One man’s trash….

I’ve been neglecting my blog a little lately(and yours too, sorry). It’s the time of year when I need to prepare for classes at the Neighbourhood House I teach at. Also, I’ve been decluttering at home which was long overdue….

As part of the decluttering process, I needed storage for all my art and craft supplies and things made waiting to be sold. I admit that it was taking over our whole dining area. Much to my husbands horror, I found this rather sad looking crystal cupboard, put out in the neighbourhood rubbish collection. I asked the man whose house it was in front of, if he’d mind if I took it. No, he said, I’d like it to go to a good home, and he very kindly helped me carry it to the car. No comments or eye rolling allowed until I have finished it, the family were told.

It was dirty and the veneer was cracked and missing in spots. However it had good bones and didn’t deserve to go to the tip. The mirror at the back was intact as was the original handle, lock and key. The bevelled glass shelves were all there too. What I really loved though, was the curved glass on either side of the door, which probably dates it to the 1920’s or 30’s. Β I felt a bit daunted about replacing the veneer, so I peeled off the cracked veneer and gave the whole cabinet a light sand. Next I oiled it with Danish Oil and cleaned the glass and mirror.

It now houses my vintage owl collection and assorted containers hide my bits and pieces such as embroidery thread, pencils, paints etc. The dining area has been decluttered and the family approves of our lovely ‘new’ cupboard, much to some people’s surprise….

cabinet original

The grubby cabinet with peeling veneer.

cabinet restored

Da na! The transformation is now complete.


Lovely old handle and key.

canisters closeup

Vintage anodized canisters and ice bucket, perfect for storage.


Dust free and safe from dog and boys…


52 thoughts on “One man’s trash….

  1. You clever thing! You have done a wonderful job and it looks like it would fetch a lot of money in an antique shop! It isn’t for sale though because it has an important job to do for you! πŸ™‚

  2. Jen, that is beautiful I’m so glad you saved it. Someone would have bought it if only the owner had listed it instead of throwing it out. I love the curved glass on the sides and your storage containers look more like display pieces. What a beautiful way to store your supplies.

  3. well jen, you certainly have an eye for upcycling furniture: it’s come up a treat! and i love the last image of porcelain owls with a couple of bambis. you know i’m now going to start looking for retro porcelain owls for you, don’t you!

    • I come from a long line of people who like to fix things up, my mother will be proud of me I hope. I hope to see some retro porcelain owls on reretro soon! What are you collecting for yourself at the moment?

  4. Jen, you have given this wonderful piece of furniture an amazing makeover!
    Such a beautiful way to store your supplies, vintage collection and those gorgeous anodised containers. So pleased you saved it. Just looks wonderful!

    • I haven’t done up a piece of furniture for a long time, so I really enjoyed it. In the man’s defence, he said he’d tried to sell it but no one was interested. A lot of charity shops now only want clean things and perhaps wouldn’t have taken it.

  5. I love this post! What a truly gorgeous cabinet you helped save and give new life to. Those softly rounded curves are exceptional, and your treasures inside it are delightful. Great containers… and those vintage owls? Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    • I found the containers in a charity shop and when I was buying them, the elderly lady behind the counter said she got a set for a wedding present and that originally there would have been a tea one too.

  6. I loved it even before you worked on it! What a beauty; and with curved glass, too. You did a fantastic job of restoring this piece and giving it a longer life, Jenn. I haven’t done much with restoration, but I love salvaging pieces and I use them even if they are not fixed up. I love things (and people) as they are, for the most part, anyway. πŸ˜‰ Those anodized containers are so colourful. I remember we had tumblers like that when I was still at home. By the way, is the ivory coloured bit of the door handle made of Bakelite? It’s hard to tell from a photo, but the piece looks like it’s that era. I like how you store your things; The cabinet looks like a fancy display piece now.

    • I think the door handle is made of Bakelite, unless it’s possibly bone? I’ll have to ask my mum when she comes over. I can remember my stepfather had an anodized picnic set of tumblers in his car. I must ask him if he still has them, they would look good in my cabinet! I know what you mean about using things even if they’re not fixed up. It’s nice to leave some of the character marks that we all collect along the way πŸ˜‰

  7. Only a genius could have effected such a transformation!! This gives me a great idea for a transformation of my own. I’m filling my bathtub with Danish Oil. Now I’m assembling all my rubber duckies. There now– I’m ready for a good long soak!! : P

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