Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Craigslist Dresser and Calling the Foyer Finished

Foyers are kind of weird. Our old house didn't have one; you just walked right on into the living room. I've talked before about how one of my qualms with colonials is that they tend not to use space as efficiently as they might, what with their hallways and such (we have a super wide hallway upstairs, which I intend to eventually get around to making pull its weight somehow or another). Our foyer is as big as a decent sized kid bedroom, so it's important to me that it not be just dead space. One redeeming feature is that the big arches make it feel very open to the library and the dining room on either side...visually at least it's kind of like one big long room.

So anyway, one of the ways the foyer is making itself useful these days is by housing its new bench and coat rack. Here is it all beautiful and posed for pictures:

....and this is how it looks now:

Not so bad, I've got to say. Of course, come winter it will fill up a lot more with coats again, but it's a HUGE improvement over before.

Okay, so then I drew squirrels on the wall opposite the door.

And my plan for after that was to take a dresser that was sitting unused up in the guest room and paint it with chalkboard paint. Because I've never painted anything with chalkboard paint, and I feel left out. Also, I thought it would be fun to be able to write on the drawers. Like a welcome message for visitors. Or labels telling the kids what to put in each drawer (nerf guns here! hats and gloves up here!). Or for the kids to draw on.

We bought the chalkboard paint and started carrying the drawers from the dresser downstairs.

And then Dave called me over to show me that....the hardware doesn't come off! I was horrified. Why would someone do such a thing? There are no screws or nails coming out on the inside of the drawers. I'm still not exactly sure what the deal is....I'm guessing it's somehow INSIDE the front panel? I've never liked this dresser. It LOOKS pretty, but it's really poorly made, and the drawers don't open and close easily. So, my plan thwarted, I gave it back to my mom (who gave it to us when we first moved back down here for Ari's room) to sell at her shop to someone who wants a red dresser.

I suppose we could have tried a little harder to either get the hardware off somehow or carefully paint around it. But I was mad at the dresser and didn't want to.

Okay! Plan B!

I know that the way you're supposed to get good deals on Craigslist is to stalk it faithfully for weeks or months until you find just what you're looking for. But what I usually do is say, "hey! we need a new dresser!" and then go check it right then and there. This actually works pretty well if you want something very pedestrian like a dresser, because there are gazillians on there at any given time. I found one I liked the looks of about 20 minutes away for $65, and Dave called to get the address and went to get it right then.

I love my little impulse buy dresser. It has a curvy top drawer and fun mid-century-ish legs and original hardware. In the Craigslist picture, it looked like it also had a really nice, shiny, lacquered finish. But it doesn't. The guy selling it refinishes lots of furniture, I guess. He appears to have done a nice job repairing it, but his paint job consisted of spraying it with flat white paint and....that's it. No kind of protective coating at all, and up close it looks less than perfect. So I don't know if I'll leave it that way forever. I don't want to chalkboard paint it, though. Anyway, it's good enough for now.

Those pictures up there are Joan Walsh Anglund prints I picked up at a thrift store awhile back (and spray painted the frames). Not sure about them here. I'm thinking maybe just one big print centered would be better--something more modern. Or a mirror. Or nothing! The squirrels could speak for themselves. I am taking votes: please tell me what to do!

I don't know yet what's going in all those drawers, but I'm thinking the aforementioned nerf guns (which wind up all over my house) and hats and gloves for starters.

So there you go--a functional foyer! Earning its keep! Here's the whole thing at once:

Do you notice anything still a little...unfinished about our foyer?

Yeah....that line between the blue and yellow was our brilliant solution when we realized there was no way we could paint the stairwell ourselves. That's when we started to understand why that yellow paint was EVERYWHERE when we moved in: once you start painting one color, it's pretty hard to stop.

And here's how it typically looks: count the living creatures sneaking into the picture!

Oh, you can also see our foyer light fixture for the first time ever in that one. I kind of like it. I should clean it sometime. All those little prisms...sigh.

Things have been kind of slow going lately with house stuff. The school year's wrapping up for Dave, so he's crazy busy. And Abe has taken a liking to a 3 or 4 fifteen minute naps a day schedule. But Dave will be home for the summer in a couple of weeks (or not. Things are a little up in the air there. For reasons I cannot yet divulge, but if anything interesting comes of them, I will).


  1. I understand your hatred with the dresser that you gave back- when something pisses me off enough I get very huffy and refuse lol Hey, I say yes all day to the bosses, it's nice to say no!

  2. I love the shape of the dresser! Your foyer is looking great! I think a single big piece over the dresser would look good - maybe a mirror to reflect some the great light coming in through your door?

    1. ooh, and then with the prisms from the light fixture in the mix, it'd be like a disco in there! :)

  3. I like the idea of a mirror in the foyer, to check and make sure you don't have animal fur or peanut butter (that's what happens with boys, right?) all over your shirt before you leave the house. :)

    1. Who outed me as having peanut butter and fur all over me every day?! That's supposed to be a secret! Well, mirror is the front runner for now....I just need to hop on craigslist and impulse buy one :)

  4. The front entry looks awesome! For some reason I thought the sharpie wall was in one of your boys' room. I liked it there but I like it in the front foyer better! Good find on the dresser!

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! I think what happened was I realized midway through the day that the post never really said where the squirrels were, so I went and edited it. I bet you read the unedited version.

  5. Love how this whole room is coming together. That new dresser is fantastic. I love that leg on it and the bowed front and the hardware placement, and, and and :)

    I think a round mirror with a chunky frame would look great over it with the globe. Something at least 2/3s the width of the dresser.

    I would love to see the ceiling light up closer... I am intrigued ;)

  6. I like the frames and the off kilter arrangement. I suppose a mirror makes sense though, or a clock. I'm usually more curious about what time it is when I leave the house than whether or not my hair has been brushed. Maybe that's just me though... I still love the squirrels!

  7. Love the lines of the dresser! Maybe a mirror would be nice to add to reflect some light and to mimic the shiny squirrels which are just too fun. :) Love how the foyer is coming together.

  8. Love your new dresser and the whole foyer's lookin' fab!


Like all human bloggers, I love comments! I make a valiant effort to respond to as many as I can and to hop over and check out your blog if you have one. So let me know you're here, if you have a bit of extra time on your hands :)