He’s a simple kind of fellow- but he’s just bursting with potential.
RAST probably looks familiar to you, because according to my in-no-way-scientific assessment, RAST is among the most-hacked Ikea products of all time. And with good reason.
Dear RAST is only $35. And unlike most Ikea products, the body is actually completely solid wood. The only particle board to be found is the drawer liners and backing. Therein lies the appeal of RAST. For a mere $35, you can buy a prefabricated dresser- upon which some clever Swedes have already done all the hard work: engineering, cutting, sanding, and square-ing (which is what has always felt to me to be the most daunting component of anything with drawers).
And then you can do literally anything with RAST.
You can go rustic, or glam.
You can get graphic, or more graphic.
It’s pretty much the best blank slate you can ask for.
And that’s why Ben and I just picked up two.
But here’s the thing- when you’re working with the best blank slate you can ask for- YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. And that, it turns out, can be paralyzing. I thought it would be easy to determine what we’d do with our dressers. But not so. BECAUSE YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
We’re working with a lot of elements that we love in our bedroom, and finding the right dressers was a tall order. We love our hand-built bed (which is only a little ridiculously large for our 1950’s era construction bedroom- but in our defense, it’s only a Queen, and we built it when we lived in another house.) We love this bed. I can’t help but smile every time I think about it. There’s something special about laying down every night in a bed that we made with our four hands. (8 hands? 12? How are we classifying dog-hands? (because they definitely helped)
Is it just the front ones? #askingforafriend
Because of the size of the bed, I knew it was better to keep the nightstand profiles pretty slim so that the room doesn’t feel overstuffed. Right now we’re currently working with a mix of old Ikea dressers from our college days. Ben’s old tall Hemnes that is literally falling apart. They don’t even make this version anymore. It’s actually empty, and only serving as place to set down his tea and books at the end of the night. And mine, that I can’t find online at all, but trust that the name had superfluous vowels and accents. It’s actually in great shape, but it’s large, and dark, and not right for the room. Once our guestroom becomes a guestroom (it’s currently housing our friend-tenant), good old OLEONORP (I made that name up, but I feel pretty good about it) will head to that room.
We’ve gone for a midcentury-personal-masculine-adventure-chic look in our bedroom. Obviously. We’re pioneers. In reality, I just think it feels hard to pin point exactly what our “style” is. Our home is just what we like: midcentury touches, shades of grey/blue/green, accessories and artwork with meaning, things that won’t get destroyed by large black dogs, varied textures, and simple patterns. That makes the direction for the dresser/nightstands a little vague, so finding the right style has been a journey. Obviously, #firstworldproblems
When we walked through the West Elm at Ponce City Market (which I always make Ben do even though it is NOT the most direct route to the food hall..) we were both totally digging their campaign furniture. But the nightstand is too small for our liking, and the dressers too large for the space. And honestly, both were more expensive than what we were looking to spend. But they provided great inspiration. After viewing many, many RAST hacks on Pinterest, I’d say that the campaign style is one of the most popular. It feels classic without being too traditional. It can also feel very grown-up, but that can be tempered with a fun color. And, it’s not difficult to achieve. Adding cup pulls is another very popular option for the RAST, and it can be a very transformative, but simple, update. I’ve just never been that into cup pulls. GASP. (Is that a big deal? It felt like sort of a dramatic proclamation..)
We love graphic elements in textiles and accessories, and toyed with the idea of incorporating them via furniture as well. I played with varied subtleties on a tribal pattern, and included my current obsession- buffalo check, as well as the amazing tree print from Society 6 that I spotted when selecting pillows for my Dream Room. This was Ben’s favorite style, but we feared that it might not work as well as a set of two, and the room could become too theme-y. You see, we’ve got a mountain mural in shades of blue across from our bed, and pairing that with literal tree dressers would be a lot of look. Remind me to tell you about the Mountains of Jenjamin sometime.
I also love the two-toned look that we did when finishing our bed. The simplicity of something in this style would let us have fun with the hardware, so I played with wood/white and white/blue, as well as graphic prints with a contrasting exterior.
As if picking the color and design wasn’t enough, then there’s the hardware! GASP. (It just felt right). There are thousands and thousands of options when it comes to drawer hardware, which is pretty dang exciting, because if there’s something that you’re picturing in your head- it probably exists. However, hardware can get really, really expensive. When a single pull can cost you $20, you’re looking at $20 x 12 knobs, and- spoiler alert- that = TOO MUCH. Of course, they aren’t all that expensive, but your favorite ones will be 😉
Ben actually floated the idea of long pulls, and he won me over! We decided to do some amazing hairpin legs from Philly Fabrication via Etsy, and the long pulls feel like the perfect compliment. We’re still in progress on these (aka: I have to decide on a final pattern to hand paint in white over the grey stain) but- THEY’RE AWESOME. We went with a medium grey stain, light brushed bronze hairpin legs and pulls, and they look SO.GOOD. I can’t wait to share the finished product!
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So what are your favorite Ikea hacks? I love a good Billy transformation, and we’re working on some super stylish Kallax’s in our office as well. I’ll be sharing the full details on our Rast hack and how you can achieve your own soon!