Campaign Dresser: Before & After


Clearly I have an obsession with campaign dressers but for good reason. These stylish, fabulously elegant pieces are particularly fabulous in their more modern incarnations (think bright colors against shiny brass) and they can work in practically any interior. Apartment Therapy has a particularly nice little post on the history of these (and some good eye candy too).

So. When my friend Lauren Corbyn texted me about an estate sale happening on Saturday featuring a campaign dresser and at least one side table, I was in. We met up with our kiddos for breakfast (SO CUTE) and then dashed on over to check out the goods.

You just never know with an estate sale — there might be one of two good things, or just a whole lotta overpriced junk. This particular home belonged to the former technical director of Ballet Oklahoma. And it was one funky little setup, for sure. But there it was!

Campaign dresser before

I nearly died when I saw the price – for a whopping $95, it was mine. Which made me particularly sick when I think about how much I spent on The Debacle. I still cringe (despite its utter fabulousness) when I look at the couple of places where the damage is. UGH.

 Anyway. There was also a small side table for $25 which I figured would be perfect for the guest bedroom. I picked up the side table and heave-ho’ed it into the back of my car. But I knew the dresser was going to be another story as it was too big to fit in my car, much less get it TO the car by myself. This called for backup. Teenage mutant ninja nephew-style.

I picked up my two eldest nephews, borrowed my sister’s car and a dolly, and we were in business. Having teenage nephews is child labor at its finest. Except when they tried to get the dresser over the threshold of the door and they thought it wasn’t going to budge — oh ye of little faith! I just gave it a swift kick and sure enough, it hopped on over. This teeny tiny wizened old woman comes up to me and says, “Honey, I think you’re stronger than the both of those boys!”

I gotta admit, I laughed out loud.

Then it was like a three-ring circus to get the dresser into the car and back to the house. As I assessed the situation I realized that I better strike while the iron was hot and while the free labor was available if I was going to get this project done anytime in the near future. I put both boys to work taping off all the brass hardware, and then the painting began. A few hours later, we were done and I had them haul the dresser up into the studio with much moaning, groaning, and gnashing of teeth.

Then. In a fit of indecision, I decided that maybe it was too much w/ the stripes and the dresser, etc., so I took down all my washi tape stripes.

And now I regret it. 🙁


It’s just kinda … blah now. But I guess that’s the good thing about washi tape; you can just slap it back up there on the wall!

campaign-tabletop Campaign-After-detail

All’s well that ends well, I suppose. What do you think – should I re-stripe the walls? Or do something different?


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