Using a Hemnes dresser for toy storage.

April 19, 2011

I’ve started a little redo of our playroom/loft. I can’t even pinpoint when it started, but it’s been in the works for months. I’m just finally getting the projects going.

I’ve told you before, I’m nothing if not efficient. :)

Let’s look back at how the playroom looked for a while:

There was a time when I didn’t care for our wall color (the one I had them paint half the house with) – and I thought I had to match everything to it. Hence the reason I used so much red. (I thought it was the only color that worked with the hue of the paint.)

I’ve grown to love the color, and realize it’s an excellent neutral paint. And it’s opened up my world people! I now know I can use more than red to decorate these rooms! ;)

Anyhoo, remember when I told you back here how I took a couple trips to IKEA in a couple weeks? (Gleee!) Well, the reason for my first trip was to pick out this beauty:

hemnes dresser

It’s the Hemnes dresser and I thought it was going to be perfect for the Bub’s room. I planned to paint it RED (OK, the red isn’t gone for good) to go with his room. Because of that, I got the navy blue version of this dresser, so it would be a good dark base for the red paint.

Well…the reason I loved this dresser was because it had so much storage. What I didn’t realize (even though I measured the space before I got it) was that it’s MASSIVE. I mean, seriously. It’s SO stinking big people.

So I put the MONGO dresser together, and moved it into the Bub’s room, knowing full well it wasn’t going to work. It was too tall and too deep.


I was freaking out just a little. What in the world was I going to do with a gigantic navy blue dresser? We certainly don’t need anymore dressers in this house. (You know my dresser obsession.)

And then…it hit me. I could use it in the playroom. Ah HA!! (You can see how I resolved the Bub’s dresser issue here.)

We have had a cheapy laminate TV stand in their for years and years – and a while back I tried painting it. Most of it held up OK, but some parts were flaking off daily:


I’ve been wanting to toss that thing (it was literally falling apart) forever, so I knew this could work out perfectly. Oh yes, my evil plan always comes together…even when I didn’t have a plan to begin with. And it wasn’t evil.

So I crushed the laminate stand (it. was. AWESOME.) and put the new dresser in it’s spot. LOVE.

Even the insides are adorable:


I changed it up just a bit by adding some fun green knobs (half off!) from Hob Lob:


The blue and green color is so FUN – and will make even more sense in just a minute. :)

Because the dresser is ginormous, it works insanely well for toys and games. Between another purge and this dresser, all of it is hidden away. And there are even empty drawers:



Because the dresser was a lot wider than the old TV stand, it created a few more issues. I had to take down the mirror and the art pad off the walls to accommodate the width of this monster.

And doing so left lots of these:


But we don’t have matching paint to touch them up. And even if we did the wall is about ohhhh…20 feet tall? I’m not painting it, and I don’t know anyone who will. :)

I decided to hang the TV above the dresser, so the need to repaint continued when I went to take the vinyl off the wall:


NICE. What the ??

Good. Ness. See how these things happen? It’s just a tidal wave.

But tidal waves are good around here. They give me an excuse to get creative. And in my mind, creative usually equals putting wood on our walls. Or mdf, in this case. :)

I used about $40 of the good stuff and did another board and batten treatment on that wall:

Oh my, I never tire of how fresh and crisp and classic it is! Nevah!

The height has no rhyme or reason to it – I just wanted to cover the big holes that showed up when I took down the bottom shelves. ;)

I used this method to fill the other holes, painted a couple coats of primer on the wall, installed the mdf and then gave it a coat of primer. I covered everything one more time with glossy white paint.

It gives the large wall a base and grounds it – which is a very good thing in this space:


By the way, this whole room is still so in between – nothing has been accessorized, so many projects aren’t done. I just couldn’t wait to show ya. :)

Onto the final project (for now), which may have been the first project. I have no idea. It’s all jumbled in my head. Remember that beautiful fabric I used for the kitchen window treatment?

Well this is the space I got it for:


I wanted to inject some more fun, make it fresh -- but keep it an adult space too. This room has morphed from a playroom to a game room over the past year, and I’m going with it.

And the new fabric was the a beautiful change – still lighthearted, but more grown up at the same time.

I don’t know. All I know is I LOVE it.

A couple weeks ago I found a couple of pillows at HomeGoods that happened to have the exact same colors on them:


And the Bub loves them because the one side has pirates, and he’s ALL over pirates lately. They a little whimsy in the room.

So far I’m loving the changes – so fun and bright!:


That new coffee table is for another post – a Craigslist find a few months ago:


It’s Pottery Barn and it’s fantastic! And no, it’s not staying red. :)

I love looking back to see how our spaces have changed – here’s the playroom a couple of years ago:


And the new game room, as it is today:


There are so many things left to do – the chairs will be replaced with our family room sofa…when we get a new family room sofa. :) The lights will come down, and my plan is to put built ins on each side of the windows. (Dad? You there?) The gallery wall is coming soon, and I’m figuring out a couple of other changes as well.

For now, I’m so pleased with how it’s coming together! All of the voices in my head are making sense…finally. ;)

P.S. To see a few of my board and batten tricks, go here to watch a short video. :)

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  1. Awesome! I love the B&B and the dresser/TV stand!

  2. Love it!!! So clean and fresh looking!!! ;)

  3. Oh NO YOU DIDN'T! Wainscotting and pirates in the same room? Shiver me timbers - I'm moving in!

    (I also love that there is plenty of room on the TV wall for a big ol' Jolly Roger. I'm sure that's what you meant when you said it wasn't finished yet, right?)

  4. Sara, does your husband ever tire of you changing things or has he just become accustomed to it and grateful you aren't addicted to bingo or something else? I can imagine it's "surprise honey, look what I did while you were gone" at your house often! I wish I had your energy! Love that fabric too!

  5. There's just something missing in this playroom....oh that's it, the floor isn't carpeted with toys! ;) I love the new look!

  6. Love it. We have the same dresser from IKEA in our Master Bedroom. The plan is to use it in our Bonus room for the TV someday. It's awesome to see it as I plan to use it!

  7. Beautiful makeover! The room looks much more bigger and fresher. Good job!


  8. Love the room new room! You are so creative I can't wait to see what else you do with it. Wow, I want to be like you when I grow up! :)

  9. Happy accidents are the best! Love what you've done here with that dresser. We have the white version in our daughter's bedroom and love how much storage it gives us.

  10. Love how it's coming along!! So fresh and fun :D

    p.s. I totally see a cord hanging out by the window... it made me giggle. ;D

  11. It looks great! So fresh and bright! I love the curtains too!!

  12. Oh...that dresser is totally perfect for the tv and for the room especially with the new board and batten. The room is really looking fantastic. So much better than before.

  13. Did you make or buy the curtains? Cauuute! :)

  14. Looking great! I love the new knobs on the dresser.

  15. That looks so great!! I am patiently waiting for the day when my toy covered play room becomes more of a game/ movie room...

  16. WOW...looks great! love a fellow design ADD person! and the B/B has me swooning!!

  17. Love your new playroom! And I'm sure you've said it before, but what is this wall color? Thanks!

  18. Oh wow!!! I think you should keep rollin' with the Decorating ADD...definitely don't medicate, b/c it is working for you. ;) ;) Love the b&b. Such nice, crisp, clean lines! The coffee table is fantastic!

  19. I was drooling over that same dresser this past weekend when I went on an IKEA trip with my bestie. After three horrible dresser experiences though, I'm scared to buy another IKEA dresser. Can you let me know how it holds up a few months down the line? I'd LOVE to buy one for fabric stashing :)

  20. You're sooo funny! I have lots of voices in my head too, lol!

    I love how that playroom is still a playroom, but neater and fresher looking. LOVE!

  21. I've litterally been oohing & ahhing this entire post. I'm loving the changes! Its amazing how much the board & batten adds to the room too, it seems to help anchor the room with such a tall ceiling.

  22. I absolutely love it. I bought the white version of the dresser for my daughter's room and was also shocked at how big it is!

    The new knobs are very cute; they have always reminded me of monster eyes...especially against the blue dresser. Every time you look at the dresser or watch TV now you will see monster eyes watching you :)

    I can't wait to see what you do next.
    Full of Great Ideas

  23. Looks fabulous! I love the knobs. I have that same dresser too. The drapes look fantastic and of course the board and batten is amazing!

  24. I have been excited about Board and Batton for several months. I can't wait to begin my dining room. I think it adds such a custom feel and adds so much character to a home. Thank you for your inspiration.

  25. Oh, I like this look so much better than the previous one... very simplified, and great price on the Ikea dresser... I bopped over to their website and checked it out!


  26. Love the new look..very clean and open!

  27. Your room looks fantastic! I tell ya, Sarah, you are converting me to a board & batten fan!! I LOVE how it looks in your home - so clean & may have inspired me to try it in my kitchen.

  28. I love board and batton and I especially love the way you did it with the cross feature (I'm sure that's not the actual name). I'm new to your blog and I love it! I'm definitely putting board and batton in my future nursery and my current mudroom. Love it!

  29. Looks amazing! Love the board and batten and the dresser looks terrific! Thanks for sharing.

  30. I really LOVE how the colors of the B&B, dresser & walls are so distinct yet are so complimentary to each other! BTW...I LIKE the way you think!

  31. Gorgeous!! The B&B wall looks fab!! I am working on a little B&B in my laundry room right now & I am loving it! Got it all primed yesterday & hoping to get it painted today! all the changes you've made!! It looks great!

  32. NICE! You are so creative and always coming up with clever solutions. I really like how crisp it all looks. Think the coffee table would be beautiful in the bright green from the curtains.

  33. So I know this was about the dresser - which is really great, really. But my favorite part? The little rocking chair! LOVE IT!


  34. WOW! This looks much fresher.

    I still am in love with that curtain fabric!

  35. It's amazing how it's the same room..same paint, totally different vibe.
    so fresh and bright!
    awesome job.

  36. um that coffee table looks like it would fit the train table mat that pottery barn sells.....yay!....or of course you could make your own, you thrifty thing you :-)

  37. I love the curtains.. what is fabric name again?

  38. Love it ~ great job....once again :)

    I like the coffee table red ;)

  39. I like the coffee table red, too. I LOVED how your "old" playroom looked and have been wanting to do something similar. But I LOVE how this looks, too. It looks so much "lighter". Thanks for sharing.
    Claudia @

  40. Haha, that's exactly how things happen in my home too! I actually wrote a post about it funny! I love the way this is all coming together, it looks so much nicer. The old playroom was nice, but this one looks a lot more calming! Is that an oxymoron or what?! :-)

    Great job!

  41. Yep, love the curtain fabric. Love the dresser (I have the dark brown version in my bedroom). Love the new wall. Love it all. I especially love that I'm not the only crazy one who changes one thing in a room and then has that snowball into a full room makeover. How does that happen!?

  42. Wow, I really like the direction you are heading. I recently went to IKEA and was overwhelmed with ideas. I really enjoy your blog. Thank you.

  43. Awesome! I love all the changes you've made. The room is so much brighter. Love!

  44. I love how fresh looking it looks! I've been thinking of doing B&B in my laundry room but with rounded corners I'm not sure how that would work. I need something that will take the abuse of backpacks, shoes etc. I also never thought of just doing one wall instead of the entire room. Makes it look like a great focal point! Love it!
    My 7 year old daughter has the white taller Hemnes dresser and we love it (except that she can't reach the upper drawers without help!). Very sturdy and loads of room.

  45. Your game room is looking great! I just found your blog and you are inspiring me to get started on my own home. I just wanted to say...My son has a smaller Hemnes dresser from IKEA and the plywood in his bottom drawer was slipping out a little while ago so I just put a little bit of duct tape on it to hold it in place.

  46. The little decorating voices in my head are loudest just after I turn out the lights and try to go to sleep. I toss and turn with the delights of paint colours, fabrics, moldings and accessories. It's nice to know someone else has little friends who talk decor to them also =P

  47. Ha! So sounds like something i would do. not enough paint? cover it up! Genius!

    I love the way it turned out!

  48. Ikea makes a 3 drawer version of the hemnes line, bright red! If you are wanting one for your son's room, that may work. It's smaller, and no paint required! It's picture on the website makes it look dull, but when you click on the alternate view in a room you can see what a pretty red it is.

  49. Looks fabulous and LOVE that dresser! We just bought that for our nursery to use as a changing table. It's HUGE and so perfect for the changing table idea...

    Anyway, love this room!

  50. I crazy love the placement of the shelves and how you decorated them...Beautiful!!!

  51. it looks so good! i would have never thought to use b&b to cover up holes but it is definitely a great solution.

    it. was. AWESOME.

    love that commercial!!

  52. Sarah, as always, the B&B has me drooling over here, and the green knobs on the dresser were INSPIRED! Beautiful. :)

  53. It looks amazing! And I do LOVE that wall color! ~April @ Wildflowers & Whimsy

  54. Love the new use for the dresser. Now you just need a bigger TV. ;)

  55. Hi...I love the room. I love, love, love the P Kaufmann fabric....but I can't find it online. You said it's Spring Vine Opal....could you give us a link? Thanks!

  56. Hi...I love the room. I love, love, love the P Kaufmann fabric....but I can't find it online. You said it's Spring Vine Opal....could you give us a link? Thanks!

  57. LOVE THIS! We are just about to start turning a bedroom in to a playroom and I've been debating between bead board and board and batten, I think you just sold me on the board and batten. I feel like it's a smidge more sophisticated. BUT, the one thing I have been wondering is if you are not putting a sheet of thin wood on the wall before laying the lattice doesn't the texture of the wall show? Because it's a playroom I will not be using flat paint and I'm afraid the paint will highlight the texture of the walls and make it look like a short cut version of the board and batten. Love the site and love you, btw congrats on being debt free. We're slowly chugging down that road ourselves, can't wait to be where you are :-)

  58. I just painted a desk blue & loved the results! You can check that out here:

    Love the navy blue!

  59. For a makeover you didn't exactly plan this is turning out very well....I really love the way the beadboard grounds the high ceiling! Like it was meant to be! Great job as usual!! Take care, VBg

  60. I love the evil plan of the TV placement. You can't sit right in front of it because the dresser blocks the view from below. It looks like you'd need to be on the couch to see it? Genius.

    But, why doesn't the board and batten go around that corner and meet the door? And around the other corner and meet the window?

  61. You KNOW you can NEVER have too many dressers in your house! ;-) lol Love it and I adore the new knobs!
    Missy :)

  62. I bought this dresser and assembled it in my first apartment. Needless to say that when it was time to move, the dresser stayed - couldn't get it out of the small apartment and down a narrow staircase.

    I now have this dresser in wood in our current house. I love it. And love how you re-purposed yours and painted it!

  63. Love all the changes espc heart the pirate pillow! I hate to say it, but you need a bigger tv now, my love.

  64. It always brings a smile to my face reading your posts because I suffer from the same illness. You have put a label on my "issue". I am always mixing things up around here. I think I need to attempt mdf panels in my lr. I struggle with the room its a big box, no details. Happy Easter to you and your family:-)

  65. We have not 1, not 2, but THREE, yes, 3 of these dressers. I kid you not. Space is of a premium around here - but we also don't have much for when we bought our 1st one to use as a dresser/changing table for our 1 baby - seeing how much it held - diapers in one drawer, booger suckers, nail clippers, creams in another, sleepers, onesies...Well, we got one for baby #2's room...And then we got one for our room! It IS massive - and STURDY!
    Hurray for Hemnes! ;)

  66. okay. i can't stand it anymore. I need to do board and batten somewhere in my house. I have to. my only issue is that we have beadboard under our chair rail in the kitchen and i worry that it will clash with board and batten in the living room. :/

  67. Love the wall treatment. I was thinking of doing this for our dining room. Great job! Kristy from a thrifty, creative blog

  68. Love the changes! The dresser looks awesome!


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