Are you ready to view my debut-DIY? My first foray into refinishing? My painting premiere?
This piece holds great sentimental value for me, although it began life as a very non-valuable 90’s china cabinet (hunter green and knotty pine, of course) that looked something like this.
This is one of the first items I ever purchased on Craigslist, and the very first piece of furniture I ever painted.
Obviously, I can never part with it. Also, I kind of adore it.
When I was just a young sprout of a vintage thrifter (2010 – eons ago really), I realized that I had no place to store my rapidly amassing hoard collection. So I became convinced that I needed a china cabinet. I also managed to convince Bryan of this fact.
This was long before his heart became hardened to my treasure-seeking pleas. Poor Bryan really had no idea what he was in for when, on that pivotal day, he said, “yes.” Once bitten, twice shy.
This was also long before we became well-versed in the science of furniture transportation, so we asked a friend to come along and help us collect the china cabinet. And we didn’t bring straps or anything with remotely rope-like qualities essential for such activities as tying and securing.
[If you own a truck and you don’t have ratcheting straps, you need some. They will change your life.]
So our friend sat in the back. Of the truck. Holding the pieces upright. On the highway. I’m telling you, were were newbies. Tractor-trailers flying by, their tailwinds threatening to send the taller portion of the china cabinet flying out the back.
To be honest, this story isn’t all that interesting since you already know, from the photos above, that the china cabinet made it home safely. (Oh yeah – our friend made it home safely as well. No friends were harmed in the making of this décor-mentary.)
Once home, (carted up three flights of stairs to our first apartment) I primed with oil-based Zinser primer and painted it Cottage White by Behr. I used Minwax Dark Walnut gel stain to darken the pine.
I ordered some Premier Prints’ Zig Zag Village Blue fabric and mounted it to the back of the hutch with spray adhesive. (Whew – I am doing a lot of linking in this post! I’m hoping you will find it helpful if you want to see exactly what product I used!)
I found some cute silver label holders, but later decided they needed to be gold (Rub-N-Buff to the rescue!) to match my favorite glass knobs in the world that I snatched up on sale at Anthropologie – $2.95 each! I printed French labels on vintage notebook paper, because apparently I am too fancy/pretentious for regular English.
This china cabinet has lived in four different residences with us, and here’s hoping we don’t have to move it anywhere else anytime soon!
Last night I was able to unpack some of the boxes labeled “china cabinet”. (Note that I said, “some.” Oh yes, there are many more thrifted scores that I didn’t manage to fit on display.) It was so fun to rediscover and remember each piece. They’ve been sitting away in boxes for the last ten months or so (read the reason for that here), so it was incredibly cathartic to unwrap them and reunite with my old friends.
Here’s the kicker.
Do you want to know what I realized, after I spent several hours unpacking and arranging and vignetting everything to my heart’s content and stepped back?
The months of imposed minimalism did something to me.
It felt too busy. Cluttered. No longer my style. I have a soft spot for each find individually, but the whole china-cabinet-display, which I love in my head and in photos, just felt chaotic here in my home.
So this is the both debut and the curtain call of the china cabinet here in my petite dining room. (Do you like the freshly painted charcoal wall color? It’s Martha Stewart’s Zinc). But by no means am I getting rid of it! Because you read the story of its acquisition, right?
I’ve decided to move it upstairs to one of the guest bedrooms to use for craft storage and to display pretty things. The walls in there will be ballet slipper pink – it’s a room solely dedicated to my shoe collection, craft items, and for my sisters when they visit – so I’m sure it will fit right in! I can maintain one room in the house as a shrine to maximalism, right?
So let’s chat! What vintage item caught your eye? Did I include too many photos? Have you ever had a dramatic revelation that your decorating style changed? Are any of you Terry Pratchett fans? Are you still reading this?