Shop The House To Refresh A Bedroom

Antique dresser

Sometimes it takes awhile to come up with the perfect solution for a problem area.

Or maybe that’s just me. Whatever.

Anyway, this wonderful old dresser and mirror had been gifted to me last spring by a dear friend (when our kids were little I had asked her to think of me if she ever wanted to get rid of it- good things come to those who wait!). It spent a little time in the garage (a-hem) until I was able to refinish the top last August.

Then…I didn’t know where to put it. We all had dressers, though none were as fine as this one. Just to get it out of the garage, I put it in our son’s room (pictured above).

Which moved his dresser to the closet.  Which doesn’t really fit, but since he was moving out for college, it didn’t seem to really matter. Sniff.

Then in January I started down the path of elimination, and I realized we had one too many dressers in our house. Which led me to really look at my husband’s dresser.

This poor, sad, little dresser we found on a city curb in our neighborhood twenty-two years ago, carried home to our tri-plex’s back porch, which then became my very first refinishing project.

Um, I think I was young and didn’t know what I was doing, because this is clearly a candidate for painting if ever I saw one.

To say it didn’t take to refinishing is an understatement. But I spent all that time on it, and refinished it was going to stay!

Twenty-two years later and my eyes are fully opened. The drawer stops are long gone, the edges battered, the frame wobbly.

So I decided a few weeks ago that we would refresh our bedroom by switching dressers (Seriously, years – then months and weeks? What’s wrong with me?) and ultimately eliminating one.

In typical AOC fashion, the great switch didn’t happen until a couple days ago – but doesn’t it look great? I sure wish I would’ve thought of it sooner. Sigh.

We moved the sad little dresser into our son’s room where it will await a transformation that will include paint and maybe a little decoupage. And the dresser lurking in the closet? That one (another curbside find, I’m afraid) will be the one we eliminate.

The only problem now is…

Now the bedroom is lopsided – Brian’s nice new-old dresser vs. my whimpy nightstand – a temporary one that of course has been there…you guessed it- years! Ever since we finished the master bathroom remodel and turned the dresser that had been there into a vanity.

I’ve been looking (not constantly, obviously) for a small table/desk to use as my bedside table because I already have a dresser and only need a drawer to keep a few bedside things. I plan to put a mirror above it to balance out the mirror on Brian’s side.

And then- maybe because my “shop the house” mentality was fully honed- I realized we DO have a desk with one drawer that will fit next to our bed! In fact, it’s curvy and feminine and I think it will look fun in the room – a contrast to the masculine look of the brown dresser.

Problem is (what is it with all these problems?)…Brian’s using it for his desk. We bought this sweet desk from a friend for $5 (can you believe it?) and it’s been our office desk for years. Brian really ought to have a more manly desk, don’t you think?

I can just see it with a stripped and refinished top (the brown will help it coordinate with the brown dresser) and a brighter white bottom half.

Hmm, how long do you think this switch will take us?


Want more bedroom inspiration? Today I’m teaming up with these talented bloggers to help you tackle your own bathroom projects, learn some new tips, organize and be inspired:

Taylor from Stain Removal 101 is sharing a bedroom cleaning checklist you can use for yourself or your kids, when you tell them to “go clean your room” so they know what is expected, and can do it with less supervision and with better results, the first time.

Christine from I Dream of Clean is talking about spring cleaning your bedroom. (That post will be up first thing Wednesday morning, but go check out her FABulous Spring Cleaning Challenge (with amazing prizes) that’s her top post through tonight!)

Lauren from Mama’s Laundry Talk is giving advice on tackling the issue that can make maintaining order in the bedroom almost impossible – Get Rid of Clothing Clutter in the Master Bedroom.

If all this bedroom talk depresses you because yours is a disaster, check out the amazing transformation Nony from A Slob Comes Clean accomplished in her own disastrous master bedroom in less than ninety minutes!


  1. says

    Great looking room – cool, crisp, clean – a beautiful retreat!
    Love your saga of searching for the perfect place for the one dresser, and all of where it leads you.
    Love the desk-soon-to-be-nightstand. Perfect!

  2. Angela @ Cottage Magpie says

    Love the new dresser! It really is beautiful. And I love your colors in your bedroom, too. The green is so cottagey and vintagey and serene, too! :-)

    While you’re waiting for the curvy table for your side, maybe you could go ahead and use the dresser from hubby’s side on your side? WIth a mirror or artwork above? That would definitely balance out the dresser on his side. You could give it a whitewash or something to make it lighter if you didn’t want all brown but still wanted to keep the patina of it. Just an idea! The curvy table will look great, but since it’s busy… :-)


    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      Great idea, Angela- and since who knows how long it may be, I just might look into that!

  3. says

    I am always amazed at by simply switching out a piece of furniture can transform a space. It’s like you have a new room somewhere in your house…you just have to find it! And I love that you used what you had…sometimes it is so easy to be impulsive and want to buy a solution, when we have an opportunity to be creative and try something with what we already have!

  4. says

    This dresser and mirror looks beautiful in the room and I am amazed to the transformation that you have done. You have inspired me to get my home makeover as I was always refusing to do this makeover for winter. But thanks to you for this inspiration.

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