Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Indecisive Land of Limbo

It's inspiring to wander the blogosphere and enjoy the talent of so many champions of salvaged style as they whip up a new serving of revamped fabulousness everyday, isn't it? People are ├╝ber talented and so willing to share their ideas, and their tips too. Gotta love that! And those ideas could come in handy sometime. Sometime like, oh, I don't know... how about today?

I will admit that I have acquired a mad case of junk adventure, if that's even a thing. (ha, you know it is). I am a card carrying junk lover, dedicated to the hunt, the discovery that makes a heart leap and do double back flips, the score that makes you drive away feeling like a thief who has just pulled off a heist and the nitty gritty of a redo that instills a sense of accomplishment, the kind that is oh, so satisfying.

Putting a good dose of elbow grease into the process of bringing new life to weathered and worn treasures that would otherwise be facing the end of days is a joy... despite the sweat, blood and tears, literally. The grungy treasures pile up in all corners of the house, because I just know that this one is a keeper, that the one over there must certainly be restored, without question, and the battered little thing I found partially hidden beneath some moldy upside down furniture on my way home from work could be marvelous one day. Yep, it must be snatched and saved. 

What it will be, I haven't a clue... yet. But it most certainly must come home with me so we can find out together. 

Enter the retro bedside table.

Despite my passion for projects, forever will I marvel at anyone with a just do it attitude toward tackling the process. The ability to step in fearlessly and give things a try without certainty of outcome is not a trait I possess, and I have no idea how to acquire it. How do people do that? For me, the what if's gnarl my stomach into knots and cause me to spend inordinate amounts of time convincing myself it won't be the end of the world if it doesn't turn out as planned. 

"What if this idea isn't the best way to go?" "What if that color ends up wrong and I waste paint and time and have to do it again, and again (as if that hasn't happened a time or two anyway)." And one of the worst project stallers... "What if I drill the holes (cut the wood, remove the paint, etc.) and then I ruin it or I change my mind or whatever?" Then what? Huh? And there are the revamps that get started but then get left in process for the final inspiration to hit. That final inspiration can sometimes take a while.

With that said, you might understand why it's been almost a year since I found this little guy in a pile of discards outside a home nearby and yet it sits without it's final touch of bling to top it off and make it ready to face the world. 

When I found it, the top was unattached, the laminate chipped off, and of course the finish was hazy with stale smoke and reeking of the same, but this was one of those nostalgic pieces that called to me from back in the day, way back on Honeysuckle Avenue. Mom and Dad had a bedroom set to which this could have been a companion piece. The style and the age caught my eye and beckoned me to reminisce with it while it spoke to me of my youth. "Love me, save me...make me beautiful," it begged. But what to do with a little solitary orphaned bedside table? It mattered not. I had to have this treasure from the past. 

Removing the laminate parts and preparing the wood for the embellishment to come.

It didn't sit for long before I began to give it a good going over because I actually had an idea for it. Since it was an orphan, it could easily be a funky piece and make a statement as it goes solo through this life. It would find its own niche in the world via a splash of pizazz. Now, I'm not actually much for going rogue. I tend to stick to sensible solutions and rarely have I been known to venture into crazy town. Well, not in the decorating department anyway.

All stripped bare so I can dress it up and send it out to see the WORLD!

But being as this little guy was all squares, and I had a laminated map I'd bought to have on hand so I could try and cover something with it one day, I thought, what the heck! No curves to maneuver (and ruin). No great outlay of cash in case of disastrous outcome. This might be my chance to finally show a little moxy... or perhaps just be like regular folk who take such seemingly inconsequential risks and give things a whirl. And then I'd know if covering things with maps was all I'd cracked them up to be in my mind.

And so I began. Unfortunately I cannot for the life of me find the shots I took with maps lying about all over the floor. (I cannot understate the value of being organized with one's photos, especially at this moment when I really want those images!) It took quite a bit of measuring (scaredy cats like me always measure more than twice - way more). I even went and bought a metal square edge because cutting paper correctly is practically impossible, and I stink at measurements and calculations.

I took my time, measured and figured and worked out where all the pieces would go and decided against covering the edges, which was definitely the right choice (yea! I made a right decision!) in order to have enough map and so that the parts wouldn't be placed too awkwardly. In the end this was the way it all had to go, and the part I would have liked on the front couldn't go there. I forged ahead.

Waa laa! All dressed up, but no jewelry.
The map was glued on with Mod Podge, some of the glue on the wood and some on the back of the map, and I made sure it was good and tacky. Laminated maps are the way to go, by the way. No worries about the paper falling apart. I made sure to work carefully and squeegie the bubbles out, securing the edges with plenty of glue so they wouldn't peel up easily and repeatedly smooshing it down to make sure it was bonding well. The legs and the wood around the edges got a new coat of paint. I actually need another coat on the legs, but all in all, it was a success, although not without a few hairy moments where I was quite sure I was gonna screw it all up. But that's me for ya.

The drawer did not originally have hardware on it; it wasn't necessary because it was designed with a notched area for pulling it open. However, I could see that I was going to have blue space that looked empty once I was done and I figured I'd put a cute knob or handle of some sort there for interest. The perfect piece has turned out to be a challenge to find.

I found a handle from Anthrpologie that I wanted after nixing a number of ideas, and Cally was kind enough to buy it for me. I would have never spent $8, (or was it $12) for a handle. I believe in waiting to find something cheap, free or on clearance. However, a year is a long time for a world player like this little beauty to sit in my room collecting dust awaiting a seemingly simple finishing touch like a handle.

So the question is, do I leave it without a handle or drill two holes, hope I get it right (agh!) and go with this one?

Can you imagine this on the front of the drawer? I'm not sure anymore if it's the way to go. 

The metal on it looks black next to the brown wood and I'm not sure there's enough black in the map to bring it out. Definitely don't want to drill and be sorry. What to do? Does it matter? This is the way so many of my projects end up, stalled in the land of limbo. It seems I have found that land here on my precious little map table. 

I'm open for suggestions. 

If anyone has a thought on the handle situation, please let me know what you think in the comments! 

Please help me out of my indecisive land of limbo. 

Find me at:
Wow us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
The 36th Avenue Party Time
 Show & Share at Southern Lovely
                                                            Shabby Creek Cottage
                                                            DIY By Design                    
                                                            French Country Cottage
                                                            Common Ground
                                                            Miss Mustard Seed
                                                            Serendipity and Spice's Manic Monday Party
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                                                            Redoux Interiors


  1. So cute! Like, super cute!! That is just darling =) Thanks for stopping by. Shannon

  2. I'm loving the beachy theme!!! And this sidetable turned out perfect!!! Thanks for stopping by earlier and leaving me a super sweet note! I'm excited to be your newest follower!

    XO, Aimee

    1. Woohoo! One of my first followers. Thanks for coming by, commenting and following Aimee. I'll be keeping an eye on your blog. So much great stuff there.

  3. This turned out great....a major before and after. Enjoyed your comment on my blog, thanks for stopping by, Shari

    1. That's sweet! Thanks, Shari. So nice of you to stop by and see what's up here. Thanks for following! I truly enjoyed your blog and I'm sure I'll be a regular visitor.

  4. Wow! It looks like procrastination turned into an amazingly well thought out idea. Fantastic repurposing project. I'd get out the drill and go for it now. The handle with the rope is great, it adds more whimsy to what is already a very creative piece. Great job and awesome post and pics on it too.

  5. Yea! Some input! I wish I was a confident driller. I am not. But I think you are right. I should just do it! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Thanks so much for stopping by. You have a wonderful blog. You did a great job with this redo. I never even knew you could take the laminate off! I love the rope pull, but it looks good the way the way it is too. I guess it depends on how hard it is to drill.

  7. There was a small chip off of it so I went for it. Figured adhering the map to real wood might work better than on the slick veneer. Thanks so much for coming by for a look!

  8. It turned out beautiful and I like it without the hardware. When I saw your piece, my mouth dropped open. I have a pair almost identical to yours. My set has two drawers and were just about in the same condition when I found them. Have a look for yourself: http://www.thediyspot.com/2012/04/china-cabinet-turned-bookcase-part-1/

    Although I have removed laminate in the past, I decided not to and decoupaged with sheet music instead. Don't like how they came out so I might redo them again. Perhaps I may take the map route as well.

    That's the beauty of DIY. If things don't work out, there's always a do over. Paint color not right, you can paint it again. Don't like the finish, you can change it. We creative DIY'ers are so resourceful that we can afford to take chances until we get it right and accomplish what we envision on the cheap. So I hope you will stop second guessing yourself (sometimes I have to stop myself from doing the same) because you are super talented.

    1. Forgive me, I left the wrong link above. Here is the correct link: http://www.thediyspot.com/2012/01/what-i-learned-from-my-first-craft-fair/

  9. Thanks so much for coming by and checking out the table, Joselyn! What kind words. So true about starting over. It shouldn't be such a big deal, should it? I guess I just hate to have to redo a redo. I'll be over to check out what you're up to next.

  10. Oh I love it! I have two of these cute little tables and have been stalling also ugg but am so happy that yours found it's perfect identity:) You sound so much like me it's funny and I enjoyed reading your post. I would put the drawer pull on. I would think there is enough black in the maps to pull it off. I look forward to seeing more from you. Congrats on a table well done! Your newest follower.

  11. Ps. I meant to tell you I found your blog through the common ground link party:)

  12. So great to hear from you. Thanks so much for following and for your kind words. I'm off to check out your blog!

  13. What a really fun makeover! Love to see maps on furniture. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Thanks for taking the time to come over and check it out and for hosting the party!

  15. I think this is a wonderful makeover. Just perfect. I think the handle would be great on this piece. The rope or hemp will be a nice contrast to the sleek finish of the maps.

  16. Thanks for giving me some more direction on the handle. I think you're right. I needed another thumbs up to get me moving and to just do it. I'm so glad you stopped by!

  17. Thanks for looking around, Katie. I'm glad you came by and I'm glad you like it!

  18. Handle! Handle! HAAANNDDLLEE!! It will look PERFECT!! And who doesn't love cute hardware - especially from Anthro. I love it, and i LOOVVEE your writing style. You're very eloquent.

  19. You are so sweet! Your comment just made my day. Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm on my way over to your place now to say hi!

  20. I am absolutely in LOVE with this piece! Awesome job! Such creativity for real! I love maps, and this is great!

    I would absolutely love for you to stop by today and link up to our naturally-Nifty party!!


  21. Yes, yes...of course. I would love to come by and link up. Thank you for inviting me and for your kind words about my table. You almost can't go wrong with a map, right? Thanks for stopping by! I hope you'll be back. I'm on my way to your place right now!

  22. I already told you how much I love this map table! Thanks so much for stopping by and linking up!

    I just wanted to let you know that we featured this at our Naturally-Nifty Party this week! Stop by and grab a button and link up some stuff at this week's party!

    Also, we are pinning this to our Pinterest boards!
    Thanks for linking up!


    1. Sweet! I'm featured, how exciting! Featured and pinned. I'm thrilled. Thank you. I'll be back to link again for sure! Thank you!


  23. ahhh this is an awesome little before and after...I love the idea of using a map...I would never have thought of that!!

    Thank you for your sweet comment yesterday...I am now your newest follower!!

  24. Thanks, Adriane! So glad you checked out my site and were kind enough to follow and leave me a comment. Sweet! I'll be back to see you again.


  25. Hi Liz, not sure if you have already made up your mind or not, but I think you should put the handle on. If you don't like the black, you could rust out the handle a little bit with paint.

  26. Love what you've done with your DIY project!! I find that I procrastinate, too... and ask myself some of the same questions! I really like the handle, too, and think it would be a great addition. Thanks for sharing!


  27. Your end table looks great. I did a similar piece using nautical maps and purchased these Compass Rose knobs from Hobby Lobby: http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/blue-and-white-compass-ceramic-round-knob-210617/
    The photo is very true for the color.

  28. your table is amazing. What a awesome rescue. I am featuring in my weekly wow's tomorrow.


Thanks for coming by. I hope you'll say hello and let me know your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you! Unfortunately spammers have been at an all time high, so I will no longer be able to accept anonymous comments.