Tag Archives: Cabinets

What once looked like a coffin..

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A  little over a year and a half ago Dan and I had the conversation about him moving in with me.  It just made sense, I had a big enough apartment and he basically already lived with me. While I have never doubted that it was the right decision (after all we did get married) at the time, it scared me.  Having lived with a boyfriend before and it not ending well, I was nervous; scared shitless would be a better way to describe it.  Plus I had been living solo for 5 years, I’m not the easiest person to live with and now Dan was wanting to move into MY SPACE!! Every reason I could think of for keeping him out was debunked until I found the perfect reason: “but where will your clothes live? You don’t have a dresser and I don’t have room for another one. No room for clothes! No room for you!” That worked for a few weeks until “The Coffin” came into my possession.

“The Coffin” is a 1930’s art deco, wood locker that was heavily painted a DARK DARK DARK brownish purple black color.  It has the beautiful straight lines of a vintage locker and really funky deco hardware.  This amazing piece of furniture was brought into my bedroom where there was NO room and smashed against the wall.  That one piece took an open feeling room and made it wall to wall furniture. I was not happy.

check out this amazing hardware

check out this amazing hardware

Before I could begin to strip this piece (or even find a good spot for it) I had a nightmare from watching scary movies and I woke up to this HUGE DARK MASS looming over me, much like a coffin with a vampire in it would. THEN out of nowhere the door creaks opens and out pops one of the cats. Can you say scared?! Needless to say that was the moment it went from being a cool wood locker to the “coffin”.

I took the door off to make it visually lighter. Then I rearranged the bedroom so the “coffin” would fit better. I used bleach to wash the inside because it had a wonderful smell of rotting flesh….I mean mildew…in it. Once it was clean (ish) Dan put his clothes in it and that was that.

I have been slowly stripping the the paint from the coffin…I mean locker…with the idea we would repaint it, making it look clean and new again. Dan’s request was green (something manly) and I had the idea it needed to be a classic gray. Once it was stripped I realized under all the layers of paint as beautiful clear vertical grain fir.  So we thought about staining it and being done. Sadly the wood had been damaged by the paint and it needed to be repainted.
We decided seahawks green (I do live in Seattle afterall) and a mid level gray. We painted it over a long weekend, added the gray chevron shelf paper while watching a movie. Dan’s clothes went back in about 4 days after we started painting it.  I love that this once dark coffin esk piece is now a bright happy (but still kind of adultish) piece.  I guess Dan can now move in 🙂
The finished Piece....I lost the "Before" pics when the computer died

The finished Piece….I lost the “Before” pics when the computer died

look how nice his clothes look NOT on the floor

look how nice his clothes look NOT on the floor

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Partially Complete, Totally Happy

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When it comes to projects, I like to only brag about the finished ones. This is because if I bragged about EVERY partially finished project, I would spend my years bragging and not finishing. There is nothing like the rush I get when that project is complete and I get to cross it off my list. But every now and then a project is so massive, that, well bragging rights are deserved at the mid point.

The point I realized it was the cabinet or my sanity

The point I realized it was the cabinet or my sanity

The Craftsman Cabinet  has been a massive undertaking. I have stripped and stripped and stripped some more! I removed literally a 1/2 inch of paint from some places! It was fun to see all the colors my 100 year old cabinet had been. I then needed new hinges because I may have broken the not so original ones.

This WAS what it looked like for several months

This WAS what it looked like for several months

This was an epic adventure all of its own because I couldn’t replace the hinges with matching ones because I could not find them! So Dan had the great idea of doing different hinges. The ones I fell in love with were high end reproductions and were perfect…but not for $125. So I went to my work, grabbed a handful of the same style hinges and stripped the paint off, only to discover I had half brass and have steel hinges. I swapped out the brass and repeated the process. Because the hinges were different than the original Dan had to make the hinge grooves larger. I reattached the hardware (and added a few extra knobs).

Then replaced the top with premium old growth lumber from work. I sanded the whole thing several times and its partially complete!! In my mind, its no longer the eye sore of the corner (because I can close the doors and it’s clean again), paint will come eventually (I have the colors picked out in my mind). But for once, I’m trying to be happy with partially complete.

A rare view of the cabinet without the cat on it

A rare view of the cabinet without the cat on it

Overly Optimistic

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As January came to an end so did the month of finishing.  I had (and still do) great plans for the month of blah.  I technically only finished one project, my little orange sewing table.  BUT I was very busy this past month!

Let’s start with the big one: I jump started wedding planning!! I now have a dress, photographer, caterer, venue, and have several small wedding crafts completed. Of course my wedding would have crafts. Poor Dan is probably tired of wedding talk; but Honey, we still have several months to go!

Don't let that face fool you he is SUPER excited!

Don’t let that face fool you he is SUPER excited!

Typically January is my slow month both in the salvage and design worlds.  Not this year! In salvage we have been CRAZY BUSY! Not only have I been selling everything that comes in, its been that time of the month that ALL of the displays needed to be changed. Three of my four were done and during Super Bowl game I finished my fourth! In the design world I have been doing floor plan after floor plan after floor plan! Its crazy but amazing!

Just SOME of the stuff I'm doing at work

Just SOME of the stuff I’m doing at work

The projects: After finishing the sewing table, I moved onto Dan’s 1920’s wood locker dresser (look for the finished post SOON). It was  half finished since I had been working on it prior to January. I’ve got it completely stripped, paint colors picked out, supplies bought. But it started to rain so I couldn’t do the sanding or painting.  I then, trying not to loose momentum, went back to stripping the BIG craftsman cabinet.  Before I could get too far into it I needed to clean out the corner of clutter that it sat in.  I borrowed the work truck for a Goodwill run and spent the rest of the night moving furniture around to make room the big closet.  Now that corner looks great! Well it does in my mind 😉

Pardon the mess but EVERYBODY is working hard ;)

Pardon the mess but EVERYBODY is working hard 😉

Throw in a few heart placemats for Dan and I, a new valentine wreath for my door, salvaged wood heart wreaths, and writing blogs that haven’t been posted BUT only need photos and I would say the month of finishing, which didn’t go as planned, still ended great! Plus it gives me something to do in February…

My funky new set up including a lamp base vase and a skeleton key valentine

My funky new wall set-up including a lamp base vase, a skeleton key valentine, and my salvaged floor grate

Instant Happiness

Instant Happiness

All it needs is a little love…

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“All it needs is a little love!” This was the phrase my 30 year old parents said when they bought their first house.  The house that I grew up in was small and was constantly needing a little love and a lot of money.  It was referred to as a “fixer-upper”.

This phrase is one I found myself using just this afternoon when I was trying to convince myself that I NEEDED this beautiful craftsman pantry hutch.  In my mind all I could see is a beautiful old growth fir cabinet with classic straight lines of the craftsman style.  This amazing piece of history, as I would tell my boyfriend, is just what I need for my sewing stuff! It would work later in life too when we buy our home and it can be used ANYWHERE!!

To pull at his heart strings just a little more I threw in the idea that with a fresh coat of paint it would look great in our future baby’s room. My boyfriend, not being a stupid man, asked to see a picture of this “amazing, beautiful, too good to be true cabinet”. And all he saw was yet ANOTHER project that would sit around the apartment half stripped, half sanded, a constant reminded that I may have bit off more than I could chew.  Mr. Practical also saw another $50 worth of all natural paint stripper and a weekend of stripping paint and sanding ahead of him.

Here is the cabinet as it sat in the store.  This picture that I took several times would be the one I would use to lure the boyfriend in.

Here is the cabinet as it sat in the store. This picture that I took several times would be the one I would use to lure the boyfriend in.

At this point I found myself becoming super attached to this cabinet and feeling like only I could love this piece of furniture and restore it to the amazing idea I had in my mind. The more I thought about it the more this piece needed me!! I had asked the universe for this piece (granted, when I asked the universe to present the piece to store my fabric I may have envisioned something a little less project-y). None the less I had asked for it and the universe had, once again, filled my need.  I had decided; it WOULD go home with me!

The boyfriend shows up after work to collect the cabinet, since my car obviously wouldn’t carry it. He starts to point out its few flaws that I may have “forgotten” to mention.  There is water damage from being mistreated, one of the drawers is cracked and needs a few set nails and wood glue, it had been painted AT LEAST 10 times, oh and did I forget to mention its slightly uneven and unbalanced? None of this has deterred me, in fact its part of a challenge. And without thinking I uttered the phrase that will one day be the death of me because after all “all it needs is a little love”.

The cabinet in its temporary spot has already had its doors removed so I can start right away

The cabinet in its temporary spot has already had its doors removed so I can start right away