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. Jack Ledger says:

    Not totally sure, but think your purchase may be apothecary drawers. I remember seeing one of these when I was a young lad in a local drug store. Considering the age of these drawers you may find dustings of all sorts of interesting pharmaceutical powders.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Well once I get it back from the guy who is shrinking it down I’ll lick a drawer a day and let you know. ~ karen!

  2. Marci Bieber says:

    I can totally understand why you bought that gorgeous piece!! I would have done the same! 😊

  3. If you find that it makes your kitchen feel too dark after it’s installed then you might want to think about whitewashing it. Done with a light hand the beauty of the wood will still show through but just toned down a bit

    • Karen says:

      I like whitewashing (especially floors) but I probably wouldn’t whitewash it. I’d sell it before that. I’m not one of those “it’s a crime to paint wood” people at all, but I wouldn’t want to mess with the really nice patina. ~ karen!

  4. Well frick, I want to see it nowwwww. It’s magnificent!!!

  5. Debye says:

    Thanks! Pinned!

  6. Heather says:

    It’s beautiful! I’d die of happiness with all the organizing I could do with those drawers!!!

    Have you thought about painting it to combat the fear of dark and dreary? I can totally see it in a pale blue or green with amazing new drawer pulls 😍😍

    • Karen says:

      omg, no. NONONO, lol. The reason I bought it is for the 100 year old patina. :) I paint almost any wood, but this isn’t the sort of thing you would paint. ~ karen!

  7. Nancy says:

    I absolutely love it! I would have been daunted by the cutting and splicing that you need to do to make it fit so it’s equally wonderful that you know a guy!! I have an alphabet drawer set made by an architect and I find it so useful. The drawers are a bit bigger than the one you have but I can usually find what ever I need by going through the alphabet. I love small drawers and it will be so beautiful in your kitchen. Oh to have space for those beautiful finds!!

  8. ElenG says:

    I think it will be perfection. Call me crazy, but I actually like the overall look and feel of the down-sized version. It feels more comfortable to me. We’re not big on space in our casa either. I’ve had more than one piece of furniture made to fit a smaller space.

  9. Jacquie Gariano says:

    OMG….I love it. I wish I had one like this. How lucky you are to find such a treasure. I hope you enjoy it for a long time. I’m sure you will find all kinds of things that will be at home in it.

  10. Amy Watson says:

    Karen it’s perfect. The middle that gets cut out you can use somewhere else!!!!! We bought a big old tri level home 2888 sq feet for two of us old people lol….we had enough stuff to fill it up…..I NEVER leave the house lol….I’m painting over wood panel walls so I now have my paint delivered….it’s been 2 years….I hear that the folks in this small town don’t think I exist hahahahaha I love it.

    • Karen says:

      Don’t even say that. My mother’s mother was agoraphobic. And my mother once said she doesn’t know why people read blogs. She figures the two types of people who read my blog are shut ins and for some reason people in wheelchairs. I know both read my site, but that’s not ALL that read it, lol. ~ karen!

  11. Lianne Raymond says:

    I wonder how it would look if you shortened it on the bottom half as well so that it is less oppressive and more of the white wall still shows? I would love to see a photoshop of it with only 2 inches or so of “leg” left beneath the bottom shelf. The proportions may be terrible, but maybe not?

  12. Katie says:

    Do you have a home for the now extra drawers? Rush and I would love to give them a new Home if hey need to be adopted.

  13. Brenna says:

    I love it! You made exactly the right decision. I think the proportions will be even nicer with the two rows missing. Can’t wait to see the finished product installed.

  14. Bonnie G. says:

    Now that’s the find that warms the cockles of your heart!! Love it!

  15. KathyrnJane Konink says:

    I. Love It. So. Much.

  16. Marlene Stephenson says:

    What a gorgeous old piece, it will look wonderful in your kitchen. You can use those drawers for more things than you imagine,at the very least it will be fun to see. Am anxious to see how it looks and what you have put in it.

  17. Laura Lee says:

    My only question is…Did you SMELL it!? I know how old antique wood can have a funky odor, and I was also wondering how long it would take to clean and sanitize this new friendly beast must have addition. (I’m sure it will get along well with your pig and other essential kitchen decor hahahaa) Soooo…let us know how the cleaning and sanitizing goes once you get it back…enquiring minds want to know! ;-)

    • Karen says:

      I once took a Yorkshire pudding right out of my niece’s mouth and ate it. I won’t be sanitizing the cabinet, lol. As far as cleaning I won’t clean it much either. I’ll dust it and condition the wood, clean out the drawers etc. But you can’t scrub something like this. You’d lose the patina. And the flavour. ;) ~ karen!

  18. Teddee Grace says:

    Absolutely love it! I need that storage. Can’t wait to see what it looks like after its surgery and is in place in your kitchen.

  19. Jody says:

    This is why you should always leave your house! It’s a beaut.

  20. Stephanie Orasi-Fitzpatrick says:

    I LOVE it Karen!!! Well done! Can’t wait to see it in your kitchen….that is great storage for so many kitchen items…& food….you just need to remember which drawer you put it all in!

    • Karen says:

      I’ll for sure remember it all. I mean it’s only like 50 or 60 drawers. Hahahahah! Oh god. I’m gonna have to make a list. ~ karen!

  21. Ruth says:

    I was liking the look of some of the drawers taken out. You could artfully leave a few out to see the white brick behind. Or not.

  22. I never go out of the house anyway. There is Fresh Air out there.

    (mostly kidding)

  23. Lynn says:

    Love the look of the cabinet and what you are going to have done with it. Only thing i might add your guy do is perhaps take some of the little drawers and make them into larger drawers by combining them together. Have the same look on outside but more useful.
    Tiny drawers look fantastic it has just been my experience living in a small home that storage must fit what you have , otherwise you just have a beautiful piece an no storage. This picture is of a little chest , it looks like 9 drawers but is actually 3 that can be divided into 3 spaces on the inside. It was a fantastic find for me. It’s just a thought…

  24. Sabina says:

    Love it!

  25. Beth W. says:

    A) your photoshopping skills are on point! If only it would be that easy to cut it to size.

    B) I’m jealous. So jealous. But also proud. This is a wonderful piece that deserves to live in the home of someone who will appreciate the craftsmanship, and also fill it with something unique. Hopefully all the drawers fit in each cubby so that when you put the drawers back in after it’s been cut, that you can put them in order again. The virgo in me would need them in order…

    Can’t wait to see it in it’s new home – with the boar head proudly centred above it, and maybe rolling pins on mounted horizontally now? So jealous ;)

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