Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

September 16, 2015

New Bedroom Dressers with Mid-Century Styling

The search for new dressers is finally over!  When we moved into the lakehouse, two years ago, our master bedroom had one maple dresser on loan from my Mom (plus the vintage Mingo chair and mint side table):

After my Mom and I sewed the first set of back tab curtains in a bold, teal print, I shuffled some furniture and replaced the mint chair with our black organic chair.

I am so grateful to my Mom for loaning us a dresser because when we downsized from our three bedroom townhouse to our two bedroom lakehouse, we lost a lot of closet space and found ourselves needing a dresser for the first time!  I immediately started the quest for a replacement but I was disappointed by my first choice, dissuaded from going with some Ikea units, and discouraged by my local mid-century finds.  After short-listing many options and rejecting them for various reasons, I renewed my search at the end of last year, tirelessly checking out the options at every local furniture shop and large retailer in my small city.

I hadn't tried Leon's Furniture at that point so my Mom and I took a look around.  I was surprised by what Leon's had to offer - they had some really stylish, very modern dressers, some of which are even made in Canada!  I ended up finding two styles that appealed to my mid-century modern aesthetic: the (now discontinued) cherry veneered Noma (top) and the walnut veneered Roxy (bottom).

At the time my local Leon's didn't have either model on the floor and, although ordering in the dressers was no problem, I really wanted to see a better photo first, so I started perusing Leon's Instagram, searching for more photos of either dresser.  (I like seeing furniture in homes to get a better sense of the scale and finish).  I ended up chatting with their Director of Social Media, who invited me to collaborate on their new blog, Hello Yellow - you saw the start of my bedroom makeover for Hello Yellow when I revealed my new white glass sliding closet doors.  (You can read my newest Hello Yellow post here).

Part of my bedroom makeover includes two new dressers from Leon's, but that meant finally decided between the two dresser styles!  I loved the mid-century feel of the Noma, but the walnut veneer of the Roxy was quite striking.  In the end, I chose the Noma because I wanted to maximize storage (it is quite a few inches taller, wider, and longer than the Roxy) and I loved the curvy drawer fronts. 
When it was delivered I was a bit puzzled by the finish, which didn't look like the "cherry veneers in a graphite finish," described on the website.  

I was picturing a stain similar to the bench in this bedroom, which I hoped would pair well with the teak and walnut furniture in the rest of the house.  While in the photos I've taken it looks like an espresso finish, in real life the cherry wood beneath the stain really warms up the colour, so it looks more like chocolate - a really warm, rich brown.

Leon's was more than happy to let me swap out the dressers for any other pair I fancied, but I decided to live with the darker finish for awhile because the size fit our room so perfectly - I didn't want to give up an inch of storage.  So I kept them, and spent a lot of contemplative hours in here...

After living with them for a few days (and checking out my local Leon's, which by then had the Roxy in store), I couldn't bear to part with these dressers because I absolutely love the shape - especially the legs, with their retro metal foot caps!  The curvy draw fronts really remind me of vintage dressers like this one and this one, but with more height and spaciousness than any vintage piece I've seen.  Plus the quality is great: the drawers slide smoothly and both pieces feel really substantial and sturdy.

I looked at some mid-century dressers that I had pinned to Pinterest and realized that the darker stain was quite fetching and actually somewhat era-appropriate, demonstrated by this lovely 1950s Edward Wormley piece.
1st Dibs
While I contemplated the finish, anyone who walked through our doorway was immediately ushered into our bedroom and polled: "what do you think of these dressers?"  Most everyone agreed that while they are darker than my usual style, the dark stain really complements our DIY black welded headboard and vintage Hungarian posters.

And so, after much agonizing, it was decided that the dressers would stay!

The room feels so much more pulled together now - here's a sneak peek with the new tweed curtains:

I used my new camera for some of these photos and there's a learning curve - for sure - because I just haven't accurately captured the stain  or the brightness of the room.  I'm slowly improving and when I've got the hang of it, I'll re-take some photos of the bedroom.  In the meantime, now you've seen the progress being made in the space!

I was provided these two dressers by Leon's Furniture but was not prompted or encouraged to provide a positive review.  I had short-listed them long before we started chatting about a collaboration - getting to partner with a brand that I would happily purchase from is always the best kind of arrangement.  I've been very happy with the service from Leon's - they even offer once weekly delivery to folks in the sticks around here (thank you!). 


  1. This may sound dumb, but how do the drawers open on the long dresser? I think the tall one has five drawers and they pull from a couple different sides.....but the long one has stumped me

    1. I wondered the same thing when I first spotted them online - that's such a good question! Yes, the tall dresser has five drawers and you pull by the convex part of the curves- on either side of that part. The long dresser has six drawers. Each drawer has a convex/concave part, so where you pull the drawer alternates. It took us awhile to get used to it at first!

    2. I spent a majority of the post wondering the same thing! The room looks awesome! I love the green curtains.

    3. So sorry!! I should have explained right away. I have a post about the curtains coming up soon - I love how they turned out!

  2. LOVE THEM! But even more... love that houndstooth dog bed! Is that bought or DIY?

    1. Thanks! Isn't that bed the cutest? I bought it on eBay. I pinned it but when I clicked the pin it doesn't go to the exact product listing anymore - they may be out. But here's the pinterest pin (it's got the key words for the original listing):

      It was a big splurge but the quality is amazing. All of our other beds fall apart but this one washes up so well. And Szuka LOVES it - she won't sleep on anything else if this is available. It's super cushy. I'm not going to lie, I curled up in it and took a nap once with her. I can attest to how comfy it is, haha!

  3. This is great to read. I live in St John's, Newfoundland and shopping for furniture is hard. I have been through Leon's a couple of times but always had more questions about some of the brands - and whether it was really quality or whether I was just desperate and tired! Oh dear. Lovely dressers though!

    1. I know the feeling! It can be so difficult to tell what's good quality these days and what isn't, especially when a store carries more than one brand or source items from different manufacturers. I've been disappointed by expensive purchases and surprised by inexpensive ones (and vice versa, of course).

      Ultimately, I can't speak to the quality of everything Leon's carries. I will say that my furniture is built very well, and I've actually had it since March so it's seen some use, but it was a higher price point than other dressers I looked at. My uncle bought a dining room table, chairs, and hutch from Leon's a few years ago that I inspected last time I was over and, to me, it seems like it has really withstood wear and tear - and his in-laws boast a HUGE family with lots of kiddos. I was impressed with how new it still looked!

      If I were you, I would find a salesperson you click with who will chat honestly about the furniture at Leon's: where it's made, what it's made out of, etc. Some is made in Canada, and I would hope that would be better quality, so that might be a criteria to look for. People who have purchased from Leon's used the hashtag #myleons on Instagram, so you can also sneak a peek at real life people who are using the furniture - might help you get the inside scoop!

      In the meantime, you've sparked an idea for a post about what to look for when shopping for furniture - my father in law is a woodworker, so perhaps I can convince him to help me shed some light on the subject. I'd be curious too!

      Good luck shopping!!

  4. I love how you let us into your thoughts process and all the uhm-ing and ah-ing and should-I-buy-it-or-shouldn't-I's makes me feel like a much more sane person when I take more than a year to decide on what desk to buy ;) I quite like the dressers too actually - the shape is really nice (those wavy doors look really cool too) and if you ever do decide they are too dark you can always paint them ;) (it might actually look quite nice if you just paintet the front in maybe white or aquay and the you could still have the wood in the frame on the sides of the wavy bits...hmmm But then again maybe just enjoy the beautiful wood :) )
    Oh and I was thinking -have you ever considered installing a longer curtain rod, so that when the curtains are pulled open you can see the entire window? I did that in our living room because I read somewhere it's supposed to make your windows look bigger and obviously let more light in and: lo and behold it does and I love the change it makes! Just thought it might make your bedroom feel a bit airier and bigger... just a suggestion though :) Love the new look and thanks for sharing!

    1. I'm happy to hear that it isn't excruciating to hear my pondering process! I hope it's helpful for anyone in a similar situation - at the very least, you know you're not alone when it takes awhile to find the right thing! I always like hearing someone's thought process because it helps shape my own decision making.

      My Mom recommended a longer curtain rod when we were ordering this fabric (she wanted me to get a track that extended the whole wall), but I was really dead set on a white curtain rod and when I was shopping for one over a year ago, this was the longest, modern white curtain rod I could find online. The rest had more of a country feel with really ornate finials. I actually could open the curtains quite a bit wider but I hate our trim so I intentionally fiddle with them to cover it up a bit! Isn't that the weirdest hang up? One day I hope to replace all of it with really wide, modern white trim.

      But I like your suggestion! Once we've updated the trim, maybe Hubs and I will have to whip up a longer curtain rod (we could keep the brackets and finials).

  5. I was worried; the pictures from the website didn't do this furniture justice. They are much better in real life. Whew.

    1. I was surprised how different it looked in real life! The Roxy, on the other hand, looks very similar in real life. They even captured the variations in the walnut veneer. I wish furniture stores would at least have a nightstand from every furniture set on the floor to get a better feel for the design and finish.


You've made my day - I love hearing from you! I approve comments only to keep out the spam, so don't worry if your comment doesn't pop up right away.

© Dans le Lakehouse | All rights reserved.
See What Inspires Me on Pinterest