Yes, this could work as a buffet or sideboard
I've seen on various sites where people have re-purposed bedroom clothes dressers as a sideboard/buffet/credenza etc.
Our apartment is being repainted and the oak floors are being redone. It's a 1938 building in a historic landmark neighborhood (first garden apartments in the US opened here around WWI era). My wife refinished her grandmother's dresser and chest of drawers set for the bedroom - they have a mahogany veneer and date from ca. 1940 (they were a wedding gift) so they do kind of fit in.
My own dresser was a freebie from someone I helped move about 25 years ago - it looks like ca. 1960 to me; limed mahogany veneer, partial solid wood construction...it definitely could use a refinish and it does NOT go with the BR stuff so we were thinking of putting it either in the living room or perhaps as a buffet next to the dining table.
I think it kinda looks too cheesy and because it has no legs, it screams 'dresser', as opposed to older, better quality dressers with distinct legs that can pull off this new role. Also, not to be a snob, but I really kind of hate veneers. I'd like to chuck this, my wife thinks it could work.
What do the Loungers think?
Last edited by pgoat; 02-08-2012 at 11:39 AM.
There's only one question - does it look right to you to use it there? If so, do it. There aren't furniture police now who'll swoop in and arrest you for using the "wrong" furniture in the "wrong" room - and I don't imagine there were back in the day either. Do what works for you and enjoy.
If in doubt - overdress.
Why dont you add legs to it to make it fit the style and era that you want it to represent?
well, I guess it looks right to my wife, wrong to me Not that I'm looking to you guys to settle an argument, and I know there's no harm in using it...but was wondering if there were any insights out there that could sway us either way.
I'm intrigued by the notion of adding legs except that I am not-so-terribly-handy and am wondering if this piece is too heavy for legs...although it's fairly light as dressers go.
That's a late-forties/early-fifties item -- I have almost the exact same bedroom set myself, and veneer it may be, but mine, at least, seems very very heavy -- so much so that I'd think you'd need to put cast iron legs under it to hold it up. Sears and Roebuck sold a ton of that type of furniture, so it isn't rare or scarce, but it's very sturdily built and it'd be a shame to toss it out if you could reasonably use it in some other room. So by all means, make it a sideboard.
I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight. -- Malcolm X
My parents live in a home built in the 1820s. Several of the built-ins were former dressers, based upon how they were built and how they don't match everything else in the built in. So... there's a long history of doing this.
You always need more drawers in a dining room, to hold tablecloths, napkins, silverware, etc. You can even put light-weight serving pieces in drawers.
I also hate veneer, overall, and have decided to only invest in non-veneer pieces now. This might not be a popular opinion, but if the veneer really bothers you, you could try stripping/ peeling the veneer off. Some pieces have good quality plywood underneath that can be stained. The other thing I would recommend is that you look into some of the stains and polishes that can help you to "reawaken" furniture and restore the finish (somewhat) without a total refinish. I'm not sure if it would work on a piece like this, I know my parents used just regular "Old English Dark" polish on a veneered piece of mine and it came out lovely. A third option is to recover the piece in a different type of veneer.
Progress: Going from being able to "hear a pin drop" to "can you hear me now?"
Wow, I didn't realize that it was that old, Lizzie. Interesting...that came from my sister's ex in Law School...it was his grandmother's and came with a large ca. 1960 BW console TV that had belonged to her so I assumed they were from the same era.
Last edited by pgoat; 02-08-2012 at 01:24 PM.
Thanks for your thoughts sheeplady. Oddly enough, the floors had been done in a glossy amber PU finish; we just had them done in a more natural satin finish, so they are blonder now (as you can see in the dresser photos) and it matches the dresser nicely.
We had some wooden window sills installed in the bay area (the original metal sills were rusted through) - here is a photo, before the walls were painted the coffee color in the dresser pics and we have since given the wooden window sills a darker cherry stain; we planned to do our coffee table (Solid pine) in the same finish, so maybe the dresser can get the same cherry stain treatment...
On the other hand, I think I could maybe see it as is, cleaned up a bit and as a sideboard/buffet in the dining area with a nice covering on top. My wife definitely wants more storage there for the DR table, and we previously had a pine "Ivar" shelf unit from Ikea (shudder - they were nice when we were college students, but we've looked at them enough now). I think this could be a bit nicer...We had originally planned to use the dresser in the LR with a stereo on top and DVDs, etc in the drawers. I rather like the idea of it used for dining stuff, with some of our depression glass and possibly a decanter or two of good bourbon on top much better.
I am just not sure how well the dresser's veneers would refinish, or how good the underlying plywood would look. Btw, you can see the darker original wood floor stain in the bay window photo.
Last edited by pgoat; 02-08-2012 at 01:28 PM.
I'm with Edward and Lizzie on this one, 'goat. If it works for you and your wife, then it works.
And in my book there's nothing "wrong" with veneer. I happen to have a veneered office credenza I use as a sideboard of sorts. It looks right and it works well. I'm happy to have it.