Barn Chic Antiques

Barn Chic Antiques

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A storied past and a restorative future

I have always loved Hoosier cabinets. Also known as baker's cupboards, these cabinets were originally crafted to serve as storage and prep space in the kitchen back when kitchens didn't have built-in cabinets or pantries. The Hoosiers were first manufactured at the turn of the 20th century and were popular through the 1920's, but as kitchens modernized and were built with storage and prep room, the Hoosier lost its edge as an innovative kitchen piece.

My mom had a Hoosier in our dining room, and it served a great purpose: storing all our games and crafting supplies! Perhaps it was that connection to the piece that led to my affinity for these cabinets, and I had been searching for a great cabinet to add to my house. I hadn't quite thought out where I would put it, but I knew I wanted one! I found so many in Illinois that were at good prices, but I kept looking and hoped I could find one in Texas. After doing a Craigslist search for a cabinet this past winter, I connected with a super nice lady in Bertram who had a Hoosier-style cabinet for sale. She bought it at least 20 years ago near Corpus Christi, and it was painted a deep shade of gray. She put time and energy into restoring the exterior back to the original wood color, but now she was seeking some space in her bungalow's dining room. I thought about that cabinet for a few weeks, and then decided to rent an SUV (this was pre-Barn Chic Antiques and I had a sedan) to drive out there to check it out.

I stopped in Bertram to see it, and was proud of myself for leaving without it. I told her I was going to go on to Burnet and check out the stores there and that I would call her later to let her know my decision. What a great day I had, checking out all the shops in Burnet. I even drove up to Lampasas for a farm auction, and I would give anything to find another one of those! I already had half a car full when I called her back to tell her I would take the cabinet.

I drove back to Bertram and somehow we managed to get that cabinet, which breaks down into three smaller pieces, into my Ford Explorer. I wish I had played more Tetris as a kid! The couple was so sweet to help me fit it all in, even getting some rope to tie down the back window since an old ladder was hanging out. It was a slow drive back to Austin!

When my husband helped me unload all my treasures, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he liked the cabinet! We assembled it in our living room, and while it is a gorgeous cabinet, it just didn't work in our space. I didn't have room in the kitchen either, so when I opened my booth a few months later, it became the cornerstone piece. I wasn't sure if it would sell, but it made for great displays! 

The cabinet in our living room - what beautiful etched glass windows!

What a cool piece with it's slate table top, flour sifter, and storage bin.

I got a call this week from the antique mall, and I could hardly believe my ears when they said a man was interested in the cabinet. Since he wanted to restore it, he had offered a much lower amount than what it was priced, but I countered at just a fraction over his offer in hopes that he would accept. He did indeed, and the cabinet's story continues.

The selling of this cabinet was bittersweet; it was a great piece for the booth, but I am also excited about the newfound space for additional merchandise, more options for rearranging, and an opportunity to get more consistent with my 'look.' Time for more shopping! Here are a few pictures of the booth currently...I have a way to go. 

Thanks for reading my long post! Along with consistency in my booth, I will work on being concise in my blog!

Have a wonderful week!


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