If you’re like me, you can be very sentimental over objects, especially if it’s an item that’s been passed down in your family. But how do you balance sentimentality and simplified living? I think that the best method to finding balance is to identify those items that mean the most to you (donating the things that don’t make the list) and then be willing to get creative with the loved item to transform it into your own design style. I decided to do just that with a family dresser than has made it through about three generations of women!
My mom gave me this dresser when I was in middle school. She had been given the dresser from my grandmother and she used it growing up. When I was in middle school, I was really into bold colors so my mom let me paint it these crazy bright colors (I mean it was the 90s…). Later in life my design style changed drastically (thank goodness :), but I couldn’t bare to get rid of the dresser. It has so much family history. And as I thought about that history, I reflected on how much I loved the fact that each owner of the piece put their own spin on it. So I decided I could put another spin on it. The original plan was to sand it down and either paint or stain it. I can’t tell you how long it took to sand down….
I mean….I took day long breaks because it took so long. And thankfully I have a hands-on mom who often liked to join me on my many projects so she helped to take sanding shifts. Once the paint was removed and the wood was revealed, I fell in love with the natural wood. The process of sanding revealed a deeper soul in the wood that wasn’t seen before. I decided that the heart and soul of the wood was the most beautiful aspect of this piece of furniture, so I didn’t paint or stain it after-all.
Since the dresser is now neutral in its natural form, I can change out the drawer knobs as often as I want when my design style changes. The natural wood is a timeless material and it is much easier to change out dresser knobs than repaint the dresser every time I have a new idea. Wood is also a timeless material in any room. The knobs can be a small gesture that really transforms the piece to be vintage, modern, tradition or anything else! Now that my husband and I have designed our master bedroom, I bought new dresser knobs to match our bedroom style. I am so glad that I was able to salvage this family piece and find a way to make it timeless.
I hope this inspires you to reimagine your own furniture!