Thursday, February 3, 2011

The First Step Is Admitting You Have A Problem...

Hi, my name is Holly and I'm a decorating addict...or rather, I have a severe (and seemingly incurable) case of decor ADD. You can ask my mom, I've been weird about arranging and decorating "my space" ever since I was a kid. It would drive my mom nuts when I wanted to completely re-do my room every year, but I've come to embrace that as part of my need for a creative outlet. It would be nice if my outlet were something inexpensive (or free) like writing, or painting, or gardening. Believe me, I've tried all of those things and many many more, but I keep coming back to my space. Call it a sickness, but I have made my peace with it.

My latest victim is our living room. The one that I finally had "done" as of a few months ago. At least, it was as done as it was going to get without new flooring, a new couch and some recessed lighting. And we liked it. A lot. And then I got tired of it.

So. I've been mulling over what to do about our "entertainment center" setup...the bookcases were too much visual clutter and waaaaaay too much horizontal surface for my taste (it took like 40 minutes to dust that sucker! No thanks.) I've been trolling craigslist and thrift stores looking for a great dresser to take the place of the bookcase under the tv, but everything I found was either a) too ugly or b) too expensive. I did tend to find great potential pieces, but they always popped up right around the times when dropping an extra chunk of change was just not feasible.This is the look I was going for:

I know it's pretty standard fare these days, but I like the idea of drawers (keeps dust off of dvd's and video game crap) and it's affordable, and frankly, while I love me some ikea (like, I'd marry it in a heartbeat love) I have always felt like it was starter furniture. It is the kind of stuff that is great in small doses, but too much feels like "hi, I just graduated college and am finally getting into my first 'grownup' place so I'm on a limited budget" kind of thing. And while we did  just get our first grownup place (a year and a half ago) and we are almost college grads, I'm ready to move on from the ikea life. We already have a tried-and-true ektorp couch in the room, and it was more fiscally feasible to replace the bookshelf setup, so the hunt was on for a new dresser/tv stand.

And then, THEN I found what I thought was an amazing deal on CL for a great big hideous dresser with matching mirror and headboard, for 80 BUCKS! It was still more than I wanted to pay but with the money I made selling our two bookcases I was able to grab it and still have a little cash left over for the supplies to repaint it. Sweet. I say "I thought" it was a great deal because it looked like solid wood in the add, but when the Mister got it home, it turned out to be part wood, part composite, part plastic. Yeah, plastic.


Do you see that glorious brassy hardware?! I'm pretty sure this is not something you want your kid banging their head on, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Because I'm a good mom like that.
The dresser is still going to work just fine, but I'm not sure what to do with the headboard and mirror. I had planned on selling them to bring in a little more cash to make the small bookshelves to flank the dresser, but who is going to want to buy a PLASTIC headboard and mirror?? Even if they do have a great vintage feel...would you?? Maybe if I paint and spiff them up first?


 We got started today while C went down for a nap. I took off the hardware and the Mister took a brush and vacuum to clean the dirt and dust off the drawer faces. There are a ton of nooks and crannies in the faces, which is what I love about them, but they were kinda gross from sitting in the previous owner's home.  

 After we taped plastic garbage bags around them (which was one of my more brilliant ideas...worked like a charm!) I threw on a thin coat of primer, because in case you forgot, the drawer faces are PLASTIC. Sheesh. Usually with primer I use regular old kilz in a can, but while we were picking up painting supplies I noticed that there was kilz IN A SPRAY CAN!! Genius. Pure genius. It ended up going on pretty well...we did have to wipe down the nozzle after each  face because there was some buildup that caused dripping. However, I only got primer on ONE fingertip (I have a knack for getting primer all over my hands for some reason, and it is just the most impossible thing to try and clean off) so I'm calling this one a success.

Primer on the drawers has dried so in the next couple of days we will prime the dresser and then slap on some paint thanks to a sprayer we borrowed from friends (fingers crossed it works better than the one we bought to do our kitchen cabinets with!) After that all that is left it putting it back together with a new top we are building from 1x4 planks and we're done!


  1. Ummm... I'm going to trust that you have some amazing idea to make this look good. And I'm sure you do because I honestly 100% trust your decorating vision. But honestly, the original is so ugly, I'm skeptical! I know you can pull it off, but I can never see the end from the beginning. Sorry, don't hate me. :p

  2. PS--I love that I know you well enough and I talk to you often enough that I can hear your exact inflection when reading your blog posts. :)

  3. It's amazing that after all these years of being a closet-ADD decorator, you've finally admitted your problem and come out in the open. (You can't get any more "open" than a publicly-accessible blog!) And thanks for admitting that you drove me crazy. Yes, you must take some credit for my insanity. I remember handpainting a rose border on your walls just in time for you to declare that you wanted a fabulous new wallpaper border with... insert drumroll here...sea shells. (Do I spy a bit of Aunt Carly in there?) It's a miracle that I survived your decorating projects. Or did I?

    And sorry to say this about your dresser, but I concur with Lindsey. Mostly because Dad had a similar bedroom set when we got married. Hmmm...did you find any Paka hairs in those plastic grooves?