My husband knows that if I’m having a bad day, or if he needs a bargaining chip, nine times out of ten a consignment store will do the trick.
On this particular day we made a trip to Consignment Classics in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood, where we found this gem:
We were specifically looking for a piece that would make a great bar cabinet for our home. We have a beautiful but, let’s say “intimate” kitchen, and a bar cabinet would free up space in our kitchen cabinets, plus add space for napkins, candles, and and the fun kitchen non-essentials.
Price. West Elm and others have many options with timeless, classic styles but slightly higher price points than we were hoping for. We would have been open to budging on price depending on that arbitrary “but I love it” metric, but since we went in a rush we figured we could also shop around for a bit.
Function. We had picked out a specific spot close to the kitchen and dining room where having odds and ends related to cooking and eating would be convenient. I remember growing up, all the lovely linen napkins my mom had made lives upstairs, far away from the dining room. As a result, we used them rarely, primarily for holidays with a more formal meal. I wanted to be able to incorporate these gems into our dining experience everyday, so I wasn’t willing to budge on location even if we found a beautiful piece that was larger than this space would allow. If it wasn’t convenient, it wasn’t happening. In addition, because this space was the first thing we (or anyone else) would see when we walked in the door, we wanted opaque doors. I love a good cocktail, but booze isn’t so central to my life that I wanted “let’s have a drink” to be my welcome message to all. Finally, height. While we wanted to be spacious inside, we also wanted height above it for a mirror or artwork. Whole counter height would have been more functional overall, the height we ended up with isn’t all together unusable either.
Aesthetic. We have brown wood floors and a wood coffee table that we love, so something that added color (in potentially a cool compliment that created some balance) was on the list. Stylistically, there’s a small intersection in the “his and hers Venn diagram” of mine and my partner’s style. If modern-industrial farmhouse is a thing, we’ll call it that. If it’s not a thing, we’ll still call it that. Either way I’ll translate it to a bit of tradition with clean lines, form and function that support one another.
With a piece that balanced our criteria nicely, we got to work! And when I say “we” I will be 100% transparent—I mean my dad. He is the ultimate in “if you want it done well, do it yourself” so he has picked up so many talents over the years that he is my go-to for all things DIY (a bit like the Internet). He helped us take inventory, figure out what tools we’d need, and pushed us to go a bit above and beyond on the patching (which was fun to learn, so ultimately I’m glad).
Stay messy and make shit happen, folks—even if it means getting paint in your hair, sawdust everywhere, and making a few mistakes along the way.
Some tools you might need along the way
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