Before and after pictures to brighten your day

Anyone in the mood for a little transformation?

In the months I neglected to blog this summer and in the recent days of historic news (i.e., Cubs, election), I realized I never shared the before-and-after pictures of my pantry-back entryway-laundry room that my Beloved and I made over this summer. Oh, I alluded to its transformation here in May, and I wrote a tribute to the threshold here (worth reading, I promise, especially if you’re trying to escape all things political) but I never finished the job. How unsatisfying. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

The room of 128 square feet needed attention in the biggest way. We’ve lived here nine years, and all I ever did was sweep the floor. So let’s begin there: The floor.


Flooring: Before

Yuck. Discolored linoleum. It looked like what it was: Cheap and ugly.

My Beloved and I installed premium interlocking vinyl slats that look like barn boards but wear like iron. It was a trick measuring and cutting (for my Beloved — I was just labor, not brains), but it actually installed pretty easily. Here’s the after shot:


Flooring: After

Let’s turn to the pantry.

pantry before

Pantry: Before

I’ve tried the organize the pantry in the past, but none of my bottles and boxes ever stayed organized. So I invested in a few baskets at the Container Store with labels, and I’m proud to say I’m having a lot more success keeping things presentable.


Pantry: After

It’s not perfect on any given day, but it’s immeasurably better.

Now twirl around and behold my laundry area:


Laundry: Before

How depressing, huh? The room is just off the kitchen, so it’s very handy, but it was just plain ugly. Plain and ugly.

The room makeover began with a paint job, from a yellowish gray to a bit brighter gray. It’s hard to see in the pictures, but it helped. Then, in stark relief, my Beloved installed new white cupboards to replace the shelving.

In a tiny bit of irony, we scored a deal on these cupboards from the former owner of the house, with whom we still socialize and now consider a friend. They should have been installed all along. They began with a dark cherry finish, but I repainted them with in a shiny white.


Laundry: After

Now I can hide all my laundry detergent and dog food. My Beloved also built three little shelves to connect the cupboards, and I painted them to match the cupboards and decorated them with laundry-room appropriate tchotchkes like a button jar and an old-fashioned iron.

Turn again and you’ll see the entryway from the garage.


Entryway: Before

Bor. Ing. The row of coat hooks was missing one, and check out that patched spot where the door knob once was jammed. This area was transformed with paint.


Entryway: After

Here’s a quick peek inside the closet (to the left of the coat hooks), which I painted yellow (leftover from my office makeover a few years ago) and made more efficient with a broom and umbrella organizer.


Closet: After

The footlocker was useful and effectively kept a lot of pairs of tennis shoes corralled. But it was beat up and too dark. Here’s another look at it before I painted it:


Footlocker: Before

Most of the locker was painted with a slightly darker gray than the walls. The lid and handles were painted bright blue, the leftovers from some other project. Then I  added a few aging details with some brown paint and stenciled a blue design on the front. As I’ve said before, paint fixes a lot of sins.


Footlocker: After

But the best part of this entire room makeover is that shelving unit above the footlocker. My father, a woodworking wizard, created this from only a set of measurements. He left it unfinished for me to paint to coordinate with the footlocker (that’s the same blue in the shelve backing). I decorated the top with a few items inspired by Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame, and I just love it.


Shelves & coat hooks: After

My Beloved did all the work ourselves, and the entire project took about two months (the cupboards alone required four coats of paint and three coats of polyurethane — that’s a lot of waiting for things to dry!). But the results are worth it, even if we can only enjoy it a few more weeks or months until we sell this place. Every time I walk in the back door, I appreciate the view.


4 responses to “Before and after pictures to brighten your day

  1. I love the show Fixer Upper and I love your makeover work – good job!

  2. This did kinda perk me up a bit. I love before and afters! Nice job.

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