Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Here's The Story...Of A Lovely Dresser

We've had this vintage mid-century dresser since we've been married, almost seven years ago. I trash-picked it off someone's lawn before we were married because we had no furniture and no money. Way back then, however, I had no concept of "mid-century" furniture and tried to "modernize" it a bit with a stencil and some craft paint, to my own dismay. A few years ago I actually did a little research on it and found out it is part of the Broyhill Brasilia line of furniture made in the 60's and can fetch as much as $600-800 bucks or more on eBay or other furniture sites. 

This piece has moved all over with us, to NYC and back, and has been used as a dresser, a buffet, and a TV stand all while providing us with much storage and style for these past seven years. 

After doing my research, however, and realizing what a gem I truly had I kicked myself repeatedly for adding the dumb stencil and even tried to remove it with a little scrubbing (as seen on the bottom right drawer).

But it was no use. All the drawers would have to be sanded down and re-stained. Then they would look better than the rest of the piece so in reality the entire thing needed to be sanded, re-stained, and re-sealed to bring it back to its original beauty. For years I'd had my heart set on doing the restoration myself but after all the other house projects rose to the top of the list and now with the addition of a little one this Spring I knew this piece was just not going to get done.

After getting our new console table in the living room (another fantastic roadside score) we moved it out of the living room and into the basement where it's hung out for the past year. Now that I've finally been able to put some time and attention into the basement, the topic of the dresser came up again. I knew three things:

It was a classic and valuable piece of furniture.
I wanted it to be refinished.
I was not going to be the one to refinish it.

So after talking it over with Dan, I decided to try my hand at listing it on Craigslist in hopes that someone would buy it and restore it and love it as much as I do. I did some research on eBay and saw that these pieces were selling in the $6-800 range completely refurbished, and there was even one listed at $1195! Knowing mine needed work, I listed it at $250, firm. It was a price I was comfortable letting it go at, but not so low that it would sell quickly. I was in no rush and I wanted it to go to a good home.

Within a week I had my buyer. And they were perfect. This couple drove in from NYC and planned to refurbish it just the way it needed. The wife was really into mid-century furniture and we talked about vintage pieces vs. modern reproductions and I could see she really knew the value of what she was buying. And that made me happy. Within a half hour it was packed up in their SUV and I was $250 richer. Not bad for a trash-pick.

The only problem now was we still needed a TV stand for our basement! Since I still love the look and storage of a mid-century dresser, I turned again to Craigslist to find a replacement and only two days later I had found the one. We picked it up last night and it is just perfect for our space. The Broyhill dresser was a good ten inches longer than our new dresser and an inch deeper. This new piece fits great and allows a little extra walking space in the room which will come in handy when we have a little walker down there.

The six drawers still provide tons of necessary storage and best of all, it was only $40 bucks. The finish is beautiful (although it could use a few touch-ups with a little stain) and it works perfectly with our darker navy sofas. This dresser requires no refinishing, while my beloved Broyhill is now off to a good home with a bright future.

First two images via
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