A Cheery Dresser Refresh

Taking down the holiday decorations and beginning a new year is often a great time to do a bit of restyling. One of the ways we are restyling is by doing a simple dresser refresh in our master bedroom. It had begun to feel cluttered with keys, pencils, and the other random knick-knacks that end up emptied from my pockets after work, and what better place to restyle than a dresser that you see first thing in the morning and right before bed in the evening?

Before we dive in, here is a reminder of how our dresser looked like. We liked it, but it was time for an update. Plus, we wanted to share our styling tips with you here, making this a win win. Because we have a lot of original wood trim and flooring in our home, we have to be careful to keep things from feeling too heavy or even too warm when we think about styling our space. Our dresser is a vintage piece from the 1950’s that belonged to Amber’s great-grandparents, and while we love it dearly, it is also wood. This means we have to be even more cautious about the way we style the piece. Honestly, when it comes to dressers, consoles, tables, etc., regardless of the piece’s color, a lot of the styling is simply about breaking up a large and visually heavy piece of furniture. No matter how interesting the lines of the dresser are, good styling creates interest and moves the eye around the piece and the room in general.


Now for the specifics.


With a wood dresser, we find that bringing in certain colors tends to really balance out the warmth of all the wood tones. For instance, we rarely bring in a lot of dark, warm colors. We bring in warmth through softer, muted warm tones and by layering contrasting textures throughout the space. Specifically, we find lighter, pastel tones really compliment wood and tend to give everything a bright, upscale look when executed correctly. In our case, we really want our bedroom to feel tranquil, elegant, and sophisticated, so we chose to stick with a fairly monochromatic palette of blues. In any color palette, but especially when in comes to using primarily one color, it is important to make sure there are lighter tones as well as darker, more vibrant tones of that particular color to keep it from feeling stagnant and dated. You can see how we have a range of blues, from baby blue to the richer blue found in the candles. The stack of white magazines, aside from making nightly reading material readily accessible, give the eye a resting place and provide great contrast to all the blues (who doesn’t love classic blue and white!?), while also bringing in another cool tone against the wood.

Peppering in some vintage or collected pieces keeps the space interesting and gives it that worn, lived-in look that can be strangely hard to achieve. The crystal candlestick holders, the trinket box, and jewelry plate are all vintage or collected items. The crystal candlestick holders add additional texture and also feel light and sophisticated in this space. The horse trinket box is vintage and something we found on Cherish, and the lid makes it easy to quickly hide away keys and change. Our white plate holding jewelry is from a ceramicist, Bjarni Sigurdsson, we have loved for quite some time and were fortunate enough to meet in Iceland a few summers ago.

Lastly, bringing in an organic element remains a key factor in bringing life and interest to any space. In this case, we chose to bring in gorgeous roses that we bought at, wait for it… Kroger. If you are curious how we got our Kroger roses to look this good, come back for our tutorial this Thursday. It is seriously an art form that everyone should know about because it makes a HUGE difference, particularly when styling a space quickly, on a budget, or in a location where you don’t have access to an abundance of fresh flowers.


Pro tip: using a clear, footed vase can really take on a sculptural element and add interest and drama to a vignette when used appropriately, particularly when holding flowers with longer stems (think roses, hydrangeas, peonies, tulips, etc.).

There you have it, our dresser is feeling mighty refreshed. Brightening up the styling in this space helps to bring a bit of cheer to a sometimes drab time of year. Never underestimate the power of hitting the refresh button, even with things you already own. What areas of your home are you refreshing recently?






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  • That is one classy dresser! The different colors work incredibly well together, and I definitely know what you mean about too much clutter. (Just don’t ask about my desk. Haha!) From one East Tennessean to another (I live in Cleveland), it looks awesome.