Krissie’s bedroom (aka Lani’s bedroom, aka the front bedroom, aka the guest room, aka my bedroom for right now) is tiny (9′ x 9′) with an even tinier bathroom attached. It has a ridiculously small closet under the stairs–the hanging pole is twelve inches–and that means we have to have supplementary storage: a coat rack and wall racks for hanging clothes, a tower for storage boxes, hanging organizers for make-up and meds (no bathroom cabinets, either), and a chest of drawers for folding clothes. Did I mention this bedroom is tiny?
I own two bureaus, one of which is too big for this room. The other is a beat-up 1940s, boxy, cracked-veneer-covered, three-drawer chest with a round mirror on top. It’s awful, but I love the mirror, and it fits perfectly against the small wall across from the bed, so it’s going in the bedroom. Clearly paint was in order, but what color?
The front of the house–the living room and this bedroom–have been gravitating toward girly pale blues and aquas with a little pale yellow, a scheme I find restful and calming. I wouldn’t want these colors in a work space, but for public spaces and places to relax, they’re working for me. I’d painted the walls in the front bedroom Ice Rink Blue because bedrooms should be pale blue, and I’d put up blue thermal curtains I’d brought from Ohio, planning on covering them in something bright and then discovering that their one-shade-darker-than-the-walls helped make the room seem larger. Then I painted the floor a darker version of the blue walls. Thatsa lotta blue. So when I got to the bureau, I knew blue was out and spray painted it white. It was a little boring, so I spray painted just the top drawer a brighter blue:
I had a tester pot of a spring aqua that Lowes was pushing (Tranquility), so I repainted the top drawer in that. Then I looked at how good that looked with the wall color and decided to do a girly bureau in pale blue and pale aqua (or Ice Rink Blue and Tranquility, if you prefer to be specific).
The top drawer was easy: I just taped off stripes and painted blue between them. However, I wanted the darker stripes to be over the drawer pull holes, and when I taped those off, that spacing meant that the strips between them would be irregular. A year ago, that irregularity would have made me nuts; this year I just thought, “Of course they’re irregular; what am I, a machine?” and admired their spontaneity.
I painted the middle drawer plain blue, which I’m still cogitating about. And then I did the bottom drawer in checks. I’m not a fan of painting checks because they’re tedious to do, but I love the way they look when they’re done, and this was just a drawer front, so I bit the bullet and taped off the pattern.
I did want these to be regularly spaced, so I put a strip of tape down the middle, and then measured off the rest of the strips from there by using another strip of tape as guide. That is, I put the first paint blocking strip down in the middle, then I put a guide strip down next to that, then I smoothed down another paint-blocking strip next to that, then I peeled up the guide strip and moved over to the other side of the blocking strip. Then I smoothed down another blocking strip, and so on across the front of the drawer.
Then I did the same for the horizontal stripes.
Then I cut away the squares made by the overlaps and peeled them off the drawer front. I believe I mentioned this was tedious.
Finally, I painted the drawer with one coat of the color already on there and followed up with the contrasting color. And then when it was dry, I peeled off all the tape. See, TEDIOUS.
Then because it’s a Girly Bureau, I added some bling in the drawer pulls, including extra ones on the top drawer because I thought the Girly Bureau needed a necklace. After that it was just painting some of the details in aqua and blue and attaching the mirror to the back. I found an even girlier pink lamp in the garage and wound some pink china roses that the previous owner had left around the base and put that on top with a picture of Mollie as a little girl, a fancy little box Krissie gave me that I love, a flowered box to hold my make-up, and a candle. Two of those things will have to go because I think three things are the most a surface can hold and still make the things distinctive and noticeable (after that it’s just clutter), but for right now, Ta Da! The Girly Bureau:
I like it. It makes me want to paint checks on the hall and bathroom doors (and you know how I feel about painting checks), but I’m going to live with this for awhile and see if I feel compelled to fancy up the doors or leave them plain to showcase the Girly. The blingy knobs took this out of the range of cheap–the big ones were eight bucks each–but they were worth it because they make me smile every time I see them. Who knew I was a Girly kind of decorator?