feeling international.

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.

28 thoughts on “feeling international.

  1. Perfect piece for the era. I love these big pieces, even though they are heavy. Your pick up sounds like quite the adventure! And while I have to say I liked the original drawer pulls the new pulls add so much it was totally the right call. I proclaim you the Princess of Park Bench to reign forevermore, or at least until your next favorite color is chosen.


  2. The concert was great…as was the cimpany. The green is such a refreshing color…it really makes the drab furniture come alive. I’m sure this will sell right away. Where in the world are you going next?


    1. Good question. It’s still up in the air where we’ll go next. For now I’m just working on replenishing the travel fund after our trip to Norway and Scotland last year.


  3. Okay…I am not a Mid century modern kind of gal, but these green pieces are so beautiful!! If you lived closer, I could definitely contribute to you travel money!


  4. My eye is getting accustomed to this green and I am starting to like it! A fresh color and great new pulls…this dresser looks very current! I guess that in furniture, as in clothes, accessories make the outfit! Glad you were refreshed by Pink Martini!


  5. Got to give credit where it’s due. I am totally impressed with your ability to migrate from “your style” to the MCM. Love the concealed drawers behind the doors particularly how the drawers are shaped. Just a nice detail that adds interest. Great choice on the hardware too. This would definitely fills that “power piece” I look for to build a room around. This color is a huge part of the impact it creates. Park Bench is a winner.


    1. I feel like the market is transitioning from ‘my style’ (more farmhouse, shabby chic, feminine sort of pieces) to more mid-mod. And you have to consider that my target market is mainly Craigslist shoppers, and I think that particular market tends to include more younger people looking for inexpensive but stylish pieces. So if I’m going to continue to keep doing this, I need to be able to evolve with the market. I’m actually struggling with it a bit these days. These mid-mod pieces are selling quickly and at higher prices, while the pieces that I love and are more ‘me’ are harder to sell. Hopefully I can find a balance between the two!


      1. I agree with you about who’s buying on CL. Joanna Gaines and others helped to extend the farmhouse look by tweaking it with an industrial vibe. But the Nordic French Euro feel is not going away I don’t think.
        There’s such classic feel to it. But you cannot deny that trends affect sales.
        By the way the Pink Martini have not made their way to Greenville, SC as of yet. They did go to Melbourne, FL where a dear friend lives. But alas it was a makeup performance from when Irma hit.
        They only had three tickets available when I saw it. Boo hiss. I have enjoyed them on YouTube.
        I had no idea concert tickets in today’s world would start at $100. I need to stash mad money away for when they come near me. Maybe Asheville should look there.


      2. We got our tickets for $75, so now you’ve got me thinking that was a bargain! I just took a look at Pink Martini’s tour schedule, and I think you should aim for Paris in June!


  6. Love the color. Looks a whole lot better! Still MCM furniture is not my favorite. Then again, some people do not like “chippy paint” and I love it. To each it’s own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s