Archives For campaign dresser

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

In the past few years we have all been replacing (or wanting to replace) our giant CRT TVs for flat screens versions. With flat screens there are a lot of newfangled TV stands but they are expensive and in my opinion pretty ugly.

When I moved in to this house I didn’t have a TV or a TV stand so I had to buy both. For some reason I had it in my head that a dresser would be the perfect TV stand. I am sure this was inspired by something or someone but I don’t remember what or who now. All I know is that I searched craigslist for weeks until I found the perfect dresser for my new TV.*

I love it! (Although I think I have a crook in my arm because all my pictures turn out crooked…huh?) I spent more on my dresser than necessary because it was refinished by an artist, but using a dresser as a TV stand can be a really cheap option. Craigslist is always flush with dresser options and if you are willing to put in a little elbow grease you could really have something special on your hands. Here is the #1 reason I love dressers as TV stands:
DRAWERS. Most TV stands have open shelves which just isn’t practical. I know because I used to have one and it just always looked like a hot mess. DVDs were stacked everywhere, the cords were visible from the front, and they were always dusty (more on how much I hate dust here). That is why I love having drawers so much. All my DVDs fit in there perfectly and it is all dust free! In the top two drawers I have miscellaneous items like the TV manuals, remotes, and boardgames. I realize that some of you have all kinds of electrical equipment like gaming consols and multiple TV boxes (cable, DVR, blue-ray, etc) but this solution is great for those of us with a more basic set up. Here are some inspiring images of dressers as TV stands to further prove my point.

These two images show two small matching dressers pushed together for a seamless looking TV stand. The best thing about this look is that if you ever move or don’t need a TV stand anymore you still have two cool matching dressers to use anywhere else in the house (nightstands, end tables, etc). Also, if I’m not crazy, those two black dressers are IKEA Rast hacks which turned out much cooler than mine! (image sources: black dressers, chevron dressers)

These images show how people have taken pretty basic dressers and removed a few strategic drawers to house the necessary TV boxes. Brilliant! I’m sure they also drilled holes in the back for the chords… such creative thinking. (image sources: 1,2, and 3)
This dresser transformation, though not obvious from this picture, transformed a really ugly $35 dresser from a Habitat ReStore to something fun and practical with a bright coat of teal paint and new knobs.

So are you guys on board with dressers as TV stands or are you sticking with an official TV stand?

*I chose a VIZIO Smart TV because I didn’t want to pay for cable but I do use Netflix Instant so with this ‘smart TV’ I can watch Netflix on my TV (there are also other apps like Amazon Video, Hulu Plus, and Pandora).

Sometimes I just change things.

I love the piece of art I had over the dresser for the past few months. It was the first piece of art I ever bought. I was 22 and it cost $84 (which is a LOT of money to a college student). My friend created the print and I have loved having it in all my different homes for the past four plus years. But now that the walls are such a dark blue it didn’t really look so good. I switched it out for my Scratch Map. I love this map. Well, I love maps in general, but this map is special because you scratch off where you’ve been. Brilliant! It reminds me of a map that my Grandpa had where he put pins in all the places he had visited. Unfortunately, all the countries I’ve been to are small in size so my map looks relatively untouched. Oh well, I still have lots of traveling years before me!

It’s easy to get in a rut with things in our homes. Whenever I move into a place I immediately put pictures on the walls and place furniture in an arrangement. A few months go by and I realize I am comfortable with the way things are because that is how I put them at the start, not because it is the best arrangement. That is how it was with the print in my bedroom. As soon as I got the campaign chest I put the picture over it and it was like ‘end of story’ that is where that picture belongs. But then the other night I’m laying in bed and thinking “That picture would look so much better elsewhere.” And so I got up and changed it. Maybe you don’t have art lying around in spare bedrooms like me, but sometimes it just involves switching pieces out. I had a similar situation in my living room a few months ago.

When I moved in I had the Union Jack dresser and TV on one wall and then a few months ago I realized that that may not be the best place for them. Sometimes I try and imagine the room being empty and then mentally placing furniture where I think it would look good. I was doing this in my living room when I realized that moving the dresser/TV to the next wall would make all the difference. I love it so much more on the wall it is on now. It takes a lot of initiative to rearrange furniture because you might hate it and then have to move it all back which is annoying. BUT if it works out then it is totally worth it! So maybe if you’re not happy with a room a little rearranging could be all it needs… you never know until you try 🙂

Happy rearranging!

I am so over the political campaign. But you know what I am not over? CAMPAIGN DRESSERS. Furniture is so much better than politics, so let’s talk furniture. I first heard of these lovely vintage gems about a year ago via a blog called Honey and Fitz.

(Source) I had never seen a dresser like that before and I thought it was so beautiful. Honestly, I kind of like the ‘before’ better, but regardless I was intrigued. After a little research I found out that campaign chests were actually used during campaigns in the 1700-1900s. They were built strong and compact so that they could be moved from campsite to campsite during campaigns and battles (for use by the generals). The brass hardware kept the corners from getting scuffed up. Interesting, right? I thought it was interesting and I knew that I wanted one ASAP. My game plan was simple: Craigslist. So while I searched and searched for weeks and weeks I appeased myself with all this eye candy.

(Source)

(Source)

(Source)

(Source) But eye candy can only satisfy me to a certain extent so back to my Craigslist search I went. My Craigslist tip is this: don’t be too specific in your search. I basically look at everything because most people don’t label their stuff correctly. For this particular search I used the keyword ‘dresser.’ Yes, it takes more time to search through everything but you are more likely to find hidden gems that way. For example, if I searched ‘campaign dresser’ and found one it would likely cost a lot more because whoever knew to list it as a ‘campaign dresser’ would probably charge more than someone who just had it listed a simple dresser. Does that makes sense?

Finally, my daily Craiglist trolling paid off. This picture is the definition of a hidden gem. Look at that nasty thing! But I knew the second I saw it that it was a campaign dresser. The description was ‘solid wood dresser’ and the seller was asking for $240. I got her down to $200 and I went and picked it up. It was rough looking in person. It was very dirty and all the beautiful brass hardware was painted over, but I knew it had potential. I didn’t take any pictures of the clean up and paint job because I wasn’t blogging at the time so here is a brief rundown. I thoroughly cleaned it using diluted vinegar and water. Then I removed all the hardware that I could (a few pieces were really stubborn). The next steps are basic ‘how to paint furniture’: 1) sand it 2) wipe it down 3) paint it 4) paint it again 5) let it thoroughly dry. The real challenge to restoring this dresser was the painted hardware. I wanted to restore the hardware to it’s original brassy goodness so I used the following tools:

(Source) These random tools were my best friends for about three days while I scrubbed and scrubbed that dang hardware. Again, I don’t have pictures of it but they would be boring even if I did. After I removed all the hardware I dumped them all into my crockpot full of water and half cup of vinegar. I put the crockpot on low heat and let the hardware soak for a good long time. I took them out and let them cool a little bit and then used Brasso and steel wool to scrub that paint off. Large chunks of the paint came off with just warm water but there was paint stuck on that I really had to work at. The Brasso and steel weel did their job but it took a looooong time. After what seemed like 800 hours I got those babies all shined up. The few pieces of hardware that were stuck on the dresser I skipped the soaking stage and just used the Brasso and steel wool on.

I thought about painting the dresser a lot of different colors. If it had been wood stain when I got it I probably would have kept it that way but since it was already painted I had a world of colors to choose from. As you can see from my inspiration images I like the bright and bold ones the best. I was thinking of something crazy like bright blue, but eventually I decided to just keep it a crisp, clean white. Why you ask? Because I like crazy colored walls so white furniture will stand out more again them. Plus, brightly colored furniture looks great in white rooms and as I mentioned here I don’t do white walls. Plus furniture is harder to paint than walls. For this dresser I used white semi-gloss paint and I am so very, very happy with the finished product.

So that is journey of my campaign dresser. What is your dream find from Craigslist?