so ... the "exciting" stuff
gone (went) fishin'

a little here, a little there

since the other house sold at the end of june, we've just started to feel like we're coming out of the double-mortgage abyss. granted, we're still technically paying for it, but now there's some breathing room. which is good, because the next four months are not going to be cheap. (back to school stuff, holidays, an out-of-state trip for a wedding, etc.)

however, i've started to feel like i can add a little more to the house now and then, to make it more homey in areas. the first thing i wanted to fill in was our empty entryway.

i knew that i wanted a piece by the stairway, but what i wanted, i had no idea. a dresser? a table? something industrial? something old?

then i was browsing craigslist one day (like i do way more often than i'd like to admit), and happened upon a listing for a "spoon-carved antique three drawer dresser." the listing gave the measurements, and i ran to the entry with tape measure in hand. the dresser would be the perfect size. i contacted the seller, got more details and an address, and that weekend we loaded into the car for a 90 minute drive into the boonies of wisconsin.

the sellers lived in an adorable light yellow cottage, next to a barn and a field. all good signs. we chatted for a bit, then looked at the dresser. beneath the years of neglect from living in a barn, it was still a beauty. a little wobbly, and some drawer issues that would have to be addressed, but i could see the potential.

we paid the nice couple (admittedly, i should have haggled more. i'm terrible at haggling.), loaded it into the car, and smelled the smell of old wood all the way home. it was heavenly.

i contacted an antique restorer to make it solid again and ready for painting. three weeks later, the dresser was back and ready for some paint. one coat of primer and two coats of shagbark olive later, it was done.

and it completes the entry perfectly.

the dresser has that legitimacy of an antique that help bring more "farmhouse" into my "farmhouse," and everytime i walk by it i still get a whiff of "barn." it makes me smile. however, the metal and cement knobs from anthropologie give it a bit of an industrial edge that helps the dresser fit in and not become too precious.

(props to marc for finding the knobs ... they're perfect! i was focused on turquoise dangly ones ... these are ever so much better.)

it still needs to be "styled" a bit ... bigger art, maybe a small bowl or something ... and at some point i will line the drawers and use it to store mailing supplies, maybe candles and all the small things like matches and picture-hanging hooks, etc., that are taking over a kitchen drawer. but for now it works, and works wonderfully.

(lamp: ikea, wood bowl: target, glass floats: pottery barn, sea potpourri: pottery barn, minnesota watercolor print: katie daisy.)

and it helps to finally bring a bit more color into the house. now i'm ready to start focusing on the great room and wii room. adding a bit to them is finally in my sights. those chiang mai pillows may become a reality soon, and from there i'm starting to figure out the palette for the wii room:

(photo via cannelle et vanille)

can't wait to start warming up the white with color, and filling the house with Us.




I love it! It's a beauty. Good bones and perfect for your space. I'm so glad for you that there is light at the end of that long tunnel!

Valerie Bishop

Um wow....gorgeous!! I love the color you chose to paint it and the the knobs are stellar!! Great find!! BTW...I don't haggle very often (or well for that matter) either - if I like it and the price I just buy it!! ;)


Wow, beautiful! Looks like something out of a magazine.


Uhm, GORGEOUS! I think the "styling" is absolute perfection fyi.


You have a way of making everything beautiful!


I absolutely love your dresser makeover. It inspired my own! I have a very similar dresser and posted here about it:
Thanks for the inspiration!

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