Sometimes you get lucky.
Handan and I had been puzzling over what we were going to put in the weird little alcove at the top of the stairs leading up to the craft room from the kitchen.
Why? Why would they put a 36×18 nook with a sloped ceiling at the top of a staircase just before a door? It’s not big enough for a chair. Lord knows I could use a little sit-down every now and again after hoofing it up a flight, but not in this nook!
Can’t put a proper tall cabinet or even a stand-alone pantry due to the sloping ceiling. Why didn’t they just make the upstairs room bigger and do away with the wall on the right? I’ll never understand these subdivision builders. I’d call them out on some of these design choices but to do so would be a disservice to the word “design.”
I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe stair-top alcoves are all the rage down here in the South. Maybe I’m just a Northern ignoramus when it comes to these things.
“Did you meet the new Yankees?” Blanche says, taking a sip of her sweet tea.
Daisy glances up from the pimiento cheese sandwich pinched between her thumb and index finger. “You mean the ones who don’t know about the stair nook? I met the gentleman of the house, and you’ll pardon my saying so, Blanche, but he seems dumber than a pickled turnip.”
“Bless his heart,” Blanche says, fanning her bosom.
“Bless his heart,” agrees Daisy as she bites into the triangle of cheese and bread.
So yeah, if there’s a reason for the nook/alcove, please let me know!
Our original thought was to put one of our nine IKEA Havsta base cabinets in that space. It fits, but all that would really accomplish would be taking away storage space from inside the craft room. And in this house without a basement, storage space is more valuable than a gallon of water in the Sahara Desert.
Just the other day, my babes was scanning through Facebook Marketplace looking for more
crap beautiful vintage furniture to cram showcase in our overstuffed well-appointed house. Presently, her face lit up and she showed me a 72-piece (or so it seemed) bedroom set for sale in Shalimar, about an hour drive from where we live. I wanted to point out that we already have a bedroom set, and besides, do we really need to bring more stuff into the house when we’re not even close to dealing with that we already own, but I kind of enjoy living, so I kept my thoughts to myself and merrily agreed to her plan.
“Sounds great, my babes!” I said. “Lemme just grab my keys and load some carrying straps into the truck!”
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Turns out the couple selling the bedroom set were moving a few streets over (oh, how convenient and easy!) and they had other items for sale, too. Not one to pass up a bargain, my dearest babes hopped on one of the items.
A serving dish?
A small decorative pillow?
Perhaps a vase or a small decor item?
Madam, please! You should know better than that! Nope, what we also bought in addition to the 89-piece bedroom set was a 7000-pound (or so it felt) treadmill that was assembled inside their home by hulking professionals. To remove the beastly thing required a partial disassemble and one of the most difficult and awkward carrying jobs of our long careers of carrying difficult and awkward things.
But now we have a partially-disassembled walking machine on our lanai…so that’s nice.
And we have a 96-piece bedroom set.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I’ll be refinishing all 124 pieces of this 107-piece bedroom set.
I call it job security.
But then a wondrous thing happened.
A miracle, really.
In a fit of inspiration and clemency, my babes announced that the dresser component of the 133-piece bedroom set would be the perfect addition to the alcove at the top of the stairs.
And best yet – I wouldn’t have to refinish it in any manner!
I’ve never agreed to a plan so fast.
We measured the alcove and measured the dresser. The body of the dresser would fit perfectly, but the decorative overhangs on the top and bottom of the dresser would not.
This was an easy fix. All I needed was five minutes with a handheld circular saw, and this dresser would fit into the alcove at the top of the stairs! I just needed to cut along this line.
Easy Peasy Chicken Squeezy.
I love working outside in the Florida sun and warm breeze. With a 12-inch speed square, I cut equal strips from both sides of the dresser component of the lovely 149-piece bedroom set my babes bought from a listing on Facebook Marketplace.
When I flipped the dresser on its head to cut the bottom pieces, I saw that I wouldn’t be able to make the cuts with my handheld circular saw. Instead, I removed the trim pieces – they were held on with 3 screws.
And then I screwed them back on.
For the final pieces that wouldn’t unscrew I used a flush cut saw.
I then used furniture repair markers to match the color of the cut faces with the rest of the dresser.
Before carrying the dresser upstairs, I first painted the alcove with Swiss Coffee, our new go-to white for Northern-exposure rooms.
When Handan and I went to install the dresser into place, we discovered that the door trim was getting in the way. I removed the left trim piece, slid the dresser into place, and then reattached the trim piece. That sucker is truly built-in.
We now have five big drawers in which to store anything leftover from the rest of the craft room.
It’s a perfect fit in its new home!
We may someday change the pulls, but for now, the ones it came with will do just fine.
I know this is a very small space, and the dresser already fills most of it, but Handan wanted the space that is left to be kept as-is except for the vase and wreath displayed in the center of the dresser.
I think her less-is-more approach is perfect for this small space.
This was just a quick little makeover to a perplexing alcove.
Simple, but I think we made the best of it. Next up – the craft room reveal! And maybe then I’ll get around to making over the new 164-piece bedroom set my babes found on Facebook Marketplace. 😄