before & after: sarah’s side tables + sara’s pendant lamp

The amazing creative adventures of Sarah + Sara! That’s what I’ve decided to label this post, and I sort of hope these two inventive ladies somehow meet up and turn this idea into a real thing. Sarah, whom you may remember from this credenza makeover we posted about a month ago, is back again with these beautiful side tables. Normally I’m a little wary of decoupage on anything larger than an ashtray or a vase, but I love her choice of color and pattern here. The aged whitewash works perfectly with the vivid print, and I would gladly snatch these up if I came across them on a shopping trip. Great work, 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.)

The second creative Sara(h) of the day is Sara Robbins, the genius behind this cheap and easy chevron pendant lamp. Sara was looking for a lighting update, and when she couldn’t find anything she liked in her price range, she decided to make her own custom shade using metallic Sharpies, a plain lampshade and the existing wiring from her old fixture. I love how crisp and smart those silver chevron stripes look! This definitely confirms the Sharpie marker as my favorite writing invention of all time. Let’s hear it for Sharpies and for Sara’s ingenious creation! You can see more of Sara’s process here on her blog. Thanks for sharing, Sara!


Love the sidetables!! I have some furniture thats in need of some paint, so I love seeing pieces like this for inspiration :)

Katelin Michaluk

Your lovely site inspires me in the greatest ways! But it also makes me want to redo my whole apartment! aagh

Kate xo


Really dense & possibly lacking in caffeine…. embarrassed to admit how long it took me to realize those tables were the SAME tables. Nicely done!!!

morning flower


Your ideas will not cost much money and it is also lovely!
Especially, the lamp becomes more attractive without costing much.


Paula Raymond

LOVE the tables! I am so ready to go garage saling or to the flea market to find some “beauties in the rough”!! Thanks for sharing!


This is my FAVORITE part of your work…just so motivating! Clever, eco and wise!


i literally did this lampshade project last night, though mine’s for a table lamp and i used black paint that i had on hand. it’s a totally quick and cheap project and makes a bold statement.


The side tables are fantastic! They’re barely recognizable as the same pieces! And I love how chic the lamp shade looks, even though I’m sure it was economical!

Great great job!


Great work from Sarah! Looks like she has taken some
inspiration from Barb’s Before & After Basics column. The
pendant lamp is fantastic too!