ADVENTURES IN GOLD LEAFING: IKEA BRIMNES DRESSER

Brimnes 3 Drawer Dresser | Ikea Hack

Ikea Brimnes Dresser | DIY Gold Handles

SIGH. ADVENTURES IN gold leafing.

I bought the Ikea Brimnes 3 Drawer Chest* when I moved into my first apartment here in Vancouver. It wasn’t a piece I loved or coveted, I chose it because it was cheap ($99), white and would fit tucked away nicely, inside my closet at the time. I assure you this piece was never meant to be part of my “bedroom furniture”. Alas, when I moved, the chest moved with me, and, as if it was somehow scheming against me, found it’s way into the spotlight. If a piece of furniture could mock you, this one does it every time I walk into the room.

Brimnes Chest: 1 | Me: 0

Randomly over the weekend I was inspired to give this guy a mini-makeover. I don’t know where the idea came from but I thought it might be kind of cool if I made the handles gold. Normally I would just spray paint it but I decided to try my hand in gold leafing instead. The task was small enough (and low commitment) that if it failed miserably I planned on buying entirely new knobs. If it succeeded… well, then, I suddenly had a few other projects that could also use a little leafing love.

Ikea Brimnes Dresser | DIY Gold Handles

Straight from a gold leaf rookie’s mouth: patience is key. I wouldn’t say it’s hard to do but it’s very finicky. Surprising to most, I’m actually not a perfectionist at all. I’m more of an immediate-gratification-ist. So I have a tendency to move quickly through projects and almost always mess something up. In this case it was that I accidentally used the adhesive again instead of the sealer in the final step. Such a sticky mess.

Ikea Brimnes Dresser | DIY Gold Handles

Thankfully it ended up not being too big of a deal (I just sealed on top of the sticky to see what happened and it worked fine enough). There are some parts of the handles that are a bit tacky to the touch but whatever… I never claimed to be a professional gold leafer, so there.

Brimnes Chest: 0 | Me: 1
(but if we’re dishing out points to the gold leaf I probably lost that battle. Or maybe tied.)

I’m pretty pumped with how it turned out. I certainly love this little chest of drawers more than I used to (which was not at all) so that’s a win!

*it looks like Ikea has since changed the design of the Brimnes series.

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IKEA HACK: BESTA SHELF TO TV STAND

Ikea Hack: Besta Shelf turned TV stand | LITTLE LESSY

I’M INTERRUPTING THIS post for a very important public service announcement: the internet and digital age does a very good job of masking the less impressive parts of peoples lives and magnifying the perfect parts. Try to imagine what life looks like beyond that square frame and filter… it’s probably not that pretty – it’s life.

My confession? I went 4 months living with my tv parked on a cardboard box. GASP!

And now that you know the real reason you haven’t been privy to a full apartment tour I hope we can move past that because things are looking up!

One commitment I made to myself when I moved into this apartment was to not rush into furnishing it. To take my time finding pieces that were exactly what I was looking for; to be okay with cardboard furniture for a little while. I wanted to do my place pretty but I also wanted to do it on a dime.

When I was trying to figure out what I was going to put my TV on, the biggest challenge I was up against was that I didn’t want the media table to stick out further than my door frame. I only had about 15″ to work with in depth and most standard pieces of furniture are something closer to 18″.

I’d just about given up (hey, the box was almost starting to look hipster-chic) when I stumbled into the AS-IS section at Ikea last week and saw this white little piece sitting on the ground in all it’s glory (The Besta). It was white, it was thin, it was built and it was $22.50 ($45.00 reg). FOR SERIOUS. I tried to think of the last time I bought something for under 25 dollars and all I could think of was lunch… and even that seemed to be pushing it some days.

For that price I figured it was a good enough solution (better than my box) and even if I only used it for 6 months it’d be worth every dollar and far less embarrassing. Besides I had a few ideas in my head on how to make it look like less like a random shelf sitting on the ground.

Ikea hack:  Besta shelf to TV stand

I purchased 4, 8″ tapered legs from Home Depot, and was relieved to find that their screw top fit perfectly into the existing Ikea holes on the shelf. I then stained the legs in a dark walnut (the same colour I used for this project and this project) to match the rest of the furniture in the apartment. Because my place is 500,000 years old and very slanty I had to shove 2 felt furniture stickers under the front two legs to make the unit more stable. This, I should add, is an art I’m becoming quite skilled at because most things in my place are seemingly off-balance. In hindsight I think I would have been better off with 6″ legs to lower the centre of gravity a bit (especially because the piece is so thin).

All in all the project cost me about $45.00 and was ridiculously easy to do. I’m super stoked with the outcome and it matches the evolving esthetic of my place perfectly.

What do you think? Crafty or what?

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NEW KICKS FOR KARLSTAD: A MINI IKEA HACK

Ikea Hack - Karlstad CouchKarlstad Ikea Couch Makeoveroh hey there, Les…x2 – no you’re not seeing double… just an epic photo fail…

IN THE PAST 3 years I’ve lived in 3 apartments in 2 different provinces. I got a lot out of these moves including how to utilize your grandfather’s food importing and distributing business to ship your belongings across the country (on a dime). I also learned that I have so. much. stuff and that when you’re 20-something, things can change pretty rapidly. Your job, your location, your taste – you’d think I have commitment issues.

Luckily I recognized this (relatively) quickly so by the time I was moving into my current apartment I knew that I shouldn’t impulse buy furniture (bad, bad idea) and that even though that West Elm couch is TO DIE FOR – no 24-year old needs a $3000 couch especially when tomorrow’s a mystery.

So, while couch shopping this time around I decided to keep it simple and succumb to an affordable Ikea couch (the Karlstad, to be exact). Wah-Wah. The caveat of course, was that it would require a little updating (seriously those block feet are brutal!).

Ikea Karlstad Couch

Enter, Uncle Bobs Workshop – this awesome guy online who specializes in making trendier replacement legs for Ikea couches. I ordered the round tapered ones with an unfinished stain so that I could match the colour to my last project.

New Ikea Legs for Karlstad Couch

The legs were super inexpensive, but I did have to wait a short lifetime (3 months) for them to arrive in the mail – which was absolute torture because if you know me you know that when I get my mind onto something I want it RIGHT. NOW. 

Ikea Karlstad Couch with Updated Legs

I actually can’t believe how big of a difference such a small update made. I’m super into the mid-century feel the tapered kicks give the couch. I’ve also considered giving the cushions a little tufted-lovin’ but I’m not ready to commit to that just yet. Plus, over brunch, some friends gave me a butt-load of reasons why tufted couches suck – reasons I won’t be publicly sharing on this blog.

Now, to adorn this beauty in some black and white throw pillows…

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