The words “new” and “heirloom” don’t really go together. Is it possible to create an heirloom?
I love the dresser that we chose for Ellie’s room. You know I’m all about sentimental family pieces. This is a brand new piece of furniture, and I chose it specifically because I hope that it becomes a special heirloom for her.
It’s a solid wood, handcrafted gift from Grandma and Grandpa. I think it will last for many years and can have a long life beyond a baby’s room.
But whoa, it felt like a saga to get here.
Both sets of grandparents of course wanted to help us by buying some things for the new baby. When Matt’s parents redecorated his old bedroom, they had a Mennonite crafted dresser made.
It’s country pine which is perfect for the farm, lots of drawers for storage, seemingly a good change table height (#firsttimemom #whatdoiknow). I thought something like it would be a really nice piece for the nursery–and I liked the heritage potential.
Matt’s parents were on board, so I met them at the furniture shop, and we picked out a dresser that was the same as theirs. But then the salesman told me the price. For a person who has furnished her home with mostly hand-me-downs or thrifted furniture, the sticker shock was immense. I wanted to walk out of the store and find a different dresser, but Matt’s Dad was sold.
We compromised by me paying the deposit, and they covered the balance.
Then I had to pick the finish.
Originally, I had planned to pick the same country pine finish that Matt’s parents have. But then I started to think about the rest of the furniture in the room. White crib and bookcase, grey chair. Would the addition of pine look too much like a garage sale?
The shop had a grey finish that still showed the grain of the wood, and I decided to go with that.
Usually I’m pretty decisive, but I started to doubt myself as soon as we walked out of the store. I quizzed my sisters, my Mom, my friends. Should I have gone with the pine? Or stick with the grey?
I saw this picture from Dina Holland and that sealed it for me. I loved how the grey dresser looked in the room that she designed, and I decided I’d made the right choice . (You can–and should–check out all of the rooms that Dina did in this house. They are colourful and fun and sophisticated and different from so much of what I see in decor these days).
As it turned out, I would have had plenty of time to change my mind. While the production time on the dresser was supposed to be two months, it took closer to three. Matt started to question whether the baby would arrive before the dresser.
But finally, everything came together (with free delivery to compensate for the delay). The dresser arrived and it was perfect. The size was right for the room (18 inches deep by 36 inches high by 54 inches long). The storage was abundant. The height is good for diaper changes. The grey finish still has a country style. And the quality of this piece means that it will be with us–and Ellie–for a long time.
I added simple wood dividers inside the drawers to help keep us organized (I cannot be bothered to fold baby clothes). Then I tied wooden labels to each of the knobs so that no matter who is dressing baby (including sleep deprived Mama), they know where to find things. The top is set up with the change pad and other diapering essentials.
In the future, I know this is a piece that will grow with Ellie and have a life beyond a change table and a nursery. I like thinking of it being in Ellie’s own home some day.
Do you have any furniture that you hope becomes an heirloom one day? How do you organize baby clothes at your house? What finish would you have chosen for the dresser? Anyone else suffer from sticker shock when furniture shopping?