A New (Old) Dresser

A lot of our furniture will work well in the new house (my crazy floral chair is going to be so good there), but I feel like we need some more vintage pieces and antiques in the mix too. I’m not in a rush to furnish everything immediately, let alone before we’ve even moved in, but I have been scoping out the antique shops up in Minocqua and the surrounding areas.

I passed on a couple of cabinets that I liked, but didn’t love. This sweet little dresser though? Sold!

Vintage Oak Dresser

Vintage Oak Dresser

I don’t know the name of the place I bought it from because I didn’t notice a sign — just “ANTIQUES” scrawled across the windows in giant letters. It was right next to Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty. The dresser is in pretty good shape, aside from the top. I’m hoping I can give it a good cleaning and restore the finish with a little furniture polish.

I also bought some bronzed baby shoes from the same place. I’m not going for the little knick-knacks right now, since we truly have no place to put them yet, but I couldn’t resist. That might be a little weird, and I carried them around the shop with me, fully aware that it was a little weird, but I had to have them nonetheless. At least they’re easy to bring back with us!

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  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Great find, love the Empire dresser. I bought one for my daughter’s room, changed the knobs (mercury glass from Anthro) to update it a bit. LOVE IT!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      That sounds cute! I’m not sure if I’m swapping out the knobs on this one or not. I’m keeping the wood finish though — no plans to change it up with paint or a full refinishing.

  • Reply
    Kelly Perris
    August 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I hope you and the family went to Paul Bunyans! My kids love that place! Yummy doughnuts!! :)

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Great dresser and even better price!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    What a score! This is getting me so excited for our annual trip (Labor Day week!) to our family cabin outside of Mercer. My great great grandfather built the cabin and my 2 year old son is among the 6th generation of family to share the greatest place on earth! I love pecking around the small towns and making awesome finds! I think I missed it, but where is your famiy’s place?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Oneida County, I think? Near Minocqua, Eagle River, and Rhinelander.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    That is a great price for a vintage/antique dresser! Great find! And I don’t find that strange at all..I’m a sucker for all things brass :)

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Well, and they looked just like the shoes I bought for August and tried to get him to wear all the time in vain. He hated those things!

  • Reply
    Amanda Z.
    August 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    That is a great classic piece at a great price! It would look amazing with a piece of stone or marble cut for the top.

    And Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty?!?! Why does everything in Wisconsin have to be so awesome? I’ve only visited once and was enamored by the restaurant with the goats on the roof (Al Johnson’s I think).

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Oh, fun! I hadn’t heard of that, but it looks like you’re right on the name. That’s even further north than we are now.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Cute dresser. My daughter has my bronzed baby shoes in her room.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Awesome find. I heart browsing in antique shops. It’s one of my very favorite things to do.


  • Reply
    Kristy Daum
    August 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    That’s a great find for a steal of a price considering the condition. I LOVE shopping for antique furniture and tend to buy more of it then I have a place for; but I just can’t pass it up.

    Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Dang. Am I the only one that loves that cake pan under the dresser? That is awesome!

    The dresser is darling too. There are a million great things you can do with the top if it proves to be challenging. The lines of it are what counts and that is wonderful.

    Well done!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Oh Minoqua brings back memories, we went on the road trip from hell as newlyweds, with my inlaws in 1991. Driving from Chicago to stay at a cabin in Fifield Wisconsin. Mother in Law had to stop at Popovs there and back and go to the Christmas store and buy ugly, shiny, duck pictures and other treasures from the Pendleton shop. My husband and I still talk about the town fondly though. Great deal on the chest of drawers, prices like that might tempt me back after all!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Great find! & i love the keyholes. You just don’t find details like that on modern furniture! x

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 5:32 am

    This dresser is amazing! I’ve been looking for a dresser with key holes. Especially over-sized key holes like the one in Charlotte’s room from Revenge.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I have a dresser JUST like that that I’ll be using as a changing table in our new baby’s room. I hope the top is an easy fix for you. Great find!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I’ve been going up there since I was Eleanor’s age. My parents have a cottage about 20 minutes north of Minocqua. The antique store where you bought the dresser is Island Antiques and it’s always worth a walk through. My other favorite antique store is in Another Time in Eagle River, although they mainly have little stuff.

    And for the commenter who mentioned Popov’s, it is still there (Christmas store, Pendleton, duck pictures and all) but is going out of business at the end of the year. The daughter who has been running it for years has decided to retire so she can travel. I hope you had breakfast at Paul Bunyan’s, it’s fun for kids. And the donuts are yummy too!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Yes, Island Antiques was the name of it! Thanks. I’ll have to stop in to the others. We’ve been taking trips into town on different days, just rambling around and popping in to different shops.

  • Reply
    Laura @ Rather Square
    August 8, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Love the lines of this piece. What are you planning to do to the top?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

      I’m hoping to clean it up and maybe buff out some of the damage. There are a lot of scuffs and scratches up there. If I can’t get it looking better, I’ll consider a full sanding and refinishing job.

      • Reply
        August 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

        Definitely try Howard’s Restor-A-Finish before doing anything drastic. It’s saved several pieces for me.

  • Reply
    Jessica Newell
    August 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Love this dresser – are you planning on putting it in your daughter’s room?

    Its fun finding pieces like this at random antique stores – and brass baby shoes are so adorable!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

      I think we’re going to keep the pink dresser that I painted for Eleanor in her room, but I might repaint it in another color. The new (old) wooden one is a great size that I can see working in a few different spots around the house, so I’m not sure where it’s going to end up yet.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Paul Bunyan’s! My grandpa used to be the chef there! Having a serious nostalgic moment over here:)

  • Reply
    Kim R
    August 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    That dresser is gorgeous – I wouldn’t have passed on it, either. I’m glad you’re not planning to paint it because the wood grain is beautiful.
    I look forward to seeing it in your new space!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Great find! A dresser like that is one that can go almost anywhere… Entry way, bedroom, living room, etc.

    How do you plan on getting it back home? Our car is always packed so tightly when we go on vacation that I can only pick up smaller objects, not large pieces of furniture. We just bought our first minivan, so I’m hoping that will help!!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

      We have a minivan, and I think we can fit it in back, even with the dog and all of our stuff.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Island City is one of my fave antique stores anywhere. If you’ve got time to kill and feel like a drive, you should check out Perennial Antiques. The drive up to it is straight out of Deliverance, but they have some beautiful pieces. The wife has a good eye and the husband is a very talented furniture maker. I’m going back in the fall just to take photos.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      August 13, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Thank you! I went on Saturday, and that place was amazing. I took tons of photos that I’ll be sharing here soon!

  • Reply
    Perennial Antiques, in Wisconsin’s North Woods | Making it Lovely
    August 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

    […] went to Perennial Antiques last Saturday, per this suggestion. (Thank you, Tina!) It’s an antique shop about halfway between Rhinelander and Minocqua, in […]

  • Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Don’t forget about your friends over here at Nest Vintage Modern in La Grange! Lady, you k ow we’ll hook you up! :)

  • Reply
    August 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    i need me one of those!

  • Reply
    Starting on Our Bedroom | Making it Lovely
    September 25, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    […] loving our shared walk-in closet so far, but we’re going to need more drawer space than just the antique dresser that I picked up in Wisconsin. Ideally, another empire dresser would be nice, but a taller one — something like this. Even this […]

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