Dresser Makeover

Last week I finished my favorite home project to date, my dresser makeover. You see for the last 6 years of marriage, Eric and I have shared an Ikea dresser that Eric purchased back when he was single and living alone. The dresser worked great for a while but then, as most Ikea furniture, it started to fall apart. The drawers had the thick cardboard bottoms and one by one the bottoms began to break. One was help up with duct tape and one of my drawers even lived on the floor for about a year because neither of us cared enough to take the time to fix it properly. I’ve always wanted a long, low dresser for us to share, one with more drawers and whose height allowed for a nice lamp and some accessories to be placed on it. About 6 months ago, I began trolling Craig’s list for inexpensive dressers that fit the style I was hoping for. Last month, I succeeded in landing this baby:

This dresser was almost all solid wood, the top was coated in laminate strips which was strange, but the drawers and sides were all wood, it was long and low and had 9 drawers, that means 3 more drawers that our old dresser! I loved the simplicity of it and knew immediately I wanted to sand and re-stain it and I wanted to paint the top white (since I couldn’t re-stain laminate).

I got to work and over the course of last week, sanded all the drawer fronts  and then I started on the sides and all the smaller areas of the dresser. I found that the way the dresser was designed, I was having a really hard time getting some of the places sanded at all. I went back to the drawing board and decided to paint the entire frame and top of the dresser white. Next, I stained the drawer fronts a pretty red mahogany. After waiting 24 hours for the stain and paint to dry, I coated everything with 3 coats of water based polyacrylic and then let everything dry for 3 days before touching it.

In the end I was left with this beautiful dresser:

The picture doesn’t do it justice, but you can see the subtle wood grain in on the drawers and they hand a bit more red tint in them in person. You may also notice that the walls in this picture are blue, we did re-paint the room 2 weeks ago as well. I keep going into the room just to look at it and then I’ll run my hand over it to feel how smooth it is. It’s amazing to me how much more you like a piece of furniture or a room when you put hard work into making it look good. I’m still amazed at myself for finishing this project, this is the first piece of furniture I have ever stained!

Yesterday, we went through all of our clothes and filled 3 bags to donate and then put all the keepers into the new dresser. The old shabby dresser is now living in the garage until we decide what to do with it.

What have you all been up to lately? Any furniture makeovers? Rooms painted? I’d love to hear about it!

Six Years and a Weekend in NYC

This weekend Eric and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe it. In some ways it feels like our wedding was yesterday and in others it feels as if we’ve always been married, like I can’t remember a time when we weren’t married, but we’ve made it 6 whole years and I can honestly say they’ve been the best of my life. Have they been easy? Definitely not. But we’ve had some amazing times, been to some incredible places and shared meaningful memories.

I still love looking at our wedding photos! They never get old, although we seem to have…we look so young here! I can’t wait to see what the next 6 years bring.

To celebrate our anniversary, since it was on a Saturday, we decided to take a trip to NYC for a night. We love New York City, in fact we got engaged there and used to go there often while we dated and were first married, but over the last few years, our trips became more infrequent and then non-existent. We were looking forward to going back to a city we truly enjoy.

This trip of course was centered mostly around food, like all good trips, right?! We got the chance to eat at some great places including Balthazar, Brasserie Les Halles (made famous by Chef Anthony Bourdain) and Pastis. You may notice that all of these are French brasseries or bistros, that wasn’t on purpose but just sort of happened. I didn’t complain! We also hit up this amazing brunch place called Peels; roasted tomato eggs benedict, need  I say more? Yum, even thinking about it right now makes me want to go back. Here’s the pastry selection at Peels:

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Some of our other highlights were shopping in Soho and visiting the Museum of Natural History, neither of us had ever been there before. Here’s one of our favorite exhibits, from Easter Island:

Although it was pretty crowded, we enjoyed walking through the museum and seeing the exhibits. Plus, if you’ve watched the movie Night at the Museum then it’s even cooler.

Saturday, we made the trip to Chelsea Market, a place I’ve wanted to go for a long time (Food Network studios is in the top of the building). All the food there was incredible but the most amazing was the fish market. You could find anything and everything possible at this fish market, take a look at some of the things we found:

Yes, those signs say baby octopus, sea urchin and squid!

There was a big line for some of these crustaceans! Don’t they look delicious bright red and steamed up? The fish market was like the aquarium, except you could eat everything! Maybe not appropriate for small children…

We had a blast in NYC, it was nice to get away for a night and we decided at the last minute to take the train which made the whole trip so nice and easy. We can go right from Lancaster to Penn Station, NYC and it only takes about 2.5 hours. It is more expensive than driving but the time and headache you save from driving are so worth it, especially if you’re only going for one night.

So that’s our anniversary weekend in a nutshell, what were you guys up to? Any fun weekend trips?