Today I have a guest post from Heather of HometoHeather.com. Heather has written about decorating small spaces with her living room makeover, and I knew military families (and others) could relate, so I asked her to write a post here. What really inspired me was what Heather did with the reading corner she made in her living room.
When you move around a lot it’s hard to get passionate about home decor. Constantly spending money on furniture to fit house after house after house isn’t wise. But living out of boxes isn’t fun either. The secret is to aquire pieces of furniture that can adapt to the space you find yourself in. Specifically I’m speaking about dressers. Yes, those chests of drawers that most people have in bedrooms to hold clothing.
The humble dresser is so multipurpose. I’ve used them in the traditional sense – to store clothing. I’ve used them in the living room as a television stand. I’ve used them as an aquarium stand. I’ve used them in an office space as storage. I’ve used them in the dining room as a sideboard.
The trick is to purchase several dressers in varied sizes. You’ll want them to have good drawer space and not be too tall. The best one I own is about 2 ft wide and 4 ft high. It’s made of real wood (no pressboard!) and has great dovetail construction. It’s rather plain and has been painted white. Each time we nick it moving it about we slap on another coat of paint. Each time our needs change we move it to another room. It’s currently in my daughters room, holding her clothes…before that it was in our spare room and prior to that it was in a living room.
Watch for second hand ones and snatch them up when you find them. Older pieces tend to be better built and don’t worry about how they look. Painting them up is easy and it’s inexpensive (and fun) to change up the handles.
We also have a really large (it’s about 5ft long) dresser that’s suited us well – I bought it at a yard sale for $25. It was the famous 70s brown wood finish so I painted it up in creme. We’ve used that in the master bedroom, in the nursery as a change table and now it’s in our dining room. It has so much storage that I don’t see us ever living without it. It’s housing our table cloths, placemats, important paperwork, gift bags and the kids craft materials.
Uses for Dressers:
In the bedroom for clothes
In a closet for toy storage
In a diningroom as a sidebar
In the kitchen as an Island
In the living room to hold the tv, magazines, dvds, games etc.
In the baby’s room as a change table
In a den to hold a stereo/lamp
As your homes change so can the placement of your dressers. Move them from room to room until they’ve served just the right purpose and are just the right fit. Keep them painted up nice in a neutral color (grey, white or creme is best) and you’ll be able to plunk one down just where it’s needed!
-Now that you’ve read Heather’s ideas, have you re-purposed anything in your home? I know we bought a cabinet to make a pantry in our small house on post where we have none, and kitchen cabinet space is at a premium. It turned out after we fell in love with the cabinet we realized it’s really a media stand. It didn’t deter us from the purchase. Our current TV stand leaves much to be desired after wear and tear of several years and kids. This new purchase comes in very sturdy at 200lbs (we didn’t know until we read the carton when it was delivered). Whether we use this piece as a pantry, sideboard, or media console, this one piece will serve us well.