Ooh la la…

Consider this Part 543 in an ongoing series in my thrifty life called: Something-Else-Awesome-that-Josh-and-I-Found-on-the-Road-on-Trash-Day-and-How-it-Changed-Our-Lives-Hashtag-Only-Slightly-Exaggerating.  

Previous beloved installments in this unofficial series include…

butcher block dining room table

I’m offended by how blurry this picture is… I don’t blame you if you feel the same way.

This butcher block top Josh saved from the streets one trash day — and after we Googled a similar sized piece of block for pricing, we realized it was worth almost $300 (and it had no damage!).

We also found those beauties…


We saved these antique crystal door knobs from an old door on the street.  With a little elbow grease, they were removed from the (probably) lead paint ridden door, and placed into my happy hands.  And oh, how I love them…


However, this past trash day’s prize takes it all.

A monstrously large, solid-as-a-rock, mostly-undamaged French Provincial dresser:


NO, stained wood — especially this orange-y color — is NOT usually my thing.  I have plans o’ painting.  But wait… I’ll get to that in a minute.  First: Storytime!

So… as Josh and I often do, we were walking to work together (#americandream), and we spied this hunk of loveliness hanging out on the street all “You can’t have me because you live in a 400 sq. ft. apartment, but wouldn’t you love to refinish me with a slate grey milk paint with crisp white accents?  But you CAN’T!”  Such a tease.  I cursed whoever was giving up such a beautiful piece of furniture — with such potential — but passed it up because (like the piece of furniture said in my strange metaphor), Josh and I live in 400 sq. ft. so adding things like a huge French Provincial dresser (it’s over six feet long and about three feet high!) or removing enough of our current furniture to fit in (when we don’t want to get rid of anything but our old slipcovered couch) is a no-go.  Cue a deep sigh.  And that was the end of that.  Until…

I was walking the dogs the next day and —


Aren’t my dogs the cutest things you’ve EVER SEEN?!?!


My heart breaks a little every time I look at them because I’m pretty sure they’ll never fully comprehend how much I love them…

Unpause.  Slight rewind for dramatic effect.

I was walking the dogs the next day when I saw the dresser again.

{Insert picture of dresser in street here}

Obviously I didn’t really take pictures of it because it was hard enough to say goodbye the first time.  I didn’t want to accidentally stumble across a picture of it in the future…  and cry.  Or something equally irrational.

But again, I passed it up… but not before determining its structural stability (sturdy and sound) and whether or not the drawers stayed on their track (yep, brilliantly so).  Oh, and of course, I saw this sexy detail for the first time:


A dovetail joint.  Va-va-voom.

Then I fell in love.  Hard.

But it was more like summer lovin’, like in the song… where you have to go your separate ways at the end — Australia and Rydell High, or in the case of the dresser and me: to the nearest landfill and to my shoebox apartment, respectively.

…That’s not to say I didn’t dwell on the dresser for a disproportionate amount of time afterwards.

Fast forward to later that night when Josh and I were walking our dogs again — my life in New York City is 70% walking and 30% everything else — and we checked out the dresser yet again.  I say “checked out,” but really I gave it a cursory glance while Josh really got in there (#thatswhatshesaid).  Like I did before, he checked the drawers, did the whole push it and see if it wobbles test (passed with flying colors, of course), and gave it his general approval, while in the same breath reminding me — “I know, I know” — that we had nowhere to put it.

The following day — trash day — we walked past it, realized it was now or never, and in an insane fit of French Provincial passion, hefted it half a block and up four flights of stairs.

The problem is, when I I type it all out in one sentence like that, it undermines just how. much. work. it was.  Like, I don’t even want to guess how much it weighs.

So, Josh and I took out all the drawers and took those upstairs (twelve drawers, four flights, three trips).  Then we carried the body of the dresser (did I mention it was half a block + four flights of stairs?).  We still didn’t have a clear plan as to where it would go, what would be lost with the gain of said dresser, and how many drawers of this dresser Josh would get to use for his clothing (spoiler alert: zero).  But we knew we loved it, it had a little damage (just a couple of dings on the side that wood putty can save), and we knew it would be valuable to us in the coming years (we’re not going to live in apartments forever, I can promise you that).

Ok.  Enough storytime.  You all knew how it ended anyway.  Let’s look at substandard pictures of her in relatively poor nighttime/indoor lighting:




On behalf of my neat freak husband, let me apologize for the dirty rug.  I don’t really care so much, but he almost wouldn’t let me take pictures because of the way it looked.


Medallion deliciousness…


And like I said, I don’t care for orange-y stained wood, so I’ll mos’ def be painting it.  I had images of grey and white milk paint, so I decided to Google image search and see what popped up (rather than always trying to imagine it, I sometimes like to look up an example from other crafty bloggers and see how it turns out in the end).

I found this great example from Mustard Seed Interiors:

{Source: Mustard Seed Interiors}

It’s literally EXACTLY what I had imagined (slate grey with white for the trimmy bits and medallions), and it looks even better than I expected.  Imagining this against a navy wall with this couch…

EKTORP Sofa IKEA Easy to keep clean with removable, dry clean only cover.

{Source: Ikea}

And this kind of natural jute rug:

And throw pillows in these patterns and/or colors:

{Source: Fabric.com}

{Source: Pookadella’s Home Decor Etsy Shop}

Pair that with the turquoise silk pillow I already have….

Add some long curtains in this fabric:

{Source: Fabric.com}

Repaint and stain my current end tables to look like this:

{Source: Centsational Girl}

Buy this quirky lamp and spray paint the base lime green or yellow and replace the current shade with a drum shade:

{Source: Boscov’s}

Maybe throw in a fixture like this one:

{Source: Shades of Light}

….along with my slew of awesome accessories that I already have and…

future living room moodboard

Yeah. I’ve pretty much redecorated my whole apartment in my mind.

Trash day scavenging is a dangerous thing.

I don’t know when I’ll get to painting the dresser — much less all these other changes — but  I’ll keep you posted along the way of course.  Ohboyohboyohboy.

courtney gpp signature 2


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