We replaced our basement-find dining room cabinet with an antique china cabinet that started out life as a pie cupboard. With new glass in the doors and a refreshed finish, it will be good for many more years.
I'm so excited to share with you our new-old china cabinet!
I've been stalking Craigslist for more than two years (honest...and let me just say I was TIRED of looking - it had ceased to be fun anymore) for a cabinet to replace our old cabinet that we had used for storing dishes.
Notice how I cleverly didn't call it a china cabinet? That's because it was a pantry cabinet we found in the basement of the house Brian lived in through college - definitely not a china cabinet, lol.
But we had added molding and shutters as doors (Brian knocked out by hand all the wood slats so I could staple fabric into the frames as the very first DIY project we ever did as newlyweds!) and I painted it various colors over the years. And it served us well.
It was time to move to an actual cabinet, though, that had storage on the bottom instead of wasted space like our make-shift cabinet. I sold it in our big sale and have kept the money waiting until I found just the right piece that I would love and would serve us well.
I wanted a small cabinet with just two doors that didn't have any definite style, so it would go with anything. I didn't want a big diy project (I have plenty that I can't even get to) and I didn't want formal.
This ruled out any mahogany, French Provincial, and, well, it seemed like most everything!
I finally decided on this cabinet's antique style (above) that's probably from the 30s or 40s after seeing it in other houses in the internet. I liked the simple lines and small size.
Oh, but these babies do not come up on Craigslist I learned. Until a few weeks ago when I looked and saw an estate sale being held in a grange hall. I don't usually look at those ads - why I did this time, I don't know - and as I was scrolling through the list of their items, up popped this lovely cabinet!!
Of course there was no price, but I drug Brian out the next morning to see it. It was still there AND it was a good price...BUT it didn't have any glass in the doors, the shelves were terribly bowed and there were some openings where the wood was missing in the back.
Who cares? Not I - those are easily fixed, especially after looking for 2+ years!
The feature I like the most, though, is the thing I'm most surprised about - the pie safe holes on the sides. Aren't they fabulous? So it was probably a pantry cabinet and might have had screens in the doors instead of glass.
I really love the cabinet's simple molding that speaks of a humble quality, the original hardware, the simple wood knobs - and then the surprise of the sweet carving in the door panels. Plus, it's sturdy and all the hinges work and are very secure.
We've had time to add a few supports to the shelves to help with the bowing, cover the holes in the back, fix a few more minor things, and then have glass attached to the doors.
I still need to give it a light sanding and then apply a Restore-A-Finish to cover the water marks, nicks and scratches that invariably come with a piece this age (remember what it did to this dresser?).
But that won't happen until after the holidays now, so I started filling it with white ironstone, cake stands, and red transferware.
Yep, I think it looks pretty good as a china cabinet, no matter what it started out as.