Turning a Dresser into an Entertainment Center (Reader Question)

Reader Kendra emailed me with a question about a dresser she has: I'm a newlywed and we're living in our first apartment and in typical newlywed fashion, we have bigger dreams than cash. I'm envisioning this dresser as an entertainment center. I'd like your ideas/advice for upgrading it to fit my living room.
 
 
All of the drawers work, the side door is actually a mirror and it looks easy to remove. It's definitely made out of real wood (yay).
 
 
The entertainment center will go where the Christmas tree is in the photo below.
 
 
Overall it's a very neutral living room, I guess green is the complementing color.
 
 
So, I did discuss what I'd do with the dresser to turn it into an entertainment center below...but I included a mood board (and discussion points) for the whole living room so that my dresser suggestion makes sense. I hope that's okay!
 
 After playing around with a few ideas, here's a room I envisioned with the new entertainment center - something with bright happy greens, a few bits of moody purple, and loads of pieces taking their cues from nature:
 
 
 
I tried to keep a tight budget in mind for this hypothetical makeover. Here's the thought process behind the inspiration board, for whoever's interested:
 
1: Add a bit of pattern to the existing neutral-toned sofas with a couple of throw pillows made out of a simple yet eye-catching floral. I like the espresso color and modern print of this one.
 
2: Chevron always livens up a space. Add in a chevron throw pillow or two, just for fun. I like green here, just to amplify the color palette. (Hobby Lobby also has some chevron throw pillow covers for cheap.)
 
3: Choosing art is a matter of total and complete personal preference. I like the idea of a large abstract on your wall opposite the window, to add interest and importance to the wall. Go big or go home, though! Nothing halfway here, because it's the only piece on that whole wall/hallway.
 
4: As one of the hails to nature, a salvaged wood tray (or something else organic and subdued) would look great. It adds a simple but interesting juxtaposition to the glass tabletop. You could DIY something like this out of pallet wood.
 
5: The lamp in the inspiration board is actually there just to get a visual point across - I'd grab a can of purple Rustoleum spray paint and paint the existing lamp in the corner as a budget-friendly option. Then move the lamp toward one couch or the other, so it "belongs."
 
6: Oldest trick in the book - grab a large vase, apothecary, pitcher, what-have-you, and throw in some branches. Instant nature, height, and style. (Photo from here.) 
 
7: I'd maybe swap out the existing dresser hardware for something a little more modern, like these pulls from Home Depot. I'd use the darker finish so the pulls kind of blend in (paint suggestion discussed below), but I suppose that's personal preference. If you go this route, you'll need to re-position the pull placement on the mirror cupboard.
 
8: On the wall adjacent to the window, above the sofa, I'd bring it home with some major color. Something vibrant and punctuation-mark-ish. (Which is absolutely a description a real artist would use, in case you're wondering. Totally.) Maybe something like this George Mobley piece. (As an alternative to a large piece of art, you could put together an art gallery wall with just as much visual success.)
 
9: Benjamin Moore paint colors for the dresser: Yellow Green and complementary Midnight Dream. I'd paint out the whole dresser (including the mirror cupboard) in Midnight Dream and use glossy Yellow Dream for the inside of the removed drawers. (See #12, below.)
 
10: Some accent pieces, like these ceramic bowls for example, will make the room feel more like home.
 
11: Something modern and vibrant for the floors is in order. I like a zebra print rug here, especially a form (non-rectangular) one, to add a little oomph to the tan carpet.
 
12: As I mentioned before, I'd paint out the dresser. Restaining it, with all those details, would be a nightmare, and I'm too lazy for that...and, therefore, I assume the rest of the world is as well. Just roll with my egocentricity, will you? But first, remove the top three drawers and create a cubby of sorts, like in the inspiration board photo, to house your entertainment center gadgets and gizmos. But I'd paint the inside of the cubby a very glossy bright green (BM Yellow Green, for instance) for color, definition, and fun! (Photo from here.)
 
13: It's unfortunate that this one ended up being last, because this is what I would actually do first (after the entertainment center makeover, of course). Adding curtains alone will change the entire feel of this living room. I'd go with something light...such as these tree curtain panels from Ikea. At $15 for the pair, you really can't beat the price, even if you need to double up. Hang them as high as possible.
 
 
I want to move in now. :)
 
Thanks for letting me "play" with your room, Kendra (even though it was way more than you bargained for). I'd love to see "after" photos of your entertainment center, no matter which direction you go in making it over. Have fun!
 
Anyone else? Email me: brittneynsmart [at] yahoo [dot] com
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