THIS Is Why You Should NEVER Leave the House.

This is what one of my kitchen walls looks like right now. I love it. It’s one of the few things in my house I know is exactly right. So it only makes sense that I should completely change it.

I know. I agree and understand your outrage.  It’s a perfect wall.  White painted brick with bits of original wood stuck in there.  Antique French curtain tie backs holding my collection of rolling pins.  Plus of course – that pig’s head.

So why change it?  Because I left the house.  And nothing good ever comes from leaving the house. Leaving the house invariably means spending money, so it really is best to never leave your house.  (blocking Amazon on your browser is an additional safety measure one should consider)

Last summer I went to a Sunday antique market and spotted something that made my heart stop.  I went home, measured my kitchen and realized it wouldn’t fit.  This summer I went back to that Sunday antique market and saw it was still there. Apparently it wouldn’t fit in anyone’s kitchen.

So I took a good look at it again, determined it could easily be made a bit smaller and that was it. I bought it. The brick wall that I love so much was going to be covered up to make room for something I loved even more. This.

Granted, it’s in a bit of a “state” in this photo, but you get the idea of what it looks like.  The reason I had a hard time letting go of it is because a) it’s beautiful and b) it’s narrow.  It’s as narrow as the bench that I have running along my brick wall.

That means I’ll still be able to get around the cabinet with no problem PLUS it’ll  hold a heck of a lot more than 6 or 7 rolling pins.  In a house that’s 180 years old there isn’t a lot of storage.  In a small house that’s 180 years old there’s even less storage.  More of a cottage really.  The kind of thing a family of gnomes would feel comfortable in.

So the cabinet will go along that brick wall giving me storage for STUFF.

The cabinet doesn’t come to the ceiling so the white brick will still be visible for about a foot and a half above the cabinet.

It *will* however, completely change the feeling of the kitchen.  Even though it’s narrow (the top cubby holes are only 7″ deep) it will make the kitchen feel more closed in.  And it’s dark.  So it will darken the kitchen a bit.

I’m preparing  myself mentally for that.  In fact I’m preparing myself for a kitchen that feels like a dark, cramped hovel so that when the cabinet is put in place it’ll be a refreshing realization that it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I find it best to trick myself in these types of situations, and luckily I’m very good at tricking myself.


The cabinet was made for holding nails, screws and other hardware. I’m guessing it came from an old hardware store, I’m going to try to find out more abou tit.  It’s built from quarter sawn oak.  Each drawer has a metal, numbered label on it.  The knobs are hideous and will eventually be replaced with something more authentic.


The drawers as I mentioned are hilariously small.  Good for spices and toupees and that’s about it.  Or so I thought until I realized if I wanted to, I could use part of it for a seed storage catalogue.


The issue with it not fitting is this.  The cabinet (which looks weirdly small in the photo below that shows the owner measuring it) is 91″ long.  12.25″ longer than my wall.  Which is the exact measurement of 2 rows of drawers.

If I take the middle section of the cabinet out, including 2 rows of small drawers, and one of the larger drawers and push the cabinet back together – it will fit perfectly.

I was a bit worried that would ruin the look of the piece. Part of what’s so great about it is the size. But I think it’ll still be mighty big enough to have an impact.

I was going to attempt this reconstruction myself but then decided I’d rather pay someone to do it right.  I  know a guy.

This is the cabinet as it is now (full length).

And this is what it will look like once its reduced in size.  I still can’t get over how weirdly small it looks in these photos.

The cabinet is getting delivered from the antique market directly to the man who will reconstruct it and when it’s done I’ll pick it up and bring it home.

Until then – I’m not leaving the house.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Heather says:

    Cool! Can’t wait to see the completed project.

  2. JennyW says:

    Be still my heart <3

  3. Edie Marie says:

    I’ve always loved cabinets with little drawers, lots of little drawers! What better place to put… lots of little things? And this cabinet has sooo many drawers. I now have cabinet envy. I’ll be waiting on pins & needles to see it in your kitchen. It’s going to be faaaabulous!!

    Blessings, Edie Marie & Kitty

  4. Sarah says:

    Can’t wait to see what it looks like in place ! Great piece of furniture.

  5. Meg says:

    that is so neat!

    also, uh, how long can one keep seeds? (well, and have them still be viable?) Cause I am totally trying to grow a few seeds now (completely off-season) and keep the remaining seeds til next year, hoping at least some of them germinate next year, too.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meg. Most seeds stay viable for a longggg time if you keep them in the dark and relatively cool. The only seeds I’ve found really can be a bit finicky are lettuce seeds. Everything else is pretty good about sprouting even 5 years later. You’ll lose some but if you’re planting old seeds just remember to overplant. ~ karen!

      • Meg says:

        yay! that’s awesome. thank you! I am now totally excited about my chances for plants next year too.

  6. Thandi says:

    I want it. I need it. It is cabinet perfection. I would spend all day just opening drawers and forgetting which one I accidentally left my keys in.
    This is more important than a wall, because it’s perfect.

  7. Catherine says:

    It’s going to look SOOOOOOOO good!

  8. Lindy says:

    Let me close my eyes and picture it. one for kale, one for sprouts, one for purple sprouting brocolli. All the seeds in teensy drawers. Everything orderly and easy to see. Ordering next year’s seeds? A doddle, Oh. My. God. This is gorgeous! I have been lusting after something like this for seed storage for ever! As long as your kitchen is cool it will be heaven for seeds. And for all of us. Who cares if your kitchen is gloomy? You know the happiness for seeds and the seed sower comes first.

  9. markus says:

    No drawers…

  10. Jeanne says:

    I love it!!! I have an old apothecary cabinet in my foyer that is very similar. It is one of my prized possessions. Mine has drawer pulls that can hold a small label. You will find many treasures to store in it. Mine has my seeds in it too. As well as doohickies and thingamabobs. You will love it. If not, please send it to me as mine is full.

  11. Susan Hollier says:

    Serious fit of jealousy here. Clearly I need to leave the house more often to find something that gorgeous. I never would have conceived of taking a piece out of the middle. I guess your brilliance in this matter means that you deserve such a tremendously beautiful thing.

  12. Gayle M says:

    You seem to be a bit like a friend of mine. She sits down early in the day, writes down what she will be looking for, then goes shopping yards sales, etc. And then comes home with most items crossed off her list. I can’t figure out how it happens. Crazy!

    Love the look of the old wood, by the way. Will be gorgeous in your kitchen, too.

  13. Lynda Loy says:

    Could this possibly be an old antique library catalogue file holder cabinet? I love stuff like this! Just think of all the craft and scrapbook supplies it could hold!

    • Karen says:

      Nope it’s definitely a hardware chest. The metal plates on each drawers are numbers, which they probably wouldn’t be in a file holder. I don’t think. ~ karen!

  14. Debye says:

    I love this! It was meant to be! Also loving the garland with leaves! I have to pin that. Thanks for the laughs and inspiration. Look forward to reading your emails because I know I’ll be laughing.

  15. attygreen13 says:

    My sis-in-law (former editor in chief for Country Living magazine) has this in her upstate NY kitchen and Can’t wait to see the final look!

  16. Paula says:

    I love this! Christy’s?

  17. Stacy Pomerleau says:

    OMG! This is very exciting! I am pleased and not surprised that you are the type of person who falls in love with antiques then has them cut up to suits your needs! Can’t wait to see the results! And I’m expecting a best project write the extra 2 rows!

    • Karen says:

      If something were museum quality I wouldn’t cut it up, but regular old antiques? Yes, I’ll alter them to make them workable. ~ karen!

    • Stacy Pomerleau says:

      ouf… so bad autocorrect!
      That last sentence should read:
      I’m expecting a great project with the extra [cut out] 2 rows!

  18. Jo says:

    Absolutely Gorgeous! What a wonderful find.

  19. Chavella says:

    Oh, but think of the seeds those little drawers could hold. :-)
    ( I could have sworn I sent this reply)

  20. Robert says:

    Stunning! Can’t wait for the final reveal!

  21. Jo says:

    Absolutely Gorgeous!

  22. Karalyn Faulkner says:

    I love it. I love the brick wall too. However, come on. That is a great piece. Good on ya!

  23. Chavella says:

    Oh the seeds those little drawers could hold. :-)

  24. Bonnie Goodrich-Wilcoxson says:

    It’s gorgeous. You done good. More pics when it’s done and installed?

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