before & after: nursery makeover + butcher block

I’d like to think my tastes have matured since infancy and that there aren’t many nurseries I would want to live in, but this one from Megan might be the first! I adore those dip-dyed coral curtains, and I think I might have to build myself an adult-sized teepee like this one. The mix of colors and fabrics is incredibly sophisticated, while the soothing, cheerful palette seems perfect for babies (and adults!). Great transformation, Megan! — Kate

Time: One year (for the entire house)

Cost: $800 for nursery (including paint, furniture, etc.)

Basic Steps: The entire room took an absurd amount of white paint and white things! We collected many natural and raw-looking pieces of furniture, and then we would randomly place pops of primary color for accents. Whenever we brought in something soft and white, we would balance it with something raw or rustic. Since we live in a tropical area, we wanted the green from outside to be a focal point. What advice do you have for people trying to tackle a similar project? Try building things yourself! Only bring in things that you absolutely love — you may not have much, but at least you’ll like it all. — Megan

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.)

CLICK HERE to see Tricia’s power-tool butcher block after the jump!
Seeing that I’ve spent hours poring over power tools for DIY 101, it should come as no surprise that I have a soft spot for this little butcher block table from Tricia. Not only does it fit perfectly into the little nook in her kitchen, but it also adds a wonderful pop of color and texture to her cheerful, vintage-inspired white kitchen. If this table were on the market, I’d snatch it up in a heartbeat. Fantastic work, Tricia!

Time: 3 hours

Cost: $25

Basic Steps: Even though this was out for the bulk trash just around the corner, it was too heavy to carry home, and I did need a friend with some moving straps and a trunk to help me lug it home. From there, my  fiancée and I disassembled the top table and blade area and removed the motor and wiring. It was a little tricky to figure out how everything came apart at first, but we only needed a ratchet to remove the bolts that were keeping everything in place.

The butcher block is just from the local hardware store, cut from a 1 1/4″ thick board to the dimensions I needed. I cleaned the base with mild soap and warm water only, as I didn’t want to strip any of the paint, and then attached the “butcher block” top through the existing screw plates and some new heavy-duty screws.

Advice: Don’t overlook your neighbor’s trash. Sometimes, it’s the most unexpected items that are the easiest to overhaul and that have the most interesting results. — Tricia


Those curtains are lovely, but they’re coming down, one way or another, in 12 months!


absolutely love the nursery makeover! It is so cute yet sophisticated. No baby for me yet but when I do… this could be the look.
Meagan, row house nest


Love, this nursery. I’m especially enamored with the bed/crib. Was this purchased or made? Hmmmmmmm.


love it!!!! thanks for the tip… now i’ll go around snooping my neighbor’s trash :0)


I would absolutely, positively move into that nursery in a heartbeat! That room is perfection! The white, the deer, the dip dyed curtains… it’s perfection!

Steven Hoober

Poor table saw. Just the day after your post on saws. This is a good one, you could have totally refurbed it. I have friends who have done so.


Those curtains are great! Did Megan dye those herself? If so, what kind of fabric/dye was used? I’d like to try it myself.


thanks for the nice comments! folks warned me on the long drapes, but she never touched them (two years old now) Phew! The crib is from Amy Coe. Teepee tutorials all over the web – xox


yes, i used rose pink RIT Dye. Curtians from ikea. keep a bit of bleach nearby in case you get dye on the white parts!


I had a teepee growing up and it was my favourite place to play at, asides the garden, so much fun… I adore that nursery, such soothing colours, so much light, and that white deer head <3


where did you get the coffee table in the “before” pic?


kristin – the deer head is from
Z Gallerie – it was beige and we painted it white.

heddie – the coffee table was a thrift find, but im sure you could find something similar on Ebay if you use midcentury or danish in your search

thanks to all comments


Love the make over! Especially love that cute little tent! I am seeing it in various spaces these days. May I ask where you got it?


thanks so much for featuring me – I’m honored!!

Steven – i originally looked into fixing the saw before I disassembled it, but it would have needed a new motor, rewiring, and a new blade…

Stephanie Press

Agreed about the dip-dyed curtains. Just adore them, and then I get excited thinking about a range of colors. Any DIYers on this process?


I love when nurseries are not just about primary colors. The space is for parents to enjoy as well.


I second the request for a how-to on the dip dyed curtains. I have a sad pair of white sheers left by previous owners and this project is calling their name!


This is what i did to achieve the dip dye: I filled my bathtub with a bit of water and added the RIT dye. Tied the curtains in a knot so they all get the about the same amount of dye.
Dipped the curtains in just a bit(3 inches ) for the dark color on the bottom. Then add more water to dilute the dye color. Dipped again but this time 4-5 inches up. You can control your ombre look by how many time you dip, how far you dip and how much you water down the color. Hope that helps. Maybe I’ll put together a tutorial with pics – xo

sharon taylor

LOVE this sweet room! The room looks fantastic and I love, love the dip dyed curtains. The butcher block is genius and so cute.


Nice work. I recommend a coat of oil on the table saw frame. A 1:1 mi of turpentine and boiled linseed oil will keep it from rusting.


I love the dip-dye technique. If I do it, I will use a washtub (outside) under a tree for fear of the dye staining my old fiberglass bathtub. I applaud your results, beautiful.

Also, just love the worktop on the salvaged industial table base. That’s going into my ideas file as well.


Your butcher block has inspired me to give it a go. I have a weird heavy wooden drum shaped table with a shelf that I am going to makeover. At first was not sure what to do with it. Inspiration struck yesterday and I have ordered castors (industrial strength as it is very heavy) and decided to make into a butcher block mobile trolley for the kitchen. I was getting disheartened as finding it hard find something for the top for the cutting surface. I may check the hardware stores now or ask my neighbour who is a carpenter. You have encouraged me to think outside the square! BTW, I have found some real treasures from other peoples ‘trash’ too!