My husband and I are expecting our first child this spring, a baby girl! I am designing the nursery, but all the children's furniture that I find in retail stores around town are either really expensive, poorly designed, or not durable enough to stand some wear and tear. I am also on a majorly tiny budget, do you have any suggestions?!
-- Dresser Stresser, Santa Monica, CA
A: First of all: CONGRATULATIONS! What better way to bring a baby into this world than in style! You are in luck, "Dresser Stresser," this is one of my specialties! I love the fact that you are on a budget; it makes things more challenging, and I love a challenge! I love the idea of incorporating antiques into a baby’s nursery, there is a sweetness about them that surpasses any contemporary manufactured children’s furniture. “They just don’t make things like they used to,” after all! My recommendation is to find antiques that you love and refinish them yourself, in light sweet colors to match your nursery design. Shopping for antiques can be such a fun and stress-free adventure! I suggest scouring your local flea markets and estate sales for pieces; they are always willing to haggle a little on the price. Remember that your concentration should be on the bones of these antique pieces; the surface color/texture and hardware can change. Since these pieces are going into your brand new baby’s nursery, I would encourage you to spend the extra few dollars on low or no-emissions, milk or water-based paints, or paints that are labeled “green.” After the paint has dried you can even sand the edges to give it a distressed look. As for hardware, there are so many great places that sell cute hardware. My favorite is Anthroplolgie. Take a look below for inspiration, you will find photos of a dresser that I [re]designed for a client.
Good luck and have fun! This is a great weekend project. And most importantly, enjoy your new addition!