Credit: Dean Fisher

Once a month, the Reader’s Dean Fisher uses her expert eye and a shoestring budget to overhaul a Chicagoan’s space. Want to have a room redone? Send a photo of your pitiful interior to

For the three years that Veronica Shaeffer and Keith Dumbleton lived in their Ukrainian Village apartment, their back room—an adorable sunporch with loads of potential—had become a catchall that served as a mudroom, potting shed, and storage area. The sad space was in serious need of an overhaul. Armed with $150 and a little DIY know-how, we transformed the porch into the perfect spot for summer cocktails.