REDEMPTION! A dresser “recovers” from a botched paint job.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the tragic saga of the dresser that turned into a chicken. Today, I’m happy to report that the dresser makeover that went horribly wrong has been corrected! Or, at least it’s slightly less repulsive?

To jog your memory, our story began with a completely adequate dresser that I destroyed when I forgot what the color “gold” looks like.

The original

Dresser before

The Inspiration

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The Resultunnamed

The result was more eeek than chic and whatever my next move was, I knew I wanted to retain a geometric pattern because, well, it’s simply the best.

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But I also knew I couldn’t be trusted with paint again. Nor was I especially eager to repaint what took several painstaking hours to achieve. My solution? Cover the drawers in a large-scale geometric fabric print. Much like these crafty Design Sponge artisans did.

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An afternoon trip to local upholstery shop Spruce got me just what I needed. After looking at a handful of fabric samples and even wallpaper swatches, I ended up walking out some clearance fabric for $20 that was just barely perfect amount to cover the front of the drawers. No paint or sander was needed. Armed with just a staple gun and a pair of scissors, in 30 minutes I was able to save the dresser from the DIY disaster hall of fame.

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I’m not sure this is going to be my permanent solution for glamifying the dresser, but at least the fabric do-over is a vast improvement from where we started, and it didn’t require an obscene amount of effort or money to achieve. Let’s upgrade this project from a D-I-Why did I do this? to a D-I-Why, it could have been worse.


D-I-(wh)Y did I do that? or How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Dresser

About a year ago I picked up a free chest of drawers that were in good shape, of a nice size and functional but not exactly the sweetest piece of eye candy. Naturally, I took it upon myself to correct this problem.

Dresser before

You see, for quite some time now, I’ve been operating under the assumption that I am, relatively speaking, crafty and capable. I’ve taken old upholstery off chairs and put new covers on. I’ve constructed floating office shelves and painted an only partially crooked stencil pattern on an accent wall among other things. Maybe I’m no Martha Stewart but I’m no rube either. This, it turns out, is a very dangerous perception under which to operate. Oh self-esteem…how terribly you have betrayed me.

Armed with just the right amount of misguided confidence, I set about to turn this humble clothing receptacle into a work of art so grand, and creative and magnetic that furniture designers the world over would gaze upon it and come to me, weeping, begging for me to share my gift with them. A reasonable expectation. My ingenious scheme, you ask? Simple chevron stripes painted across the drawers. Something a la this:

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Perhaps my idea wasn’t all that daring, but all the more reason to believe I could successfully pull this off.

Nope.

The plan revolved around retaining the essence of the existing cloudy gold color, but to bring it some bold contrast with rich, blue stripes. Somehow, that seemed like a wise decision. Gold gives it some spunk. Deep blue makes it a little more grown up and not quite so “glam girl.” It can be a pretty dope look.

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Of course, that’s only in the instance that god forsaken cans of gold spray paint don’t suck the soul out of your body in the process of achieving it. I don’t want to entirely blame my tools as there was most definitely some user error in the process of destroying the integrity of this once fine dresser, but the project first started to go off the rails with the damned spray paint. After I had puttied and sanded the dresser with all the meticulousness I could muster,  I applied the spray paint, only to find that it bubbled and conformed to itself in little bumpy clusters that gave the drawers the texture of lizard skin. I rightfully abandoned the spray paint idea and instead selected a traditional interior paint in the shade of “turmeric” to replace it. You may be surprised to hear this, but “turmeric” and “gold” are not the same color. It actually probably doesn’t surprise anyone but somehow it took me until I was staring at the finished product to truly come to grips with the fact that instead of a sleek blue dresser with some punchy golden flair, I had instead applied the same royal blue and orangey-yellow color scheme used by the University of Delaware’s mascot.

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Oh the humanity!

To really add insult to injury, the knobs I had selected for the new (but not improved) dresser were duds. And expensive duds at that: $14-a-piece from Anthropologie but the knobs pulled right off the screws when you opened the drawers.This made the finished dresser both comically ugly and non functional. I’d give myself a hand for so artfully destroying a needed piece of furniture, but I’d probably screw that up too.

More on the fugly dresser saga to come….


Doodle House featured on Apartment Therapy!

What what?! It just came to my attention that The Doodle House was featured in Apartment Therapy‘s Room for Color contest! Unfortunately, I didn’t know my pad was featured until today, so I couldn’t get the word out to have folks vote for my “retro bright” color pallet before the contest voting closed, but it’s still pretty cool to be featured on such a prominent platform.  I’m weirdly gratified by this.

Check it out: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/kelseys-retro-bright-room-room-for-color-contest-195127

The Doodle House on Apartment Therapy

The Doodle House on Apartment Therapy


Doodle House featured on SheKnows!

Weeee!  My crazy green stenciled wall was featured in a SheKnows  article called “Unexpected paint colors for your living room.” It’s comforting to know there are other wannabe design dweebs who appreciate splashy color.  Check it out and see what other color-lovers have done to spruce up their pads.

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Picture 1

 

 


Should I stay or should I go? The story of a hand-me-down armoire

It’s practically inevitable that despite our best efforts, we all develop sentimental attachments to things: clothes, pieces of art, even furniture.

Growing up my parents had this beautiful 1920s, dark wood armoire that, despite its somewhat awkward size and bulkiness, always managed to avoid being placed on the curb during garage sale season. It moved with us to every house.  Even during my mom’s grad school phase when we lived in a tiny 100-year-old duplex, the armoire was there. It’s an enormous statement piece in which my mother kept the family stereo…back before stereos were the size of shoe boxes.  I have vivid memories of watching my reflection in the mirror at age 8 as I danced to Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi in our living room.

In college when I got my own apartment but had no furniture of my own, my mom used a jigsaw to cut a hole in its back, converting it to a makeshift entertainment unit/TV stand. She even painted it in colors to match my apartment so I could feel like a genuine “big girl” with fancy furniture. Overtime I have become attached.

Red and green 1920s armoire, painted for me by my mother

And now for the bad. It was painted back when I was obsessed with paisley and doesn’t exactly mesh with the other modern elements in the house. It’s also extremely heavy, probably one of the most difficult pieces to move. On top of that, the mirrored door doesn’t really latch anymore and sometimes swings open on its own. And while it is good for extra storage, it was made back in the days when people were much smaller, so it doesn’t function as a true closet what with the size of our modern-day hangers. Plus, our TV now is too big to fit inside anymore. Finding a true purpose for it these days is not so easy, and it has essentially become a wardrobe to house random knick-knacks and our DVD collection. But I can’t bring myself to toss it.  It’s so much more personal than an IKEA book shelf or Target lamp or World Market chair. It’s a one-of-a-kind family heirloom.

Stay it shall. Like most pieces of yesteryear, it just needs a little sprucing up. We’ll patch up the back, grease up its hinges, and slap a more age-appropriate paint job on its surface. And, in true doodle house fashion, I’ve already perused pinterest for ideas to copy.

Another weekend project is on the books.


The Green Room

Is there anything better than a green wall? Maybe a green wall made of green money. But, besides that…no.

It might not be one of the most popular colors to paint a room, but I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for green. Some say it’s too bright or too polarizing. I say it’s too awesome.  Every house I’ve lived in during my adult life (including college) has undergone at least a slight green makeover during my tenure. I like to think of it as my trademark calling card. See green walls? Kelsey was here. But seriously, what’s not to love? It’s fresh and quirky and reminds me of nature and the great outdoors. I will always, ALWAYS have some kind of green paint in any home I live in. Cheers to Green houses!

 


Going Gray

This weekend I finally decided on a color to paint the office. Glorious Gray!

It might seem slightly pointless to change a wall from one neutral color to another, in this case beige to gray, but I love the feeling of calm a gray room brings on. Plus the beige walls paired with the beige carpet had me feeling like I lived in a beige cloud, which just isn’t as cool as it sounds. I was also inspired by some of these images that show how gray can make all of the other colors in a room seem a little more vibrant.

It’s not ready for any magazines yet, but I’m pleased with how the new color turned out and look forward to many days of curling up with book in my gray getaway.

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After…

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