After moving into our second apartment over a year ago, we quickly noticed this strange barrier between the living room and kitchen. This is a pretty small apartment as it is, and there’s still no explanation as to why it’s there. 🤷🏻 If we owned the place I’d say “knock it down”, but as renters it forced me to get creative. I had to do something with this strange space.

I had about a 2’x3′ space to work with, which didn’t give me a lot of breathing room. After some searching on Pinterest for some ideas, I discovered these sort of “catch-all” spaces, or “command centers” that were growing more popular, and thought it was perfect!

Shooting for something like these. Courtesy of Simple as That (Left) and At Charlotte’s House (Right)

As newlyweds, we were on a budget, and couldn’t afford to spend a ton of money. I immediately got onto our local classifieds to see if there was a piece of furniture (like a nightstand or little cabinet) that I could use in that space as my base for a good price. I scored with this little dresser that was the perfect size, and only $20!

I mean, clearly it needed some help. The handles were terribly tarnished, and the “wood” was scratched on every surface. Not to mention, I wasn’t a huge fan of the color. So with a bit of paint and “tarnish remover”, voilà! We have a brand new piece of furniture that I LOVE.

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All I used for this project was:
1. Black spray paint (I used Rustoleum 2x Semi-Gloss)
2. Bar Keeper’s Friend
3. A Copper Scrubber
4. An old toothbrush
5. Some water, in a vessel of some sort (large enough to dip the handles into)

To remove the tarnish from the handles:
Step 1: Make sure you read the label on the bottle so you don’t harm yourself. I rarely read instructions… So do as I say, not as I do!
Step 2: Have everything out and ready to go, including your water in some sort of vessel (I used disposable Tupperware)
Step 3: Take your Bar Keepers Friend and squirt some of it onto your handle. Use the copper scrubber to work it into the metal. Give it some elbow grease.
Step 4: Use the old toothbrush to scrub in the smaller notches.
Step 5: Rinse well in the water.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 1-5 over and over until you are satisfied with the results.

I was pleased with how my handles turned out, especially since the solution was inexpensive, and the difference is pretty amazing!

Now for the top! I knew I wanted my calendar there, a magnet board, a place to put my keys, and a place for our mail. So here is what I came up with:

  1. $15 Beautiful Christian calendar
  2. $1 Used baking sheet from my local secondhand store, I spray painted black
  3. $10 Wall basket from Hobby Lobby, on sale for 50% off
  4. $3 Hooks from Hobby Lobby
  5. FREE (Not featured) a piece of scrap wood that I spray painted black

Add a cute boxwood wreath with a check ribbon and you’re set! Here’s the finished look. For around $50, I’d say this home hack was a success!

Until next time, à bientôt!

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