i finally dragged my camera all the way upstairs (what was i making all the fuss about anyway?)
and shot some pics of the end result.
so here you have it...

i don't know if anyone has noticed,
but white paint (because it's so cheap and so easy to match) gets used an awful lot in our household.
so with this project i decided to branch out.
i got really brave and sprang for some cream colored paint instead!
ah yes, big changes taking place here in our household! we're really shaking things up!

but the rest of the process was pretty much the same as both this & this project.
which means a whole lot of sanding.
we always use an electric sander and usually try to stay outside for this messy part.
but in this case i do believe there was snow on the ground,
so all construction took place in our dining room.
(oh how i long for a garage. or a barn. or a shed.)
after it's all smooth and thoroughly sanding, apply an extremely thin coat of primer.
and then leave that to dry at least 24 hours.
it's excruciating!! seriously, but you just have to do it.
and then when that is good and dry, apply one thin (like super thin) coat of paint after the other.
we did 3 coats on this guy.
and use a very fine roller on all the flat surfaces, it's so much easier.
but the legs and trickier parts can be done using just a regular tapered paint brush.
and then, because this will be used around water and hairspray etc,
we also applied a very thin coat of polyurethane.
and then allowed all that to dry for another agonizing couple of days.
but just trust me, this curing time makes all the difference.
you want everything to get nice and hard, otherwise it could just stay tacky forever. 
trust me on this, we purchased a dresser from craigslist that had obviously been diy'd,
and that thing is still tacky to this day. booo!

but after all that work she transformed into quite a sweet addition to our room.
and with such a small bathroom upstairs,
i couldn't be happier about now having my very own vanity area at which to get ready.
especially when we have guests and that bathroom is always in use.
(we love having guests-come visit!)

ah, and those charming knobs were a steal at anthropology.
okay, to be honest nothing is a steal at anthropology, but these were some of their cheapest wares.
six bucks each (4 for the little one) and purchased with a gift card.
so not bad at all.
i saw them and just knew they belonged on this little secretary desk.
especially that wee floret on the drop down table.

and i even mod-podged some lovely paper -bought for $.10 a sheet- onto the table top
and the bottoms of each of the drawers to give it some personality.
and i love it! such an inexpensive addition.
and completely waterproof to boot.

and a little peak into my drawers.
i found that wooden box with all those compartments for a mere dollar. (also at d.i.)

a quick coat of white paint on it and presto! instant jewelry organization.
as you can see i like to sort by color.
clothes, books, and now you know, even jewelry!

and this is the very best use i've ever seen for those gorgeous boxes brie comes in.
i've always felt it was such a shame to throw those out.
and now they corral my large jewelry and miscellaneous hair stuff.
brilliant and totally free - if you eat brie that is - which we do.

i wasn't feeling brave enough to completely paint this mirror.
instead i brushed some of that same cream paint just on the outside.
leaving the original yellow coat to show through in all the nooks and crannies.
i may switch it up someday, but for now i'm actually liking that pop of color it gives our room.
especially with all that blue in there. and white. and dark wood.

and some of the sweet details that can get a little more attention,
now that i've tidied the space up a bit.

and a little place to sit. or to set out tomorrows outfit.
what i imagine was once a captains chair is the perfect size & hight.
unlike that dining chair that used to sit in it's place and had to be tucked under that shelf.

so the entire cost break down is:
secretary desk (d.i.) - $10
paint - $5
polyurethane - $0 (already had)
mod podge - $0 (already had)
knobs - $28 (anthropologie gift card)
jewelry tray - $1
total - $44

so it's not my cheapest project, but still a great value.
it was those anthropologie knobs that really added cost.
but since they were purchased with a gift card, i suppose the real total cost is...
total: $16
nice! yes, i like that number much better.

i'd say we are loving it but i'm not sure ryan notices much of a difference.
(after all, he still gets ready in the bathroom.)
he is however loving the fact that i am loving it.
so we're both happy with the change!