bébé’s dresser

4 drawer dresser

once pierre and i found out we were expecting, i immediately began planning the nursery (right after the zombie-like fog cleared, of course). in some ways, i’ve been planning the nursery since we bought the house in 2010. or, if not planning it, at least keeping it in mind when i did things like paint, install the french door, or hang shelving in the closet. boy or girl, i knew i wanted a nursery with a vintage dresser that could double as a change table tucked inside the closet and i made sure the shelves were hung high enough to accommodate that wish. (there’s also nowhere else in the room to fit a dresser. so.)

even though our bébé’s arrival is still a few months away, the nursery is nearly done. it was the thing i was most excited to prepare and i figured i should work on it while it was still an enjoyable task (i.e., while i could still touch my toes). in keeping my eyes open for the perfect pieces of furniture, i found this solid wood, vintage dresser on craigslist for $170, which fits perfectly into the closet nook and even has a fold-down drawer. originally i imagined this as the perfect change table, but now that the crib is in, we can’t actually open the dresser drawers and stand in front of the dresser at the same time, so we’ll have to change bebe on a pad on the floor. (so sorry for asking too much of you, tiny house.) anyways. because we’d already gone through a dresser purchasing ordeal with our own closet dresser, i knew better than to even attempt to fit this in the civic. we borrowed an autoshare minivan and for $20 everything worked out perfectly (for once!).


these are the craiglist ad photos. i do not own a weird, poinsettia-like fake flower. 00y0y_k7XQ14HpszC_600x450

captain archie
captain archie

i do, however, own a curious, ginger cat.

as you can see perfectly well, the dresser is painted a blue-grey, which isn’t overtly “girly” or “boyish” and is actually one of my favourite colours… but i thought i could do better. the top drawer was lined with paper reminiscent of the wallpaper in our master bedroom closet, except it had a weird, faux velvet effect to it. and the brown knobs, while neutral, were sort of boring.

etsy, anthropologie and benjamin moore to the rescue!

kate zaremba peachy keen

to line the drawers, i ordered some of kate zaremba’s removable wallpaper in the peachy keen pattern. i made the tragic error of not trying hard enough to get the old contact paper out before sticking this on top. i made an attempt to lift it with an xacto knife, but didn’t think to try soaking it. if you run your fingers over the new paper, you can still feel the raised pattern of the paper beneath it. but i’m trying not to lose too much sleep over it — in the end, both layers of paper are mostly covered by tiny pairs of socks. anthropologie quill knobs

to replace the boring brown knobs, i bought six white ceramic quills from anthropologie and two pink/silver pulls (style unknown). it was so hard to choose and i actually picked up two pink rose knobs (think sugared flowers) off the sale table for $1 in case we have a baby girl. i think the pink/silver pulls are nice for either (pierre may disagree), but knew i’d never get away with pink roses for a baby boy.

as for colours, i chose benjamin moore’s lyons red for the outside and pink moiré for the drop down change table. both of these colours made appearances in other areas of the nursery, too, alongside white (sugar cookie) and denim. i’m usually into really washed-out, muted colours, but the red is not too bright or aggressive. it is similar in tone to the faded red on the flour sac curtain and the dresser will be behind the curtain in any event. i gave all parts of the dresser a really good sanding, then three coats of paint. i also pried the mdf backing off the back of the dresser (which had been painted blue and was pretty saturated) and replaced it with a new piece.


the dresser spent several weeks in the basement while we got the room ready for it to move upstairs. and it went upstairs just in time for me to begin to feel comfortable buying and accepting clothing.


my mom saved lots and lots of stuff from when my brother and i were babies, and pregnant with the first grandchild, i’ve been the lucky recipient of enough boy and girl clothing to clothe twins. my grandmother is also a beautiful knitter and not only has she made two baby sets for my own baby (the knitted hat and booties in the last photo is part of one set), but she knitted no less than twenty baby sets for my brother and i when we were babies, all preserved in tissue at my mom’s. so i have stylish, handmade options for at least three winters.


see what i mean about wanting to get the nursery done while i could still touch my toes? i can’t see them anymore, at least. this is me with my back against the crib. so you can also see that we’ll have to do this weird, stand-off-to-the-side thing when opening and closing the dresser drawers. such is life in a little bungalow.

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