Asked on Jan 04, 2014

Ideas for repurposing 70's girls' childhood bedroom set?

by Oklabear
I still have my set as a young girl and hate to see it go. I love the idea of repurposing or refinishing furniture, but harder to do so with my own furniture. Before I find a new home for the pieces, are there any ideas that can be offered?
  23 answers
  • Z Z on Jan 04, 2014
    I can see why you don't want to part with these. They are very nice and I'm sure hold great memories of your youth. Do you have more than these two pieces? Just curious because at times you can combine more than one piece to make something new too. Also are the tops separate from the bottoms? As for these they'd work well in a room as a library with a desk area built between them or if you remove a drawer or two and a shelf or two and make it into a TV cabinet. Any remaining drawers could store DVDs and any remaining shelves could hold decorative items. Together they could make a room divider if you finish the backs. If the tops remove you could add a veggie bin type bottom to them for a child's room for books and stuffed toys in the bottom. Something like shown in the link below, only I was thinking of the bottom front piece to be angled outward like shown in the second link.$web_zoom$&wid=550&hei=550&/1308310657/bankable-bookcase-60-white.jpg,355,0xffffff That's all I have for now.
  • Carrie Carrie on Jan 04, 2014
    I think they would be lovely on either side of a fireplace as book cases. I'd probably use chalk paint and distress them for a new look.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 05, 2014
    These have great character. The first thing I would do would be to paint the bottom and accent with a wash/wax to bring out the carvings...I would go the finished look rather than shabby look. Also paint the sides of the bookcase and arch at the top. Then I would pick a coordinating classic fabric and using white glue with a little water added (you can buy fabric glue...but the standard brand works great) and line the back. I would put fabric over that lattice work. Perhaps going with white with a gray wash/wax on the painting and then a French motif fabric. I have seen fabric from Hobby Lobby that is very French! I would use them in the bedroom and redo it with gray walls, white linens and old bed painted black and these pieces. It would be Adult and very NOW!
  • Jacqueline Elaine Jacqueline Elaine on Jan 05, 2014
    Oh, wow! My first thought was to use chalk paint and have a distressed look like @Carrie suggested. I just used a dark blue to redo and old desk and it turned out beautiful. I put new hardware on it and it doesn't really have the "shabby look" that @Jeanette S was referring to - it just depends on how you use the chalk paint. I also love the colors that @Jeanette S described! I have a grey and black bedroom I just finished and would love these in that room! As for the back of the top of the dressers, can you remove them? It would give the pieces a more open look and change it up. Keep us posted on your project! Excited to see these! Good luck!
  • Erica Martin Erica Martin on Jan 05, 2014
    I would remove the hutches from the tops of both and work with them that way. You could remove the lattice from the shelves and attach them to make one tall bookcase. Then paint them of course. Then you'll be left with 2 cute drawer units that you could use in a number of places for a good amount of storage. And paint those as well :)
  • Pat S Pat S on Jan 05, 2014
    would love to have them! I would paint them. Use the top drawer as a slide out desk top or for a computer key board, the shelves are great for books and pretties. Or I could see using them in the kitchen or dining room for storage and display.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jan 05, 2014
    I cant believe I am seeing this! My dear friend has a set very similar to this, that French style, she is about 40 now and recently painted her set......chocolate with a cream top to the chest top. It is gorgeous!! She has had it as a very young wouldn't know how old the pieces are. She has the whole set! I would refurbish it, I doubt there are many who would buy and pay what it is worth. then they would probably redo the pieces anyway. At the very least you could remove the tops, use them elsewhere...and have 2 very nice chests / dressers./tv consoles....if they are good wood pieces..go for it. I will try to get her to take pictures of her pieces!
  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 05, 2014
    If you can put them together you could take out all of the shelves on one, add coat hooks and use the drawers for gloves, scarves etc.. The other side could be taken down to the 2nd drawer, re-enforce add a cushion and have a bench, take out the bottom drawer and you could stick your garden shoes under ithe bench seat. Chalk paint is a wonderful thing as well as some different hardware to fit your today style. Good luck, I hope you find an idea that works for you.
  • Oklabear Oklabear on Jan 05, 2014
    Some wonderful ideas; thank you so much. I do have all three pieces, a desk with hutch is not included in the picture. Always too small a work surface for me as a child, but I treasure my furniture and want to find the right redo...especially since I haven't attempted anything with chalk paint and waxing. I craft with paper (scrapbooks/stamps/modgepodge), but have only looked at furniture ideas through this site and pinterest. My furniture has traveled with me through several moves and has now outgrown my daughter. I see too many "re-dos" to know there could be another life for them (and being attached to them as they are, I can't see past the current state). We have downsized, so they are in the way if I don't come up with something soon.
    • Z Z on Jan 06, 2014
      @Oklabear, it's hard to think outside the box when you're attached to them as they are. Sentimental pieces are so hard to change for me too. Since you are a crafter do you have a room you could make into a craft room and use these items in there as is, for storage and a work space?
  • Carole Carole on Jan 05, 2014
    I would love to remove the shelf part leaving just the drawers. For the shelf part - I think they would go great wall mounted in a kitchen with dividers added for plate storage or left as they are for display purposes. For the cabinets, I would use the two together with a flat top over them (maybe an old door?) to make a desk with drawers either side of a chair.
  • Anna Ibarra Anna Ibarra on Jan 05, 2014
    They have great potential. First figure out where you can put them if not in your bedroom or kids room. Then see what you can edit from them for their new use. Then paint of course. I like next to either side of fireplace, but if you prefer not to or don't have a fireplace, then I hope you can find a place for them. Do you have a friend that can help you move them around till you find their new home? Good luck.
  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Jan 06, 2014
    How great that you still have these pieces! I recently did an update for someone who didn't want to give up their furniture either. The person I worked with also had a dresser and desk. I painted the bookcases, removed and painted the desk top and got busy. what I did was simple. This person needed a piece in the living room to hold her TV, DVD, etc. She didn't have a lot of space. After measuring the TV I utilized the desk top and positioned it between the two bookcases--attached the new "shelf" from the inside of each bookcase. Then I installed two support pieces (one on either side under of the shelf) At the top of the two units I attached the dresser top as a "bridge" to unite both pieces. After changing out the hardware and rearranging or removing some of the shelves we had a very interesting entertainment center. Her TV fit perfectly on the center shelf and she was able to display nick knacks, books, etc. while enjoying the updated version of her childhood furnishings. We painted a couple of the left over drawers and put casters on them and made storage bins to roll under her bed. Her plan is to use the pieces left for other projects!
  • The Robin's Nest The Robin's Nest on Jan 06, 2014
    my suggestions, IF the hutch part comes off...use both tops facing out (leave the lattice intact if you can) find an old door for a top and make a new desk, with the shelves on each end for storage. If there is a side piece where the lattice is, you may have to remove it in order to accommodate the door. it would also be easy to add a shelf on the bottom of each hutch to give it a more finished look. Or if you just need bookcases somewhere in the house, use each hutch top as a bookcase, adding the lower shelf and some trim across the front. Another idea...depending on how tall the chest parts are...put them together back to back with the drawers facing out and fashion some kind of top for them to make a work/crafting table area? or an island...PAINT IT ALL OF COURSE, that part alone will give it new life
  • Mia Mia on Nov 23, 2014
    These are lovely pieces of furniture. If you like things bright and modern - I would paint one a bright yellow and one a bright pink (or bright green or bright blue) - take off the hinges and add some colourful/funky handles and along the lattice I would weave in and out fairy lights or bright coloured fabric. Or, the distressed look, as a few commentators have suggested would also look lovely...I'd use a duck egg blue chalk paint - on both, or on one a pale yellow or perhaps a sea green. I would replace the hinges (which I think is what is especially dating the furniture) with wooden handles.
  • J J on Jan 15, 2015
    I have the exact same set! I primed and painted it all a bright fresh white then clear semi gloss to finish. Then I hand painted in all the carved flowers in a periwinkle, lavender, blue with yellow centers. If you would like, you can take off all the hardware and send it to me! I painted all the drawer pulls white as well and painted the ones on the desk drawers the same as the flowers carved into the dresser drawers. Made it go from dingy to dazzling!
    • Heartbeat Heartbeat on Nov 14, 2015
      I love your description of your remake. I would hate to See this furniture taken apart. I wanted this type of furniture as a young girl, but never got it. ( but I now have white ( adult) bedroom furniture that I love)
  • Oklabear Oklabear on Jan 24, 2015
    Question for all, if I painted a grey and mixed with a mid-century large metal "bomber" type desk? Think it would work? And be feminine? The walls are turquoise and grey.
  • Meghan Smith Meghan Smith on Mar 01, 2015
    I would use them as storage. pantry, china hutch even office. with under shelf lighting and maybe a chalkboard paint color that pops, maybe two; bring it down a bit by distressing with dark wax. you can now find these at michaels. using a coupon your set! there are also tons of tutorials out there on how to make chalkboardpaint using regular paint for a base. you could also do chalkboard lables on shelfs and drawers for identification. I would keep all the hardwear too!
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Mar 17, 2015
    What great pieces!I think I'd put wallpaper or contact paper on the backs of the shelvesand maybe paint the lattice a color from the wallpaper background.
  • DEBRA Hallmark DEBRA Hallmark on Jul 12, 2018

    I have the entire bedroom suite of this furniture. My daughters are grown and no one wants it, so what to do? I need a queen bed in the bedroom.

  • Robin Vaughn Robin Vaughn on Dec 31, 2020

    I grew up with this same set, although I didn't have those pieces.i just posted mine for sale on Marketplace. I have the twin 4 post bed, a nightstand, desk/hutch with chair, lingerie chest, and 3 drawer dresser with the oval mirror. I hate to get rid of it, but I don't have the room to store it anymore.

  • Amy Marshall Amy Marshall on Jan 18, 2021

    Does anyone know the maker of this set?

  • Amy Boudreaux Amy Boudreaux on Apr 20, 2023

    I also have this set. I am 51 years old and this was my bedroom set growing up. I also was wondering the maker's name of this furniture because I want to sell it and wasn't sure how much to ask...