Natural wood dresser

14 July 2015

I found a gem at the flea market this weekend! I’d wandered almost every aisle (in 96 degree heat and full sun, might I add) before I saw it, and was feeling a bit discouraged because this was my third trip in a row without anything sparking my fancy. But as soon as I saw this beauty, my heart was hoping to take it home.


The price ($350) was more than I was prepared to spend, however. Happily, we were able to agree on $250 after a bit of negotiation and a quick consult via phone with John. It’s more than I’ve paid for other flea market furniture, but I feel good about it. The color of the wood is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and it’s in fantastic shape. If I was planning to paint the piece, I would have looked for something a little more banged up (and cheaper). It’s also solid wood, even the back, with no veneer.

Right now we have it in our guest room, and I really like how it looks with the wood tones of our frames. I’m not sure that this room will be its forever home, but it’s perfect for now!


These were the two images that inspired me to look for a piece like this:



First credit is unknown, second photo is by Meredith Perdue from Nebo Lodge

Our home is being photographed for Southern Newlywed in a week, and I am feeling a little anxious. I’m trying to avoid a mad rush to do things just to do things, but instead only moving the timeline up a bit on improvements we’ve already decided on. I think the anxiety comes from people looking at our home and thinking a) that’s all you’ve done in two years?? or b) that’s boring and not inspiring. However, I keep reminding myself that we don’t make decisions based on what the internet thinks, but on what’s right for us. Our home might even look a little empty to some, but that’s not a good reason to spend money and rush to fill it with things we don’t need or want.

On the bright side, I love that SW includes a lengthy interview with the couple; there’s nothing I love more than filling out a good interview. Even if our photos don’t do it for some readers, perhaps there’s a nugget that will speak to them from our interview :)

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July 14, 2015 8:07 am

Oh my … that is lovely. And $250 is a great price for a move-in ready piece. NOW … PLEASE go back and buy me that oh so sweet salesman sample white dresser sitting on top! Please!!

Bonnita Chazen
July 14, 2015 8:50 am

What a gorgeous piece! My hubby and I are looking for a tall drawer set for our new bedroom renovation but so far no luck. We don’t have many antique or second hand markets in SA but rather lots of shops along a street. I feel like a market would be more fun :-)

July 14, 2015 8:54 am

That looks so great! Which flea market did you go to? Or do you go to in the area? I live in the Triangle and am always looking for antique and vintage stores! The only really great one I’ve found around here is Vintage Village off Durant Road.

July 14, 2015 9:27 am

Hi Ginna! This piece is from the Raleigh Flea Market at the State Fairgrounds ( I also like Cheshire Cat in Cameron Village!

July 14, 2015 10:03 am

That’s gorgeous, Emily! I love hunting for flea market finds.

July 14, 2015 10:07 am

Hi Em! Definitely don’t worry about having your house look “incomplete” or boring. From what I’ve seen it looks awesome and reminds me of my house. We’ve lived there for almost 3 years and still have so much that could be done, but we just don’t have the time or money to do them yet. Since we started with pretty much no furniture, what we have done is really impressive. I think your home tour will be amazing and I can’t wait to check it out. :)

July 14, 2015 12:21 pm

What a wonderful find! Solid wood is definitely worth a little extra money. I bet it was quite heavy though. I look forward to seeing your feature on Southern Newlywed, this is one of my favorite reads on Southern Weddings these days!

July 14, 2015 9:11 pm

So happy that this Nebo room served as a tiny source of inspiration for you. You and John would love it there! Also, I’m thrilled to read your interview and see your official house tour! I remember feeling a similar anxiety when we had people over for a party last summer – we’d been in the house five years at that point and there was still so much to be done. One year and several sizable projects later, there’s still a lot to be done! I think that’s just part of being a homeowner – it’s always a work in progress and I’m becoming more and more okay with that.

I must, however, completely refute your second concern – there is nothing boring or uninspiring about you & John, your home, and the life you’ve created together. So that worry has got to go, my friend!

July 15, 2015 6:28 pm

I’ve loved following your house decorating journey, and love how much emphasis you put on finding the right pieces for your home, rather than buying things to fill space. As a newlywed with a tight budget and small apartment, I find your process so much more inspiring and realistic than other blogs, which often make me feel as though I should already have the perfect home in my mid-twenties! These things take time, and that’s a good thing :).

July 21, 2015 10:02 am

I just have to say – I can’t wait to see your home tour on Southern Weddings! I know it’s going to be beautiful, inspiring, filled with meaningful details, and so very “you” (and John, of course!). Don’t worry about feeling like it’s incomplete!! That’s something I’m trying to remind myself as I am about to move into a new home and decorating the space. I can’t do it all at once, financially, and it takes time. There’s no need to rush to make impulse purchases just to fill a space, and it’s certainly not worth spending money you don’t have! After all, it’s not about the tangible things you fill a space with; it’s about making memories and evoking a sense of love, openness, warmth, and hospitality in your home!

July 22, 2015 11:54 am

Having stayed in that guest room last week, I can say that the dresser looks great in place and was a very pleasant surprise. Way to hold out til you found what you wanted.

October 18, 2015 9:05 pm

I came back to this post to ask: do you have a process for determining the condition a used piece of furniture is in? Are there any specific issues you look for? I know bedbugs would be something to keep an eye out for in my area, for example, but I don’t know how prevalent they are in other places.

October 19, 2015 12:00 pm

Hi Kate! I am by no means an expert, or looking to acquire expensive antiques, so I just go by price (does it seem reasonable to me based on what I’m willing to pay and what I’ve seen similar pieces go for?) and what I can determine about the quality from observation (do the drawers slide nicely? do the joints seem secure? is the paint/stain in good shape?). John is definitely concerned about the possibility of bedbugs, so I tend to steer clear of upholstered pieces and stick to wooden ones! Hope that helps a bit :)