When Lee sent over her Design Dilemma after pictures we couldn’t wait to share them. We know that many of you are chomping at the bit to see how our mood boards turn out (believe me, we are too) so we’re always thrilled to see how those spaces transform after some pretty major room makeover-ing. You may remember that we whipped up this custom mood board for Lee a while back when she came to us for help turning her hodge-podge of a room into a space to sort mail, do homework, and store a few things in a more appealing way. Since the room’s visible from a plethora of other adjoined spaces, it serves as a pass-through but also needs to bring a lot more function and style to the table. Here’s the before picture to refresh your memory:
And here’s the mood board that we created to inject order, balance and tons of eye-pleasing function to a formerly undefined and unfinished looking room (see more mood board details here).
And now for Lee’s big after pic. Here’s her newly spiffed homework and mail zone right off of the front room and the kitchen:
Isn’t it endlessly more inviting and useful? We love everything from the big round pendant to the woven baskets that mimic the texture in the round jute rug under that great desk that stems from that fantastically functional wall of bookcases from Ikea. And here’s what Lee had to say about her big room makeover:
This overhaul was so exciting! We got nearly everything you suggested and as soon as we built all of the Ikea stuff it immediately started to look great in there. Your ideas really did make for a big change. We love it. The bowl on the desk is always changing (sometimes it’s full of fruit but I also love your crayon idea – we’ve got boatloads of those!). Brilliant work! Thanks so much! -Lee
No thank YOU Lee, for sending us your room update. You don’t even know how excited we get when they turn up in our inbox. Didn’t Lee do a fantastic job? We love that she added as many boxes and bins as she needed to meet her storage goals and that she’s having fun switching out the desktop bowl depending on her mood. This is one of those great transformations that shows how just a few quick and easy changes (like Ikea bookcases that mimic the look of built-ins, and a simple pendant light along with a textured jute rug and some affordable Ikea art) can really pull a formerly mismatched room together and add lots of form and function in a snap.
Plus Lee’s big presto change-o proves that you don’t have to break the bank for a big room makeover either. The entire bookcase and desk system was just $317 while the pendant light was only $49 and the rug was a mere $84 (so all those major pieces only set her back a total of $450). Not bad for starting over practically from scratch, right? So let’s all shower Lee with praise for being so wonderful and sending us her eye-pleasing pictures. And here’s hoping more Design Dilemma after photos will be landing in our inbox very soon…
Update: We sadly can no longer find the time to take on client commissioned mood boards (and just whip up general inspiration boards instead) but if we ever reinstate them we’ll make a big announcement!
Really love it. What a fantstic idea for that kind of space. Great job!! And thanks for sharing the after photos! :)
Hey! Semi-oddball question here…is that desk large enough to use as a kitchen table? I am thinking that this would work great in my small kitchen and house for this purpose!
If your goal was to seat two people (like a small cafe table) it could totally work! Plus you’d get all that built-in storage. We actually have the same desk/bookcase contraption in our basement so you can check it out here as well: https://www.younghouselove.com/2009/12/tackling-the-basement-done/
It looks GREAT Lee! What an amazing, eye pleasing transformation.
How exciting! It stores things functionally without being busy. I really like the pear art too!
Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst says
Green is my new favorite accent color. Everything looks awesome. :-) Love all the texture going on there too!
Jessica @ How Sweet says
LOVE that room now! So organized and efficient!
Ashley @ Mutschler Family, Dallas Edition says
The after shot looks awesome! I love those IKEA bookcases :) This space just makes me want to do homework.
[email protected] Paradise says
What a great way to hide embarassing juke and make it look stylish!
is the pendant light from IKEA? I would love to know the product name or where it’s from if not IKEA – we just bought our first house (moving in April 17th and I am now on this website EVERY day!) and it comes with a really terrible brass/stained glass light over the dining room table that I’d like to replace with a drum.
Thanks so much!
It’s actually from CB2- there’s a link to the exact one that she bought in the second to last paragraph on the bottom of the post (along with links to the bookcase/desk system and rug). Hope it helps!
This looks AWESOME!!! I’ve seen so many great uses for those IKEA bookcases. Many thanks for sharing the “after” picture!
Congrats to Lee on a great new function space! Thanks for posting the after pictures for all to see!
I love seeing the after photos! Thanks for sending them in, Lee! Looks great!
heather s. says
Looks great! Sherry, in your first comment, did you mean $200 (not $20)?
Good catch! We actually meant to cut and paste a link to the basement post there but somehow those words pasted instead of the link to that other post. All fixed!
DOH totally missed that – thanks! Need more coffee I guess!
We just got Crate and Barrel in Canada and I have yet to go – now I have an excuse.
Thanks for the info about the possible use in our kitchen! That’s exactly how I was thinking about using it…as an area to cook and for my husband and I to eat everyday meals together at. Sorry to keep harassing you with questions, but is it sturdy enough for regular kitchen use? If we got this, we would use it all the time as we both like to cook together. Thank you!
We would definitely say it’s very sturdy. We place tons of heavy bins on ours in the basement when we’re sifting through them and it has been great. Why not stop in at the closest Ikea to check it out in person just to be sure?
Lee, it looks AWESOME!!! Great job, you and John and Sherry!
The room looks gorgeous!
I love the rug! I want something just like it for my dining room…..however….I need a 8X8, 9×9, or 8X9(weird sizes, I know). Do you know any place that might sell these sizes? I am having an awfully hard time finding anything…I feel like I have been looking everywhere!
Definitely check overstock.com – they have the widest rug selection and the best prices we’ve found online. Happy hunting!
I love how the transformation looks! I wonder whether that Ikea desk could be used in a kitchen as a kitchen table? Or would that be just too weird?
Definitely! Scroll up for that info!
I love that!!! I want my office to look like that!!!
It looks incredible, Lee. Congratulations on your lovely new space.
That looks fabulous! What a great and simple transformation.
Christine Schwalm says
Love that Expedit bookcase. It really is one of the smartest buys out there. Great transformation. A formerly underused space now looking most useful!
Lee – Thank you so much for sharing your afters. It truly turned out lovely. Great ideas for organizing.
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog says
It looks fantastic! Lee, thanks for sending this in :).
This rocks! Great job guys!
Wow! I love, love, love this! I am most definitely going to purchase that bookcase/desk for my basement- I have been dying for a ‘craft’ station!
I LOVE afters! This is spectacular. I would love something like this in my kitchen…too bad we don’t have an Ikea within 400 miles of us!! Good job Lee!
Hmmm…i already have the Expedit bookcase from Ikea but would love to attach a table like the one in the photo. Do you all know if you are able to buy the table separately and attach or is the bookcase/desk combo sold as one item?
Yup, you can buy the desk part separately- for $50 I believe. Just head over to Ikea and search “expedit” and scroll through for more info. Hope it helps!
Mrs. Davis says
Wow, that’s seriously a gorgeous after photo! What a better use of a small space!!! :-)
I too have “white” IKEA furniture and I was wondering if it ever bothers you that it’s not real white and more of a creamy color. I just have an issue with IKEA white not being true white. It seems like it doesn’t match anything. Thoughts on this, Sherry?
Hmm, that’s interesting. We actually have the same white Expedit system in our basement (along with two white Ikea armoires) and they really look like they’re a true white color to us. We also have white lack floating shelves in our dining area and two white Ikea wardrobes in our masted bedroom, and again- they really appear to be a glossy white color that seems to “go” with any and all other white tones in those rooms. On the whole, we’re not very matchy-matchy anyway, so if a painted white bookcase across the room was a bit brighter or whiter than an Ikea item we wouldn’t sweat it. In fact sometimes we like how tones of white and cream can be layered in a room for lots of dimension and texture as opposed to a total “matched set” look when they’re all exactly the same. Hope it helps!
That looks so good, Lee! Great job!
The Virginia House says
She did such a great job following your perfect mood board. It’s a great transformation! I just did a post about green, so I love the green touches!
Lee, Thanks for sending the photos. I love the way the mood boards look but it helps so much to see the after photos.
It looks great!
Paula M. says
I love the whole idea of making the asst’d storage bins, with their lovely colors and textures, do double duty as visual accessories, in their tidy but highly visible locations.
With the new look to that space, it’d be a pleasure now to work there and more of an enticement to stay organized.
It looks so good! It actually reminds me of your basement makeover you did a little while back. They did a great job!
Sarah Sarniak says
Wow, it turned out great!
Handy Man, Crafty Woman says
looks nice, very organized, and I like the colors.
looks awesome! great execution – I love seeing the after photos!
hey! are you all showing your closets today??
Good question! After spending every waking hour organizing the heck out of our house’s closets this weekend we just need a bit of time to upload all the pics and write the big reveal post- so stay tuned for that later this week. We promise it’s on the way!
anna see says
This looks outstanding! A picture of serenity and organization, and what house couldn’t use a little of that?
[email protected] says
This is such a cute and functional makeover. Great job!!
Thanks for the info! I wish I had an IKEA nearby…sigh…I love living in the “middle of nowhere” sometimes, but it definitely has its disadvantages sometimes!
Love it! Those woven basket/boxes are beautiful and look great!
Amy E. says
love it!!! it’s so great to see some after pictures from your mood boards. not that i doubted your vision, but not all of us are as imaginitive as you two! thank you YHL and especially Lee!
addition…I thought you could order this online from IKEA (like you can a lot of their things), or did I understand incorrectly?
Some things can be ordered online from Ikea and some things can’t- just follow the links included in this post (and our other mood board post which we linked to) over to each product on ikea.com to see if they’re available for delivery or not. Hope it helps!
OMG, I was just wondering when someone would send in an after picture. This one is just fantastic. Not only is it the perfect stuff in the perfect spot, I am betting it has really changed their lives to have this new station in their home.
Congratulations to all!
That was one of my favorite moodboards, and the transformation at Lee’s place is so fresh and modern!
What a huge bang for the buck!