One thing new mommies are craving for their little ones’ nurseries is functionality. I have recently had the opportunity of working with two sweet expecting mommas on the ideation and creation of their nurseries; both of whom have expressed the need for space-saving, dual-functioning decor their babies can grow into. To meet this need, I refinished some plain Jane, outdated dressers and converted them into changing tables! Instead of purchasing a dresser, changing table and some version of extra storage, this solution combines all necessities into one adorable piece of furniture. When the functionality of a changing table is no longer needed, the child can continue to use the dresser.
FOR OUR LITTLE LADY
Angela put in an early request for a dresser/changing table not long after she learned she was expecting. She knew the practicality couldn’t be beat. Nearly convinced she was carrying a boy, she found a light wood, basic dresser on the side of the road she hoped to have me refinish. Come to find out, her friend (also expecting) picked up a more feminine, vintage dresser curbside with the same intentions. When Angela learned she was having a baby girl, and her friend a baby boy, they swapped curbside finds.
For a project like this, I think it’s best to select a neutral color. As the room transforms from nursery to bedroom, a neutral dresser still works with the changing decor. Angela wanted a whimsical, feminine palate for her nursery, so we decided on a creamy, white chalk paint to freshen up this vintage piece. Originally I was going to sand and stain the top of the dresser to match the 100-year-old doors throughout their home, however, upon learning the surface was a thin, wood veneer it was best to paint it.
NOTE: Wood veneers take stain differently than regular raw wood and wouldn’t have matched the raw wood edge of this dresser.
I selected a wipeable, peel-and-stick wallpaper in a blush pink buffalo check pattern to line the dresser drawers. The delicate leafy design of the original hardware worked with the overall look of the nursery, so I painted the aged bronze to match the dresser. This way we could preserve their vintage detail without the harsh contrast in color.
Finally, I ever-so-lightly distressed the edges and raised details of both dresser and hardware to play up the age of this piece. Then this piece was sealed with a water-based, clear matte finish to protect it for years to come. It was important to Angela to be able to periodically clean the surface of the dresser; therefore, this sealer gives a smooth finish to the touch and can withstand an occasional sanitization.
Baby wipes, diapers and precious onesies fill the top shelf for a clutter free surface and convenience of a messy midnight change.
FOR OUR LITTLE MAN
Our expecting momma, Elizabeth, is due in two short weeks! After working with her on a home office project, she graciously called on me to help with the design of her baby boy’s nursery. Previously, this room was functioning as a library/dog room/storage location, so the first task on the agenda was move everything not baby-related into a new location.
Again, we were working with a small space so I had to get creative with storage, functionality and design. When I pitched the dresser-changing table idea to Elizabeth she was a bit unsure, but as we cleaned up the space and talked layout, she was sold! I picked up this solid wood dresser at one of my favorite local antique malls. It was in great condition, just a bit dated.
After priming this dark wood, I gave it a couple coats of Metal Roof Grey chalk paint. This grey is light enough for a tranquil nursery, but will easily make the transition into a little boy’s room in the coming years.
For the drawer liner, I went with a light gray and white oversized plaid pattern. This print is subtle, but again, something their little man can grow into.
Finally, for the hardware I went with a traditional pewter cup pull. Pewter is the metal of choice throughout Elizabeth’s home and the cup pull was a great mix of southern and traditional.
To seal this piece, I used the same water-based, matte sealer as on Angela’s dresser. This not only locks in the paint to prevent chipping, it’s smooth to the touch and can withstand a mess or two…or three or five.
Touches of rustic brown and rich navy compliment the light gray dresser while adding some warmth to the nursery. I wanted this space to feel like a play off ‘The 100 Acre Woods.’ Above the dresser I hung a whimsical rope ladder shelf and inspirational quotes from Pooh Bear himself. The shelf also makes for a convenient place to store some diaper changing essentials.
And there ya have it… two happy mommas and two beautiful changing table dressers!