January 12, 2015

making history your own


Anyone who has been around these parts for a while knows I've long been on the hunt for a great secretary. I mention it often, and even did a whole post here solely on my wish. So, when my parents had to make room for a new/old piece of furniture I was more than happy to take one (of many) pretty china cabinet off their hands.


Now I know you are thinking, "uh Elizabeth maybe I can help you with this - a secretary and a china cabinet are not the same thing". Yes, I know. But just as beer and gin aren't the same thing, I can make a damn good time out of either option.

My dad found this china cabinet in pieces in an old box in the back of a garage at some sale in the 70's (groovy) and had it refinished and restored. I remember this piece growing up, sitting in my parents dining room full of blue and white china. A great use for it of course, but I had other plans.


As soon as I got it home though I realized that I had the same beef with the piece that my mom has had for the past 40 years - it is a black hole. Those doors close and those shelves are like a tomb. Not the bright and fun look I'm in favor of.

Then, while on an antique trip I noticed a whole store full of great old china cabinets all with their insides painted. Chalk paint has been used on the inside of glass front furniture for generations - hello Williamsburg.

Chalky blue to the rescue. My dad growled but I reminded him that we saw the same thing at Monticello. And when you've got a founding father on your side, really no one can disagree with you, right?


Let their be light! Now let's take a look inside, shall we?


Some of my favorite design books, the bar (hand over your heart) a few pictures and accessories and of course some blue and white in a nod to my parents version of the same piece. A little of the old and a little of the new.





Have you inherited any furniture? What did you do to make it your own? Ever turned down a piece because you thought it wouldn't work? Maybe give it a second thought!

33 comments:

  1. I loVVVVe what you did with it Elizabeth! The painted interior....so pretty and draws the eye in. And the colorful contents are the perfect way to freshen up a piece you inherited and make it work in your home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Elizabeth I love this piece and even more so with the light interior. The burl wood is just gorgeous!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Featuring "Inner Spaces"

    ReplyDelete
  3. So much better with a lighter interior!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love it, and the story behind it. And you know the adult only area on the 2nd shelf is my fave. Holla!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh i love it and the story as well! and i, too, can have a good time with gin, beer, or wine.... but not for 22 more days.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a great idea!! Love the way it looks. I have an old hutch that I've already painted once that I'm trying to breathe new life into but can't figure out what to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great piece and your update is absolutely fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The piece looks fabulous now...no more black hole!I have thought about adding color to the inside of an inherited barrister's bookcase. I think you have inspired me to go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks really really pretty. Love the color too

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's beautiful….so lucky!! I love having pieces from my family in our home…so special!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your parents have some treasures lucky girl!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great vision, my friend, and the fab styling doesn't hurt either!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Classy. This makes me regret not choosing the old China cabinet in my daughter's garage for master bath storage. I was going to wallpaper the inside with extra grass cloth. ..lots of fluffy towels, shells and bath products. How does my hubs always get to win? I should have mentioned there could be a cocktail section.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's a great idea - to paint the inside w/ chalk paint. I have 2 pieces that I could do that to - and would help that "black hole" situation. One piece is a Pottery Barn secretary that just looks like a hot mess all the time. The other is a piece made by my great-great-great-great (or something) grandfather back in the 1800's. I'm hesitant to paint it because it's so old and an heirloom, but then again, it needs to grow with the times, right? You've given me something to ponder today!

    ReplyDelete
  15. LOVE this post and actually have a similar one wanting in my "to blog" journal. A client of mine had inherited some pieces that she HATED. We felt that repurposing was a respectful and guilt-free way of making them "hers".

    ReplyDelete
  16. It looks beautiful! Great job! I love how the accessories are now so much easier to see and enjoy! And I also love me some blue and white!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love this! I'm glad you found a way to make it your own, without covering up that pretty burl. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Elizabeth, I am so in love with that piece!! And it fits in with the style of the rest of your house absolutely perfectly. Beautifully styled too!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yes!!!!! Love it! Especially love what you said to get your dad on board, lol! This makes me want to switch up things in my secretary.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Looks beautiful! Very fresh with a nod to tradition. I've been hunting for something similar. Unfortunately my mom refuses to give up the goods.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love it!! That blue is ideal! It looks so good and I love how you styled it! To perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is awesome!!!! I bought an antique bookcase with a marble top (looks more like a buffet) in Paris when we lived there...now I store/display white china in it in my dining room...I've been thinking about painting the interior--and this just convinced me . THANK YOU. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's wonderful painted, I want to paint the inside of my cabinet this weekend !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love the freshen up you did! And yes, I held my hand over my heart while admiring the bar!! Looks beautiful Elizabeth! xokim

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think it looks really nice painted! You can see everything inside now. Is that a whole lot of gin I see (except for that octopus bottle which I think is rum)? I think I only have tequila. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great Styling...love it with the doors open!! Great way to update the interior with a hip color!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. A fabulous piece made even more fabulous with that pretty interior color. And your styling is spot on , as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You are so good. Love the blue and your styling.

    ReplyDelete
  29. that is beautiful! truly. i love how you hid your bar tray away in there too... hiding our problems! lol. the styling is so great!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bwahahah! Youre so funny! Love what you did with the piece my friend. The bar was essential of course!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your right, the blue adds so much light! I really love how you styled everything. (That bar is to die for btw!) I recently painted the backs of the cabinets in my office too! They make me so happy. http://ow.ly/HOQd4

    ReplyDelete
  32. Perfecto my friend....love the blue paint...genius!

    ReplyDelete

I love it when you sweet talk me! It makes my day!
And please make sure you leave an email address so we can keep the convo going.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10 11 12
Blogging tips