Powder Room Redesign | Week 3

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          We' re almost to the finish line with our $100 four week room makeover challenge! This week I'm focusing on the art, mirror, and the new light.

          The oversized mirror might be my favorite part of this room. It is so much larger than the original oval mirror, and what a difference that extra reflection makes in this small room. I mentioned last week that it came free with a mid century dresser I found at Goodwill. As I was driving away, the employee who helped me load the dresser in my car, stopped me and ran back in to grab it for me. I'm so glad he remembered it. Even though I never intended to use it with the dresser, I knew it would find a home somewhere.

          Because it is so heavy, we used a French Cleat to hang it, securing one part into two studs in the wall and the other part to the wood frame. The two parts fit together for a perfectly level and securely-hung mirror. This is my favorite method of hanging very heavy objects, and I recently used a French Cleat to hang the new head board in the master bedroom. I will include more about how it works in my upcoming post about the headboard.

          The new light is a huge improvement from the tiny amber light we replaced, but still not permanent. The swirly shadows cast by this fixture are distracting, and it doesn't hang quite as low as I would like. We will eventually move this fixture to the mudroom when I find something better for this room, but it makes a huge difference in here in brightness and style.

          In addition to the framed floral fabric, (which ironed quite nicely!) I framed a print from a show I attended in Cincinnati, at the historic Herzog Studio. They were selling this print with an audio download, and other original prints by local artists. It sits on this chair for now, but next week it will be on the wall.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

          With just a few remaining touches, this room will be done! I am so impressed with the other rooms in this challenge. Hop over to see what the other folks in this challenge are up to. There are some talented people out there who show that you can make a big impact without spending a lot of money. 

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Powder Room Redesign | Week 2

          I'm just popping in with a quick update for week two. This little room is really coming together!

          The bathroom was painted a few weeks ago, before I knew for certain I would join this challenge. It took me the length of two Marc Maron podcasts to paint, so three hours, start to finish? Maybe less. I lose track of time when I paint and listen to something interesting. The kids are in school, I have a task and a free day to complete it. Before I know it, the room is painted.

          Speaking of podcasts, I recently discovered The Great Albums, which has me forever wearing earbuds; I listen while I clean, while I paint, while I buy groceries. Each week they take an album and dissect it, one song at a time. And not recent albums; they dive into Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, The National, The Pixies, Pearl Jam. I devour this like my kids devour high fructose corn syrup. The hosts keep it positive, maybe a bit pretentious, but only discuss their favorite albums. I sink deep into the conversation about my favorite songs, learning more about the musicianship, listening as they examine the minute details of what makes it great.

          Back to the project! With the walls painted, the room feels completely different and I can barely wipe the grin off my face every time I walk in there. I am consistently wowed by the difference a fresh coat of paint can make. It may look completely decorated, but it really isn't. I played around with an arrangement of baskets on the walls, and hung the new mirror and art above the toilet. The colorful "art" is fabric that has since been ironed.

          I did not prepare myself for the challenge of photographing this tiny, dark room that has no natural light. That will be my greatest obstacle. These pics are just a couple of quick shots taken with my iPhone with quick edits and a blurry watermark in Lightroom. I do look forward to playing around with my camera and tripod, and figuring this situation out...wearing my earbuds, no doubt.

         The total spent so far:
  • $30 - light fixture over sink (not pictured yet) 
  • $5 - old wooden chair 
  • $6 - other art (not pictured)
  • $2 - thrifted baskets 
  • the paint was leftover from the master bedroom, another ongoing project 
  • the frames, majority of the baskets, turquoise rug, and the vase & flowers were already owned
  • the mirror came free with this dresser (score!) 

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Midcentury Dresser in Walnut and White

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience, but this does not cost you a penny.  I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from that link. This in no way affects my opinions or the products I use. See my full disclosure policy here. 

          This dresser marks my first furniture project of the year, and provides a peek at the direction I'm headed in the master bedroom.

vintage, bassett, makeover, dresser, danish oil, annie sloan, chalk paint, mid century

          This is what the dresser looked like when I brought it home from Goodwill. The hardware looks so wrong, completely out of place.

           I was initially confused by the hardware, because the lines of the dresser clash with the ubiquitous 80's brass pulls. Regardless, for $30 I snapped it up when I saw the familiar Bassett stamp inside. Removing the brass pulls revealed the original factory-drilled hardware holes; two vertical holes about an inch and a half apart. Vertical holes - that is, like, Demogorgon strange.

          This is when I go down a rabbit hole of research and vintage furniture geekdom. I had never seen vertically attached hardware, and no amount of lazy research brought up an image of hardware that would be mounted vertically. I stopped being lazy, moved the dresser, and peeked at the hand-written code on the back, read "Sculptique" which led to an image of this dresser with the original hardware, but I was underwhelmed. Maybe for the first time, I didn't love the original hardware. They are better than the colonial-style replacements, but definitely not my favorite. Still, mystery solved.

          Aside from slight damage to the top, the wood was in amazing condition. I labored over the decision to paint the frame, but I don't regret it. If I change my mind and decide to go back to full stain, it isn't a huge undertaking to strip & sand the frame.

vintage, bassett, makeover, dresser, danish oil, annie sloan, chalk paint, mid century

          For new hardware, I chose a simple concave knob, similar to this satin nickel knob. I looked everywhere for a simple brass knob, but they were either too expensive or the wrong size. When I found these, I had every intention of changing the finish to brass, but once attached, I actually liked the cool metal. That never happens; I'm a brass girl! Once the bedroom comes together, there will be a fair amount of brass and warm metals, so I will probably update these pulls with Rub N Buff. Stay tuned. This is exciting stuff.

          The white paint is Annie Sloan in Old White, sealed with Clear Wax. The drawers and top were given a coat of Danish Oil in Dark Walnut, and that's it! There is no sealer required with Danish Oil. I rub it on with an old sock. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I almost left it bare because I was hypnotized by the natural wood. Our new headboard is a dark walnut though, and the bare wood looked odd with the headboard. I appreciate a mix & match approach to decorating a room, but this didn't mix or match. It looked completely disjointed.

          The most intense part of this project was filling the old hardware holes - four per drawer. I use stainable wood filler to fill the holes, sanding smooth once it dried completely, and applied the Danish Oil right over the sanded wood filler.

vintage, bassett, makeover, dresser, danish oil, annie sloan, chalk paint, mid century

          The art is a beautiful menu saved from a favorite Minneapolis restaurant, Chino Latino. I have another menu with a different image, and that one will eventually be framed too. The smaller black and white is a side-by-side of my Dad, who probably owned something similar to this dresser in the 1960's. I like to think so.

vintage, bassett, makeover, dresser, danish oil, annie sloan, chalk paint, mid century

vintage, bassett, makeover, dresser, danish oil, annie sloan, chalk paint, mid century

          I'll have more to share from the master bedroom soon. I'm putting a design board together now, and that is a challenge!

          In the meantime, take a look at what my talented furniture friends are up to. We will be linking our projects on the first Tuesday of each month. This serves a couple of purposes - it keeps me focused on finishing my projects, and I stay in touch with some of my favorite creative people! You enjoy the benefit of seeing what these ladies are up to each month.

1. Refreshed Desk Using CeCe Caldwell Paint from On Fern Avenue
2. Midcentury Dresser in Walnut and White from 58 Water Street
3. Vintage White Furniture Co. Nightstands from That Sweet Tea Life 
4. Rescued Relic To Elegant Eggplant Buffet from Whimsy and Wood
5. Using Stain To Tone Wood from J Burns Design
6. Weathered Gray Painted Jewelry Chest from Just The Woods
7. Natural Furniture Distressing Technique from Thirty Eighth Street

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