THE DESKER (MULTIFUNCTIONAL FURNITURE)

I recently finished a complete bedroom makeover for my teenage daughter. As I mentioned in that post, I created a special piece of furniture to fit her needs in the room. 

She had requested a desk to do her homework and a vanity to do her hair/makeup, plus she needed a small dresser for storage. But her room is not huge so there wasn’t enough space to put three separate pieces of furniture. My solution was to combine all three pieces into one. I unintentionally started calling it ‘the desker’ (desk + dresser) for lack of a better name.

This single piece of furniture allows her to do her homework, do her hair/makeup (she has a tabletop vanity mirror she uses) and store clothes as well as desk supplies, all while taking up a small amount of space in her room. Now please don’t think I’m claiming to have invented this piece of furniture. I have seen similar pieces in hotels before. This is just my own take on it.

My plan was to purchase an affordable used dresser and then add a wood top and side leg creating a waterfall effect. This would give the piece a clean modern look which would work well with the style I was going for in her room.

My first step was to find an affordable used dresser, but it had to have certain features…

  1. It needed to be about the same height as a desk (about 28″-30″).
  2. It needed to not be too large (30″-40″ long was ideal) so that proportionally it would look right and there would be enough space to fit the desk area on the side.
  3. It needed to have a minimal modern style.

Turns out it was harder than I thought to find a used dresser that matched that criteria. The few pieces I found were either way too expensive or very cheaply made and not very attractive. I literally looked for a dresser at various places off and on for a YEAR!!!!

Finally, last fall I came across this baby:

This is a Conant Ball mid century modern, solid wood dresser that I was able to snag for $80. I liked the clean lines and it generally fit all the dimensions I was looking for. I wasn’t expecting to find such a nice piece of MCM furniture and was actually a little hesitant to alter such a great dresser. There was a part of me that wanted to restore it to its original glory and use it somewhere else in my home. But it was not in the best condition plus I’d waited so long for a dresser that would work for my ‘desker’ project, so I moved forward with my original plan.

TOP OF DRESSER

The dresser had an unattractive eggplant colored paint job that was not in good condition so I couldn’t just paint over it. Instead, I had to sand the whole thing down which took awhile because there were multiple layers of paint on there. Then I primed it and painted it white.

ALREADY LOOKING BETTER

REVEAL: TEEN GIRL’S BEDROOM MAKEOVER IS FINALLY DONE!

So I am finally finished with my daughter’s bedroom makeover and this has been a LONG time coming! I was expecting to have this room finished a year ago… talk about delays!! One unexpected thing after another kept popping up, including a fire in our garage, a burst hot water heater in the attic, and lots of sicknesses/injuries. But I’ve learned a lot from the unwanted interruptions! I’ve learned to be more patient, focus on the positives, stay persistent, and make the most out of what life gives you. Those are all very important lessons!!

So time for the photos… Here is what her room looked like before—fit for a little girl:

My goal for this room was to create a more mature look that mixed formal traditional and casual modern elements, while also being very functional.

And here is what it looks like now—much more appropriate for a teenager:

All the details…

QUICK KITCHEN TABLE MAKEOVER

There are a lot of areas in our home that I’m dying to makeover, but our kitchen is likely at the top of my list. However, I’ve done an estimate for how much it will cost to transform the room into what I want, and it’s way too much money for us right now. So the kitchen makeover will have to wait. There is one area of our kitchen that simply can’t wait though…

This is our kitchen table in the breakfast area. There’s a lot wrong with this table! The style is boring, I’m tired of the color, and then there’s the broken chair (on the right). Yeah, there’s nothing like inviting friends over only for them to sit on a broken chair! This table makeover couldn’t wait! And fortunately, it would be an easy and affordable transformation… or so I thought.

My plan was to replace the broken chairs with some stylish new modern ones, and then do a little DIY project on the old solid wood table in order to transform it into something much more classy. After about a month of sanding, altering, staining and sealing the old table, my transformation was complete!

MY OLD TABLE (UPSIDE DOWN)

I moved the table back into our breakfast area… and within 24 hours it was ruined!! The dog jumped on the table (something she’d never done before!) and somehow when my son went to get her down (I don’t know how this happened I wasn’t there to see it) the table BROKE! Like totally unfixable, throw in the trash broke!!! Ugh! There went the past month of my life… wasted!

But I put the whole situation into perspective (aka I realized the world was not ending because of a broken table), managed to not yell at my son or the dog (that’s a win), and moved on to find a solution!

The metal hairpin legs were just fine and still usable so all I needed was a new wood table top. I considered making one myself from 2x4s, but while I was weighing how to fit yet another project into my busy schedule, we had a fire in our garage! Thank the Lord it was contained to the garage and no one was injured and the rest of the house is fine! But everything in the garage was destroyed by the smoke damage. I no longer had any tools, supplies or even a place to do my DIY work.

So I guess I wasn’t going to be making a table top myself!

Instead, I turned to a craftsman who works out of a local salvage store. He was able to build me a nice reclaimed wood table top for a very reasonable price. We discussed the details of the look I was going for, I picked out the exact planks of wood I wanted, and he showed me how they would look sanded and assembled. (A big thank you to my dear friend Emily who was willing to tag along with me on this trip even though there was no air conditioning in the building and it was the middle of summer!)

About a month later, my table top was finished!

REVEAL: A NEW BATHROOM ON A BUDGET!

I am so excited to announce that I am done with the renovation of my kids’ bathroom!!! Bathroom renovations are never fun as you usually have to spend some time living without a useable bathroom. We spent three months without a fully functioning bathroom, including the holiday season when we had guests staying with us, but fortunately we do have two other full bathrooms in the house. I literally had a couple days in December where I spent all day out in the garage building the vanity, working hard, covered in sawdust and paint, and then quickly had to clean up to look nice and rush off to attend a Christmas party. It made for a unique and extra busy holiday season but it was all worth it!

Let’s get to it… Here’s a reminder of what the bathroom used to look like:

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And here is the new bathroom!

I wish I could have gutted the tub/shower combo and replaced it with a new tub and tile surround, but our limited budget kept me from being able to do that. As much as I wish I had a nice new tub area, I still feel like it was the right decision to not invest money in that.

So let’s get to the details of this reno…