Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing Dress Up

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my den re-do has been this wall:

It’s a focal point in the room—directly across from the windows and fireplace, and there were so many things wrong with it that it gave me hives every time I walked into the room. The mirror was too big. The table was too small. The lamp was not working at.all. But it was a collection of things we had when we moved into this house so we lived with it. We lived with it until I just couldn’t live with it anymore. Something had to be done. So I called up my good friend Craig and asked him if he had anything that might be of interest on his list. And boy did he come through.
Since the beginning of the year I’ve been stalking  checking Craiglist for  the perfect piece to go in this space. I knew I wanted a dresser- something solid with storage. I also knew that it needed to be a little bit longer than what we already had to help balance out the size of the mirror. So I searched. And I searched. I inquired about a few pieces, but nothing was quite right.
Then one day, when I least expected it—there she was. The perfect size and shape and for only $30! I could not respond to that Craigslist ad fast enough! The seller listed that the only thing wrong with the piece was that it was missing a knob on the far right side. Since I was planning to replace the hardware myself anyway, I figured that wasn’t a problem.

Excuse me while I laugh maniacally in the corner. Apparently the seller does not have a keen attention to detail. Or eyesight. Let’s just say you get what you pay for. But I digress. Since I was going to sand it and paint it, and there didn’t appear to be any structural issues, I handed over my 30 pesos and went on my way.


After I removed the hardware I spent the following Saturday’s naptime getting acquainted with the sander I borrowed from my dad.  And can I just say Holy Arm workout Batman!

I used some leftover white paint that we already had and set to work giving this baby a new life. Three coats later and things were looking good.

I grabbed some hardware for half off from Hobby Lobby. The knobs are a perfect fit but the drawer pulls have been a little harder to match up, so I’m still on the lookout for those.
I dressed up my new and improved dresser with a tray I picked up from TJ Maxx awhile back with accessories I gathered from around the house, a new lamp from Walmart, and I gave an old frame and picture a little boost by adding a simple white mat.

I am IN LOVE with how this simple, $30 find transformed this space. It has brightened our den and made this focal point something I actually WANT to see. And suddenly, that giant mirror seems less imposing and more like a part of the space.

Let’s see that before & after again, shall we?

Total cost for this project:
Dresser: $30
Lamp: $30 ($15/piece for the shade and base)
Mat for Frame: .75
Total: $60.75


  1. That turned out FABULOUS! LOVVVEE IT! And I have that SAME MIRROR! Go-Jus!
    I would LOVE to have you link up to my PARTY! WHASSUP WEDNESDAY!!

    And I have a party button you can grab and put on your blog so your friends can come too:)



  2. Looks great!!! You must just love the wall now! I just redid a dresser and am using it as a buffet in my dining room. A little bit of paint and it's amazing what you can do.

  3. Sorry to be the buzzkill here, but I prefer your before look by leaps and bounds. The dresser looks really cheap, and you can still see the holes where the previous hardware was. The table you had there before was lovely. Call Craig and ask him if he'd like his bureau back.

  4. I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion! Just for the record, I am still planning to put hardware on those drawers. As noted in the post, I haven't been able to find any in the right size yet. (We do not plan to leave the holes exposed long term.)

  5. Way to freshen up a space! I have seen something similar in a Southern Living magazine but didn't have the courage to tackle it. Now maybe I will. I love your eye for tastefully mixing vintage and new. Loved the built-ins arrangement too. Wish I had your eye. Thanks!

  6. Dear Anonymous Buzzkill,
    Leaving such a mean spirited comment and remaining anonymous is such a cowardly way to live your life. If you stand by the way you feel and take so much pride is your opinion, take ownership :)

    The transformation is AMAZING!!! I am shocked that anyone would disagree. It makes the space look up to date, and provides such warmth and extra storage! Great choice!

  7. Looks great and when you have kids, you need those drawers to stuff drawings, toys, etc. into so I'm sure it's much more functional than the old table.

    Thanks for the inspiration to take on my own furniture painting project! I even blogged about it and linked it up with you. Have a look!


  8. Looks awesome! Love your blog! I became a follower! :) Erin


  9. Love it! We have my husband's childhood dresser in our bedroom...I know, I know. The shame! But we're holding off a new bedroom set until we move to a new house...I'm so tempted to give it a mini-makeover like this! Great work!