19 March 2014

IKEA, the pitch, and the wardrobes

As promised, I’ll fill you in on what we got at IKEA this last weekend! I didn’t pick up that much stuff – a few of their plastic cutting boards that I adore, new bed pillows for me, and this TEJN faux sheepskin that I’ve been wanting for forever:

I just couldn’t handle a real sheepskin, so this faux one (which is a third of the price!) was much better for our home. I’m having fun putting it different places, standing back, and grinning at it. For now, it’s hanging out on our giant desk chair, which is great because it makes me hate that chair less!

But we didn’t make an eight-hour car trip for a $10 faux sheepskin. As you might have guessed, our trip was specifically for this guy right here:

Actually, TWO of those guys. As I already told you, one of my 35 by 35 goals is to make enough closet space in our bedroom so that I could put my things in there, too. (Right now Mr. P takes the walk-in closet in there, although if you check this post, you’ll see that “walk-in” sounds a heck of a lot more generous than it is.) That meant I needed some sort of armoire, and I needed it to fit along this wall:

(Forgive the boxes, haphazard décor, and smudgey mirror, please... I haven’t bothered to do much with this wall knowing it was a work in progress.)

Unfortunately there were a few complications, and the first is that sloped wall. I love all the architectural interest that comes with living in essentially the roof of a house, but this time it really threw a wrench in the armoire hunt. The wall begins to slope 77” from the floor, and many armoires are taller than that, north of 80”.

Then there’s the fact that Mr. P and I live in a third-floor apartment with a switchback walk-up. Not only did I have to worry about clearing the landings of the staircase to get it upstairs (like I did for the sofa hunt), I had to deal with the more basic reality that Mr. P and I would have to get it up the stairs. It wasn’t just the physical limitations of the apartment – it was our physical strength too (well, ok, my physical strength).

So given those constraints, I was on the hunt for a set of two petite armoires that could flank the dresser along that wall. Which brings me back to the BRIMNES – it’s the absolute perfect dimensions (just under 75” tall! same depth as the dresser!), and IKEA flat-packing meant Mr. P and I could reasonably haul them up the stairs. Their price meant I could easily buy two for the same price of a larger piece. And if that wasn’t enough to convince me: the photo on the website shows the wardrobe filled entirely with neutral clothes.


But. There was still a but. While I liked the size, the ease of moving, and the price... I did NOT love the white. I really wanted something wood-toned that would match the dresser along the wall:

I refinished that dresser in pre-blog days, stripping off three layers of paint and polyshades-ing it to its current glory. It is MOST DEFINITELY staying wood-toned, partly because it’s gorgeous with our bed and partly because I put so much dang work into it. So the idea of flanking my beautiful solid-wood dresser with white laminate armoires – even perfectly sized, perfectly priced armoires – just didn’t make me swoon.


But because they were the right size and right price, I brainstormed all sorts of ways to cover the white. I googled “how to veneer”, I purchased contact paper on a hopeful whim (which wasn’t suitable for this project, but I did get another project or two out of it!). Finally, inspiration struck – from the other side of the room.

Say, our RAST-hacked nightstands are white, framed in wood tones! And just as I was thinking about how to box out the white IKEA furniture with stained wood, YHL went and did just that.

So now my vision looks something like this:

By adding new hardware (the white handles that come with BRIMNES are not cutting it) and framing them in stained wood, I think I’ve finally found a storage solution for our bedroom! Although I hadn’t thought about the two-toned solution in the first place – and I’m not usually a huge fan of that look – it really solved my problem of wanting wood-toned furniture without making that wall look too heavy with a wall full of big, dark furniture. The white doors will keep the wall light, they’ll match our nightstands, and obviously, I get to use an inexpensive, perfectly-fitting option!

So that’s the plan, Stan! JUST the plan. Real life looks more like this... complete with discarded, recently-replaced pillows, and curtains that I still haven’t hemmed from the last time we went to IKEA. Sigh.

If only I could make it happen in real life as easily as Photoshop!