19 January 2012

That nasty 80's dresser is now an awesome media console!


I looked for MONTHS for just the right piece of furniture to put our tv on. In the past, we used an armoire that we loved a lot (and that I was really proud of getting at a garage sale for only $40) that was a perfect fit for our thick old non-flat tv. But before we moved to Colorado, we gave away the tv knowing we would bite the bullet and buy our very first flat screen.

So bye bye armoire. You were too bulky for our sleek new tv. And you wouldn't fit in the moving trailer. Hello temporary small cabinet. When we moved, we went through a 7 month period of temporary living in a VERY small apartment. I didn't decorate, I didn't look for any new pieces. So when we moved into our current townhouse, I knew the first piece I wanted to find was a large, long 'something' to put the tv on, that had storage underneath.

I found many pieces that would work. Ikea has some nice things. So does Pottery Barn. But if you know me, you know that there's no way I'm spending money on something new when I could find something second hand that I can make perfect!


Enter the 1980s. This dresser was found at my local Goodwill. When I first saw it, I wasn't convinced that it was what I wanted. Plus, it wasn't on sale. Seriously. How cheap am I that I won't buy something from a thrift store if it isn't on sale. It's sad, really. Anywhoo, the next time I went back to the store, it was half off. I stood back and imagined it with a few tweaks and realized it was perfect! So for $15 (yes, $30 was too much to pay), I took it home. Let me tell you, this chunk of wood is HEAVY. I injured my neck trying to lift just one side of it. It was a job for strong men.


When looking for a piece that you know you can paint and do minor alterations on, don't get distracted by the lipstick and eyeshadow. Meaning, surfaces can be changed. You can strip it. You can paint it. The important thing is if the piece is the right size, shape, style, and if it is well made.

Here's what I liked about the piece:
1. It was exactly the right size.
2. It had interesting hardware.
3. It came with two mirrors that I could use elsewhere.
4. It was sturdy and well made.
5. It was a straight, clean-lined style.
6. It had really good storage.
7. It was dirt cheap.

I decided to jump on the chalk paint bandwagon that I have read so much about in blogland. Of course, I made my own. Cheap, remember? I used this recipe, and it seemed to work just fine. I did fill in chips and lightly sand every part that was getting painted, but I did not prime, and I used wax instead of a poly coat. I have to say that I really like the feel of the finish and I will probably never do a poly coat again (unless it's kitchen cabinets).

The paint color is Benjamin Moore's Coventry Grey. I read somewhere that was the color closest to A.S. Paris Grey.


The top three drawers came out, and I painted the inside a mossy green that I already had. Maybe someday I'll repaint that part with peacock blue or something intense. Someday. I'm just happy that this piece is finished and in place. Oh, and one of the mirrors is hanging over our mantel, horizontally.


The gallery wall behind the tv isn't finished (and after looking at this photo, apparently I don't know how to level), but still, it's much better than nothing on the wall. The tv blends in really well. I'd love to paint that wall a dark grey, but we're not allowed to paint in this place.

I have since swapped out the end unit of our sectional for an armless version,
so there is an unobstructed view of the console.
After almost a year of packing, moving, temporary living, moving again, and now settling in, it's nice to have our place looking more like a real adult house.

Now I need to turn my attention to the decidedly un-adult looking wasteland around my desk. I'll get there. Eventually!

Today I'm partying with Miss Mustard Seed and The Shabby Nest. Head on over to both of these fantastic blogs to see what creative things others are doing!

15 comments:

the cape on the corner said...

that looks fabulous! i keep looking for a piece for the same purpose, but i just don't have the vision! i'm super cheap, too, and then to not even know if something will work, etc. ugh. this looks amazing! i love the color you chose, and great gallery wall, too!

Kim said...

so cool!! and a 3 for 1 deal to boot! i wish my Goodwills had treasures more often!

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

You're blogging! There was a ling gap, so I quit checking and look at all I missed!

1. Love the stockings. I remember when The Denver was still in business sonthat made me smile.
2. So sad you aren't in that darling house. You would d amazing things with it.
3. No matter how many times you show a before and after, I know I would never be able to look at an ugly old piece of furniture and see the potential you do. :)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh my lord i love it and the rest of the room!!! off to check out your blog! :)

Maryann said...

Just saw your piece on Miss Mustard Seed. It really turned out nicely. What really drew me was your gallery wall arrangement! It looks very interesting and straight out of a shelter magazine. Look out Kate Spade!

Rebecca @ Beck's Chic Life said...

Visiting from MMS! Love the color and so excited to try to make my own chalk paint! I am also extremely impressed by your skills when it comes to finding a bargain and waiting for a sale! I am inspired to visit good will today!

Megan McCoy Dellecese said...

I'm here from Miss Mustard Seed and just had to add my two cents. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your style and creativity in reinterpreting this piece! :-) Thanks for sharing!

Queen Mary said...

I'm here from Miss Mustard also -- wonderful link! Thanks for your story -- I LOVE it!

janzi said...

Hi Ms Mustard is introducing a lot of people to you, and no wonder, that treatment of the dresser was inspired, it looked so up to date and in a great colour, well done.. its quite inspiring to see all these blogs..

Aubrey said...

You did a super job on the whole room! I also have been known to walk away from a "pricey" piece of furniture at the goodwill! lol

Anonymous said...

Amazing work!! A beautiful piece of furniture!

Holly

kelly@refresheddesigns. said...

Love this makeover, and your room is great. The frames all around the tv are fantastic.

Christina {Designing by Numbers} said...

Hi Erin,

Thanks so much for popping by my blog and leaving a comment about my Ikea Lack hack!

I just wanted to say that I ADORE what you did with this media unit - it's such a stunning piece now (and really adds to your already lovely room!)

Fantastic work!!!

Take care,
Christina
www.designingbynumbers.com

Janet said...

Of course, I've always known you are creative beyond words. This console is a prime example. I love everything you create - but even more - YOU!

Mom

4 bedroom houses for rent said...

This furniture is fabulous.