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A very special wedding gift

We were unexpectedly given a pretty major surprise last week – My dad had traveled up north to visit with his parents for the week and, just before he was due to come back home, mom sent me an email with this picture from dad with “Do you want this????” attached:

Ummmmm, YES I want that!

In the end, it was to be a wedding gift from my grandparents – I’ve never had a really special heirloom piece before (although I’m told it hasn’t been in the family for overly long), so I know that I will treasure this gift for a very long time.

Truth be told, when I saw the photo of it, I instantly felt that it wasn’t my style but was too wooed by the idea of being gifted such a beautiful (if not traditional) piece of furniture. I figured I could modernize it with a bold new paint color and possibly even some wallpaper down the back. That is, until we got it home…

I actually really adore the cool blue color (reminiscent of the new minty painted backsplash in the kitchen), and the intricate wood details in the glass panels are just gorgeous, not to mention in terrific shape. I love that it’s on wheels and even comes with a tiny little antique key that actually works to lock the cabinet shut.

The only problem is where to put it…

Initially I thought it would work well in front of our chalkboard calendar. Even though we use the calendar every single day, I thought I could at least hide it instead of having to paint over it by situating the new-to-us cabinet in front. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as tall as I thought and only covered about half of it. I REALLY didn’t want to cover the calendar permanently, so we decided to try it in a handful of other places first.

The one other location I sort of had my heart set on was behind the wooden barn doors in the dining area. I don’t know that I’ve ever formally explained these big swinging doors to you…My dad built them as a sort of baby/dog gate for Rocky – The idea was to keep him sequestered in the kitchen while we were out at work or running errands. Unfortunately, it didn’t fix things quite as well as we had hoped, firstly because of his jumping habit. You see, dad first built the bottom door for us, but our short little 40 pound hound managed to jump right over it. So dad built us the top extension.

Still, Rocky continued to be an absolute nightmare – Although kept in the kitchen, he would have accidents on the floor, get onto the counter tops, eat ANY food left out (including an entire chocolate cake once – Don’t worry, he didn’t even get sick afterwards; He’s a tank), etc. etc. After a while, we realized that Rocky was contained but still misbehaving in ways we couldn’t tolerate. So we decided to try the ultimate punishment – A crate. Well, or so we thought. As SOON as we brought the crate in (and I do mean as soon) Rocky turned into the golden dog – No more messes, no more misbehaving. I think he just needed his own little spot. He hangs out in there all day long without us even telling him to. That crate saved our relationship with Rocky…

But that made our beautiful handmade doors sort of obsolete…They worked really well for company or painting projects, when we wanted to corral Rocky one way or the other. But when I realized the space behind would work really well for the new cabinet, I thought it might be time to retire them for a little while.

So this was the first spot, off to the side on the left wall. But it was only the first. I tried several other placements just to be sure before officially taking down the barn doors. Thank goodness the cabinet has those little wheels on the bottom, making for easy rotation across the room. Here are all of the places we tried it:

I even tried it back in its original spot in front of the chalkboard calendar – But in the end, it worked the best in all angles behind where the barn doors were so off they went to the garage to be put up whenever we need them, or to come with us to the new house in a couple of years. I actually really loved it centered behind the dining room table, but it would have meant scooting the dining room set too far out into the flow of traffic and making it off-center beneath the light fixture. The final placement was the best option for everything.

(Not sure why the kitchen island paint color looks sort of like chocolate pudding in the photo above…Must have been odd lighting)

Anyway, time to fill her up – I pulled out all of my china (a set I purchased as a single gal for only $30) and all of the new pretty serving ware we were graciously gifted for the wedding.

Fifteen or twenty minutes of clicking and clanking of glass and porcelain and clay later, we were all done! I kept my china on top and worked my way down, mixing colored pieces in with our standard white bowls and platters. I love the way it turned out and gaze at it happily every time I walk by.

Although I meant it when I said I loved the color and finishes just the way they are, I DO plan on “Carrie-fying” it just a tiny bit. I’m considering a pale orange or yellow color JUST on the back panel, and will also attach an antique drawer pull to the door since you can only open it with the key and it falls out very easily.

Got any other suggestions for our new china cabinet?

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  • July 11, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Staci - I love this! You’re right, the pale blue totally fits right in with your home! Can’t wait to get my hands on something like this someday (I like to hoard dish sets).
    If I could make one suggestion, before hopping on the paint train I’d try to stage it with small vases and pale orange or yellow faux flowers to see if that would help bring the color in. IDK, just my two cents! :) ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2012 - 11:36 am

      Carrie - Ooooooh, I like your thought…The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking the dishes could be the color I want. Could even buy a yard of wallpaper and tape it loosely down the back (read: not permanent). Thanks again for your suggestion and for your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 11:47 am

    Stacey - Carrie, it’s a great piece! Although it’s outer beauty is apparent… I’m sure it means much more to you than anything you could have bought new. What a great gift from your grandparents! For me, this is how it should be… beautiful pieces loved and passed down to other generations to enjoy. It’s perfect right where you have it!ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2012 - 12:19 pm

      Carrie - Oh, thank you thank you for your kind words!! It DOES mean much more to me then just a pretty piece of furniture…I look forward to passing it on in the (hopefully) distant future =)ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 12:25 pm

    Emma - I think it looks perfect where you decided to place it. The color even looks great with the candlesticks you finished recently, the blues almost match in that last picture.

    Rather than jumping into the painting, I would suggest doing something (like you mentioned above) with putting a wall paper in the back. I’m thinking a mostly grey or white background with mint pattern accents. I saw an image on Pinterest the other day that had a white china cabinet with a grey back with a white damask print on it that looked stunning.ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2012 - 3:10 pm

      Carrie - Awesome – I’m glad you agree with the placement! And I didn’t even think about it with the candlesick – Good eye!

      I think you’re right…Do you have a link to the Pinterest image you mentioned? I would love to see that!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 1:30 pm

    mybrightlife - OOOOHHH how lovely is this. Love it. Adds a touch of romance to your stylish pad. Lucky you! Lucky grandparents to have someone like you to pass on their treasure to.ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2012 - 1:42 pm

    emilysnuffer - It’s gorgeous! I love the detailing on it and the color is crazy good. I think you picked a great spot!

    p/s: I once was a sitter to a boxer and I came home to find that TWO loaves of bread had been grabbed and eaten in their entirety. Dogs are crazy!ReplyCancel

    • July 11, 2012 - 3:08 pm

      Carrie - Thank you!!! Glad you like it and that you agree on the spot =)

      P.S. I KNOW!!! They are wild (but so lovable)…ReplyCancel

  • July 13, 2012 - 4:58 am

    Hannah - We totally think alike – I was thinking an orange/coral wallpaper in the back because it’s complimentary to light blue. Then you mentioned it at the end, it’s a sign. Do it! :) ReplyCancel

    • July 13, 2012 - 8:43 am

      Carrie - Hahaha how cool!! Definitely thinking hard on what to do – I think some experimenting is in my future =)ReplyCancel

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