When Emily sent us her amazing china cabinet makeover we just had to share her before & after pics. Here’s her letter:
I’ve been following your blog and have been inspired to move away from a house full of dark furniture and lighten things up a bit! We had some dark $10 clearance dining chairs that we purchased last summer but we decided to give them an airy overhaul (we found discount fabric and payed a professional to paint and upholster the chairs and they still came in under $100 a piece!). We also had been on the lookout for a china cabinet to store all of our servingware (which was sadly being stored in our guest room’s closet) when we came across one on Craigslist for just $75. It even had a working light! All it took to totally transform it was some leftover topcoat and fabric from the chairs along with around $40 of primer, paint and brushes from Lowe’s. We just love the new look- and we hope you like it too. Keep up the good work! And thanks for sharing your lives! – Emily
Here’s the cabinet before the big makeover:
And here’s the same china cabinet with a crisp new paint job and some leftover chair fabric lining the back:
Isn’t that incredible? It looks like a $1000+ piece and it was just $75 on Craigslist. This is such a great reminder that old pieces of seen-better-days furniture can always be upgraded in any number of ways (new hardware, paint, fabric, playful paper drawer liners, antiquing, etc). There really is no limit to what you can do with a smidge of determination and a little elbow grease. Great job Emily- thanks so much for sharing!
Psst- Looking for a step by step furniture painting tutorial? Well look no further.
Ashley @ The Design Thief says
I love a great Craigslist find/makeover! I wish my dining room was big enough to accommodate one of these beauties! Emily, you did a great job! Without plates, the fabric looks like a frosted print on doors :) Nicely done.
Fab! Truly fab! Great job!
Jessica @ How Sweet says
That piece is truly gorgeous!
I absolutely love how you turned that “old” piece into something new and unique. Hey John and Sherry do you have any suggestions for small dining rooms? My dining room is too small for a hutch or cabinet. I barely have room for the table and chairs.
We feel your pain Connie! We loved adding floating shelves to our dining area so we could stack some plates and some art and some other eye-pleasing items without using up too much floor space. Hope it helps!
So great! My friend found a hutch at a garage sale that looks similar to this one (http://learnandgopollyco.blogspot.com/2010/03/big-find.html). I’m passing on the pictures to her. Hope it turns out as good!
Katie @ Domesticating Kate says
Wow, that is stunning! It seems like I can never find deals that great on my local Craigslist. I suppose I should just frequent it more often (and count down the days before I lose my job ;). Great work, and I love that chair fabric!! At first I just thought you frosted the glass in a cool pattern, but the fabric in the back looks great!
What a fantastic makeover. The China cabinet is amazing. Are those the chairs she mentioned in the picture that had upholstered? If so, they look amazing as well. If they weren’t they really did a great job coordinating.
Love it! I especially love the fabric as I have been infatuated with a similar pattern sold by an online retailer. Great job!
Beautiful! Really inspiring. I love the matching fabric.
That looks AMAZING!!! I kinda love it! :) Great job Emily! I’m so jealous!
Beautiful Emily! I’m sure the quality of the furniture is so much better than most you can find for sale today. This is one of the best ways to help conserve our natural resources. Two weeks ago, I saw gorgeous chairs going for $5 each at an auction. They only needed a bit of elbow grease, some paint and fabric. You did a great job with this piece!
Love love love love love love love love love. Okay, so I’m a bit dramatic, but I LOVE to see before and afters on affordable furniture! Great job, love that fabric as well!
Love it, it’s a keeper!
Melanie Beth says
I love the makeover – this is what I’m wanting to do to my own dining room! They did a great job!
Elle Sees says
Love it. I always admire furniture do-overs! One of these days I’ll do one myself.
Hannah @ The Nanner Republic says
What a great makeover! I love that they carried the fabric from the chairs to the back of the cabinet.
lana @ make a house a home says
It’s amazing what paint can do! Well done!
Oh that fabric that they used in the hutch is just gorgeous! Do you know where she got it? I’ve been looking for a geometic pattern that wasn’t too crazy and it’s perfect!
All we know are the details she provided in her letter. Here’s hoping she stops in with more info!
Love it!! It’s a great reminder to me for when I shop for new furniture to check out Craig’s List for good deals like that that I can just customize to my liking. Great job!
EMILY , YOU DID SUCH A GREAT JOB!
oh my gosh, i love it!
seriously, doesn’t even LOOK like the same piece!
and so smart to line the back with fabric…great idea, indeed!
i’d love to hear how she attached the fabric to the back…maybe spray adhesive?
KUDOS and def a job well, well done! – CC
Oonafey @ Little Pink Houses says
I am in the midst of painting a corner hutch my parents passed down to us. These photos make me more motivated to keep moving. Or get moving again, actually. lol
liz @ bon temps beignet says
I’m so jealous! My local Craigslist never has anything this good. All I ever seem to find are run down/tore up stuff from college dorms. It’s like when you Youngsters and Katie Bower find all those awesome things at thrift stores. Totally not fair.
I loooooove it!! I would love to see more pictures of the rest of the room too!!
Now I want to know where on earth you can find 10 dollar chairs??
I am on the prowl for some fabulous dining room chairs on the cheap! Any suggestions, anyone?
Thrift stores, Craigslist, and garage sales!
[email protected] says
I am so obsessed with this. I love the fabric, love everything. Awesome!
That looks fantastic! I love furniture pieces that have been painted white.
Check out my $10 craigslist chairs.
There are actually 6 total, so I have 2 spares are the house. My style is more “Country Living” meets “Pottery Barn”. The table and chairs are now my favorite piece of furniture! (The room is not finished, so don’t look too close).
absolutely fabulous!!! love the hutch as well as the chairs. very classy :)
anna see says
Emily, Emily, Emily! What a transformation! I just love it. That fabric is stunning!
Laura @ PARING DOWN says
I LOVE the pattern on the back of the hutch. So crisp, so colorful, so modern, but not too much!
Love this! It looks amazing! I recently did a very similar thing with fabric to a wine cabinet in my dining room.
Casa Cullen: I’m not the original poster, but I am happy to share what I did with my fabric. I bought a piece of foam board at Target (avail. with the poster board), measured and cut to size. Then just stapled the fabric to the foam board and popped into place. I used a dab of hot glue here and there, but for the most part, because I had measured carefully, it just wedged itself in the shelf.
I love love love how it turned out! The fabric in the cabinet appears to be the same on the chairs if you look closely. It is beautiful! I hope Emily stops by and lets us know where she got it. For those who haven’t had any luck with Craigslist, sometimes I do better if I don’t look within my immediate area but select another one close by. One more comment – Emily got a good price on the painting/reupholstery of the chairs. I have checked into just reupholstering 4 dining chairs and was quoted $150 apiece. That seems too steep to me.
That fabric is exactly what I’m looking for! Does anyone know where it’s from?
I’m reaaally hoping that Emily checks out these messages!!! I’ve been searching for fabric like that for so long!!
Another great project!
I’ve been looking for some grey fabric forever and have come up empty handed! Emily, what is the fabric that you used? It’s fabulous! Where did you get it? I love your makeover!!!
Fantastic! Great work both on the chairs and the cabinet.
I’m just starting to sand back my dining table and 8 chairs I scored at a garage sale. Each time I see these great end results by readers of YHL and YHL I get further inspiration for what I can create with my existing lacklusture furniture.
SO glad I found this blog earlier this year.
That looks awesome, and the chairs came out great too! What a great fabric. I love that pattern!
I think I’d change the hardware on the bottom cupboards but that is definitely a steal of a deal.
betty in munich says
Gorgeous, the curvy lines of the piece are so pretty, the fabric amazing. Great job Emily! My little teeny feedback would be that the piece looks so fresh and modern that the old original hardware now looks a little clunky and dark.
That looks great! We have been thinking of painting our two dressers–as a newly married couple, we have a lot of mismatched furniture :). I know this will work on my dresser, but do you think it’s possible to paint successfully on a non-wooden dresser (my husband has a cheap-o Wal-Mart dresser), or will it bubble the paint?
Here’s the best tutorial we’ve seen for non wood pieces (besides veneer, which actually takes paint/stain just like solid wood). So if you’re dealing with laminate furniture this would be the best way to tackle it: http://livingwithlindsay.com/2009/05/how-to-paint-laminate-furniture.html
Erica Harless says
I LOVE a good Craigslist makeover!! I recently reinvented a china cabinet off of Craigslist too! Check out my post about it here:
It was VERY ugly before I painted it! But now I LOVE it! I have an AWESOME giveaway that ends this Friday…be sure to check it out ;)
That is amazing!!
Wow… this looks fantastic! I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we need to be looking at craigslist for furniture to refinish, but he’s not sold on that idea yet (the concept of “used” furniture creeps him out.) BUT, I think if I show him your finished product he’ll be on board!! Great work! Love how it turned out!!
katie @ k & b adventures in renovating says
craigslist makeovers are awesome. sometimes i wonder if people have made over any of the ‘junk’ i’ve sold on craigslist. this would make me jealous if i saw an after picture like this!
Amazing how it is all pulled together with the fabric… a simple detail that can mean so much!!
Stephanie S says
Looks wonderful. But it gives me a chance to ask a question to the group. When you’re re-doing a piece and replace the door hinges (like the bottom of the hutch), are there any tricks to making hanging the doors correctly?
I recently re-painted some built-ins and took off the doors. I replaced the hinges with what I thought would use the same drill holes. However I can’t get everything to line up. Arrgh! Any ideas?
One of the best tricks we’ve learned is to use wooden tooth picks with wood glue to fill the holes from the old hinges. Just stick them in the holes with some wood glue and break them off at the ends so they don’t stick out. Let everything dry and then sand the edges (it’s like wood filler but much stronger- so it’ll hold a screw if one or two of them needs to go in the same place- even if others don’t line up). Hope it helps!
Love the blog and love this redesign by Emily! I am on the hunt for some DIY instructions on adding fabric to a bookcase much like the china cabinet Emily did. Any ideas where I could find some? Thanks!
We’ve emailed Emily to let her know that her big makeover made the blog, so here’s hoping she stops in with that info soon. Otherwise we would just recommend googling around for some instructions. Happy hunting!
That looks amazing!
Jaime P says
This is so amazing and inspiring. I can’t believe the transformation of that china cabinet. Absolutely beautiful!
Stephanie S says
Thanks for the new hinge/new hole help!