A Vintage Dresser

This is the companion piece to my vintage vanity-a long dresser with lots ‘o drawers (and LOTS ‘o knobs!)  I’m not very good at making decisions, so knob-wise, I went through many options. 5, to be exact. Everyone goes through trial and error when it comes to design, so I thought I’d share the evolution of this piece. My Mom picked this set up at a thrift store many years back-consisting of the dresser, the vanity and mirror, a headboard, and a bookcase. Here’s how it all started (in my parent’s house), with it’s original green color and knobs I really did not enjoy:

It was even missing a knob on the side there. Nice.

So I painted it white and moved it to my apartment in the city. Following my first instinct, I put the same white Rosy Knob on it that I have on my vanity:

This was when I first moved in-still working out the decor situation!

 Then I thought, hmm, maybe a pop of color would be better. Maybe the white is boring. And Anthro had the knobs in a few fun colors, so I tried teal:

Then pink:

I didn’t like the shades of the teal or the pink, so I went to Anthro and fell in love with a few of their black and white options. I chose this one:

I actually kept that for a few months. But I never really loved it, then I got totally bored of it. I felt like it needed a touch of metallic, so I went back again and got this:

I thought I would like the gold hardware in the middle, but for some reason it didn’t look right to me. Keep in mind this dresser has (count ’em) 17 knobs-versus other pieces of furniture, which usually have about two to six. So changing them out a million times was a bit of a project. But when it comes to design, I know when something’s right and when it’s not, and I just never felt any of these options were right. Until I came to my current decision, which I am totally and completely happy with:

Surprise, surprise! After ALL that, I went back to the original white. I thought I needed a pop of color in the knobs, but as it turns out, there are so very many knobs on this piece that the colored ones looked overwhelming and just off. The white knobs have impact  by virtue of their large size, but the fact that they’re white allows them to blend in and just lend a textural quality to the piece. I’m glad I tried all the different hardware though, so that way I know I’m happy with what I have. Also, Anthropologie is awesome because they have no time limit on returns, so I never had any problem returning the hardware I changed my mind about! Lucky for me. 

An aside: I totally wanted to do handles on the bottom drawers, but unfortunately there’s a non-standard distance between the two holes, so I couldn’t easily find handles that fit. And I was not interested in whippin’ out the drill and spackle (neither of which I have) to drill new holes and fill the old ones. So knobs it is, and I love the neutral look!

Leave a Comment

  1. Lisa Marie wrote:

    I love the white. This post is the precise reason behind my fear of change. I too continually evolve, shop, and change things around until they are just perfect. But because I am usually so drained and confused half of the time this is going on, I get paralyzed and just stop trying altogether. I also find that my first choice is usually what I end up going with.

    I love your dΓ©cor and style. Perfection!

    Lisa Marie

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
    • Thank you so much Lisa Marie! You're so sweet. I'm the same way, sometimes becoming paralyzed with fear of making a wrong design decision/purchase. That's why I love changing out little things like these knobs-changes the whole look, yet easily reversible and in no way permanent! Less commitment πŸ™‚

      Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  2. I swear to god, we have the same exact taste! I love that MadeByGirl print too, she is amazing πŸ™‚ You are so lucky to have it…

    XX Kathryn


    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  3. What a beautiful piece! I think you chose well.

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  4. sampenner wrote:

    Oh my goodness Jackie you are such a fantastic decorista! I love the rose knobs and Made by Girl artwork. Simply divine!



    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  5. love the flowers in the last one!

    xoxo navy & orange

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  6. bevy wrote:

    I think you chose wisely. But what happened to the original pulls? I kinda liked those, but maybe painted white or a muted silver???

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
    • Thanks Bevy! The original pulls were sort of nice, but they were made of some sort of brass or metal material and I think I was scared to paint that-I've heard you're not supposed to paint hardware because it winds up chipping. I could definitely be mistaken on that though!

      Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  7. alexi 101 wrote:

    So so cute! The white rose ones are my favorite. Anthropologie has THE best knobs. I recently put some crystal Anthro knobs on my nightstand. It's amazing how simply changing out the knobs makes something look so completely different.

    xx, alexi

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  8. Holly wrote:

    I think you picked right! I love all the knobs you tried, but those last ones look perfect! I'm thinking of re-doing a file cabinet, so thanks for the tip about Anthro for knobs and pulls!

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  9. I love that!! xoxo

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  10. Leslie wrote:

    You did such a great job styling the space! I love your finished product, even though it went through a few transformations. πŸ™‚

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  11. Rebecca wrote:

    Very cool piece of furniture!

    Published 1.25.12 · Reply
  12. I love it, soo amazing. It's amazing.


    Published 1.26.12 · Reply
  13. I love this piece , it turned out beautiful. Fixing up furniture is one of my favorite things to do. I can't wait for garage sale season .

    Published 1.26.12 · Reply
  14. Great decision-love the pop of texture. And the Coca and Hearts piece adds just the color you need. The styling looks fabulous! xo

    Published 1.26.12 · Reply
  15. Dorothy wrote:

    Love how you transform my furniture. That piece never had it so good. Great job honey!

    Published 1.29.12 · Reply
  16. Great call, they look fabulous! Too funny, trying all those knobs!

    Published 2.9.12 · Reply
  17. Mary wrote:

    This is great. I have a dresser that's in my garage… waiting for it's transformation which I started last summer! I'm hoping spring comes quickly, so I can start in on it and finish!!

    Published 2.9.12 · Reply