana.mikhailovna[at]gmail[dot]com
    And don’t forget to visit my blog: http://www.lovelifelace.com !
    Thank you again and thank you Design Sponge!

  • I absolutely LOVE the childrens’ puzzle rug idea! I have been struggling to find a good solution for a carpet in my studio (one that is unobtrusive and is easy to clean up) and I think a variation on this might work. Thanks for sharing it :)

  • Wow – I love that couch – it’s gorgeous. What a great idea – to paint on the back of the foam rug. Last year I tie dyed some slip covers to give our family room a little pizazz maybe I’ll try the rug idea as a cheap alternative. I looked quick and thought it was a rug from company c – my fave!

  • I guess I’ll be the only one – I think the before sofa was much better. The before looks like a more high end piece to me.

  • these are both AWESOME makeovers…things I would love to have in my own home. Very inspirational, especially the transformed kids’ rug!

  • Oh my gosh! I love both projects but that couch really turned out sooo wonderful! I also have a pug to go with that couch! :D

  • I thought the pink sofa was hideous. What a glorious transformation, melding classical and modern. Where can I get those fish pillows?

  • I love the fun colors and also the fantastically bright floral, that appear most a lot of pleasant for youths than the quality primary color.