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Room Makeover After: Dresser

Dresser: Before

Dresser: Before

Dresser: After

Dresser: After

I decided to break the Room Makeover: After into a few sections, since there really is a dramatic overall change to several areas of my room. I spent as little money as possible, and tried to work with what I had while still maintaining a relatively clutter-free space (difficult in such a tiny room!). This is the first installment, when I look at something as simple as my dresser and how it can be totally transformed.

Now, this dresser has been in my family for two generations, meaning that my mother acquired it when she was 12 years old. Needless to say, I was certainly not allowed to get rid of it or even to paint it in any way. This is one of many pieces in my bedroom in which I had to ‘work with what I had’.

Upon my friend’s suggestion, an easy fix to make this piece look less cumbersome was to remove the clunky mirror. I stored this in the back of my closet so I’ve got a weird, mirror effect every time I part my clothes (just another excuse to stare at myself??). I instead replaced it with a mirror that I already had lying around from Jysk, and since it had cool candle holders at the bottom, it doubled as a way of showcasing my chunkier jewels. In addition, I added tiny little tacks to the left side of the mirror (after following this tutorial) for my dainty necklaces. It showcases them and looks clean and easily accessible, since these are the pieces I tend to reach for daily.

The mirror doubles as a jewelry display

The mirror doubles as a jewelry display

Dainty necklace hanger!

Dainty necklace hanger!

The top of the dresser was difficult for me; I was so accustomed to having it as a storage place for anything and everything (please note the Before photos). With the idea of clean lines, simplicity, and a little fun in mind, I took my old elephant teapot and turned it into a bracelet holder. The books that he’s sitting atop are old ones from my childhood, and add a playful, vintage vibe.

Who doesn't love an elephant and The Hardy Boys?

Who doesn’t love an elephant and The Hardy Boys?

I’m not big on perfume, so it was easy to group them together on this sheer turquoise soap dish. I added one of my great grandmother’s vintage brooches for an extra sparkle.

My picks? Clinique's discontinued 'Simply', Bath and Body Works Vanilla sugar spray, and aerie stuff.

My picks? Clinique’s discontinued ‘Simply’, Bath and Body Works Vanilla sugar spray, and aerie stuff.

Inside the dresser I had a bit of a revolution. I didn’t take before photos, so you’ll have to trust me on this, but clothing was crammed into every last corner. Since looking up how to fold clothes differently, I saved about a drawer and a half of space, and was able to move my makeup organization to the top drawer, saving on dresser top space. I added some gold wrapping paper, as well as some clear acrylic containers (inspired by this post by curls and cosmetics), to store makeup bits in. I also had some extra plates and bowls lying around that are now storage for hair elastics and extra baubles.

Cozy and golden.

Cozy and golden.

Finally, to address my sunglasses collection, I purchased a drawer organizing clear tray as a display. My earrings were organized using an empty picture frame and an awesome lace scarf (so very pretty!). Again, this is Part 1, so I will keep you posted as things continue!!

Also: bear rug rings.

Also: bear rug rings.



  1. Wow, what great ideas, I am SO inspired right now! I have so much jewelry, etc., jumbled in various boxes; it breaks and I lose it. I love the idea of re-purposing the tea pot and soap bar holder. And my make-up drawer needs a serious overall. My clutter is hidden from surfaces, but still a strong presence. Thank you and I love what you have done!

    • Jess A

      Thank you so much for all the compliments! Let me know if you redo it, and please show pictures!

  2. The first thing that caught my attention was the Hardy Boys book! 😀 It looks great. Maybe it will inspire me to declutter. My neighbor’s having a yard sale in a few weeks, gives me good reason to get rid of stuff.

    • Jess A

      Yes, do it! It made me breathe easier.

      And I will always have a soft spot for Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew-esque novels. So cheesy and fun.

      • I LOVE those. 🙂 I must admit I will read one at random times. Reverts me back to my awesome childhood. haha

        When I realized that some of the stories printed before 1962 had different story lines than the ones I grew up reading, I started collecting the really old ones (not all are different). lol I’m a librarian by day…so books are kinda a thing with me. 🙂

  3. Korin

    Jess, I kinda love the dresser as is- it’s really charming!

    • Jess A

      Thanks Korin! I’m glad I didn’t change it too much.

  4. Janelle H

    Love the changes, you’ve given me some ideas. 🙂

    • Jess A

      Thank you! I’ve been adoring it for a while but was unsure how to showcase it. Elephant trunks make for amazing bracelet hangers!

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