Restoring a Rain-Destroyed Dresser in Three Easy Steps Without Exerting Any Effort at All

Photos by Sean Gin 

Dear Diary,

I had a wonderful trip to New York a few weeks ago. If you haven’t heard of it, New York is a large metropolitan American city where residents are known to complain about winter for six months out of the year and then flee the city for the entire summer to go to the Hamptons or Fire Island. Anyway, while I was in New York there was a monumental rainstorm in Los Angeles which I named “Rainmageddon.” Rain is a  big deal in Los Angeles. Like as soon as it starts raining cats start wailing, luxury automobiles inexplicably careen into palm trees, and women with enormous artificial breasts start sobbing uncontrollably, wondering how they will get from their cars into the restaurant without ruining their hair. Living in LA makes you somewhat incapable of dealing with anything that resembles actual weather. Or dealing with anything at at all. So rain is basically the most devastating natural event that can occur (aside from the terrifying earthquake that woke me up this morning).

Another fun fact about Los Angeles is that because it never rains here many of our dwellings are not water tight. It’s kind of like we all live in thatched huts because we are island people and we don’t know any better. It’s not until a torrential rain that we notice a leak in the roof. When I walked in the door after getting back from New York, I was greeted by intoxicating scent of toxic mold. I was devastated, because I hate smells (all of them).

But no one was more devastated by Rainmageddon than the beautiful mid-century dresser I bought at Rose Bowl last year. I came into my bedroom to find it bewildered, scared, looking like this:

It was all “Why did you leave me for so long?!?” It was covered in rain damage and I felt guilty. I assumed my dresser was destroyed forever. Sidenote: I bought this dresser with my ex and it was a positive memory until we broke up and then it was a sad memory, like a totally depressing “you-broke-up-and-now-you’re-all-alone” dresser. I thought of my ruined dresser as a metaphor for my failed relationship. Second Sidenote: Do you ever make things that, like, totally aren’t metaphors into metaphors? And then you realize that instead of being a symbol of failure maybe your dresser is just a really cool mid-century dresser? I need to stop doing that…


Okay, sorry that was depressing. Here’s where the story gets good. I had used a product called Restor-A-Finish on a few vintage pieces before so I thought I’d give it a try. Even though the company that makes it has no idea how to spell “Restore,” it’s actually a great product. It looks like this:

The process I used to restore my dresser is as easy as 1-2-3! Seriously:

1. Sand surface with very fine sandpaper until white moldy stuff disappears.
2. Apply Restor-A-Finish to a rag and apply to freshly sanded surface.
3. Wipe away excess and begin the first day of the rest of your life.

After being restored, my dresser was ready for its close-up:


While I was at it I painted the weird stainless pulls gold to match the fun gold inlay “X’s” on the top of the dresser.



So all in all Rainmageddon really didn’t end up ruining my dresser’s life. It took me like 17 minutes to make it better. Now I urge you, if you have a dresser that suffered through its own Rainmageddon or something similar, give it some Restor-A-Finish and, like, get on with your life.


PS: This post was in no way sponsored by Restor-A-Finish, but if you work for that company please contact me and I will tell you where you can send a check.


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Fashion Felicitations From My Father’s Closet: 70s Bird Shirt

Photographs by Sean Gin


Dear Fashion Diary,

One of the most exciting pieces of clothing I’ve taken from my father’s closet is this ridiculously awesome bird shirt my mom made for him when they were in their twenties. Shown are my parents, my father in the glamourshirt:


It’s not something that you’d wear to, like, a job interview or anywhere fancy. But every once in a while, when you want to wear something luxuriously 70z, it’s great to put on. I love that it looks like a gorgeous Japanese watercolor painting.


I remember in high school, like freshman year, all the cool kids were into 70z stuff. Like seriously bellbottoms, etcetera. And I just saw a little spread in LA Magazine about how bellbottoms and 70z nonsense are coming back again. Don’t you kind of feel like everything is aways coming back all the time? Like as soon as something falls out of popularity someone is like “oh my god ironic 90z Tommy Hillfiger jeans are SO cool” and then you look at them and you’re like “wait, that is kind of cool.” Maybe fashion is just an endless cycle of getting sick of stuff, forgetting about it, and then remembering it again and getting excited. Which basically means we’re all idiots with the brain capacity of goldfish but whatever. Anyway, all this is to say that I’m into this shirt, even though it’s so 70z.


If you’re my mother, you can make this thing by hand, otherwise, check out the similar pieces I found online:


1. Chambray Shirt, $139 from Scotch & Soda
2. Slim-Fit Emerald Chino, $115 from Scotch & Soda
3. Brogue Leather Boots, $95 from ASOS

Now go buy this stuff and dress up like me dressing up like my dad.



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Style Tips From The Desk of Kelly Oxford

Photo via Domaine


Dear Reader,

Do you ever fantasize about trapping Kelly Oxford in a human-size birdcage so you can force her to talk to you and be your friend? Me too. That has nothing to do with the piece I wrote for Refinery29, but make sure you read it anyway. Some good tips on how to make your office as cozy and comfortable as the cage I designed for Kelly. I mean office. Whatever. Go read!


LINK: Kelly Oxford Office Decor Ideas on Refinery29

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Whut Beauty: The Photo Diary of John Arsenault

Photographs by John Arsenault

Dear John Arsenault,

Say what you will about Facebook, but sometimes it can be such a great tool for discovery. Just the other day, I was sifting through the vast stream of Gay shirtless pics, life-is-glamourous-I’m-somewhere-expensive status updates, and countless Buzzfeed GIF-list posts and I came across, as if by miracle, one of your images. I was immediately entranced. I love how quiet, mysterious, and ravishingly beautiful your work is. The following is a mixup of pieces from your visual diary and photos from your various exhibitions. I love it all so much that I want to bite it. With my mouth.













Thanks for the lovely work. I certainly will be continually checking the John Arsenault Photography site for updates.


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Homepolishing in Laurel Canyon

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt

Dear Reader,

For a long time, it’s been a dream of mine to live in Laurel Canyon. I just imagine I’d move there, Joni Mitchell would be my neighbor, she would sing to me every morning out her window, and I’d be surrounded by trees and wilderness and I could pretend I lived nowhere near a city. Do you ever notice that the longer you live in a city the more annoying it starts to feel? Like you’ll be walking down the street and you’ll be like “why are there so many people waddling in front of me?!?” (I love to walk fast so this is a particular pet peeve of mine). Or you’ll be at a sandwich shop and you’ll be like “why are there so many other people eating sandwiches!?!” I think it’s good to get out of the city every once in a while so you don’t go totally crazy. Or you can just move to a part of town that feels slightly less like a city.

One of my favorite Homepolish designers decorated this glamour cottage on a mountaintop in Laurel Canyon and I want to move into it, like, yesterday.

Most of the furnishings in this two bedroom home are vintage, sourced at flea markets and local vintage stores.

The whole place has a very casual, old-world feel. The clients are big collectors who love beautiful, unique objects. There’s a ton of character in this place because there is so much to ogle all over the place.

The place gets tons of natural light, so the designer kept the walls white and brought in color in art and objects, which as you probably know is my favorite way of bringing in color.

This rustic sofa table provides a nice contrast with the crisp, white sofa.

We made that poor dog sit outside that window for so long just to get that shot.

The dining nook provides the perfect place for a romantic dinner with your imaginary boyfriend.

A fun fact about me is that I’m terrified of crucifixes. Like when I was little I would go to my friend’s house and his parents had crucifixes everywhere but they were like SUPER GRAPHIC crucifixes with tons of blood and gore and I thought they were the scariest thing ever. At that point in my life I though Gremlins was a horror movie so seeing a bloody dead guy hanging on a piece of wood was pretty much the most terrifying thing imaginable. Anyway, that being said I love this little window moment. And I’m glad the crucifix is gold and not covered with scary realistic blood the way my friend’s were…

Don’t you just wanna get in that tub and live there? Forever? Staring out the window onto that lovely rock-filled back yard, watching baby deer chew on grass?

Note that the designer painted the door the same color as the dog and the totally cool Stussy hat.

Another non-terrifying crucifix helps this dresser-top look casually cool and collected. The whole place feels so comfortable and sophisticated, which should be the goal when designing any interior space.


PS: Want to hire the glamourdesigner that created this beautiful space? Contact Homepolish!


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Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent Have Gone Bananas

Photographs by Mikael Jansson


Dear Gay Diary,

This isn’t exactly hot-off-the-press news, but I discovered recently that everyone’s favorite design powercouple Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are part of a new Banana Republic ad campaign. Thus, I had to share the totally cute pics of them canoodling, cuddling, and just generally making every other couple on earth look like moldy dog food. Thanks guys! Of course these images fill me with the normal amount of jealousy, bewilderment, and outrage. But they also just kind of made me glad to see a cute gay couple in an ad like it ain’t no thang. The images were shot by Mikael Jansson and are beautifully done. It appears that they were shot at their totally ugly house, which I would love to break into and live in until I am dramatically removed by violent police force.






They’re so cute, right? Someday, when they die, I plan to taxidermy their dead bodies and put them in my living room as the ULTIMATE interior design accessories. That’ll teach them to keep their out-of-control dimples and get-lost-in-me eyes to themselves.



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Dreamhouse: Coastal Living In Connecticut Cove

Photographs Courtesy Joeb Moore & Partners


Dear College Diary,

I took a class called Desire senior year in which one of my favorite professors taught us about the culture history of human desire. My friend Matt and I used to sit in the back and spend the whole class figuring out our post-collegiate lives. Like all the people I went to school with, we were planning on moving to New York (“The next trendy place to move is going to be Roosevelt Island!”). Our plans for our lives involved living in New York for 20 years, finding husbands, then moving to Connecticut and buying babies. For this reason, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Connecticut. It’s glamorous in such an old-school, unattainable, alienating way.

I recently discovered the work of architecture/interior design firm Joeb Moore & Partners and I’m totally enthralled with everything they do. My very favorite project they’ve completed is the Harbor Residence. It’s on the coast of the Long Island Sound in Connecticut Cove. The home is modern and streamlined without feeling cold and terrifying. I messed up the New York part of my life plan, but perhaps there’s still time for me to move to Connecticut if someone buys me this house (and some children)…



I love the Japanese-inspired wood cladding on parts of the house. I don’t normally go for that but it’s so streamlined and it lets in the perfect amount of light/beauty.


And I love the big heavy front door and the romantic little pathway that leads to it.


Inside, the house is white, gleaming, and art-filled. It looks kind of like an art museum. And it’s pretty much my dream to live inside an art museum.



Those views of Long Island Sound are crazy, right? Like how happy would you be to wake up and ogle all that waterfront glamour?



I love those modern stools. And how everything is white. And that glamourous chandelier.




I also love that whoever styled this shoot put tropical fronds all over the place. Gives this Northeastern house a bit of tropical flavor.



If you can look at this photo without dying you’re probably and alien. Like that is the prettiest bedroom I have ever seen in my life. Imagine all the contemplating you’d do whilst looking out that window, appreciating your beautiful life.



The crazy infinity pool isn’t bad, either. I always feel weird about East Coast pools, since they are frozen ponds for 6 months out of the year, but this one certainly is huge and pretty. Gimme!



Filed under Decor