Nesting, Take 2: Custom Furniture

Welcome to seven months! Baby-to-be continues his rollicking shenanigans as parents-to-be continue our apartment makeover. One of the (many) cool things about living with Oren is that we often spend the same amount of time doing our hair. Another cool thing is that custom-made furniture becomes the default at our place. Hence, when we need a window perch/bookshelf in the living room, the man turns this out in two hours:

He leaves the decorations to me, so I take full credit for the books organized by color.

Our general baby-welcoming plan is to turn our dining room into an eating + baby room. This means 1.) putting our huge dining table into storage and selling the rug and the Billy bookcases (all done!) and 2.) splitting the room into two distinct yet complementary spaces. Neither one of us is into traditional baby stuff, so we’re trying to create a sort of urban/modern feeling with a healthy dose of playfulness. We’ll post some before and after photos of the entire room once it’s finished, but in the meantime, at the bottom you’ll find a gallery of some of the rad pieces we’ve built so far. Including:

1. Custom storage benches/banquette. One of them holds arts & crafts supplies and the other hides all of our games and toys. We built these babies from scratch and even upholstered them ourselves with waterproof laminated cotton that you can wipe down with a sponge. So for $100 or so, we have these entirely customized storage benches. Not too shabby. Our “new” dining table is an Ikea table that we’ve had for years. We lacquered it in white and will do the same with the matching chairs. Next up for this area: back pillows.

2. Refurbished dresser. We found an old bureau for $30 at a thrift store and turned it into the coolest dresser in the world for Little Man Persing. The piece had good bones, but it needed some hard core cleaning, sanding and drawer un-sticking before we could prime and paint and paint and paint and polyurethane it. The red paint is called “California Poppy,” which is awesome, and the drawer pulls are matchbox cars that we spray-painted silver and attached to screws—even more awesome. As soon as we have one, we’ll plop a changing pad on top. And as soon as we have one, we’ll plop a baby on top of that.

3. Chalkboard fridge. Not part of the dining room, but a while back I outfitted the fridge in chalkboard paint. Now it’s the perfect place to keep track of our home improvement projects!


5 thoughts on “Nesting, Take 2: Custom Furniture

  1. Persings says:

    Yeah, I wonder if they don’t make as many metal ones any more. I think we found ours at a toy store where we could rummage through a bin of loose cars, choosing the metal ones and the shapes we liked. It was also much cheaper than buying them in packs. Good luck!

  2. Alexandra says:

    Thank you for the detailed information! I really appreciate it. Out of curiosity, did you have a hard time finding cars with metal bottoms? I was at Target today and it looked like none of the Matchbox had metal bottoms and only a few Hot Wheels did.


  3. Persings says:

    Hey Alexandra! Pretty easy, actually. Here’s how we did it this time, but if we had to do it again, we’d use two screws per car so they wouldn’t spin.

    1. First, make sure you pick out cars with metal bases, not plastic.
    2. Drill a hole through the middle of the chassis, making sure the hole is smaller than your screws.
    3. Put a pointy metal screw through the drawer from the inside (pointy side out). We eyeballed the screw length… probably 1.25x.25-inch, but take into consideration the width of your drawer front and the spacer.
    4. Slide a spacer onto the screw to sit between the car and the drawer.
    5. Spin the car onto the screw. (If you use two screws, you’ll need come at them with a screwdriver from the inside of the drawer.)

    That’s it!

  4. Alexandra says:

    Came across your blog in a search on how to make matchbox cars into dresser pulls. Can you let me know how exactly you attached the cars to the screws? Thanks!

  5. Sj says:

    You HAVE been busy!! It looks great. I can’t wait to see it in person!


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