We LOVE being able to get a high end look for much less (who doesn't?)
Well the very talented & crafty guys at PANYL knocked it out of the park with an amazing and 
surprisingly VERY inexpensive version of the West Elm Patchwork Dresser  
by using the IKEA ODDA Dresser + their genius product PANYL.

West Elm Dresser (retails for $999):

The IKEA Odda dresser + PANYL (entire project about $150):

This version looks just as high end, and in my opinion a lot more sophisticated with it's cleaner lines.
They added 3 different pieces of PANYL in Dark Walnut, Pale Oak and Ebony to the drawer fronts by  cutting the sections a little larger than the actual drawer front. By firmly pressing them on to the fronts and paying extra attention along the edges, (they pressed down at a 45 degree angle here to create a crease but not stick it to the sides)  the edges were then trimmed using a sharp blade.

They even wrapped the original handles in Brushed Gold PANYL to finish the look.
And the best part is the entire makeover took less than 15 minutes!

Here is the ODDA before (it retails for $99):

If you have never heard of PANYL, this is what you need to know.
Their ingenious product line consists of SO many colors and woodgrains that are available 
either precut to fit several different IKEA pieces or by the foot.

Instead of the time and money it takes to paint, you can quickly change color or add woodgrain to a piece by simply applying the easy to install self-adhesive "panyl".  
Their website offers easy to follow instructions and also gives difficulty ratings so you know what to expect.  

My favorite part (since I am a visual color girl) is the ability to try on a look:

So go check it out! 
Just think of all the looks you can create or replicate in minutes!

And the guys were sweet to offer up a promo code:
10% off with PanylLovesOverlays


Happening Now

Hey Cupcake!
It is BIRTHDAY season around here!  
Cheryle, Danika and Caci all have birthdays this upcoming week, 
so to celebrate we are throwing a sale.  
Use code BDAY15 from 10/17-10/30 for 15% off your order. 


A MirrorMate Makeover!

We love easy upgrades that have a big impact!  
This past summer we had the pleasure of meeting the owner of MirrorMate, Lisa Huntting and her PR    genius Amy Florek for lunch in Boston.  We had a great time exchanging stories about business and inspiration.  Lisa created her product back in 2003 when she was renovating her bathroom.  Necessity is the mother of invention, and she needed a solution for the big unadorned mirrors stuck to her bathroom walls.  Her simple frame system took off, and now she has over 65 styles available. All you need to do is measure to get a quote or order! 

Cheryle had a mirror in her bathroom that was just crying out for MirrorMate makeover, so she had to try this revolutionary  product out...

She choose the Broadway style in Brushed Chrome and totally changed the look of her vanity mirror:

The installation was so easy!  
Cheryle gave her mirror measurements, and soon after everything she'd need to complete this arrived in the mail:

The instructions said you'd need a buddy to help install, so I came over to give her a hand and photograph the process.  We laid the parts out, and as the instructions said, Cheryle colored the raw inside edges with a grey marker to avoid "join" lines.
She then applied glue to both edges...
and pressed the plastic connectors into their respective channels...

 Once all four corners were joined, we stood the frame up and 
cleaned any glue residue off with a damp rag and let dry for one hour.

Once dry, we brought it into the bathroom to make sure it fit and was level.
It fit like a glove!  
So Cheryle positioned the cardboard "placement corners" in the top corners as guides.

We took the frame down and pulled the backing off the adhesive strips.
It was now ready to be attached to the mirror.
 We just set it back onto the cardboard guides and pressed it into place. 
We took the guides off, and gave it an extra press all around to make sure it was secure.
Ta-Da!  Seriously one of the easiest makeovers ever!
No cutting or painted necessary.
Stay tuned though... if you notice, we are playing around with a little addition to the frame.
Lolita O'verlays coming soon.
(You knew we couldn't leave well enough alone.)


Ikea Hack Squared

Cheryle has been busy updating an Expedit bookshelf in her office.

She got to be the guinea pig to try out our 12" Greek Key squares:

She had picked up a pair of these mirrored doors on her last IKEA trip:
and decided to add them to this Expedit:

The mirrored doors are 13" squares, perfect for the Greek Key!

To make sure these 12" squares would sit perfectly center 
 she taped off a 1/2" frame around the edges as a guide.

Next, since the O'verlay covered the knob hole she needed to drill a hole into the O'verlay.
She used a long needle to indent the spot where she would need to drill.
She placed the panel on the door, and from the backside of the door she pushed the needle though the knobhole and made a mark on the O'verlay.

To drill a hole we recommend using a smaller drill bit first, and then finishing it with a bit the same size as the hole (3/16" in this case)...
She then applied glue (Liquid Nails Clear Silicone Adhesive) to the back of the O'verlay, making sure to smear it into a thin coating so it wouldn't ooze out the sides.
Next she centered the panel and pressed it into place. 
Once it dried she pulled the guide tape and was ready to hang the door...

She liked the look a lot, but was really wanting a bit more color.
Her answer to that came from our fellow IKEA hacking friends at PANYL.  They are the creators of an amazing self adhesive vinyl that is pre-cut to fit many IKEA pieces, transforming them with color and texture.  Their product is a snap to use and instantly gives a plain surface a burst of color or texture. Check out their extensive palette here.

They normally make pieces to fit the fronts of the Expedit, but she wanted to add color to the insides. She requested a bit larger of a piece, so they cut her 13.75" "panyls" in a bright Tiffany blue. 
   She used 13.75" squares of foam core board and applied the panyl right to it with a squeegee. 

 She then taped the pieces to the back sides of the bookshelf for instant pops of color...
I think that made all the difference!

 How about you?


The Original PAX Wardobe "How To"

This company started because of an IKEA hack and some fretwork panels found at a flea market.
I had a client that owned two maple PAX wardrobes that became the perfect vehicle for fretwork.  With the help of a carpenter this high end look was created...
 from these...
...actually these exact ones (with a stripe painted on them)...

I wish I could say all you need is some basic 1x2 flat stock lumber, a couple yards of crown molding, custom cut mirrors topped with fretwork and viola! But in reality you need to measure twice, cut once... a boatload of patience and a friend with carpentry skills helps.

We made an outline of how to do this.  It is basic, allowing you to control the opening size for your mirror depending on what size lumber you choose.
You will need some big tools like a chop saw, and a nail gun is helpful too, but stores like Home Depot and Lowes can cut your lumber to size.  

(Here they are before the crown molding was added, if you want to save a bit you can opt to leave them off.)

So with out further ado, here is the how to:

Some extra money saving ideas:

-Use the 76" tall PAX as opposed to the 90"
-Try to find a precut mirror at a home improvement store.  They start at $9.99, like the IKEA MINDE mirror which is 15.75" x47.25".  
-Use lightweight foam crown molding.  It is easy to cut and can be held up with a strong glue.
Best of all, once painted it looks just like wood.

Custom Mirrored Gigi Panels

We LOVE when you guys send in photos of your creations.  
We get that proud parent feeling... "look at what our babies became!"
Cheryle & I were just talking about doing a piece about mirrored furniture & O'verlays 
and like magic this photo arrived in my inbox from a custom client:

I think my exact "Danika" words were :
"Holy crapsticks! That looks a-MAZ-ing!!!!" 
We immediately wrote back to the creator of this project, Laurie Sternberg, and asked her if she would be willing to do a guest post for us detailing her makeover.  She kindly agreed to give a blow by blow account of the transformation of her piece in a small NYC apartment. 
 (It can get dramatic, but she proves it can be done!) 
AND she explains how easy it is to add mirror to an existing piece.
Wait until you see the before shot, she had amazing vision!  

So here is our O'verlays ninja, Laurie Sternberg:

I wanted a sideboard that would fit a particular place in my dining room.  In particular, I really wanted this one:  

 but there isn't enough ramen in the world to make an extra $3,500 fit into my budget. 
Instead, I scoured Craigslist until I found this faux-wood piece, which had the dimensions I needed.  It was light oak veneer over some pressed wood, I think.  It had paneled doors, and it was dead plain, with the sole exception of the shaker-style arched sides and kickplate.  I bought it for $25.00, plus the cost of listening to my friend's husband complain that he wouldn't have offered to help me carry something six blocks if he knew it was going to be such a piece of junk.  Whatever.

I started by clearing out my husband, my kid, and my dining room.  Refurbishing anything in an NYC apartment is a challenge -- once the rug was rolled up and I had scattered newspapers around, and I bribed a friend to come over and help.  There was barely any room to move, but we got started.  

First, we took off the doors and the hinges.  That proved harder than we thought.  I would like a electric screwdriver for Christmas, please.  Then, we power sanded the top and the doors, and most of the trim.  I happen to live two blocks from a local lumber store (which is unheard of in NYC), so I was able to ask them to make specific cuts of 1/4 inch birch.  I had them cut the birch 1/8" smaller than the side panels, and 1/8" smaller than the kickplate.  I glued the sides and kickplate to the original piece with liquid nails, and followed up with finishing nails, thereby eliminating the "shaker-style" arches. 

We dragged the whole piece down to my "courtyard," which is really the garbage collection area.  Getting that thing in the service elevator was a comedy of errors, since it took two of us to get it in the elevator, but only one of us could fit in there with it.  Once we were set up in the courtyard, we spray painted the inside and out with several coats of Rustoleum High Gloss White, lightly sanding and using a tack cloth in between.  If I had it all to do all over again, I'd paint it with Zinsser Cover Stain, and then oil paint and a roller brush, which would have gone much faster, but I didn't know any better. 

It took two days to spray it, and it took a week for me to get feeling back in my index finger.  The courtyard looks like a compulsive tagger went to town on some kind of straight-edge rampage. 
 Once the piece and the doors were dry, I dragged them back upstairs to my apartment, and touched up the dings I got while we were in the service elevator.  Eventually, I reattached the doors, and changed out the handles to these sparkly crystal balls. 

I had Clinton Glass and Mirror cut some plain, 1/8 inch mirror to fit inside the panels.  Again, I had the cuts made 1/8 inch smaller than the measurements of the inside of the panel, and they fit perfectly.  I glued the mirrors in with liquid nails, and let them cure for 2 days. 

I couldn't decide which O'verlays I wanted, so O'verlays was kind enough to provide a mock up of three different styles created in the measurements I needed.  
(The measurements were the same as the mirrors)... 

I printed four copies of each style, laid them out on my desk as if they were four sets of door panels, and people in my office voted on what doors they liked best.  In the end, I don't know why I bothered, because I went with my first choice, but it was a fun way to be super professional for a week. 

I ordered the Gigi panels, and glued them on with liquid nails while my three year old ate mac and cheese next to me.  That part could not have been easier or less dramatic.


And, ta da!  A decent interpretation of my coveted $3,500 piece, for a grand total of $122. 

Pretty unbelievable don't you think!  
Thank you so much Laurie for sharing this labor of love. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and we can answer them.

If you have a makeover story you would like to share, 
or a custom piece you need help coming up with a solution for 
please shoot me an email at .

I can help you come up with custom panels that will turn your old or thrifted piece into something amazing- and I will make it as easy as possible! 

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