emmeth’s room

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lavender and grey tween room designing around

We just needed a new desk. Emm’s heading to middle school in three days (3 days!) and her tiny desk from first grade just wasn’t going to cut it any longer. I measured her room and we headed out to Ikea to find something bigger, preferably with storage as well. Well, I measured her room in June. We went out to Ikea in August. I think you see where I’m going here.

The desk we came back with was 2 inches too long for the space. This was discovered before we put the desk together but after the box had been ripped to shreds trying to get it open. But. But. If I just got her a different dresser, a narrow one that would fit where the small desk had been, then we could place the longer desk on the other wall. And since we were going that far, we should replace her Ikea bedding that had developed weird spots, go through everything in her room and clear it out, and remove those cute party decorations that never quite worked. Project snowballing achieved.

So I went off to my favorite thrift shop, knowing that every time I go to look for something specific, it’s never there. This time however, as those of you on Instagram know, I struck gold. Really beat up gold with excellent bones at just the right size. I measured twice.

mid century dresser

A solid mid-century dresser, not a reproduction, with lovely brass handles. Score. A little wood filler, a little paint, a lot of polishing.

patching dresser

painting mid century dresser

polishing brass handles

That middle picture, by the way, is how my living room looked on our new sitter’s first day. I decided she might as well know what she was dealing with from the start. The living room looked like that and Finn and I were arguing about how the island trim should look when she arrived. Mid-argument. Then I went to work. Good times.

Emmeth chose Heavy Goose from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. I had it color matched to Behr in a semi-gloss. I filled the scrapes and dents with wood filler, gave the whole piece a good sanding and primed with Zinsser primer. This primer is stinky, but is the best I’ve found for prepping high use furniture and/or furniture of questionable origin. Two coats of paint (I need to do a third now that it’s upstairs), lots of handle polishing with Brasso and the piece looks much better.

mid century dresser painted in heavy goose

Now the floors need a new coat of paint (and four years later the door frame still needs trim). Never ending projects in this old house. But at least we didn’t have to go back to Ikea.

ikea micke desk


In other news, I’m selling a lovely teal dresser and small desk, if you’re local.



Desk. Chair.


Linking up to Remodelaholic this week.

Hiding the Negative

little girl bedroom teal purple

I’ve been slowly making some changes to Emmeth’s room, at her request. You can see the before above. We’ve switched out the floral duvet for plain white and changed out the pillow cases. She wanted it to feel more grown up, but she’s still, really, a kid. Not quite a teen. Not really even a tween just yet, although I’m seeing more and more of those moments. Her room is tiny, like Roan’s, 10 feet x 10 feet, with no storage and low attic ceilings. Which left her no real “hang out” space where she and her friends could sit. So we decided to create a day bed for her. We checked out Craigslist together, as I thought transforming something would work out better than trying to buy new. She choose what I thought was the ugliest of the options. She insisted however and I have other battles to fight. I knew it would look better painted anyway. Here it is, in all it’s “before” glory.

bed before

Bleh. Not my style. Now you know where that sneak peek from the lego post was going. I painted it with Chalk Paint, in cream, as I’ve wanted to try that out for a while and I didn’t want to do any prep work on the bed. It’s too cold for spray paint here now and I certainly wasn’t going to look at that thing unpainted for several months. Once painted we set it up in her room and added more pillows. We (she) decided to center it under the windows, which left a weird space behind the bed, as the dresser has to be pushed right next to it, creating a weird corner. We thought about shelves, but they’d be impossible to reach and, because of the slant, wouldn’t really fill the space. So instead we did this.

from door

Party supplies and paper lanterns from World Market and Pearl River Supply. Loosely inspired by this pin. The star is a Christkindle Market purchase from a couple of years ago that she loved and requested as part of the mix. It’s cute, although I wish I’d thought of a better way to hang them. I’m going to hate patching all those holes when she gets tired of the lanterns.


We brought up the chair from the guest room and created another sitting area (knitting area really) by the door. A quick change of throw, from the black and white stripes to purple ombre, made that versatile little chair perfect for her space.

As you can see, curtains are next on the agenda. I’m going to put some grommets in the fabric from her old curtains and create simple roll up shades that tie with a ribbon. Slowly, between other projects. Some rooms just work better that way, evolving. Much like Emmeth. Constantly changing, faster than I’d like some days, slower than molasses others.

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