I bought this dresser from my sister about 9 years ago for $50. It was a plain, pine dresser, solid but non-descript. I was just beginning my foray into painting and fixing up furniture, and I did a fantastic job on this. I am sorry to say I didn't take any pictures of the "before" but although it's not my style now, I did execute the design fairly well.
This piece had tomato-red drawers with gold swirls reminiscent of Gustav Klimt and the Art Nouveau movement stamped across the width of each drawer and was finished with hand-painted knobs. It was in the bedroom of our first apartment for a couple of years.
When we bought our first home 5 years ago, we had a large walk-in closet, and this little dresser lived in there as it was no longer my style and I didn't want it featured in our room. Then it took up residence in the garage of our current home, not sure of it's fate.
One day, I decided I needed a place to house my daughter's growing collection of arts & crafts supplies. I was ready to purchase a small set of drawers from Marshall's when my Mom reminded me of the dresser in the garage. Soon after, I set about to bringing it current and here it lives at the far end of my entry hall, just before you enter my living room area.
In my craving for all things black, I decided to follow my original cue and leave the base and top the plain unfinished pine and again paint just the drawers. This does two things: it blends this piece with an antique piece from my Grandmother's estate that is roughly the same hue as the pine, and it draws your eye to the hardwood floors just beyond it. When you enter my home you see the side of it, so as much as I love little black chests, it had to stay pine.
I added a small applique for interest to the uppermost large drawer, painted the drawers black and sanded the edges and behind the knobs and a wonderful serendipitous thing happened: the tomato red came through and gave it a great distressed patina. I switched out the knobs for some smallish coppery ones from Home Depot, and wha-la. I love it.
This piece has had at least 3 lives and has cost me a total of no more than $75 over 9 years. Now that's a bargain! What bargains do you have in your home?
**edited to add: I don't know what is going on with my camera but the images keep coming out blurry when you blow them up. It is so frustrating because I swear they are in focus when I take them! I need a new camera.