July 22nd, 2010

I picked up a vintage Danish dresser off a lady out in the desert. It was weird. Craigslist is weird sometimes.

I drove a good two hours after work in about 120 degree heat to get to her place in Indio. When I got out to her dismal place the piece was WAY MORE damaged than her posting or pictures alluded to. Chips, missing veneer, scratches, water damaged – pretty much the gamut of shit that can go wrong with furniture. Originally I had talked her down to $100 via email when it was clear that the listing had been languishing on CL for some time, but when I arrived and saw what kind of shape the dresser was in I was like I will give you forty bucks and you should thank me.

We argued. She gave me a sob story about her divorce after 30 years and her ten kids. I sweated in the UNBEARABLE heat. She talked me up, I talked her down and finally we arrived at  a price under a $100 but over $40. Pretty much I didn’t want to have wasted my time driving all the way out there.

I’m going to fix it up as much as I can and have it live in the master bedroom. Since we got rid of almost everything in there at the big sale this is one of the first steps for the big redecoration of the master bedroom – yet again.

Hopefully by the end of summer we can pull it together. I’ve got some projects brewing…

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Tonia on 07/22/2010:

    Fabulous craigslist find.

  2. kassy on 07/22/2010:

    It’ll be beautiful after you fix it up, it’s got great bones.

  3. Louis W on 07/22/2010:

    You should paint it… maybe flat black. No one will notice.

  4. tx Sarah on 07/22/2010:

    Even with the damage, it looks pretty amazing. I actually like the looks of the damage I can spot–it looks good in these photos, at least.

  5. Anna @ D16 on 07/22/2010:

    If it’s really bad, you can always go two-tone (wood/paint)! Love the shape.

  6. jennifer on 07/22/2010:

    you could’ve mugged her . . .;)

  7. Dan on 07/22/2010:

    Wow, even with damage this is such a lovely piece! Love the top, love the base, love the continuous wood grain on the drawer fronts! You’re gonna make it fan-cy.

  8. Suzy8track on 07/22/2010:

    Wow…you drove 2 hours for a craigslist find? That is nuts! But it is a lovely piece of furniture and I’m sure that you will make it look amazing when you are finished with it.

  9. Becky on 07/22/2010:

    Wow! Even with the damage it’s still very beautiful. I love the color of the wood – so rich and the grain is to die for. Gorgeous find!

  10. Teri on 07/22/2010:

    That is one of the coolest dressers I’ve ever seen!!! Even with a lot of work to do, you’re going to have an amazing piece when you are done!

  11. Coletta on 07/22/2010:

    if you paint that black per one of the suggestions..I will drive to hemet and SMACK YOU!
    this is a beauty even if it does have damage…do not RUIN it by painting it!

  12. D R E W on 07/22/2010:

    it’s a nice piece, though. just think of it as shabby chic! lol.

  13. Jenn Ski on 07/22/2010:

    I agree with everyone it’s still really beautiful. I think it was worth the drive!

  14. Jen@BloggersAbode on 07/22/2010:

    Indio rules. As long as you love it? It’s all good. The room looks great! Is that a goat rug?

  15. lisa mertins on 07/22/2010:

    my gawd — what a stud! i didn’t leave the house in that heat. but your score is dandy…

  16. modernhaus on 07/22/2010:

    Hey Morgan, out of necessity I taught myself how to do veneer repairs so shoot me a line when you’re ready to mess with it.
    And you don’t even want to know what I think those “water” stains are…

  17. HousePet on 07/22/2010:

    Can’t wait to see how you make this thing ever more awesome. What a beutiful piece! My best craigslist story is the dude I bought a danish mod chair from. When I got there he was waiting for me in his driveway. Wearing a long black trenchcoat, he had two crossed eyes, a gold front tooth, a braided tail (yes like Til Tuesday) while the rest of his hair was a Phil Spector afro-like thing. It turned out to be a great chair.

  18. Tyler (plastolux) on 07/22/2010:

    Nice find, you need to use this stuff, it is freaking amazing!

  19. Alex on 07/22/2010:

    That is pretty sweet, My grandpa redoes pieces like that and sometimes I cant tell that they are not brand new when he is done…wish I had that set of skills.

  20. Ana on 07/22/2010:

    Great find, please don’t paint it!

    I’m all for painting wood but that piece is gorgeous despite the few flaws,

  21. THE BRICK HOUSE on 07/22/2010:

    Yeah, I’m not going to paint it. I just couldn’t…I don’t mind the damage that much. Gives it character?

  22. THE BRICK HOUSE on 07/22/2010:

    Tyler –

    Danish oil and feed & wax are my secret weapon.

  23. Rob on 07/22/2010:

    Yah dude… steal of a find on CL for sure.

    Who’d paint teak anyway?!

    Enjoy it.

  24. Martin on 07/22/2010:

    ^^ Painting teak is a sin

  25. Ana on 07/22/2010:

    Considering that it’s 40-50 years old, a little damage is character…I mean how many 40-50 year old people do you know who aren’t damaged in some way?

    oil that baby up!

  26. jeannette on 07/23/2010:

    god you’re brave, how would you two ladies get such a behemoth into your car?

  27. THE BRICK HOUSE on 07/23/2010:

    It’s not that heavy or big – I can actually lift it by myself.

  28. mike dg on 07/23/2010:

    i know most people shy away from painting out teak, but i think in the case where there’s a considerably amount of damage it will save the piece from the trash. is a great site that does paint out pieces very tastefully, though i’m not sure what condition they’re in before hand. anywho, in this case i don’t think you should paint it out, it is a very lovely piece and yes i agree, the wear/age shows it’s true character. awesome find!

  29. Bethany Joy on 07/23/2010:

    paint it!! Awesome find

  30. dee on 07/23/2010:

    Hey! I saw that on craigslist too and considered asking our contractor to pick it up for us since I’m many miles away. But I decided I should really wait until I’m in Palm Springs before buying stuff for the condo. I’m happy to see it went to a good home. If anyone can make it look good you can.

  31. Cher@NewburghRestoration on 07/23/2010:

    The photos look great, but you are a tough cookie. I’m a wuss, and probably would’ve paid the 100 bucks. Bravo to you.

  32. mike dg on 07/23/2010:

    just came across this piece on another site. very similar style ->

  33. onehsancare on 07/23/2010:

    Gorgeous piece! How do you deal with the missing veneer?

  34. my favorite and my best on 07/23/2010:

    it is interesting and different.

  35. christine on 07/25/2010:

    “Craigslist is weird sometimes.” Sometimes? I’d say most of the time. I particularly love the run on sentences.

    Nice find.

  36. Jax on 07/26/2010:

    That is more accurately a secretary desk. You can pull out that middle flap and use it as a desk.
    Very useful and beautiful piece. I don’t agree with painting it either. It might be a very educational project to do.

  37. kelly on 07/28/2010:

    Ha! Yea… the CL is where I got my 1950’s ‘porn sofa’. Its not what you think but it was from an elderly couple who just happen to distribute porn videos… there was one of those slide back windows at the entrance and a buzzer/lock at the door.
    It had dog hair all over it. I just cleaned it up good as new and paid $100 bucks for it. I kinda love to have pieces in the house that all have their own story.

  38. jokemijn on 07/28/2010:

    wauw! this is going to be beautiful! glad i found your inspiring blog, think i’m going to browse through it for a little while.

  39. esme on 07/29/2010:

    i always try to find beautiful pieces like this. you were so lucky, despite the heat and the drive. the grain is so pretty, i hope you don’t paint it. it’s amazing!

  40. RJ on 07/29/2010:

    Wow, even covered in scrapes and scratches that is a beautiful piece!

Comment It Up!