My cousin, Tara, is having a baby boy in 5 short weeks. This time has just flown by. I can't get over the fact that it really feels like a month (maybe 2) ago that she was telling me she's pregnant. Almost immediately, I decided that I wanted to help her decorate the nursery by buying her little one a dresser. I had big plans to buy an unfinished one from Ikea, and paint it to coordinate with the colors she chose. After much deliberation, I ended up purchasing the HEMNES dresser in gray-brown. I figured I had more choices this way because the gray-brown color as-is could be a nice natural-looking element that might still coordinate with the light gray crib across the room; but I could also still paint the whole dang thing.
While mulling it over in my head, acting on a tip from my aunt, I visited a local boutique called Gracious Seasons and discovered they carry CeCe Caldwell's chalk paint. I picked up several samples, a tub of wax, and a couple brushes to play around with. I did play around and it is some pretty cool stuff! I'll definitely be working with it...on a future project.
I considered color-matching the crib, but worried that it would be too matchy-matchy or not match enough. After she shared her wall color choices with me, I considered using one of them to paint a simple stripe or two across the top of the dresser. I considered hand-painting an argyle pattern across the middle drawers. In fact, I found inspiration from all over the Interwebs:
this sweet little chevron number,
something striped like this,
and these cool little squares that wouldn't change the look of the dresser too much.
In the end, I just wasn't convinced I wanted to do any of them. I felt very paralyzed when I considered that this boy might use this dresser for the next 5? 10? 15? 20? 25? 30? years. I just didn't feel right about altering its look too much. After consulting the mother-to-be, I felt confident that the dresser was a good color. After thinking about it some more, I decided on a less-permanent option: exchanging the hardware.
Below is what I started with. The hardware that came with the dresser wasn't too shabby. The knobs are made of metal and had a nice weight. If left as-is, they would have worked just fine, but I just had to add a personal touch.
Forgive the super-close and pretty dark photos -- the dresser is currently sitting in the middle of the craft room and there's not a lot of wiggle room, the lighting is bad, and I have no interest in opening the shade for natural light because I'm a vampire.
And here's where it ended up:
Aren't the new knobs sweet? I picked all 12 up at Hobby Lobby where they were on sale for 50% off. I spent about $23. It really lightens the whole thing up and gives it a more baby-ish vibe. I went in searching for 12 of the same, but I'm glad it worked out this way. For one thing, they didn't have 12 of any one kind. For another, I think the varying styles give it a very whimsical vibe. Because the drawers get slightly bigger from top to bottom, I decided on a small, round, and white knob for the top 4 drawers, a slightly larger green one for the middle 4 drawers, and a larger-still black and white chevron dude for the bottom 4 drawers.
I plan on giving her the original hardware so she can neutralize it if she ever wants to, but for now, I think it's pretty cute!
I also picked up this cute little tray on clearance for $5.20. The clearance at at the Lobby of Hobbies is pretty beefy right now. I imagine they're trying to clear out last year's stuff.
Tara thinks she wants to use the dresser as a changing area, so I picture the tray holding things like powder and Butt Paste. I love that Butt Paste is an actual thing.
Also, Carly helped.
I'm so stinkin' excited to meet that little boy. I sure hope this dresser serves him well for a long, long time.