Decor, DIY

A $50 Hutch Makeover and Other Life Changing Moments

Updated an old hutch with paint and new fixtures. See more photos of this cheap update here:


I had a moment about a week ago where I looked at my life and thought, “Well, this just isn’t working.” That particular thought bubble started because one of my advertisers dropped their contract, thus shrinking my income for this month, and grew and grew until it encompassed the piles of unwashed laundry in our bedroom, the freezer meal cookbooks that have never been cracked, and the huge stack of magazines I’d really like to sit down and read. Suddenly it felt like I was hamster wheelin’ and it just wasn’t paying off.

I’ve always said that the biggest problem with working at home as a blogger/freelancer is the hustle. I feel like I’m constantly hustling to find odd jobs or advertisers or new contacts. The nice side of the hustle is that I can do it from home with my baby girl on my lap. The evil side is that it gets hard to turn the hustle off. Every minute I spend doing non-work is a minute that I could be using to increase our income and add to our savings account and bank towards that house or minivan or international adoption. So, the hustle starts to take over.

Once I took a minute to realize that the hustle wasn’t really working out for me last week, I also realized that I’ve been putting all of my non-lucrative goals on hold to make a dollar here and there online. The result was a messy house and a feeling of being suffocated. (Yay.) So, I decided to give myself a little Spring Break away from the hustle last week. I did my laundry. I made cupcakes. I planted a kitchen garden in my windowsill. I read Eva the same pop-up book about forty times. It was heaven.

Which brings me to this:

Before and after of updated hutch found at a thrift store. See more photos of this easy DIY here:


This project was pure frosting. Our dining room didn’t really need an update and this thrift store hutch was priced a little higher than I would normally pay ($150), but when I saw it I knew that it and I could make some sweet, sweet music together. Thirty dollars worth of paint, fifteen dollars worth of supplies, and five dollars worth of knobs later and voila! Hello, gorgeous.

Detail of repainted hutch. See more photos here:


For $50, I took something and made it completely mine. I’m not going to sell it, I won’t use it for work, and we didn’t really need it, but it was my little bit of personal happy space for the week. It’s also a great big dining room reminder that the world won’t grind to a halt if I steal a little bit of time to not be a blogger or a mama or a wife. It might even get a little prettier.

Original drawer pulls on painted hutch. See more photos here:
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  • Reply Jones Family

    Love this! You are awesome!

    March 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    It looks wonderful!

    March 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm
  • Reply J.R.

    That is simply amazing. Anytime I try and attempt a project to beatify something, it looks like it was obviously done by someone who didn't know what they were doing…streaky paint globs and all. I just love the fact that not only did it turn out amazing, but it stands as a reminder. It is hard to not only be a stay-at-home mom, but a freelancer too. Huge respect to you for trying to learn balance and how to maintain sanity in the process.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:51 am
  • Reply jrm

    I love it Carly. You made it absolutely beautiful! And you do have to step away from the whole work thing once in awhile. Life is short. You have to make some time for yourself.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Greenie

    I love it! Hoping I can balance the working from home. 8 days and counting left of work. Baby girl scheduled to arrive 4.23. I need to call for a pep talk soon!!

    March 21, 2012 at 1:41 am
  • Reply -J.Darling

    As a fellow work-from-home gal, I feel your pain! I find myself unable to relax sometimes because every minute sitting around (especially when I have a little downtime and the hubby is on 24 duty or deployed) I know I could be earning us money. But sometimes we just have to do something where the payback isn't monentary. 🙂 LOVE your thrift store revamps! As we buy a house, I hope to get all crafty like that!

    March 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Alison

    And then it works out in the end- I guarantee that you get a ton of comments and pins because you listened to what you needed and produced something beautiful 😀

    May 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm
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