This past Saturday I went to the Pink Martini concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis (if you’re reading Kim, thanks for the heads up on that!). If you’re not familiar with Pink Martini, they once said that if the United Nations had a house band it would be Pink Martini. I love this quote from their bio: “We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America… the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world… composed of people of every country, every language, every religion.” Saturday night they sang songs in Turkish, Armenian, Italian, French, Japanese and more.
Not sure that Japanese music would appeal to you? Check out Zundoko Bushi. Or perhaps an Italian ballad is more your style, if so check out Ninna Nanna. They do sing songs in English too, and I always dedicate Eugene to my sister (because her ex is named Eugene and I enjoy teasing her about it).
Anyway, seeing Pink Martini perform is like taking a trip around the world without leaving Minneapolis. I let that idea inspire the staging for the piece I’m sharing here today.
But let’s start with the ‘before’ pic …
Mr. Q and I risked life and limb to pick this up one cold evening last week. It was being stored in the seller’s walk out basement so it required backing our vehicle halfway down an icy hill in the pitch dark, and then carrying the piece itself halfway up that same icy hill in the pitch dark to load it into the van. And yes, in case you are wondering, it is as heavy as it looks! Once it was all loaded up it took a couple of tries to get the van back up that icy hill.
But we survived to tell the tale and got this piece safely unloaded back at our house.
By the way, this dresser also came with two tall, skinny, side by side mirrors attached at the back. You may be familiar with that style from the 70’s. I took them off and will not be putting them back on.
I bet you can guess what I did with it next! If not, you haven’t been paying attention lately.
Of course I painted it in Fusion’s Park Bench! I warned you guys that I was going to bore you with repeats of this color. The last two pieces I did in this gorgeous shade of green flew off the shelf, each one selling within 48 hours of being posted on Craigslist. So when you have a winning combination you just gotta go with it, right?
I would say the design of this piece is somewhere between the sleek, modern, clean lines of earlier mid-century pieces and the chunky, Spanish Rivival stuff of the 60’s & 70’s. Perhaps it was designed by someone who couldn’t quite embrace either style so they stuck with somewhere in the middle.
I really debated the fate of the hardware. The original stuff wasn’t horribly bad. There might even have been some who really liked it. If the back plate had been plain instead of fussily engraved, I might have tried shining up the brass and keeping it. Also, if the back plate had been a separate piece that I could remove and still use the pulls, I may have done that as well. But they are one solid piece.
So I really felt like the piece would be better served with new hardware, and since I’d gotten an excellent price on it I felt like I could spend a little bit more on new hardware. Luckily Hobby Lobby is really stepping up their game on more modern looking drawer pulls. There were several different styles that caught my eye, but I ended up going with some matte gold drawer pulls for the six drawers and some matte gold and clear acrylic knobs for the center door.
Also, I was in luck because last week knobs were 50% off at Hobby Lobby. Great timing!
Seeing the new hardware in place, I know I made the right decision. These pulls and knobs lend a bit more of a modern edge to the dresser.
If any of you are wondering about the details on this piece, I started by filling the old drawer pull holes with Dixie Belle’s brown mud. Next I sanded lightly, vacuumed away the dust and wiped it down with TSP substitute. I painted it with two coats of Fusion’s Park Bench. As you know Fusion paint has a built in top coat, so I didn’t need to add one. Finally, I drilled new holes for the hardware, and voila!
There are three more drawers behind that door in the middle of the dresser.
And as it turns out, I’m kind of a dork because I neglected to paint the inside of the door. It wasn’t until I opened it to take photos that I realized it looked rather awful unpainted. I had to slap a quick coat of paint on it for the photos while I still had some light, so the paint isn’t actually even dry in that photo.
And in case you are wondering, I’m also going to have to cut down the screws for the knobs on the door so that they don’t hit those interior drawers. I did some measuring and I will just be able to trim them down enough to fit.
So technically this piece wasn’t quite finished when I took the photos for the post, but I had to make hay while the sun shined (shone?) and get my pictures done during daylight hours. I won’t be listing this piece on my ‘available for local sale page’ until it’s totally finished and ready to go.
But in the meantime, I thought I’d still share it with you guys. What do you think?
Will this third piece in my Park Bench series do just as well as the other two?
Fingers crossed. I need to add a little more cash to the travel fund so Mr. Q and I can plan our next real international adventure.