Tag Archives: furniture

Craigslist Catch: Mid Century Dresser

One of my favorite pastimes is browsing Craigslist for secondhand furniture. If you put in the time, use the right search terms and exercise patience, you just might get lucky enough to get your hands on a gem! And so it was for me with my most recent Craigslist Catch.

I’ve been searching Mr Craig’s List for some quality Mid-Century pieces for our bedroom for months now, and haven’t had much luck. Most of it has been out of my budget and the pieces that I could feasibly afford we’re either way too far away or gone by the time I replied. The Atomic Era, she’s popular. But recently the stars aligned. See, both of the fella’s jobs require uniforms (meeeow) which means he has tons of shirts and undershirts. And someone in the house won’t let go of any of her concert shirts and painting clothes. Yeah that’s me. Anyway, the fella gave the green light to look for another dresser on Craigslist and lo and behold:

Mid Century Modern Dresser

I know its a muddy pic, but isn’t she wonderful?! The sleek lines… The original hardware… And my newly found furniture source let this beauty go for only $160!

Turkish (head of quality control in our household) tells me the dresser passed all of his quality tests, so obviously it’s a keeper…

Turkish Conducts Quality Testing

Now what to do with it?  It’s wood veneered.  I really would like to stain it but since its an older dresser I’m afraid of killing the veneer by sanding, even if I go verrrry easy on it.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of painting it green.  Remember that fabric I bought for the bench that didn’t fit?

Retro Style Fabric

I used it for something else in the room, and that’s what steered my brain to green.  Here are the three main colors in the room.

Current Bedroom Colors

And here are the colors I’m currently crushing on.

Greens for Dresser

I’m on vacation as I type this, so I have plenty of time to mull it over in my brain.  I’m just really loving that a green hue is fitting to the style of the piece and also ties in with that great fabric!

Anyone out there have any thoughts?  All opinions are always welcome!  And who else has a story about a Craigslist Catch?  I know I’m not the only one who spends an hour a day on that site.  Do tell…


About a Bench

I have to admit, I’m a little extra-jazzed about writing this post.  This project was one of the most difficult ones I’ve tackled, but the payoff was SO worth it!  I’ve wanted some upholstered seating at the end of our bed for a while now, and have been ogling pins like this, this, this, and this.  But I was mostly inspired by pins like this, this, and this.  I plan on using mid-century touches throughout our entire house.  The atomic era – she speaks to me.  Since mid-century furniture is way somewhat out of our current budget, it’s time to get creative…

Disclaimer:  This post is not intended to instruct you on how to build a bench.  I crafted my plans for this bench in my head and just went for it.  While I am ALL FOR getting creative and going with an idea that you’re passionate about, I would urge folks to make sure they double check measurements and safety specifications before building anything.  Especially when it comes to furniture onto which humans will sit, stand or otherwise weigh down somehow.  Seriously.  Be smart and be careful.

I ordered four 14″ tall tapered hairpin legs from www.hairpinlegs.com.  Ooh pretty…

Hairpin Legs

After they arrived, it was off to the hardware store to pick up the lumber.  Originally, I was only going to use one 16″ x 48″ x 3/4″ craft wood plank for the bench seat.  The associate at the store was very concerned that the bench wouldn’t be strong enough to support two humans.  I’m not certain he fully understood my explanation of the design my bench, but he put enough doubt in my head for me to go ahead and buy two planks.  They were only around $10 apiece anyway so I figured better safe than sorry. So now I had the task of securing the boards to each other to create a 1 1/2″ thick base for my bench seat.  First, a few swirls of Gorilla Glue and clamps to hold them together nice and tight.

Clamps on Planks

I let the glue set for about 8 hours while I tended to my social life.  Then my handsome fella screwed the boards together for me with ten 1 1/4″ wood screws.

Wood Planks

I measured 2″ in from each edge at the corners and used a pen to mark where I would drill the holes to bolt my legs to the wood.

Measuring in 2"

Remember – measure twice, cut drill once!  I “measured in” instead of just attaching the legs to the corners, because I wanted the legs to be recessed a bit underneath the bench.  I just prefer that look since the legs are tapered.

Marked Holes for Drilling

After I drilled all of my holes, I simply attached the legs with bolts!  Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!

Hairpin Legs Bolted Into Wood Planks

Hairpin Legs Bolted to Wood Planks

If I’m keepin’ it real though, I’ll tell you that I wasn’t really thinking straight when I bought my 2″ bolts.  Clearly, you must use bolts that are at least a bit longer than the thickness of what you’re putting them through so that you can secure a nut on the other side.  My doubled-up wood planks and the metal base for attaching the legs came out to about 1 3/4″ thick.  File that under “ditz moment”.  The bolts I used in the end were 2 1/2″ long.  They stick out a bit on the underside but no one sees that except Turkish pup.  And he’ll just have to deal. On to the upholstery! I bought 3″ thick upholstery foam from JoAnn’s – they will cut it to whatever length you need, but you have to cut the width yourself.  I used my mom’s electric carving knife.  Fancy!  Check out my “concentration face”.  Winner!

Electric Knife Electric Knife

To secure the foam to the bench (and give the seat softer edges and corners) I wrapped the foam and wood in batting and stapled it to the underside of the bench with my staple gun.

Stapling Batting to a Bench

Let’s throw it in reverse for a second.  I fell in love with the bold, bright colors and semi-retro style of these two fabrics when the bench was just a plan floating in my brain.

Retro Style Fabric

I bought a yard of each and decided that I’d let the fella choose which I would use for the bench.  While I’m sure you can guess that he picked the one without any pink in it, it didn’t matter, because I ended up making the bench larger than I originally planned to, and the fabric didn’t fit.  Womp womp.  No matter though, I have plans for that pretty, pretty fabric! So after some window shopping, discussion and deliberation, we landed on a cognac-colored faux leather.  Another round with the staple gun and the bench was done!

Attaching Faux Leather to a Bench

I’ll pause while you take a look at this Instagram and do your best wolf whistle.

Mid Century Modern Bench

I’m not sure I can explain to you how much I love this bench.  For serious, you might get creeped out if I were to try.  It lives at the end of our bed on top of a blue striped flat-woven rug from IKEA.  And it is as sturdy as a tree trunk – really glad I went for that extra plank, even if I might not have needed it.  I added some baskets for storage underneath but they may get switched out for larger bins at some point.

Bed with Mid Century Bench

I think if I added the total time spent putting this thing together it would come to less than 2 hours, not counting my Gorilla Glue dry time.  Not bad at all!  Factor in the fact that I only spent about $100 on materials and I’d say that’s a slice of fried gold!  I can’t wait to post about the other projects for our bedroom that I’m working on!  Until then…  Who else has conceived a project that turned out exactly as they planned?  Do tell…

The LACK Hack

I’ve done a lot of work in our living room. And why not? Much of the time that we clock at home is in there. I’ve already boasted about my media stand, and I promised to return to tell you about the shelves I built to surround her.  I absolutely love them!  Here’s a muddy iPhone pic sneak peek…

LACK Table Hack

My shelves are the brainchildren of a shelf that well-loved home bloggers Sherry and John Petersik made and shared in their book – Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update and Show Your Home Some Love.  Sidebar – if you like to DIY, please [safely] run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and treat yourself to this book.  Like right now.  It’s chock-full of tons of creative (and inexpensive!) DIY ideas that you can recreate or re-imagine to make your own.  And with my book in hand and thinking cap on, I did just that.  Ikea hacking has been around for a minute, but I saw how the Petersiks married a few LACK tables with simple assembly techniques to make a shelf and I jumped right on that bandwagon and told the driver to floor it.

Project Checklist

  • Fairly simple – check!
  • Inexpensive – check!
  • Totally customizable – double check!

I batted my eyes and used a bit of cheap bribery to get my fella to make the trek to IKEA with me.  We picked up six white LACK tables at a cool $7.99 a pop!  My wallet gave me a kiss afterwards.  Not really.  It should have though.  Here I am opening them up like a kiddo on Christmas [note my previous “shelving” set-up in the background, which was a beat up, wobbly hand-me-down]:

LACK Tables

The tables were covered in paper veneer, so I roughed up the surface with a bit of medium sandpaper.  That step was probably unnecessary since I used Zinsser B-I-N primer (which sticks to AN-Y-THING).  But you see, I am paint-paranoid and wanted to be absotively sure that the paint stuck.  Here you see the first set of tables laid out and waiting for a new coat of paint:


I wanted the shelves to complement the media stand since they’d live next to it, but I wanted them to have a unique feature.  I decided that the exterior surfaces would wear Valspar’s Fountain Mist to match the media stand, and the interior surfaces would wear a shade darker.  Behr’s Rapture Blue looks ravishing next to Fountain Mist, no?

Valspar Fountain Mist and Behr Rapture Blue

Photo sources: Valspar, Behr

You might be thinking “why didn’t she use another Valspar color to get the best match?”, to which I’d reply “chill, man, I had a Home Depot coupon!”.  Ok, maybe I wouldn’t be that blunt.  You get the idea.  So the insides got two coats of Rapture Blue, and the outsides got two coats of Fountain Mist…  I somehow lost the progress pics where the exterior was painted. #blogfail.  But here’s a bit of Rapture Blue for ya:

IKEA LACK Tables Painted Rapture Blue

Once painted, the tables all got a double-dose of polycrylic to protect the paint from chipping.  For direction on how I assembled the tables to make these fine shelves, check out Sherry and John’s book.  You’ll thank me, I promise.  And now the finished product!

IKEA LACK Tables Turned to Shelves

Of course I decked them out with some of my favorite books and a few other decorative items.  I like to switch what lives on them according to season or upcoming holidays too, just to keep it fresh and fun.

IKEA LACK Tables turned Shelves

The media stand was nice, but she looked lonely hanging out on the HUGE wall all by herself.  The shelves were just the thing she needed to bolster her self esteem.  Now it’s a substantial, cohesive unit!

DIY Media Stand

DIY Media Stand

I actually added another component to the media area to help fill the void of blank wall that once existed there.  Stay tuned, I’ll be posting about that project too!

Anyone else getting inspiration from Sherry and John or another fascinating home blog out there?  And who else is charming their partner into taking trips to massive, crowded furniture showrooms?  Do tell…