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Before & After

Before & After: NH native turns Savenor's trash into trendy DIY pallet desk

Posted by Melissa Massello September 24, 2013 01:34 AM

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Photos: Caleb Hutchings

In these new post-downturn, eco-obsessed times, modern design is as inspired by reuse and refuse as it is by a simpler, industrial age gone by — when fortunes were made from natural resources and people worked with their hands instead of their handheld devices. When waste, rather than excess, was the ultimate luxury.

Local advertising professional, motorcyclist, photographer & avid DIY-er Caleb Hutchings created this textural, industrial-modern table as an oasis for contemplation and creativity in his Allston apartment, using scrap wood from pallets found at his side job at Savenor's Market in Cambridge. Here's how he did it.

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Before & After: The pantry staples that solved my hair problems

Posted by Melissa Massello July 30, 2013 01:30 PM
nopoohair-day1reg.jpg I had a problem. A hair problem. My naturally curly hair has become less so over the past decade, my old routine no longer worked, and I had very little idea on how to make it look presentable. I wasted tons of money on salon, drugstore, and natural products that promised to fix my greasy roots and parched ends. I switched to sulfate-free shampoos, washed less, washed more, treated, trimmed, and tousled, hoping for winning results. I had all but resigned to wear my hair piled in a top knot for the rest of eternity, when a friend with gorgeous, perfect, shiny hair told me she hadn't shampooed in six months. Skeptical, but armed with two ingredients from my kitchen, I went from greasy to glam in just a few short weeks. FULL ENTRY

Before & After: Tempaper makes temporary digs feel like home

Posted by Melissa Massello July 29, 2013 06:08 PM

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Photos: Courtesy, Jennifer Cooley

The Recession might be over, but according to Bloomberg the rental housing market shows no sign of slowing down — and that may be by choice for many Gen X and Gen Y-ers who find security in the flexibility of being able to move for better quality of life or employment and other opportunities. If you prize interior design and home decor, however; rental properties can be challenging to customize without costing your security deposit.

When Jennifer Cooley moved from Boston to Ireland earlier this year to help open the Dublin office of Cambridge-based Hubspot, where she works as a partner account manager, she found her new furnished apartment felt cold and institutional — far less cozy than the Somerville apartment she left behind. (Local realtors would have sold it on its "character & charm" — I know, because we were neighbors.) Thanks to small temporary changes, including removable wallpaper from Tempaper, Cooley was able to create a home away from home in just a few hours with just a few simple DIYs and a little under $200. Here's how.

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Before & after: Apartment decorating with removable wall decals

Posted by Melissa Massello November 19, 2012 12:43 PM

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When you're an avid DIY-er living in an apartment rental, there are few things more frustrating than being bound by a lease or a landlord that doesn't allow you to put stuff on the walls. (And, at least from my firsthand experience, Boston is full of those apartments.) Fret not, fair makers: several reusable, removable products aim to ease your nesting woes, like the catalog of modern wall decal designs from Blik in Los Angeles.

Inspired by a Shoestring interview we did last year with Kara Butterfield, a Syndey expat living and working in Boston as an interior stylist, extolling the virtues and vision of using wall decals as a modern apartment decor solution, I finally broke down and bought a huge "Olivia" wall decal headboard from designer Mina Javid (one of Blik's best-selling decals). The installation instructions marked it as "Grab a Pal" in difficulty, so on a recent Saturday morning, I called Kara up and enlisted her to help me install the decal on my bedroom wall.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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