Friday, February 14, 2014

DIY: Craiglist Find to Perfect Media Stand

As a couple of crazy 20 30 somethings just trying to figure it all out, my husband and I have a tendency to seek more than what is within reach when it comes to our home. I quite often scour through issues of HGTV magazine and Architectural Digest, trying to mentally build my perfect living space regardless of a silly thing like how expensive furniture is these days.

I find that there is a vast disconnect between lower and higher end furnishings; once you go beyond Ikea, the price point sky rockets to... more than we can afford to spend on a mirror, sidetable or whatever.

All of this being said, the truth that's become clear to us is that if we want to have the kind of eye-catching, difference-making pieces that are found on the pages of magazines, you have to be willing to work for it, and be a little bit creative in the process.

This was actually not our first furniture project (or last), but I have to admit that I really believe that it was our best.

We found this sad-looking Mid Century Modern sideboard on Craigslist for a cool $75 (including delivery!), and as you can see, we had our work cut out for us:

I mean...

I'll be honest, I wasn't even going to give this guy a chance when Dan showed me the listing. It was even missing a handle! It is next to impossible to find the exact hardware to complete a MCM piece. The stuff just isn't out there, guys. As much as we would have loved to keep the original hardware, replacing it with something new was an inevitability that we just had to face head-on.

What follows is a photographic journey through what it took to rescue this sideboard and transform it into something completely unique.

Lots of sanding was involved. I'm going to take this time to mention how unbelievable it is to me that they chose to put veneer on everything back in the day! WHY?!?! It doesn't look good. It cheapens the piece in every possible way! I digress, if I keep going on I'm going to get on the subject of popcorn ceilings.

 The bare wood looked SO good! If you believe it, we did this piece before we owned a power sander (Dan finally got one for Christmas), so the entire piece was sanded down by hand. We burned a few calories doing that.

These 3 drawers were modified by Dan's Uncle in order for it to be used as a media stand. If the gamma rays or whatever from the remote can't reach the cable box, then there would be no point in
any of it.

 In terms of working with pieces with many drawers, one piece of advice I'll give is to number them in some way so you know which drawer goes where. We neglected to take this step, and were left with the fun task of playing a guessing game to figure out where each drawer should go because even the ones that all look the same can only go into one specific place.

We chose a dark brown color to stain the drawers with. For some reason, when drawing inspiration to design this, I thought a lot about old school Girl Scout uniforms. In my head I pictured the classic kelly green color of the uniform with the dark brown color of the sash and when I properly explained it to Dan, we decided to run with it.

The green frame is painted with relatively standard flat paint and then finished with SEVERAL coats of high gloss Minwax Poly applied with a soft brush in slow, even strokes. The bottom 'railing' as I was calling it, we decided to paint black to make the piece appear to be floating and to make the green frame the focal point.

Even though we couldn't use all of the original hardware (which would have been ideal), we were able to salvage some of it to use as pulls for the middle three drawers. The additional hardware on the outside 6 were purchased from Anthropologie for $6 each (found here in cream), which really is a steal if you've ever shopped their hardware section before. Anthropologie is a fantastic place to go for unusual cabinet hardware, and many of the items go on clearance for pretty significant discounts, so check those bins when you go there! I'm still on the fence about the hardware, to be honest, but the beauty in cabinet hardware is that it's a relatively easy change to make.

Here is the final before and after:

Relatively extreme transformation, I'd say.

I feel like it works well as a media stand as well as in the space itself.

The entire project was less than $200 give or take, and what a payoff. I find it hard pressed to even find one online for under $1000 so it was a successful venture, I think.

I hope you enjoy and are inspired to do your own at home, DIY adventures.