before and afterDIY

Before & After: Steamer Trunk Makeover

by Grace Bonney

Most of our before & after makeovers focus on homes and interiors, but today I’m sharing a project that’s small and travels well – a steamer trunk! Designer Cameron MacLean of Off Cut Studio specializes in woodworking and cabinets, but he got to try something totally different when an online shoe store reached out for help. The shoe start-up was looking for something that would help them create a tiny traveling store, so they purchased an old steamer trunk. They handed the trunk over to Cameron and asked for custom built interiors that would help them travel with and display shoes for sale. So Cameron got to work transforming the steamer into a swanky new mini-retail location complete with monogrammed leather and walnut shelves. I love the solid brass heel rails – those really add such a touch of sophistication and style. I hope you’ll enjoy this detour from our normal interior makeover and maybe be inspired to rethink the next trunk you come across at your local thrift store. xo, grace

Click through for the full makeover after the jump!




The final trunk has a number of custom details that were designed to help the retail display. Circular shelves swivel out to increase the visual footprint of the display unit and a small stool was also made in-house using the same leather as the trunk’s new lining. The stool fits neatly inside the trunk so the entire thing can be closed up and wheeled away without any fuss. The casters are vintage industrial casters, each of which has locks on them to keep the whole unit stable.

after_7 copy

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after_14 copy


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