Thursday, April 22, 2010


Our house is a little country cottage. When we first bought it I would have categorized it (and I did) as a shack. It had low, six foot ceilings in places, floors that were caving in and it smelled like a bar (spilled drinks and second hand smoke). Yeah, it was great. I cried for months after we bought it.

But then it was transformed when Mr. Dirtywrench came up with a brilliant plan to tear down two thirds of it and rebuild around that part we were tearing down while we were living in it with five kids. It was a shack within a house for awhile. It's a curious story that I may tell you about sometime.

But it's been sixteen years and we're starting over at the beginning doing some freshening up and finishing parts that were never finished (can we say pantry closet floor?). Mostly this is my project. Mr. D. would rather not. He is attacking that closet for me though.

One of the things that was bugging me was how cluttered our bedroom had become with furniture. I was feeling smothered by dressers. I hatched a plan to consolidate the furniture, reorganize and lighten up.

This is one corner of the room last winter.
There were two more dressers in the room too. I really wanted a chair that would provide our quiet place for reading and laptop internet surfing. Our little country cottage, when occupied by the family has no quiet places. I was determined to create one.

First I changed the color of the room. It was agony picking the paint. The minty green that it was when I intended it to be sagey green, taught me a lesson- take the time to sample paint, ponder, cogitate, and discuss before making the final selection. In the end we painted the room Benjamin Moore's Tranquility. We love it. Please note I said We. That is monumental. Mr. Dirtywrench and I both love the color. I'm pretty sure that is a first. The color is a grayish, blueish, greenish spa color that is soothing and changes tones in the changing light. Really interesting.

Next I searched high and low for a piece of furniture that could take the place of three dressers. I needed storage space that was efficient and that didn't take up all the floor space in the room. After checking nearly every furniture store in the city, I landed at Ikea and found the perfect piece. Ikea is all about efficient use of space and has become my new favorite store. Mr. D. has decided he despises Ikea and he has never even been there! So now we have something new to disagree about.

Though it may not look like it, this wardrobe as enough storage space to empty three dressers and all the overflow contents of the closet. It was exactly what I had in mind.

Once we had settled in to our new arrangement, and I had saved a bit more money I was ready to create a quiet, comfortable reading space.

After scoping eight furniture stores I found this chair waiting for me. It was just the right size and the perfect color to complement Tranquility. It is very comfortable and I talked the salesman down $100 off the price!

So the room has been lightened up from this.... this. And I love it! (Mr. D. likes it too.)
Did I done good?


  1. Whoa. That's awesome!

    And I am doubly impressed that Dad likes it, too. :-P

  2. You didn't good. You did awesome! I love it. I may have to check out IKEA. Right now we have 4 dressers in our bedroom. One is actually stacked on top of another. I love the paint too. It's perfect.

  3. I couldn't find any piece of furniture in all the other places that would hold as much as the Ikea piece in that small of a foot print. It isn't made to last fifty years but it fills the bill for me. Lots of the furniture store pieces with much higher price tags were junk anyway. The only other option for such a thing is custom made. Ikea is just getting going around the US and they have a website of course but the store is mind-boggling! Literally boggles and confuses while inspiring.

  4. Mr. D. offers a response and a defense: I do not hate Ikea. I do not like particle board furniture with cardboard backing! I also note that there is no mention of my offer to build a unit out of oak plywood. The last unit that I built in the big boys room with built in single beds, storage under the beds, head boards, and closet space looks good if I say so myself. There isn't one tiny weenie bit of particle board or cardboard in it!

  5. You did done good! I've never shopped Ikea. Love your quiet reading place. I'm jealous though. I've been looking for a dresser for ages and you have so many. Seems our state is fresh out of old dressers to be refinished at a reasonable price.

  6. I agree with Southern Gal. Wish I lived close enough for a dresser handmedown... I'm in dire need of one.

  7. We never had enough dressers for all the kids and I've been collecting them at every yard sale I went to (which isn't many admittedly) for years. So now I have a bunch of worn out ones in the barn.

  8. I'm with Mister D here: the one in my old room is bombproof and will out last the Ikear for sure. You could have even painted the oak plywood with some nice, semi-gloss oil enamel and made it look even better than the Ikear cheap white finish.

    Just sayin.

  9. Seth- I bawled and wailed and rent my clothing and poured ashes on my head. Remember the twelve room farmhouse we left?

    Kristin- HEY! It's done! It wouldn't be with the alternative plan. We're doing enough painting around here as it is and I like the "cheap white finish." I don't care if it doesn't last to pass down to my progeny. We've got lots of old dressers to pass on.

  10. I hear that, ma. Sorry your painter/fine finish-er son is lazy and not committed enough to parental home remodel. Otherwise, you could have explored other options.


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