(n.) Cabindo: A condo on a lake, among tall old trees. Half cabin, half condo. My first home. This is a running journal of the renovations, projects, and general shoestring budget craziness.

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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Entertainment Center Has Landed

Craigslist did me a solid and finally produced an antique, mid-century modern dresser in shabby enough condition to be given away for free.
I drove all the way from NoVa to Capitol Hill on a Nationals game day to get it: and it is worth every bad word that flew out of my mouth on 395 (you DC people will know what I mean). Ie. its the $hit.

Let me back up and regale you with the 5 other possible entertainment centers I went through first.

1. The large and in charge wardrobe that got sold on Craigslist.
- Too big and underutilized.

2. The tall red bedside table.
- Goes much better in the bedroom, from whence it came. Good fill-in during the search.

3. The long glass console table.
- Glass top and gold-tone bamboo legs. Really pretty and on-trend. Wide as a boat and has never found a good home over 9 months of floating from wall to wall in the living room. Am giving to a friend, hopefully. I can't seem to get her to take it home though, so if anyone wants it; let me know.

Up against the wall.

4. The pressed wood n 'metal' 90's special.
- The picture looked great and the people were too nice for me to change my mind on once I saw it in person. It went straight from the car to the curb. Luckily, it was kept out of the dump by a fellow Craigslist stalker.

Said curb alert post 5 minutes after I got back home.

5. The night stand with clean-ish lines.
-It was ok, but underwhelming. I stared at this one for a week and contemplated how I could redo it, but was not sold and curbed it the second I secured the mid-century piece.

Pardon the awesome Craigslist posting photo. 


Then, enter this beautiful mid-century modern dresser:

Hey you, yeah you sitting on Craigslist 'free' page. Where you been all my life?

I love the peg legs, rounded edges, integrated wooden handles, and overall simplicity. It's classic mid-century, without being overwrought or too big for my living room.
While it's beautiful as a dresser, it's form, size, and # of drawers lends well to being converted into an entertainment center.

It was being given away by a really nice British lady, who's tenants had left a bunch of furniture when they moved out. It looked a bit rough, but I think thats how I was lucky enough to get it for nada.

The 'made it free' finish was dirty, dingy, scratched, and stained.

In my excitement, I'd already sanded one side here.

I started sanding with an 80 grit sandpaper on a corner to see what the wood underneath looked like, and was instantly rewarded.


I completely sanded the whole thing twice (80 then 120 grit).

I believe it is maple.
Whatever it is; it's grain is much better than, say barley.
Har, har. Terrible 'joke', I know.

The grain of the wood popped out and was beeeeautiful. Theres plenty of dark and mid tone wood in my dining room, so I decided not to stain this piece at all. A thin layer semi-gloss of polycrylic was instantly absorbed by the thirsty old wood. Dry; it is just barely glossy in the sunlight and manages to look both antique and modern. Which clearly, is my thing.

big change in the wood

The details of the piece were even prettier once it shed the old opaque finish.

Ahhh. Those handles were a PAIN but so worth it.

As for how it became an awesome entertainment center as opposed to a beautiful dresser: just remove a drawer.
I did finish all the drawers together though, so that if I want to use it as a dresser one day, the whole thing will match.

With the top drawer gone, theres plenty of room to put in cable box, dvd player, internet modem, remotes, wires, random junk, a sleepy cat, DVD's, an elf, etc. Ya know, just the basics.

The simplicity of the dresser's form helps it to not be overwhelmed by the various stuff in the top space. Placing it perpendicular to a window also helps, as without direct sunlight into the top space, all the stuff stays shady and visually recedes.

Now to figure out how to hide those cords on the wall.


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