First Impressions Count

Let’s talk about my husband’s dresser.

He acquired this lovely piece of glossy particle board along with a matching nightstand for $50 on Craigslist.  Yes, he gets bonus points for bachelor bargain hunting…but the fact that I already helped him move this thing twice (and it was making the move to our new apartment) was killing me!

I couldn’t wait to get this thing out of our house, but my husband seemed pretty attached (even after it got broken during our latest move) and insisted that it would work for as long as we are in NYC…which gets longer every time we talk about it.

It is important to note that this dresser sat opposite my side of the bed and it was the very first thing I saw (or heard) each and every morning.

I should probably explain what I mean when I say I heard this dresser every morning.

The following is a timeline of a typical morning in our household:

  • 6:30 am – Alarm goes off (Husband is planning to work out before work).
  • 6:38 am – Alarm goes off for the second time (He didn’t get up yet)
  • 6:46 am – Alarm goes off for the third time (He decides to reset alarm)
  • 7:30 am – Alarm goes off for the fourth time (Still not ready to start the day)
  • 7:38 am – Alarm goes off for the fifth time (He gets up – 1 or 2 more snoozes optional)
  • 8:15 am – He returns to bedroom from shower
  • 8:16 am – He attempts to retrieve clothes from dresser – handles make obnoxious clanging noises as he struggles
  • 8:16 am – I’m definitely awake now, and glaring at the dresser.

The dresser wasn’t that cute to start with – which really wasn’t helping us get along.

I didn’t take any before pictures (again, pre-blog brain) and I can’t bring myself to haul out the old handles even for a real image of what I was working with (yeah, I really dislike those things!).

But here is the closest image I can find via Google image results:


Just your typical awful 80s dresser set, right? The dangling handles were the biggest problem for me. Since the cheap drawer tracks were overworked and not very well constructed to begin with, my husband had a terrible time trying to get the drawers open and closed. I even (to this day) have to lean my whole body into the dresser to get those things to close. You can imagine the lovely sound that follows shoving into this thing with its TEN clanging handle chorus. (Let me tell you, it was nothing like jingle bells!)

I knew just what I needed to do.

I wanted to replace those handles ASAP! I told my mom my plans and she tried to change my mind. She said the dresser wasn’t worth the investment of new hardware. She was right, but I just knew that I couldn’t stand to look at that dresser in its current condition for one more minute.

This image gave me hope for my dresser:


This blogger replaced her similarly out-dated brass handles with these Martha Stewart pulls, and I thought it looked pretty darn good!

The Martha Stewart drawer pulls were too wide for my dresser, so I settled for this handle and these knobs for the top drawer. Note: Be absolutely sure you measure the distance between the holes of the drawer pulls you are replacing before you fall in love with something that won’t work, or bring something home that doesn’t fit. 


I had a moment of panic while I was installing the new drawer pulls, because the longer screws were too long (which led to wiggly and still noisy pulls) and the shorter screws weren’t quite long enough to go through the wood and reach the threads of the new pulls. I had about half of the pulls barely hanging on, and one or two pulls dangling from one side, when I realized that a washer or two with the longer screws would fix everything!

Finally, I gave the dresser and nightstand a once-over with Old English to cover any unsightly scrapes and mars.

Here are the finished products:


IMG_1563They are far from perfect, but we’ve come a long way.

I realize that spending 50 dollars on hardware to give a facelift to a dresser and nightstand that were originally purchased for 50 dollars…well, it seems kinda silly.  I have to say that I’m extremely happy with my decision. A new dresser would have cost far more than 50 dollars, and I can remove this hardware and put it on something else if we EVER end up actually getting rid of this thing.

If you can’t afford to replace your furniture right away and you are willing to live with it for a year or two, or you just need a change of scenery, why not update the hardware and see what a difference it can make? If you don’t like the update, you can throw the hardware in your bag and return it without having to make a special shopping trip (a huge plus in NYC – and certainly not the case when purchasing/returning throw pillows or art).

If fifty dollars can take away my out-dated gold handles, an annoying clanging chorus, and my morning scowl – then I’m going to choose this improvement every day of the week!

Now if I could just get my husband to work on that snoozing habit of his. :)


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