Turning a dresser into a media stand

Last we’d left off with our newest family member Craigslist find, I’d just divulged the story of a sweet, sweet man who’d sold me this lovely mid-century Bassett dresser and made my New Years complete…

I knew immediately that I wanted this beauty to serve as a media stand in our living room, so we tried him out in the space to be sure he’d work.  As anticipated, I LOVED the result (He fit right in.  Made friends immediately.), so we got to work transforming him into a media stand.

We began by removing those wooden mirror supports (shown in the pic above).  Then, Joey drilled large holes in the back of both the dresser and the top drawers to allow space for wires to escape and ventilation to ensue…


Then, we purchased this puppy for $30 from Radioshack…

This IR repeater allows you to hide your media equipment behind closed drawers (or doors… whatever floats your boat) while still being able to operate the remote control.  The only external evidence of this smart little device is a small eye which is attached to the TV….

I have to say, it works pretty well.  Not perfect by any means, but that’s okay.  We have to point the remote at crazy angles sometimes to get it to work, but really, it hasn’t been much of an inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.  I’ll gladly take a little remote control gymnastics over having our media equipment exposed.

All-in-all, when we purchased it, the dresser was in pretty good shape.  Some scratches and imperfections in the finish (which is to be expected of a 50+ year old dresser) and three small missing areas of veneer on the side (Note: I’d already “blended” the missing areas in the middle and left of this pic when I snapped this shot… they were quite light-colored and glaring prior to this)….

To help camouflage these areas, I simply used some oil pastels…

And simply layered and blended the colors until I had a close enough match…

I tried using stain and a permanent marker prior to this, but neither worked well.  The oil pastels were great because I could just keep layering and adding color until I achieved a match.  And the more I added, the smoother the areas looked and the more they matched the dresser in terms of texture as well as color.   In the end, I was left with this…


It’s not perfect, but these areas definitely blend much more.  I barely notice them from afar.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the camera makes these spots appear more noticeable than they are in person.  So squint when you look at these shots.  Heehee!  I will say that prior to using pastels, the missing veneer grated at my nerves every time I walked past.  Now, I barely see it.  So, we’re cool. Thus, I’ve placed the stink-eye back into hibernation mode…


And here’s our dresser in action…


COULDN’T.LOVE.IT.MORE.   It’s like this dresser was born to reside in our living room.   It takes up less space than our previous media cabinet, thus, makes the room feel bigger.  And it balances the console table on the opposite side of the space perfectly.  Plus, the era of the dresser suits the 1970’s vibe of the room better than its more modern predecessor.  I heart you, dresser.  You sexy, sexy beast.

As for our living room…. it’s definitely coming along, though there’s still more to do.   I’m on a perpetual hunt for a larger rug for the space.  Our little postage stamp of a 5×8 just isn’t cutting it…

This space is quite cavernous compared to the smaller, cozy living room in our last house.  And I love it, but the decor needs definitely change when the scale of the room does.  I’m currently on the lookout for a rug large enough to fit the entire couch on top of it (likely a 9×12), so wish me luck with that.  Big rug, decent quality, little price tag.  This is my mission.  Well, my secondary mission.   I’m also putting forth effort to de-brown the space.  I realize that this makes no sense being that I just moved a new brown piece of furniture into the room, but hear me out…

Since taking these pics, I’ve finished painted the built-ins beside the fireplace and am now in the process of putting everything back together.  I’m giddy each time I see it.  Y’all… painting it was SO the right decision.  I can’t wait to show you.   The rug that I ultimately choose won’t be in the brown family either –possibly grey undertones or something with a pop of color.   Then, I’m tossing around the idea of moving the coffee table into the hang-out room and replacing it with something either white or with a pop of color (depending on the rug we end up with).  Or maybe a sleek glass table would be nice.  Something with a metal base.   My next painting project will be to paint the wet bar cabinets (seen two pictures up) white to match our new-and-improved built-ins.  Ultimately, I want the only major brown items in the room to be the fireplace and the media stand.  The two items that deserve the attention most.  I also have some crazy-cool artwork that needs to be hung around the television.

I know it seems like a lot when I’m listing it off in writing, but this stuff really excites me, so it doesn’t seem like much to me at all.  I think the biggest thing will be simply FINDING the rug.  The rest will come together after that.

So, anyways, that’s the plan, Stan!  I hope everyone has a safe and fabulous Superbowl weekend!!   What projects do you have going right now??

TDC Before and After

8 thoughts on “Turning a dresser into a media stand

    • Thanks, MB! I totally remember yours, too! (Mid-century pieces somehow get etched into my brain… haha!) It looks so great in your space along with your ($50 , was it?) sofa (!!!). The deals you find never cease to amaze me. 🙂

    • I’ll check it out!! Thanks! That’s a great idea with the drop-down drawer! We talked about doing that if the IR repeater didn’t work, but luckily it did (so we got to be lazy…heehee!). Agreed that dressers are so much better than many standard TV stands… much more room and countless options for style and function! 🙂

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