I’ve long been on the hunt for the right cabinet to place in this corner of our dining room and while I had my eye on a few on the broad marketplace, the fact was we were dealing with some tough dimensions (read: we needed a small footprint). It turns out vintage was the way to go (per usual), and I ended up finding the perfect piece after some patient diligence perusing FB Marketplace for a few weeks, grabbing this gorgeous vintage Boston-made cabinet for just $200, INCLUDING delivery! Allow me to share my emotional journey here.
Here is the stone-cold, hard truth. Something about modern made furniture (broadly speaking here, of course) is that everything is made bigger with a lot of wasted space. I’m talking drawers and shelves with mechanics that eat up too much usable real-estate, minimizing the actual usable space dedicated to storing things (i.e. drawers that don’t pull all the way out; egregiously large roller tracks; fixed shelf heights that don’t accommodate the height or depth of things you hope to store; etc.).
Let me tell you the world’s greatest secret: this is not the case with well-made vintage. Hand-crafted pieces of yonder-years generally equate to the quality of current-day bespoke, where every centimeter is thoughtfully considered and the pieces are bench-made versus via an assembly line.
Want the best part of this secret? With patience and the right keywords, you can pay a fraction of a fraction of the cost of a modern made equivalent. (My keywords? vintage cabinet, hutch, kitchen hutch while widening my search area to a 50 mile perimeter.)
I was interested in a $2K cabinet, but the dimensions simply did not work. And nothing else was really catching my eye. And thus, I took to FB Marketplace to get the creative wheels turning and found this beauty for $125, then sourced a kind couple who had a cargo van and paid them $75 to pick up and deliver this bad boy right to our room. If you are too lazy to do that math, I’ll fast forward and say that I spent 10% of my original budget on this. And I like her better than what I originally had my eyes on. She adds that bit of warmth and character our dining room needed with our very modern table, chairs, and light fixture.
All that said, the cabinet needed a little love to reach its full potential. After a deep clean and wood conditioning, I painted the upper shelves to lighten the interior and give the cabinet more dimension (paint color is Farrow & Ball’s “Lamp Room Gray”).
Then, critically, I swapped out the existing knobs for handcrafted hardware I’d been drooling over for the past year by Mi & Gei.
Their entire collection is designed by a Parisian editorial stylist, and then made by hand in Mumbai, India (so each and every piece is slightly unique, which I think at this point you know I love!). I’d been ogling these knobs for quite sometime, saving them away for our future kitchen makeover, and then was giddy realizing this would be the perfect project to go ahead and bring them into our home. These little handles actually make me the happiest, I smile every time I open and close the cabinet doors now. It’s the little things in your home that should bring you supreme joy, and that is what makes these worth every penny.
Plus, vintage steals make splurging on the little upgrade details both worthwhile and very doable. And now I have an incredible heirloom cabinet, completely unique to our home.
I’ll share the full before-and-after journey below along with links to our hardware. Click into any of the photos below to go into slideshow mode. Ciao!
I went with the knobs and small cabinet pulls in the “natural brass” finish and they are absolutely stunning in person. I’m in love. Sharing a few other of their pieces that I’ve bookmarked as well!