Monday, February 7, 2011

Hacking up a Dresser

So most of you know that we were going to sell our house in preparation for expanding our family.

We just didn't think this house was big enough.

But after a failed home inspection and a feeling of sadness of leaving this little Cape, we decided to stay put.

We thought it would take a while to get pregnant and maybe we could put an addition on the house, but nope!  We were pregnant within one weekend . . .

Some things are just mean to be, I guess :-)

So now we are faced with the dilemma of a lack of space and I keep reminding myself that people have more children in homes much smaller than ours and they manage just fine.

But the space issue keeps nagging at me. It keeps me awake at night.

Take our bedroom for instance.   With its typical Cape Cod-Style slanty ceilings, we are limited with where we can place furniture,  because it hits the ceiling in some areas.

So I recently showed you our bedroom, which looked like this:

You can't see it that well, but there is a large dresser to the left of our bed.  Here is the old photo with our giant king-sized bed that was waaaaaaay too big for our little bedroom.

YIKES . . . that picture scares me on so many levels.  Don't the candlesticks look like they will catch the ceiling on fire?  Fortunately, those were never lit and they have long been donated to the Salvation Army.

The dresser is placed to the left of our bed because it is the ONLY place it will fit in our bedroom.  If we placed it on the right side, it would block our closets.  Anywhere else it would hit the slanty ceilings.

The problem is, this is the exact spot where I plan to put the baby's bassinet.  Here is the one we've been eyeing at Pottery Barn.

Image: Pottery Barn
I love that it has a removable moses basket that can easily be brought downstairs for naps, and I love the storage area underneath.  I'm all about the storage from living in a house with very little closet space.
What's even better is that it has this adorable bedding that hides the storage underneath
(Ours would be white with blue bows. . . )

Anyway, my dilemma is that if I place the bassinet next to the bed, it would block Jason's dresser.

So I was tossing and turning in bed one night worrying about it, when I had a genius idea!   I woke Jason up to tell him about it.

"J . . . I figured it out.  You could cut the dresser to remove one of the drawers and shorten the dresser so it would fit in the little nook on the other side of the bedroom!"

Here is the area where I envisioned moving the dresser.

But Jason was having none of it.

Jason:  "Stephenie go to sleep. You're crazy.  We're NOT cutting the dresser."


I can't believe this man still doubts me.  When he does, I only become more adamant and I find myself becoming more and more confident that my idea will work.

Can you believe it . . . this past Saturday night, we found ourselves hacking up the dresser,
hoping the idea would work.

First, Jason removed all of the drawers and took a look up underneath to see how the top of the dresser was secured.  He was happy to find that the top was screwed on to wooden supports.

So he began to unscrew the top from the supports and we labeled everything so we could reassemble it later.

The top came off easily.

But the moulding was a bit more of a challenge because it had been glued on so out came the ole' chisel.

And here is when the Coupon Cowboy started doubting the project and telling me that perhaps we should just throw the dresser away and buy a new one.  (I think he forgot our New Year's Resolution).

But he continued chiseling and eventually, the moulding came off.

We were left with a dresser that looked like this.

Next, we figured out where the moulding would need to be placed once we cut off the top drawer and measured down.  It was about 8 inches, so we marked accordingly all the way around the dresser.

And then the cutting began. 

Jason had to be careful not to cut unevenly or he would have a slanty dresser that would
match our slanty ceilings.

The dresser started looking like this.

Once it was cut all the way around, the reassembly began.  Jason swears by this stuff:

Apparently, it's about as strong as cement.

So my Mr. Dream-Maker took that gun of cementy goodness and applied it all around to reattach the moulding and the top of the dresser.

This stuff is so messy and sticky, you have to use gasoline to remove it from your skin. No joke.

Next, the supports were screwed back on (and stapled).
Once the moulding was reattached, it looked like this.

Finally, the top was screwed back on.
Here's what was left over from all of our hacking
(and one drawer, which I'm not sure what we're going to do with yet)

Jason was so happy that the top was actually level!

And I was thrilled that it actually fit into the little nook perfectly and that I'd get to go to bed . . . since we finished cleaning up around 3 AM!
Can you believe it?  We have ourselves a nice short dresser.

My poor husband did lose a drawer, so I offered up one of mine from my dresser, but he declined.

Here is the space now. We moved the mirror and jewelry armoire there, but that will be moved once we get the bassinet. I just didn't want a big empty space.

We're both loving the space that was created from this project.

Next up:  REFINISHING the furniture to something lighter and changing the hardware. 

Stay tuned and wish us luck!

Linking up with:

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The Lettered Cottage


  1. YOu are just so clever. I love when I find a solution, by thinking outside the box. The dresser looks fantastic there and will give you just the room you need. Well done.

  2. OMW, that is so awesome! What an amazing idea!! I can't believe the dresser looks so'd never know!
    Way to go!

  3. That was fabulous was like reading a thriller...finding out whether everything will be ok in the end!! You guys are awesome :)

  4. I NEVER would have thought of that, nor had the nerve to do it. Great way to use what you have. It came out perfect. Did you ever try to put the bed against the slanty wall? My parents have a cape and there bed is against the wall. I'm just not sure if it's as slanty as yours.

  5. That rocks!! You two are awesome! Would have never thought of

  6. Brilliant fix to your slanted cape ceiling dilemma!
    3 AM? Make sure you get some rest before that baby gets here!

    Your Friend,

  7. Well done! You'd never guess it's been hacked up! Hehe. :)

  8. Lucky you to have a handy guy. Great idea and it turned out looking great.

  9. That was a brilliant middle of the night idea!

    I don't know if you have room under your bed but you can put casters on the drawer and it will slide easily under the bed. I have seen 'shades' put on the top to keep the things in the drawer clean. pam

  10. WOW! That is awesome! And what's even more awesome, Jason was willing to take a chance and make your vision a reality. Men, sometimes just can't get past the "hacking up".
    You both did a great job!

  11. I'm impressed! I kind of wanted to to that to my hubby's dresser (the one he had as a kid which I HATE!!). Instead, I found a better one on the curb one day and I'm fixing it up instead!

    (I'm clicking over from Thrifty Decor Chick's party)

  12. CONGRATULATIONS on the final dresser!
    Jason you are amazing with wood!
    Stephie you have some amazing ideas!
    Glad to see it all came toegther for you.


  13. Wow - that was GENIUS! I would never have thought to do that! It doesn't even look like you touched it. So nice to have a handy hubby like that - wish I did too....

  14. I had to laugh while I was reading this - it SO reminded me of our last place where my guy had to hack up the custom armoire cabinet to fit our king size bed in the room! Our guys are great, aren't they?? :) brilliant idea!

  15. Stephenie, thank you so much for sharing your fantastic dresser redux at Rook No. 17! I'm so happy that you joined the Tuesday link party, and hope you'll honor me with another link-up soon!

    Happy Valentines' Day!


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