Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something Old, Something New

This dresser has been around. It has been through many phases of my family's life, though I am not certain of it's origins. The best dates I have on it would make it a part of our family for about 37 years. I found a picture of my mom with the dresser when my parents were newly married. Ironically it was in their dining room in one of their first houses. It then did a stint in my childhood home, I even have a picture of my little sister at age 4 sitting in front of it. Then it was off to moonlight in my mother's new home, after my parents divorced. After 9 more years with my mother, she moved to Illinois, and the dresser somehow ended up in my house, as rustic accomodations for my husband's clothes. Obviously, so I could have THE (only) closet for all of my best pals to live. You know, the shoes, clothes, more clothes, shoes and bags.

It never really occurred to me that the dresser needed a face lift-desperately. Until yesterday. The dresser, which I feel I just can't part with, as we have shared so much history together, had been displaced with the recent updates in our bedroom. It needed a new life, a new look, a new attitude. I could relate- I've been there before.

It has good features, it just needed a wardrobe update. Again, I could relate. I did a walking tour of the house to find a new place, a new space, a new purpose for the dresser. I often invite my husband along on these walking tours, to give him the illusion that I need his input on a decorating/repurposing/spacing conundrum. I usually ask him for his help, "just for 6 minutes", I assure him. Typically I just want to unearth him from a welding project and have his participation as my decorating buddy. Though he would probably prefer to decline my walking tour invites, he usually puts down what he is working on and joins me.
Once we had walked through the house-which takes all of 5 minutes-I decided that the dresser should move into the kitchen as a place to store baking gear and pots and pans. "Look!" I exclaimed, "It will just fit by the stove and the knives can go in the top drawer with my measuring cups, the pots and pans in the second drawer and in the third-Eureka! The food processor and cake pans!"

"Great." my husband replied. "Do you need me for anything else, or can I go back to work on my project?" See why I needed his input?!? I just need a buddy sometimes, you know, a cheerleader. I guess I shouldn't have invited him on that walking tour. What a patient man.

I don't typically measure things, I just need to SEE things, as in physically move the furniture into position and then, you know, SEE if it will work. Anyone who has worked with me doing visual displays in my past life can surely relate to this annoying habit.

It was going to work, and wouldn't it be fun, to have a dresser in the kitchen?!? Scandinavian, European, Old World like. Now I was excited. I rummaged in the basement to find my old and dear friend, the white paint. A bit of sandpaper, some rubber gloves (donned, as usual, too late in the project to do much good) and a wet washcloth and the 'ole gal was looking real pretty.

I scavenged some knobs I have been carting around (from a haul on an old retail fixture) for 10 years, and the dresser felt young again.

Fresh and useful even. It told me so this morning.

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