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Talk Takeaway: Design with Carter Oosterhouse

Posted on May 23, 2013 10:45am

Carter Oosterhouse joins us for our "Talk Takeaway" series to show simple Do-It-Yourself projects that redesign bedroom essentials. Here he will focus on revamping three pieces of furniture: a headboard, a bedside table, and a dresser, and then show us how to create our own masterful wall art. Carter is the host of the HGTV shows "Carter Can," "Red Hot & Green," and "Million Dollar Rooms." Last fall he released his first book, "Carter's Way: A No-Nonsense Method for Designing Your Own Super Stylish Home." 


Old Dresser Revamp

Consider giving your dresser an update with a geometric treatment. Prepping a project like this is 100% CRUCIAL to having a fantastic outcome.



Tape measure

Old wood dresser

Paintbrushes of various sizes

Artist's brush

Painter's tape

2 colors of paint

White paint

Hand sander

Sanding block and sandpaper


Small patterned stencil


STEP 1: Remove drawer pulls and hardware. Use sandpaper (going with the grain) to remove the top layer of finish. Make sure to sand all the corners and crevices. This will help the new paint adhere better. After sanding, wipe down the dresser with a damp rag to clean off the dust and debris.


STEP 2: Use a larger paintbrush to paint the entire dresser. Let it dry completely, then apply a second coat of paint. We painted our dresser all white; you can also paint the sides and top one of the colors of the pattern.


STEP 3: Plan the pattern for the drawer fronts. You may want to draw it on paper first. Use painter's tape to mark out the pattern on the drawers. Use a tape measure to find the center point of the drawer.


STEP 4: Use a small paintbrush (or sponge) to carefully paint the first color. We used the darker color in the centers and the lighter color on the outside. Try to dab more than spread, so the paint does not go under the painter's tape. Let dry and paint a second coat if necessary.


STEP 5: When the paint is dry, carefully peel off the painter's tape. Lightly sand the drawers to remove any excess paint bumps. Use a small artist's paintbrush to fix any overlap or bleeding of colors. Let dry.


STEP 6: Put handles back on the drawers or find some fun replacements.


Floating Bedside Shelf

Here we will repurpose an old wooden crate into a dynamic piece of bedroom furniture. 



Old wood crate

Sand paper

White paint


Screws (7)


STEP 1: Prep the crate for painting using sandpaper (going with the grain) to remove the top layer of finish. Make sure to sand all the corners and crevices. This will help the new paint adhere better. After sanding, wipe down the dresser with a damp rag to clean off the dust and debris.


STEP 2: Paint the entire crate and the tops of your screws. Let dry. 


STEP 3: Hanging your shelves is as easy as drilling a screw in the back of the crates (which is actually the bottom of the crate) into the wall. If you stack your crates, of course you will drill them into one another. I used a screw instead of a nail, so once I hang my crate I can adjust and level it easier.

Natural Fiber Head Board 

Rope is such a simple and inexpensive item, yet it can help create some really interesting looks if used creatively. This is a great and easy way to make use of an old door while adding a touch of cozy chic to your bedroom.



Solid wood door

Natural fiber rope (I like manila rope because of the color variations. You can use sisal if you prefer, just make sure you don't use anything too thick or unwieldy.)

Hot glue gun

Heavy duty scissors


STEP 1: Choose a solid wood door, preferably with a design element like paneling, that's a few inches taller than your bed is wide. Cut it down to size as needed. Keep in mind that the rope will add on about half an inch to each side.


STEP 2: Start wrapping the door with rope. You will want to start on one end and move in about half way and then move to the other end, working your way to the middle. The only place where you will need to wrap the rope all the way around is on the ends, otherwise you can just wrap the front of the door to save rope and time. Use the hot glue to hold the rope in place as you go.

Painter's Tape Masterpiece 

This is a super easy project that's also a lot of fun and allows you to express your artistic side.



Blank canvases (6, all the same size)

Painter's tape

Paint (at least 3 different colors)



STEP 1: Line up your canvases so they touch side-by-side.


STEP 2: Tape across your canvases (overlapping the tape onto more than one canvas) in a pattern you find visually appealing. Extend the tape down the sides of the canvas.


STEP 3: Paint the tops of your canvases. Let them dry for an hour or so and then paint the sides.


STEP 4: Cut the tape that is holding the canvases together and paint the canvas sides that remain unpainted.


STEP 5:  Let the paint dry an hour or two longer. Peel the tape off and admire your handiwork!

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