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Re-imagining an Aunt's Old Mid-century Modern Bedroom Set for a Teen

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See how an Aunt's old mid-century modern bedroom set was transformed for a teenage boy in this DIY upcycle project!
  • re imagining an aunt s old mid century modern bedroom set for a teen
In honor of Earth Day, I thought it apropos to talk on the topic of upcycling. Recycling we know to be the process of stripping down consumer materials to their foundation to manufacture new consumer products. Upcycling, however, puts the innovation in your hands. Find something no longer being used: a dresser, a table: update, reconfigure, repurpose and you’ve granted it new life. Sometimes, walking the aisles of big box stores -whether home improvement, furniture, or even housewares – I am overcome by the consumerism. I’m obviously in the store so I’m not denying the appeal of them but truly, I marvel at the amount of stuff created for the consumer, or specifically home-owning consumer. It can be unsettling.

Over the years, as we’ve matured, our families have left us pieces that meant something to them, and thereby, to us. Still…, meaningful doesn’t necessarily mean pretty or useful, does it? You’ve been there. You’ve conveniently stacked a knick-knack on a high shelf invisible to the eye, until that family member has come to visit, at which time it made its way to a more prominent place on your countertop.

Over the years, as we’ve matured, our families have left us pieces that meant something to them, and thereby, to us. Still…, meaningful doesn’t necessarily mean pretty or useful, does it? You’ve been there. You’ve conveniently stacked a knick-knack on a high shelf invisible to the eye, until that family member has come to visit, at which time it made its way to a more prominent place on your countertop.
  • re imagining an aunt s old mid century modern bedroom set for a teen
Upcycling a Bedroom Set
Like our children, we’ve grown impatient and a bit impulsive. We want a solve to the problem immediately. However, when we take the time to look at the possibility in something, we CAN reimagine it, sometimes better than before. Don’t tell me you’re not creative. I would say the same about myself but I think we all have vision, plainly perceptible or not.  So, look at your aunt’s mid-century modern bedroom set again. Can you make it work for your angsty teenage son? We did just that.  Note: I did not take before pictures, so I borrowed the one above but below is the photo of the refinished product.
  • re imagining an aunt s old mid century modern bedroom set for a teen
We took Aunt Dorothy’s four piece Bassett bedroom set, likely purchased in the 50’s, sanded it down, restained it and redelivered it.  The blond veneer was replaced with a dark, nearly black finish and the gold, ornate pulls replaced with sleek silver knobs and handles.
  • re imagining an aunt s old mid century modern bedroom set for a teen
The three piece solid wood bedroom set cost us $20 in stain. My son loves the look; we love its history.

Do you have any sentimental upcycled pieces in your home?

To see more: http://www.maisonmass.com/save-throne-save-world/

  • Karen H.
    Karen H. East Northport, NY
    on May 28, 2017

    This came out great!!! I love refinishing old furniture. That "similar set" is the same tall dresser I have in my guest room. I can tell you that dresser is over 55 years old. The one I have was one my parents bought for my brother's room when he was a baby. I have it in a darker color. I have refinished my parents old master bedroom set that I inherited when I got married, it is posted somewhere on Hometalk.

    • Karen H.
      Karen H. East Northport, NY
      on May 30, 2017

      Yes I was referring to the set pictured, that is marked "bedroom set similar to the one refinished" in the article. I coincidentally have the exact tall dresser from that set in my house. They just dont make them like they used to!!

  • Gail
    Gail Pensacola, FL
    on May 28, 2017

    Very nice job!

  • Sue
    Sue Schenectady, NY
    on May 29, 2017

    Did I miss something too? Definitely two different pieces of furniture.

    • Kathryn Nuttall
      Kathryn Nuttall
      on May 29, 2017

      The old dresser at the top of the article has nothing to do with the makeover in the article. The relevant photo is the next one, labeled "Bedroom set similar....", that's the one that's 55 years old

  • Paula
    Paula Jay, OK
    on May 30, 2017

    Great outcome. Did you remove blonde veneer or did you apply stain to veneer?

  • Kristen Koehler
    Kristen Koehler Acton, MA
    on May 30, 2017

    Thanks Paula!

    We sanded it down first and just stained it.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!