Thursday, February 17, 2011

Re: Inherited Furniture

Melissa -

I love your new piece and I love inherited furniture. I feel like when we first got married, literally every piece of furniture in our apartment was inherited. Little by little we have been replacing the inherited stuff with items of our choice or re-making the inherited pieces into something new that we prefer. I love all the different uses for your etagere as well. You're right - the details are so sweet and whimsical. I love the idea of using it in a little girl's room to hold dolls or even vintage-looking books and boxes. It would also work really well if you had a big enough bathroom and you could roll towels up and store them in there and keep all your extra toiletries in pretty baskets.

This topic of inherited furniture is so timely because I too came into an inherited piece this weekend! As you know, my mother-in-law got a new dresser that I re-finished for her (and I will send 'after' pictures of that project just as soon as she picks out knobs and puts them on!), which meant she got rid of the dresser thing she was currently using. It was a piece that was in her old house and was used in the dining room to hold linens and she was using it as a dresser so she wouldn't have to buy another new piece of furniture at the time she was moving into her current house.

Anywaaaaay, long story short: she sent me the dimensions and photos on Saturday for me to load the dresser thing onto Craigslist when Mr. Lass got the idea that we should get it from her and use it as a television stand and sell our television armoire on Craigslist. At first I was against this idea for many reasons, but first a picture of our living room as it has been since we moved in:

We inherited the television cabinet from my in-laws and it was formerly used as a computer cabinet and we used it to hold our TV and other media devices. I had dreams of when we one day moved to a new house and painting it to be really cute and using it as a place to store my sewing machine and fabric scraps and I was going to paint the inside doors with chalkboard paint and it was going to be so awesome. So of course Hubby's suggestion we get rid of the armoire now dashed all of those ideas. Plus, we both agreed that our current TV would look stupid sitting on the piece of furniture, which I guess I should go ahead and show you:

Meaning we would need to get a new TV. So, free piece of furniture but buying a new TV, but we could then sell our old TV and armoire on Craiglist. It was like a crazy math problem! With some encouragement, Hubby finally convinced me. At first I was against his idea because I thought I did not even like the new piece. But then, after doing some research, I found that they are actually really nice pieces and really expensive to buy. Even on Overstock the starting price was $400. Yikes! Definitely not something we would be buying anytime soon ourselves. (It's called a Bombay or Bombe Chest, for those of you at home who want to Google it.) And my MIL wasn't really that concerned with making money off the piece. She would just as soon give it to Goodwill (gasp!) and only agreed to sell it because I told her she had to. All that to say - she was more than happy to let us have it. So, once I realized that it was actually a really nice, expensive piece* and got past the fact that I didn't consider it "my taste," I started to like the idea of something new. It actually is a really pretty piece that has similar lines to this Pottery Barn chest (only $599!):

I mean, it doesn't have those legs, but just the curves on the side. It is also hand-painted on the fronts of the drawers and on the top. A closer look:

So, then I embraced the idea of getting it, but what about a new television? Hubby assured me he could find us a deal, and loe and behold - he did! He found a great price on a television through Craigslist, which he picked up Sunday, so by Sunday evening the armoire was out and our new television and chest were in place. I listed the old TV and armoire on Craigslist and a buyer came and paid our full asking price for the armoire on Monday night! The TV has yet to sell, but it's only been posted since Monday, so fingers crossed!

Here is a look at our living room now:

Such an improvement, I think, but still so much more work needs to be done to get it just right. (Also, ignore the fact that my dining chairs are in there. I haven't moved them back into the kitchen after staining the grout because I know I will mop again at the end of this week when I'd have to move them out again...I just didn't have the strength to move them twice just for this picture!)

This post is getting kind of long-ish, so I am going to keep you in suspense until another day and tell you how we think we're going to make this piece work and really, what my overall vision is for this room. (Have I told you I'm only concentrating on decorating the downstairs of my house for the first six months of this year? It's really been so nice to not have to divide my attention between the two floors. I think we have already made so much progress on this first floor, but there is so much still to do, so I need your feedback still!)

'Til next time,
*This is the second time that I have been indifferent to a piece of my MIL's furniture until I realized it was actually a nice, expensive piece. Does that make me shallow? I mean, I don't know that I would have picked out the dresser if given the option, but given that it was free and led to a nice, new television and an excuse to buy new furniture and a kick-in-the-pants to get curtains can't beat it!

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