Tess Wilson

After many happy years living in tiny apartments in big cities, Tess has found herself in a little house on the prairie. For real.
Before and After: These Old, Greasy Cabinets Got a Fresh New Look (Thanks to Paint)
If you're not sick of the paint-it-white trend, and are in fact thinking of painting your very own cabinetry white, this is the project for you.
Sep 7, 2023
Before and After: A Once-Outdated Kitchen Now Feels Modern with Some Old-Fashioned Charm
This is definitely not one of those wall-to-wall white remodels.
Aug 18, 2023
10 Stylish Bistro Tables That Are Perfect for Small-Space Dining
Shopping
These tables bring big style to the tiniest of spaces.
Jun 12, 2023
Before and After: This Kitchen Went from a “Cherry Wood Cave” to a Bright, Gorgeous Space
The after photos are giving us major kitchen envy.
Nov 22, 2022
Meet Dekton, the Durable Countertops That Are Taking on Quartz
This material was introduced in 2013, and it's slowly been gaining prominence and popularity ever since.
Nov 18, 2022
7 Easy, Effective Ways to Keep Cats Off Your Kitchen Counters
The kitty equivalent of a "keep off" sign.
Aug 24, 2022
Before & After: This Kitchen Was Totally Transformed for Only $900
Before & After
This kitchen looks like it cost SO much more.
Dec 8, 2019
Before and After: This Now-Stunning IKEA Kitchen Cost $7,000
Before & After
The new cabinets are SO GOOD.
Nov 16, 2019
Before & After: A $7,500 Makeover Totally Transformed This Kitchen!
Paint Project
Not cheap, but SO worth it!
Aug 16, 2019
Before and After: This Pantry Got Totally Made Over with Cheap Supplies from IKEA and a Dollar Store
A pantry is always a wonderful thing to have, but this one needed a bit of help becoming its best self. With the addition of two shelves, four baskets, and $100 worth of jars, this pantry is now organized, user-friendly, and so soothing. Here are the issues the kitchen’s owner was determined to resolve: “The pantry was just super crowded. There was no system and it was hard to find the item I needed for cooking. Since the pantry is not that deep, there was a limited amount of space.
Mar 28, 2019
Before and After: We Could Not Have Predicted This Kitchen’s Paint Job
While some might expect this kitchen’s makeover to involve a fresh coat of white paint on the dark cabinetry, nothing could be further from the truth. Prepare to taste the rainbow. Stephie Stalker — @stephie_stalker on Instagram — created this playfully polychromatic kitchen with 20 shades of Farrow & Ball paint, some careful painting, and plenty of confidence.
Mar 26, 2019
Before and After: The Subtle Changes to This Reconfigured IKEA Kitchen Are Everything
The after pics are so bright and airy!
Mar 19, 2019
$500 Later, This Rental Kitchen Is Almost Unrecognizable
Before anyone gets too attached to this kitchen’s slightly retro style or admittedly charming checkered floor, it should be known that the charming floor was actually rotting — and there were a lot of other issues as well. Not an enormous surprise in a rental, but one renter was determined to give this kitchen a fresh start. Thankfully, she had a lenient landlord who was open to changes.
Mar 13, 2019
This Bold Dining Room Makeover Only Cost $150
This dining room had a lot going for it — natural light, wood trim, a soothing palette, the fact that it exists — but its owner couldn’t get past how “boring and beige” it felt. Paint to the rescue, and no, it’s not all white. Here’s a bit more about the before. This house was as beige and boring as you could get, from brown carpet, brown trim, beige walls, and builder-grade light fixtures.
Oct 30, 2018
Before and After: Costco Is the Reason for This Affordable Kitchen Renovation
This vacation home is in a totally dreamy spot and boasts amazing views, but it had a few issues involving the words “filthy,” “particle board,” “mauve,” and “sagging joists.” The new owners were able to resolve all of these issues in a reasonably affordable and prompt way, thanks in part to standard cabinets ordered online … from Costco! Read this tale and beware, future homebuyers.
Sep 28, 2018
This Kitchen Was Redone in Just Five Weeks with a Whole Lot of IKEA Products
This kitchen had a somewhat odd configuration — water heater and washing machine, but not a dryer? — and two of our readers were plumb sick of it. In just over a month, they transformed this slightly confused space into a kitchen that’s as practical as it is elegant. Plus it has a bonus laundry room! This is so different and excellent.
Aug 22, 2018
The $18 Rental Solution to Bad Kitchen Lighting
This project is a great example of how a few dollars and a few minutes can make a dramatic change in your home — and your mood. As Anne described her situation, “Cooking and baking make me happy, but seeing my workspace sulking in the shadows was putting a damper on my spirit.” Let’s see her cheap, quick, renter-friendly, and reversible solution to the baking blues! So much better!
Jul 27, 2018
This Rental Kitchen Got a No-Reno Makeover — No Paintbrushes or Power Tools!
This is an intriguing transformation, because the only difference between the before and after is the decorating. No remodeling, no renovation, no repainting or replacing anything — and yet the results are incredibly dramatic. So inspiring — especially to all of us with neither power tools nor the skills to wield them. Let’s back up to get a full view of the drop ceiling and beige floor — two standard rental features that add a fair amount of blah to any room.
Jul 25, 2018
This Unbelievable Kitchen Makeover Only Cost $700
Be forewarned: This disco-fabulous backsplash is not long for the world, so enjoy it while you can. The rest of the kitchen was perhaps not worthy of such sparkle. It was so dated, mismatched, and confusing. Now it’s fresh, unified, and bright. This kitchen is right at home in a 100-year-old house, and the modern appliances are nicely camouflaged against the white cabinetry and tiles.
Jul 9, 2018
7 Secrets to Steal from Master Amazon Shoppers
What did we do before Amazon? I realize that the retail behemoth might be responsible for the death of the independent bookstore, but I’m still oh-so-grateful for/dependent upon the services it provides (even while I patiently wait for the second season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to hit Prime Video). Although, with so many sellers from all over the world offering products, you run the risk of getting items that are either no good, or flat-out not what was promised.
Jul 6, 2018
We Tried Out the New Post-it Extreme Notes So You Don’t Have To
Regular Post-it Notes have so many uses — letting your teen daughter know you’re at Luke’s, creating a path to avoid setting off the security alarm installed by the town goofball, claiming items you want after your wealthy parents pass away, and probably some non-Gilmore Girls-related applications as well — and now there are Post-it Extreme Notes. We recently tested them out, so you don’t have to wonder.
Jul 3, 2018
This $700 Kitchen Makeover Is the Stuff Rental Dreams Are Made Of
This builder-standard kitchen’s strength lies in its plainness — there might not be a ton here to flip over, but there’s not really anything to be put off by either. Fortunately, this kitchen’s new renter found a way to play up its strength and minimize its flaws, and all for only $700!
Jun 15, 2018
This Cheerful, Sunny Kitchen Makeover Only Cost $2,500
Like a lot of the “before” photos we often show, this kitchen is perfectly nice. It’s got lots of windows, a beautiful hardwood floor, and classic cabinets. Its owner, however, wanted something beyond perfectly nice, and, after four years of plotting and planning, made it into something truly special. In this full-length shot (above), you can see that lovely floor, as well as more of the mustard walls.
Jun 13, 2018
Before and After: A Granite-Heavy Kitchen Gets Made Over with Marble
What’s the best remedy for two competing patterns of speckled stone in a kitchen? Sometimes the answer is a third, completely different material. Can you believe this is the same kitchen? It’s so pretty! And those cabinets — is that middle upper cabinet an ingeniously disguised range hood? The marble walls are pure luxury, and that wonderful blue brings out such interesting hues in the stone. Also, that stove is classic and covetable. Sigh.
May 28, 2018
This Gorgeous $200 Rental Kitchen Makeover Is Full of Smart Ideas
This project has so much going for it: It was done for less than $200, it was done in a rental, and it features faux DIY granite countertops and a covetable KitchenAid! (Mixer obviously not included in the $200 total.) Click through and get dangerously inspired. The pink + celadon + white + gold combination is comfortingly and charmingly vintage, but the clean lines of the cabinet doors, handles, and subway tiles keep things modern.
May 25, 2018
This “Tuscan Cottage” Kitchen Got a Modern Makeover
This kitchen has a few of the same issues that my own kitchen has — mismatched countertops, dated details, cabinets stained a color I don’t care for — so I was so curious to see how it was improved. Perhaps there would be a few ideas I could steal! Alas, the makeover is so totally incredible that it’s a level of transformation to which I can’t currently aspire. But perhaps something this dramatic is more attainable for you?
Mar 30, 2018
A Dark and Basic Kitchen Gets an Enviable Makeover
This kitchen is great on paper — granite countertops! Stainless steel appliances! — but in reality, it didn’t suit the homeowner at all. In just weeks, the kitchen went from black, tan, yellow, and brown to, well, you’ll just have to see! We see so many all-white renovations — which I always love, to commenters’ chagrin — so it’s fun to see a room that’s been redone in bright white and a fun color. Look at how bright the space is now!
Mar 28, 2018
The Problem with House Flipping Is That You Get Kitchens Like This
Here’s a kitchen that makes me think, “Sure! Great! I’ve paid many dollars every month for the privilege of cooking in much worse and much, much smaller spaces!” Turns out, though, it wasn’t all that great — and the makeover is so much better. See that gorgeous blue floor-to-ceiling cabinet to the right of the sink? That’s the refrigerator. The dishwasher is also hidden behind paneling, and can be seen below and to the left of the sink. Utterly magical.
Mar 16, 2018
You Won’t Believe These Before & After Pics Are of the Same House
As nice as it is to see Before & After projects that seem totally approachable, aspirational whole-house renovations are highly entertaining and inspiring. And that’s exactly what we have today: A “bland, boring ’60s ranch” gets a total — and totally amazing — makeover. If you’re having a hard time orienting yourself in this room, it’s because it used to be two rooms and an attic.
Mar 9, 2018
This Remarkable Kitchen Makeover Only Cost $1,300 and Was Totally DIY
We feature a lot of amazing kitchen projects, but this kitchen makeover might just have the very best dollars-to-damn ratio yet. It went from oh-so-’70s to totally timeless, thanks to some hard work, tile bravery, and some stickers. So charming! I love the interplay of the hexagonal tiles of the backsplash and the ornately patterned floor tiles. The combination of black, white, gray, and stainless steel is fresh and modern, while the wood counters add warmth and coziness.
Mar 7, 2018
This Part DIY Kitchen Reno Took 1.5 Years — And Was So Totally Worth It
Not only did this kitchen receive a major aesthetic upgrade, but the project also achieved the Holy Grail of renovation dreams. In the words of the condo owner, “Same footprint, more space.” Hashtag goals indeed. So elegant! Malcolm Simmons of Mas Means More did such a fantastic job on this project. Is it strange that my favorite part is the cupboard above the refrigerator? It elongates the fridge and adds grace to a necessary appliance.
Feb 21, 2018
The Easiest, Least Expensive Way to Get a Realistic-Looking Faux Marble Countertop
Marble is as pricey as it is gorgeous, but there’s no real substitute for it, right? If you want the look of marble, you’ll just have to save up forever, or make do with something totally temporary like … contact paper, I guess? Prepare to have your mind blown. Lovely! It must be a clever laminate, or stone faux marble, you’d guess? Wrong! Reader Megan Neugebauer created these stunning counters out of thin air, witchcraft, and something called Stone Coat Countertops.
Feb 19, 2018
9 Ways to Use IKEA Parts to Build the Kitchen Island of Your Dreams
A kitchen island can provide invaluable utility to a kitchen. Don’t have one in your kitchen? IKEA products can help. Here are nine ideas — from a simple coat of paint to total makeovers — for creating the kitchen island of your dreams using IKEA products. Let’s start things off on a fancy note. This graceful island was made by topping a dining table underframe with “a custom-made cultured marble top.
Jan 7, 2018