Drexel Esperanto Before and After

While I normally like to focus on mid-century modern pieces, when I saw this dresser at a local thrift store I was drawn to the geometric drawer fronts and knew it had potential. It is a HUGE, HEAVY piece of furniture and the original dark wood finish wasn't doing it any favors. Redone in a glossy dove grey with new gold hardware, it's looking pretty and modern.

Here's the before:

And after:

I removed the old hardware, filled in the screw holes, and made new ones to fit the gold drawer pulls. Incorporating more modern hardware made a huge difference!

I love how this piece went from feeling bulky and outdated, to sweet and feminine. I think it payed off working on something outside of my normal style!

xo Jeanette


A Design-Addict's Work is Never Done

Hi there! It's a little bit weird starting the first post of a new blog, right? You might be wondering who I am, I'm for sure wondering who you are, and I'm not 100% certain how much history to give. BUT, I've gotta start somewhere so here goes: 

I've been living in Chicago since 2008, after I graduated with a degree in art history and relocated from South Florida (Jupiter, for anyone who's curious). Chicago appealed to me for a bunch of reasons, but it was the distinctiveness of the neighborhoods that really sealed the deal. It's such a cool thing to be 20 minutes away from the bustling center of one of the country's biggest cities, but still get the beauty of tree-lined streets and the relative quiet that some neighborhoods here provide. I started out with a roommate in the Ukrainian Village and then made the jump north to Ravenswood when I decided to live alone. I had a really cute studio apartment in a vintage courtyard building, that I so wish I had taken pictures of! In hindsight, the perfect time to start blogging would have been when I traded in that small apartment for the current 2 bedroom place that I live in with my boyfriend, Tim. What are ya gonna do, though? Moving and combining furniture with another person and trying to style a home together is hard enough without the added pressure of documenting it all in a pretty way.

So now, 3 years later, all the major decorating is pretty much done which means it's time for the REdecorating to begin! I don't know if it's this way for everybody, or just design-minded people, but it's hard for me to feel like decorating a home is ever really done. There's too many pretty new things to add, and always refinements that can be made. I've been envisioning a bunch of little (and some big!) home-tweaking projects that I'm going to try to be very diligent about documenting and sharing.

To begin, I'm starting to change up some things in our bedroom. We recently rearranged all the furniture after someone gifted us a new bed-frame (which I reupholstered and added new legs to - like I said, never not tweaking things). We loved the end result, but it was too large to fit in the way we had everything situated (it's funny how just moving things around can compel you to completely change the design of a room, although significant others might not find it that amusing). Moving our bedroom furniture around meant we could finally have a headboard (before we were planning on just using the frame) and had room to add a side chair. One of the downsides, however, was that boyfriend's dresser needed to move in front of a window. Now, this window looks out onto an un-insulated sun porch so it doesn't let in any natural light or breeze and thus we never have it open. So even though I wasn't concerned about blocking the window, I didn't particularly like how the dresser looked in front of the floor length curtains. I felt like that space really needed to be lightened up. I didn't want to lose the curtain entirely - I made them, and I still love the fabric. Plus, the ikat fits with the overall vibe of the rest of the room - which I will try to share soon! My solution was to split the existing curtain and add a shear panel down the center, and I think it really helped break up the heaviness of the old arrangement.

Ok, enough jibber-jabber. Here are the pictures!    

ikat curtain

Before it was too solid and uniform. It felt dark and heavy.


After, it feels so much fresher! I made the sheer curtain panel from fabric that I bought at Joann's for like $4 a yard, so it was not something particularly difficult or expensive. Switching out the shorter glass lamp for something taller and more streamlined also helped brighten this space. In addition, I've been making a concerted effort to incorporate (and keep alive!) more houseplants. Little green things make all the difference when you're trying to liven up a space.

Overall it's a small change, but I love the difference it makes. I think all these little tweaks I'm planning are going to result in a space that I can be truly satisfied with - for a bit anyway!