My Favorite Before-and-Afters


Combine the spark of motivation that comes with spring and a handful of dramatic before-and-after photos and I am suddenly in full project mode. 
From dining chair makeovers to the dramatic transformation of entire city blocks, I am a sucker for an ugly duckling story. Here are a handful of my favorite before-and-after shots.


Good thing this picture exists, because before 2003 (when this was taken) I never even knew the Mission Creek neighborhood existed. Today, with a brand new public library, one of my favorite coffee shops (Philz), a killer park and a kayak-rental hut (ok, ok, and the thousands of new condos) Mission Creek is a legitimate SF destination.

Images Courtesy of the Chronicle

Rumor has it that in 2006, 159 Downey was not only suffering from dry rot, but from a serious insect infestation.
Today the expanded Victorian is bug-and-rot-free and has almost tripled in value ($895,000 in 2006–$2,295,000 today)

Images Courtesy of Socketsite

A little futuristic before-and-after, this project isn’t done yet, but the projected finished product is impressive. The 600-foot wall backing David Baker + Partners Crescent Cove is presently blank, but is awaiting a mural by local artist Brian Barneclo.(Adobe has donated $10,000 to get the paint rollers rolling, but the extra dollars still needed to make the rendering a reality currently stands at around $65,000.)

Images Courtesy of David Baker + Partners

Eva at Mademoiselle Chaos turned these tossed-out drawers into a stylish table.

Images Courtesy of Design Sponge

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