There are a few pieces of furniture that I've managed to hang onto since my first post-graduate-school apartment, the one that I rented over ten years ago after I broke things off with a boyfriend and moved out of his house. I choose a lovely, parquet-floored place off of Clayton Road in St. Louis for my first solo home as a fledgling adult. I had a job and a little bit of money to spend on furniture and decoration, and the new guy I started seeing knew the city well and showed me all the best antique and thrift stores. We found some great items to haul back in his little car to my place. Over the years, we sold many of them in our various moves, or left them on the street for someone else to pick up. But a couple of them are still with me, and they're pretty important to me. They've been with me in a dozen different places, and when I look at them, I see where they stood in all those places, and that visual memory keeps me rooted and creates continuity. Those places and those times existed, because these things were there. And now they're here.
One of those pieces of furniture is a pyramid-shaped dresser. So when Maggie decided to chew on it while I was away at a wedding a couple of summers ago, I was a little devastated. But then I decided it might be an opportunity. The dresser itself was in imperfect condition to begin with. I bought it at World Market where it was on sale due to a fairly large rift in the side caused by the wood buckling. Over the years, the drawer pulls had fallen off or been broken, and it had taken several good knocks to the chin from various moves (some of which were attempted with no furniture padding, like a move from New Orleans to NYC). The drawers do not pull out smoothly nor do they slide in easily, and there are no stops so it’s a bit of a learning curve to use. Even so, I love it. I love the pyramid shape, and I love the imperfections. So I wanted to find a way to repair the damage.
I started out by realizing that there would be no way to repair the chewed up portions of the wood without spending a lot of money on a custom renovation that would cost far more than the piece was worth. So I repaired the areas with wood filler and then sanded them down as best as possible. Maggie had chewed on the 'bumper' at the bottom and also on the corner of a drawer.
The original dresser, minus hardware and plus wood filler to reconstruct the damaged areas.
I had already removed all the drawer pulls, as many of them were broken. To replace them, I found these botanical-inspired pulls from Anthropologie.
Old pull on the left, new pull on the right.
Because the new drawer hardware had to screw in at wider points of entry, I decided to fill the old hardware holes with wood filler and then paint the faces to cover up said filler. I also had to paint the bumpers to hide where I'd made repairs. I decided to use paint I already had, left over from an earlier project. The bumper shade is a dark royal blue, the drawer fronts are a dark gray-blue.
I think it looks a lot better, and I'm so glad that I didn't have to toss an old friend.