The renovation we have undertaken is huge (and yes, its still going, and yes we should just call it a rebuild). Naturally there is a substantial price tag attached to this project. Things cost money. I won’t skimp on quality as I think it is a false economy as I think we will only spend more in the long if we buy cheap things now that won’t go the distance. I loathe that we live in a throwaway society. We buy cheap things thinking we will just chuck it out in a few years and get something more shiny, more new when we feel like it. In our grandparents’ era, they tended to buy pieces of furniture to last them a lifetime. They were expensive, yes, but they were well made. Of course, I have been guilty of this too, but my conscience has been pricked and I find it hard to throw away anything now as I picture it going into landfill. Perhaps my many years of watching Bob the Builder with the children have played a part – ‘Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.’
After the success of refurbishing the outdoor chairs and table, and inspired by friends, Amy and Dani who both are very successful in regards to seeing the potential of an item and giving it a new life, I thought I would take a chance and take on a project. Not so long ago, Dani commented to me that she always prefers wooden furniture because it can be brought back to life. This got me thinking.
The children have shared a bedroom and bunk beds. They have their own rooms in the new edition of our house and as such, I have needed to acquire more bedroom furniture. The boy child is keeping the current bunks, bedside table and bookshelf that the children share. It is a dark wood. He is keeping the current furniture as he is 12. My husband was fully grown by 13 and 182 cm tall (6 foot). He didn’t fit into a child’s single bed easily after that time. We presume that we will get at least another year out of the bunks and then we will need to buy the boy a double bed to keep his limbs contained.
We bought the girl child a new bed – a white trundle bed. We decided to paint the old pine bookcase in white for her but we still needed more furniture. I was looking through the local Facebook Buy/Swap/Sell page and came across this:
This dresser is over sixty years old and is solid wood. It was $80. I love the classic style of it. We decided to purchase it (even though we were trying to sell other furniture and pack at the time) with the intention of doing it up. It was also a way to save a little bit of money with this renovation.
We also managed to get this timber bedside table for $5.50 on eBay.
I liked it for it’s legs to try because I wanted it to tie it in with the legs on the dresser. Whilst I love the Queen Anne style bedside tables, they are possibly too ornate as I need the bedside table to match it with the trundle bed which will be more modern.
I have always been too timid to tackle projects before. I found them daunting and just presumed I didn’t have any skills. And guess what? Despite my honest-to-goodness best intentions, I still didn’t tackle this job. I went to speak to our painter about the best way to proceed it and before anyone could say ‘middle-class white woman who is not good at getting her hands dirty’ I had somehow employed him to do the task! The Catholic in me has to confess. I crumpled and caved. The moment the painter offered, I did not hesitate. Not even for a second. Clearly, I am no Tara Dennis.
My little miss had been very excited about helping me with this project and I thought it would be a good lesson for her too: not everything needs to be shiny and new and with a bit of hard work we can create beauty. That’s still true (for other people, not her mother it would appear), but she has also learned another lesson. Paying someone saves oodles of time, so get a well-paying job when you are older!
But take a look at the finished products. They look great! Yay to Alex the painter!
Actually I did something. I purchased those handles off eBay. All my myself. But if I must continue this confession, the husband screwed them on for me though.
So there is a sneak preview at the girl’s room. When everything is in, I’ll show you around some more.