date night.

My idea of a perfect Friday date night involves driving around the Twin Cities with my hubby picking up furniture from Craigslist sellers.  This may not be everyone’s idea of romance, but I love it.  And he says he enjoys it too, and I’m pretty sure he’s not faking it.  We have quality one on one time in the truck while driving halfway across town.

Last weekend was no exception as we picked up three new items to work on.   However, with my sister’s visit and potentially some Miss Mustard Seed retailer training coming up, I may not have time to paint furniture for a week or two.  So, I thought I’d show you what I found and you can have fun imagining what I might do with them.

First up is the dresser that we picked up in Linden Hills.

Linden Hills before

I’d only been to Linden Hills during garage sale season, never in the winter.  I wish I had taken my camera!  There were twinkle lights in all the trees and with our recent snowfall it was the most charming winter wonderland.   Sometimes I get the history of items when I buy them.  In this case, the dresser was a family piece.  It originally belonged to the seller’s grandparents.  It was one of those pieces that everyone wants kept in the family, but no one actually wants to be the one to keep it.  He said his siblings wanted him to just store it in the basement rather than sell it, but if you had seen the staircase to the basement, you’d understand why he refused to do this.

This dresser is a beast, 26″ deep and 54″ wide.  Yet it is oddly low at 32″ which is just a tad higher than a desk would be.  It has a mirror that is 36″ tall though, so adding it would make the entire thing nearly 6′ tall.   The mirror is extremely heavy, and doesn’t seem to mount very securely.  I won’t be putting it back on.

Linden Hills drawer

It has this very slender drawer in the middle, only 3″ deep.  I picture it being used for linens.  I suppose you could fill it with lingerie, but it just doesn’t seem like a drawer meant for clothing.  Whatever this dresser was originally meant for, I think it would make the perfect perch for a widescreen TV.  It’s low enough to be at a comfortable height for viewing, and wide enough that a giant TV won’t look out of place on top of it.  I just need to decide what color to paint it.  I confess that once again I really want to paint it in Kitchen Scale.  What is wrong with me?  I also think it would be lovely in Artissimo.  Or maybe the new MMS color, Trophy, which is a lovely grey.

Next, we have this little French cane back chair.

french cane back chair before

I don’t do many chairs.  I find that they take twice as long to paint, and sell for half as much as a dresser.  But this one was just too fantastic to pass up, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to try some simple upholstery work to see if it’s as easy as it looks (don’t burst my bubble and tell me it isn’t).  Plus, my friend Sue agreed to help me with any sewing that might be necessary.  In addition, my reader Victoria is working on some chairs and she got me thinking about chairs again (how are your chairs coming along Victoria?).  Last, but not least, Miss Mustard Seed has several chairs in this style and I think they are seeing a resurgence in popularity as a result.  So I decided to go for it.

Finally there is this unique little hutch.  I’ll admit, I paid too much for it and we drove all the way to Buffalo to pick it up (about an hour away).  I negotiated as much as possible for a better price and the price was fair, if not a bargain.  As I explained to Mr. Q on the way home, I have a purchasing philosophy that goes like this.  About 75% of what I buy to resell needs to be bargain basement cheap, something that I can repair/repaint/repurpose and make a good profit.  However, about 25% of what I buy is just something that I think is fantastic and even if I won’t make much profit on it, I must have it!

Buffalo hutch before

Thing is, I have been drooling over this pale grey hutch (below) on pinterest for months now, and never thought I would find anything even remotely like it.  The one I found isn’t quite the same, but I think it can be nearly as fab.  At least I hope so.

photo via pinterest
photo via pinterest

So, that’s the line up.  My goal will be to get all of these items painted by the end of February.  Wish me luck!

11 thoughts on “date night.

  1. Congratulations on some really great finds. I have a weakness for chairs and have done a great many over the years. I can count 19 right now in my house and I LOVE each one of them, I have not had much luck selling them, and I think my discouragement comes from the fact that by the time you paint, buy fabric, upholster, well…you get the picture. There is no profit to be made unless you have the clientele that are willing to pay what you have in it. They are fun to do because you get to incorporate fabric into the process and it all becomes so much more interesting.


    1. Mr. Q here, I just had to reply to your comment about “incorporating fabric into the process.” I would never have thought much about this, but I have some friends who are into textile arts and I have been exposed to the great variety of creative options that can be possible once you move beyond the simple utilitarian aspect of different textiles.


    2. Yes, I hear you on that. I don’t do many chairs for the same reasons. But I really just couldn’t resist this one. Apparently my cat, Lucy, thinks I purchased it for her as a cat bed. She hasn’t left it since I brought it home. I’ll have to find a way to keep her off when I get around to re-upholstery.


  2. That hutch. That just may be a keeper for you. Fantastic. And I love that the nickname Mr. Q has taken hold 😉 I also happen to feel that Craigslisting, thrifting, or anything of the sort is the perfect kind of date. Now, if only my husband would agree. Although he will knock out projects and all of my crazy ideas… The bookpage office is nearly complete and he hasn’t complained at all (or just barely) 😉


    1. I know … that hutch just has my name written all over it. Believe me, I have wandered from room to room trying to figure out where I could possibly put it, but it would definitely require giving up something else and I just can’t figure out what! Your book page office sounds fab! And I owe you one for the “Mr. Q”, it’s perfect.


      1. Well…who really needs a couch anyways? Or, you said you don’t cook much. It could go in place of your stove. Put a toaster on the hutch and call it good.


  3. I found your blog through Google Images and wanted to say “hi” to a fellow Minnesotan. Your furniture transformations are fabulous as is your photography. I’ve visited the Round Barn in Andover (wonderful!) and I’m a frequent visitor to the Twin Cities as our oldest daughter lives in the Longfellow neighborhood of Mpls. I’ve got a penchant for miniature furniture and I love your little blue hutch makeover!


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