Thursday, February 23, 2012

Adventures with Big Furniture

Many months ago, I don't remember exactly when, I asked my mom to be on the lookout for something for me at The Salvation Army.  There is a corner of uncontrollable clutter in our nursery that has been there since we converted it from an office over three years ago. The pile is half office crap and half baby crap.  On top of a random, cheasy old end table my husband had growing up. It's too embarrasing to share a picture of. It drives me CRAZY and I've wanted better storage there for a long time. So I told my mom I wanted something like a hutch or large shelving unit for storage. Well my mom never found anything before she quit that job a few weeks ago.

So I had a few minutes after grocery shopping last week Tuesday before I picked up my kids. (Yes, I am spoiled, my hubby's Gram watches my two oldest girls so I can shop in sanity every week.) I zipped into Sally's to scout out the furniture department and I was extatic to find something that I thought would work for my clutter corner. It would need new paint and hardware, but it had great potential and it was only $30 (marked down from $50)! I asked the lady behind the counter for a measuring tape and measured the unit. When I got home, I measured the spot in the room to see it if would fit. And it would! (Like a glove.)

The next day after lunch, I trekked back into Sally's with the kids to see if it was still there. I figured if it was still there, it was meant to be. And it was! So my challenge was how to get this beast of a piece of furniture and my kids back home, because both would not vit in my van at the same time. As it turns out, Gram happens to live around the corner so I called her up to see if she was available. And she was! My plan was to squeeze all three kids all in her backseat (if they all fit in my old Corolla they can fit in just about anything) so I could put all my van seats down to fit the shelving unit. Can I just say how much I LOVE MY VAN! (And Stow 'n Go!)

My next challenge was getting the beast into the van. Sally's doesn't promise they will help you load up. In fact, they have signs posted that you must bring your own help to load furniture. And Gram wasn't exactly going to be able to help with this enormous and heavy thing. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask the guy working in the back of the store if he knew of anyone that could help me...pretty please! And he did! He rounded up a kid from the Salvation Army program that isn't usually there but happend to be working there that day. So he and another girl helped wheel it out on a dolley. Between the three of us, we managed to squeeze the thing in. The widest section of the van's back door is the exact same length as the widest part of the furniture unit. It was a close call! So after blood, sweat, and tears (of joy), it was in tight, but the back door couldn't quite close all the way. It appeared to be staying down even though it was not latched so I decided to take the risk and drive like that. I'd come this far - a back door wasn't going to stand in my way!

So off I went with my "back door is open" indicator light flashing and signal beeping at me. Gram and all three girls pulled out behind me. Well, as soon as I picked up speed on the road, doesn't the back door swing right up, all the way open. I immediately pulled over and waved Gram on to keep going to my house. I'd figure this out. We always keep bungee cords in the car so I rigged up a few of those, starting from behind one tire, hooked in the side bumper, around the mostly shut door, and hooked around the other side bumper. It was tight. I was confident it would stay down this time. And it did! I pulled in my driveway only a few minutes after Gram. WOO HOO!!!

I unloaded the kids and their carseats, hugged, thanked and said bye to Gram, and went in to get kids down for naps. My next challenge was how to get the beast back OUT of the van so that I could take the kids to their AWANA program at church right after dinner. With two kids sleeping and the other in front of the TV, I headed out to the van with a Superwoman attitude. I decided to back the van up to my garage door and figured somehow I'd slide it out and get it in far enough to shut the garage door and deal with it later. After quite a while of pushing, shoving, and pulling, moving the van backwards and forwards a bunch of times, and a few close calls (including a painful jab in the ribs), I got the beast 95% of the way out by myself. As dark clouds loomed overhead, I was starting to get worried that it was really stuck where it was. That's when my neighbor came to the rescue. He had to have seen me out the window. The two of us managed to unwedge the top molding in order to slide it the rest of the way out, stand it up, and drag it into the garage just enough to shut the door.   AAAAhhhhh. The glorious feeling of victory.

So here is the big old beast, dusty and a little beat up, just waiting for a makeover...Which I can't imagine I'll get to until one nice spring weekend when my hubby is actually home to help move it and keep the kids out of the way. All of the shelves are permanently placed except one that is adjustable. I'll keep it in line with the same shelf on the other side so it is all even. The drawers are faux and the bottom cabinets open like two little french doors on both sides.

While I impatiently wait for my opportunity to paint, I'll keep an eye out for new hardware. My vision for the finished product is something along the lines of two thirds of this picture from Restoration Hardware's Baby and Child furniture line.

Of course the same amount of shelving from Restoration Hardware would cost me $1,800 plus shipping. Mine only cost me $30 plus whatever paint and hardware comes to. And a lot of my time and effort. But its soooo...worth it. And it was worth waiting to find too. Whenever I finally get around to completing the makeover, I'll be sure to post it here!

Oh yeah, and before I forget, I wanted to share one little treasure I found at Sally's when I was in line to pay for the furniture. They always have a little tablescape set up in the front of the store with merchandise from the store. That day it happened to be decorated with green stuff, in anticipation for St. Patrick's day. Well, didn't this little gravy boat just beckon me. And for $2.99 I said yes. I LOVE this color green. It coordinates with my china quite well. I'll probably put it out on display somewhere because I think its so pretty. It would also make a nice short vase for cut flowers or potted ivy. We'll see...I've got options.

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