...because home doesn't happen overnight.

That was the view from the master bedroom to the master bathroom several months ago. Our bed now lives where this photo was taken from. Besides a few renovation changes – completing the bathroom, adding baseboards, installing interior doors – this half of our bedroom looks much the same as it did then. Empty.

There’s actually a decent chunk of floor space between the end of our bed and the door to the bathroom. Which is great for all the bathroom traffic. {We’re still living with only one full bathroom until we tackle the kid/guest bathroom later this winter.} I’ve been looking for something for the wall just to the right of the bathroom doorway for a while. At first, I thought a tall wardrobe like the ones we have in the mudroom would fit the wall well. But we really don’t need extra storage and once I started visualizing a floor-to-ceiling cabinet in the room, I feared it would be too heavy and tall for the room. Everything else in the room has a low profile.

I then began hunting for a low dresser. Preferably midcentury style. But most of the ones I found were too wide for the narrow wall. Until two weeks ago.

This handsome dresser is the newest addition to our home-loving family. I found him via craigslist. An elderly woman was selling him for $225. I offered $175 and he was mine. HH was out of town and the elderly woman selling him was recovering from a double hip replacement so Layne and his muscles helped me load him up and bring him home. {Looks like Layne’s gymnastics training is finally paying off!}

It’s a vintage Willett {you can read more about Willett furniture here} and I have no idea what it’s worth but I was willing to pay $175 for the quality whether it was vintage or not. It’s a sturdy, heavy piece made of solid cherry in good condition.

The brass handles are my favorite detail. I thought about polishing them up but I’m actually liking the natural patina so I think I’ll leave them as is for now.

I cleaned up the wood with Bona – the same wood cleaner I use on my floors. It brought the dresser back to life.

The petite size is perfect for the little corner across from our bed.

It hides the plumbing access to the shower/bath but can be easily moved if necessary. You know me. I’m always leery of water leaks in the house. It’s my recurring nightmare.

I love how the wood tones pick up on the mirror in the bathroom. I’m such a sucker for room-to-room views and this one does not disappoint.

I’ve yet to figure out what the function of the dresser will be since all of our clothes are in the closet. I want to line the drawers but not sure what else will make it into them. When HH works from home and has conference calls, he retreats to our bedroom to avoid screaming kids. He mentioned it would be nice to have somewhere to sit other than the bed. So maybe I’ll add a table lamp to the top and a side chair to the perpendicular wall so the dresser can be used as a makeshift desk. Obviously, the wall could use some artwork or open shelving. Look at me! Ever since we installed open shelves in the kitchen, I want to put them everywhere.

I’m still considering repainting the bedroom and bathroom. The walls don’t look too bad in these pictures but it was late morning on a sunny day when the northeastern room’s light is at its best. I’ve decided to tackle this room from a new angle. I’ve been surprised to learn that many of my favorite designers choose paint colors last when decorating a room. Up until now, wall color has been one of the first things I consider when decorating a room. I think I’ll try finding an area rug, bedding and ceiling light then go from there. I’ll let you know how it goes.

And you know how everyone says to ‘finish’ your bedroom first so you have an inviting space to crawl to at the end of each day? Well. I’ve totally broken that rule. There is crawling involved at the end of each day but not so much ‘inviting.’

Click here to see who won this week’s Cutting Edge Stencils giveaway!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking


I love it! I totally understand why you have put off the bedroom- in our house we did the kitchen, then bedroom, then hallway, THEN finally the bedroom. I just wanted to finish the areas that other people see first because we entertain quite a bit. I’d love if you would take a little look-see at our bedroom re-do if you have a chance. It was your blog that has inspired me to be more adventurous in my decorating!


Love the ‘love’ branch art and upcycled door headboard!!


Dana, I love this dresser beyond words. It is exactly my style. Wow! Just gorgeous!


Wow – I am so jealous!!! I am about to start on my master, and wish I could find something like this for it.


Ooo I love how the dresser is in the same wood tone as the mirror in the bathroom. I’m all about contrast like you, and I love the darker wood against the lighter paint on the walls.


Beautiful dresser ! So chic and timeless … I love it ! We actually did our room (and my hubby’s daughter’s one) first – and at the same time. Our room was the previous owners’ kids’ playroom, and we could’t take the yellow and blue theme … http://www.carrement-marteau.com/visite/la-chambre-principale/ … PS : I received my copy of the YHL book in the mail today. I ripped the package open, opened it in the middle, right on page 188 !! Ah ah !! Good for you ! Take care !

That dresser is fantastic. I’m so jealous, my version of craig never has awesome MCM dressers.

Our bedroom is the most horribly boring room in the house, and I really should attempt to do something about it.

Thank you so much!


Gorgeous dresser! Such a lucky find!


Love the dresser! It pays off to be persistent :) The scale is perfect for the space, and I totally agree with you…the coordinating wood tones with the mirror in the bathroom, fabulous! I am sure HH will agree. Yea for Craigslist!


I’m big on rooms flowing together visually as well, and this is fabulous eye flow. I’ve never purchased through Craigslist, only sold, but maybe I should give it a try.


Nice dresser – definitely has character! I have to say that you’ve inspired me to reconsider second hand furniture, and I found a nice pendant lamp/chandelier for the bedroom. I love looking at the ceiling now. I’ve become an addict searching for our next furniture – a credenza or console table for the hallway.


This is so perfect for that space. I love that wood tone with the gray wall. Yesss! to the hardware. I would leave it too. That patina is so pretty!


Such a great find!! And for such a good price! I’m finding it’s harder and harder to haggle with Craigslist sellers but it sounds like your seller was a dream!


Love your moody bedroom! The floors and chandy are my faves.


“I think I’ll try finding an area rug, bedding and ceiling light” YIPPEEEEEE!!! I can hardly wait for you to post the bedrrom plan.


Whoa, great find! I never see anything that great on craigslist. It’s mostly junk!


Love the dresser! What a find. Just have to tell you that I thought I’d clicked on Little Green Notebook. She’s redoing a Brooklynn brownstone. While reading and looking at the pix I was thinking, “Wow, her bathroonm looks so much like Dana’s.” LOL It wasn’t until I got to the part where you mentioned your kids by name that I realized my mistake.

Love the bathroom; love the dresser.


Thanks ! My hubby actually picked the purple color for the accent wall and I worked the whole things from it :)

Wow! I love it!! What a great buy.


Nice one. I drool over anything MCM, clean, boxy, squat, , great hardware, and warm. I can dig it. It fits beautifully with the bones of your house. My hutch I found in an entirely Mid-Century booth at an antiques market this summer is my very favorite new/old thing. I saw it from three booths away and went running for it, and bought it when I had no extra money since was laid off. Stupid? Yes. Regrets? No. I had been looking for years and years. Well done again.


The wood tones and hardware are beautifully rich and aged. Nice score! (We’re craigslist fans for both buying and selling: a truck, non-upholstered furniture, building materials for renovations, appliances, rugs, lamps.) And props to Layne for helping his mama load that great find in his dad’s absence.

That is a great find! Wow.

I love love love the idea of picking a paint color last. Makes so much sense. I’d rather find a good fabric for the curtains and then match the paint than the other way around.

Sometimes I feel like- duh. Why didn’t I think of that?…


Love Jenny @ Little Green Notebook! I’ll take that as a compliment.


What a great find! I predict that piece of furniture will stay in the family for a very long time. It’s beautiful, and just right for that space.


It’s a very handsome piece. Loving the hardware just as it is.


Oups … it was actually page 184 in the YHL book !!


Will you be using a full size tree this year or do you have a small space tree in mind? I know I am a little early but I am the kind that likes to plan and think ahead. Any holiday related posts would be soooo welcome!!


Wow what a great find! Can’t wait to see how you style it with the rest of the room!


The thing with painting last, they are so right – it is infinitely easier to pick a paint chip from the huge variety available that goes with the less-wide options of rugs, fabrics, etc, than to do it the other way around. It just sucks because you do have to have something on your walls if you are doing the slow DIY route, so you either have to paint twice and/or live with an obviously wrong paint color while you get the rest of the room assembled. #mylivingroom

Wowww, that is a gorgeous piece of furniture! I’m in love with it…and also love the way it picks up the wood in your bathroom mirror. Great find!!

You struck gold with this piece. It’s perfect.


Gorgeous find! I’m definitely feeling some jealousy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family!


I’m in love! Can’t wait to see more :) What color are your walls?


Dana, I’m a local Cincinnati follower of your blog. LOVE your new dresser! I think I may be addicted to Craigslist. Sometimes I want to reply to craigslist postings and tell them they have an awesome piece even if I don’t have a spot for it in my home. I know, weird. Anyway, since you are local, I wanted to tell you (although you probably already know about it) about http://www.cinciestatesales.com. It’s an online estate sale that is based out of cincy, where unlike eBay you can check out the item in person if you so choose. I must admit, I have not purchased anything yet, but I have seen some great things. I’ve also seen some pretty random weird things, but it makes the hunt all the more fun. Just thought I’d pass it along. Love your blog – I don’t know how you get it all done. I have four children, youngest 9 months, and I can’t keep up. Yea! for you for following your dreams!


Love this! I wonder though… did you get rid of 100% of your furniture from the old house? Did you have a dresser there?


We didn’t have a dresser in our previous master bedroom. There was a tall dresser in our previous home’s nursery but we sold it via cragislist before we found out we were expecting baby #3!


The walls in our bedroom are the same as our kitchen, family room and hall: Benjamin Moore tapestry beige. I LOVE it in all the other places but it takes on a dingy, dirty feel in our bedroom as the day progresses.


Funny you should ask! We were just discussing our tree plans as a family today. We have a tradition of picking out a live tree so we usually wait until the first or second week in December to buy ours. We’re thinking of putting the tree in our family room by the fireplace but we thought of several different places it could live as well. We’ll see where it ends up and I’ll be sure to share!


Dana, I know he’s outdated but Christopher Lowell always talked about the layers in a room, starting with the rug and working your way up. It’s been years since I’ve read his book/watched his show so maybe he’s changed his philosophy but he argued that because rugs can be expensive and are more limited than paint, fabric, etc. that is what you should start with and then layer out from there. This nugget came to mind when you mentioned starting over on the paint. Hope it helps!


Ooooh, great idea Shannon! Thanks!


Dana, love your bedroom! I just wondered what size this room was?