Monthly Archives: August 2013

1930’s Norman Bel Geddes for Simmons Metal Dresser


DSCN2040Talk about the score the the century…or rather the past century!!! I was recently driving down a road near a friend’s house when I spotted a super cute dresser just baking in someone’s front lawn. There was no sign, so I started talking to the neighbor. She suggested that I leave my name and number on a note, so I did. After dreaming of owning the dresser that night, I woke up with a plan in mind. I drove back to check on the dresser. It was still in the front of the house. I went up and knocked on the door. No reply. So, I whipped out my colorful paper and colorful envelope…and penned a clever note expressing my interest (once again) in this piece. Keep in mind I didn’t want to sound too interested, but interested enough to have them call me. Anywho, I got a call this afternoon. The girlfriend of the person who called me back wanted $20.00 for it. “That sounds good. I’ll be over shortly.” I enlisted some lifting and transporting assistance, as well as a storage location (for the time being). The guy helped us load the dresser. I learned how to take the cool drawers out. It fit in the van just perfectly. It is now just waiting patiently for me to get to work on it. I’m not planning on changing much. I plan to clean the entire thing, lube the drawer tracks, secure the drawer pulls, W-D 40 some rust spots, and maybe put a coat of Nu Finish ( on it.

Here is a link to more info on the designer, Norman Bel Geddes:

So, to make a long story even longer, I totally scored a 1930’s Simmons Metal Dresser designed by Norman Bel Geddes.  I believe it still has its original paint job.  In case it hasn’t been made clear, this dresser is made of metal (I think it weighs about 80lbs).  How crazy cool is that?!  It has the wooden drawer tracks, awesome knobs, rounded top edges, and all of its feet.  I truly feel like I own an amazing piece of history. Have I mentioned how excited I am to have found, researched, and bought this particular dresser!  So dog-gone retro I just can’t stop looking at it!  Makes me not want to sell it. We’ll see…













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Veneer/Laminate Removal



A few days ago, I went online to see how I could remove veneer/laminate from the top and sides of the record cabinet I’ve been working on. Most of the sites I viewed mentioned that an old iron, wet rag, and putty knife would do the job. I was expecting to spend some time on this piece of this project, but not close to SEVEN hours. To top it off, I’m still not done with the last 1/3 of the second side. The picture is of today’s work shortly before I called it quits…as it was getting dark. Goodness gracious, can’t anything be simple anything but a challenge and learning experience?! I know I’ll love it in the end, but right now, this is a waste of my time and $$.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I cut myself with my putty knife when I was scraping, so now I’ve got a bloody dominate hand.  Boo!

Here’s something positive, I figured out how I want to install the whole shelf deal. Fairly simple in concept, but I don’t have a lot of the tools that you’d need to get it done. So, yet another standstill. Alas.

Nightstand: Before & After



I can finally say that I’ve finished something this summer. Just posted the nightstand/end table that I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. As if I haven’t had enough new things arise during the process…I couldn’t get the drawer pull back in the little holes, which meant that the screws would reach. Alas, got out the drill and went to work clearing out the holes a bit. I ended-up scraping a bit of the new paint off of the part of the drawers pull that goes into the hole. No trouble, but just felt like I was ruining something I had spent so long on. Hope to find it a new home before too long. Yes, of course I would love to keep it, but I only have so much room for this furniture I’ve been working on.

Couldn’t resist an additional custom touch (or two) with some coordinating (yet neutral) shelf liner.  You’ll also notice that the nightstand has lost it’s crazy casters.  I replaced them with leveling feet (which it didn’t actually need), but definitely give it a finished look…and they aren’t plastic!  As always, worth the work in the end.

SOLD: 3/25/2014

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Furniture Feature Friday

Record Cabinet Ideas


While working on my other projects, I figured I’d do a little searching online of what I envision the mid-century record cabinet becoming. I’m thinking something like this: OR, maybe something like this:—Mayan-Mocha-modern-side-tables-and-accent-tables-san-diego. Today, we removed the dividers. I plan to keep the backing. So, an open box with maybe a shelf? And then I came across this:  Looks like more work, but seems pretty functional.  That’s what I’m thinking today.

Mid-Century Record Cabinet



As if I don’t have enough projects awaiting my attention…today I found yet another. I saw that there was a garage sale nearby today…with a driveway just full of stuff. Anywho, walked over there after lunch and found this mid-century record cabinet. The garage sale person wanted $4.00, so of course, I had to think about it. I went home, thought about it, looked online for inspiration, and went back to pick it up…only to find that the sale was closed. I was walking toward the door when a resident came out. I expressed my interest in the record cabinet and handed over my $4.00.

Not quite sure of the direction I am going to go with it, but have found a bunch that I like online. So, the possibilities are nearly endless. And, yes, the doors are missing. I really think this piece has some good potential.   Just look at those classic tapered legs!  I’m thinking of loosing the dividing slats and putting in a shelf.  From what I’ve seen online, I like the look of different paint colors outside/inside.  That’s what I’m thinking.  Stay tuned for a progress report.

And, yes, that is the wood slat table folded-up in the background.

Wood Slat Patio Table


Patio Table;Before

Patio TableI came across this little number last weekend. There was a garage sale in the neighborhood…and a FREE pile the next day. So, I pulled this wood slat patio table from the pile. It folds up nice and neat…which is convenient with other projects currently taking up space.  Upon researching the piece online, I’ve found it may be similar the adirondack style furniture that is all over the place right now.

Yah, it has some structural damage, but I’m already in the works with how to repair that problem.

The next question: What color should I paint it?  To be followed by: What have I gotten myself into?

Winter 2012/13 Trip Projects


1376172253098_resizedThis past winter (2012/13), I spent some time in TN with my sister and niece. While I was there, I figured I might as well do a project or two during my stay. In the picture collage, you’ll see a cute little retro night stand in the green I’ve used on other pieces…complete with black knobs. I got the nightstand at a local thrift shop 50% off, which made it a steal. The sturdy dresser was done for my niece in the same green with turquoise handles. I was wondering how the handles would take the spray paint, but they seem to be holding up just fine. My sister and I got the dresser off of Craigslist (one of my favorite places to find things). It had a terrible smoke smell that literally took months to get rid of. But, a little elbow grease, baking soda, vinegar, and dryer sheets…all is well.