The build-out for my current client is not limited to a new bathroom, but also a seven- foot extension of the master bedroom. Having the additional space in the bedroom allows for a cabinet on the other side of the bed for some much needed storage and surface space.
The need for this furniture piece took us back to the Rose Bowl in search of a hefty bedside cabinet. Not wanting a matched pair made the search both easy and more difficult as sellers are less likely to break up a set; although it is always a good idea to ask, you might get lucky.
This time we planned to paint the surface so we were less concerned with the species of wood and its condition. I am always surprised to see “shabby chic” still popular, but it does not alter our goal for a painted surface.
The piece we settled on had some pretty feminine applique details that I mistakenly thought would be simple to pry off with a putty knife. Apparently, a century ago, the glues they used were pretty strong; in addition, the appliques were secured with tiny brass pins. We needed to resort to heavier tools than we found in the pink tool box; we needed a man’s tools for this job! The appliques came off but not always cleanly; some of the oak splintered off leaving more to sand off with an electric sander.
My client chose this piece because of its size and storage capabilities and because of the secret compartment! When making choices from flea markets, one needs to be certain the piece will fit the space and needs; it is wise to be careful, and always carry a tape measure since such pieces are not returnable. Getting the furniture from the stall to one’s vehicle is the task of the buyer. We were not well prepared for this part; the oak was much heavier than we anticipated, and we were without a strong guy to carry the for us.
We struggled carrying the awkward piece through the crowds, having to stop and rest periodically. At one point, we had the great good fortune to stop in front of a stall where the kind owner offered to loan us her homemade dolly if we would leave a driver license. She apologized for needing to keep something of value as she had been burned by people in the past not respecting her generosity. My eternal thanks to this wonderfully kind woman.
To make a simple portable dolly requires on a couple of 2x4’s nailed to form a platform and covered with a remnant piece of carpet. Four heavy duty casters attached with some screws to the underside, and one is in business.