This is my West Elm dupe

We are two weeks out from the finish line for the Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge. Time has literally flown by. This week, I finally completed my Modern Boho Dresser upcycle. While I hit a few bumps in the road, this furniture flip goes down as one of my favorites. To catch up on my progress, check out my previous weeks:

Week 1|Week 2|Week 3|Week 4|Week 5

Tentative Weekly Schedule

  1. Mood Board
  2. DIY Headboard Makeover
  3. Feature Wall
  4. Nightstand Upcycle
  5. Decorative Accents
  6. Dresser Makeover (bumped from Week 5)
  7. DIY Wall Hanging
  8. DIY Decorative Accents & Final Reveal

Modern Boho Dresser

Let’s take a look back at my inspiration dresser from my mood board. My inspiration is the Alexa Burnished 7-drawer dresser from West Elm. It comes in at a whopping $1599 before tax. Since you know this challenge is cost neutral, I never would be able to sell enough stuff to afford it. Heck, I’m too cheap to pay that much for a dresser. A couch, maybe, but not a dresser.

The Modern Boho Inspiration Dresser
At just under $1600 dollars, this beautiful dresser was outside of my price range.

I love this dresser. The ‘not quite’ matte black finish paired with the sleek, gold hardware gives it the perfect balance between modern and unfussy. And since I couldn’t afford it, I set out to DIY my own dupe.


Before the Modern Boho Magic

On a day date, we happened upon a barn sale. There were 3 barns full of items. In the last barn, I stumbled upon a dresser that had a curved front. I thought it may work but the veneer was in bad shape. Undaunted, I set out to bargain a good deal. Turns out, there was a sister dresser in the mix. For $40 bucks, I got them both. But, I knew I had my work cut out for me.

First step was to patch all of the imperfections and there were plenty. Then, I did a thorough sanding to blend them in. After I moved them into the apartment, I patched again to really bring the pieces back to their prime. A final rough sand and I was ready for paint.

Priming and Painting, where the magic happens

First step for all of my painted furniture flips is primer. I swear by Zinsser 1-2-3 primer. It is said to adhere to any surface without sanding. Now, I am not crazy enough to prime without any sanding. I prefer a rough sand to give the primer a little something to stick to. Thin coats of primer is my motto. It permits the primer to cure faster. Thin coats usually means more coats. While I can usually get away with just two coats of primer, this project got me for 3 coats.

Not only did the dressers take three coats of primer, they also took three coats of paint. Going black over white primer is always a difficult task. For high touch furniture like tables and dressers, I swear by thin coats of paint. Additionally, it is imperative to let the paint dry (aka cure) fully between coats. Three coats really extends the makeover timeline especially when you are a part-time DIY’er like I am. I am so thankful that I was patient because the results were worth the wait.

This dresser gets 3 coats of paint
After the first coat of paint, it was clear that 3 coats were in my future.

Modern Boho finishing touches

My Modern Boho Inspiration dresser had cool gold legs. The shape of my dupe dressers did not permit adding legs. However, I painted the bottom gold so it would have the look of gold legs for a fraction of the cost of legs. The gold paint was $7 dollars on sale. I did splurge for the drawer pulls. Hardware is like the jewelry of the piece, right? $33 in total for 12 drawer pulls. I picked the 8 inch version so it could be more glamorous and a similar to my West Elm inspiration.

My dupe dressers give me that Modern Boho touch that my room needed. The total cost for both dressers is $80. That is a savings of $1519 without counting tax. Plus, I have an extra dresser to boot.

Cost Neutral Update aka Budget

I started off the week at $91. This week’s projects cost $40 dollars for both dressers, $7for gold paint and $33 for gold hardware. I already had the wood filler, primer, black paint and clear wax from my previous nightstand upcycle. Yesterday, I took a carful of items to Lima for a garage sale at my sister’s house. At the end of the day, I sold $103 worth of stuff that I wasn’t using. After this week work and selling, my remaining budget is $114.

Until next week when I take on macrame, pop over to the One Room Challenge to check out the other participants. I am so inspired by the designers and other guest participants.  



Welcome to my corner of the internet. Come along with me as we turn My Little House that Could into our dream home. Along the way, I’ll share decorating ideas on a budget along with a bunch of DIY upcycling to save money and still create the home of your dreams!