Monday, May 16, 2011

Your opinions, please...?

 When my handsome hubby and I tied the knot almost 7 yrs. ago, we literally had no furniture. I don't mean we had little furniture, or furniture we didn't like. We had NONE. And we really didn't care.

Obviously, we bought a mattress right off. Sleeping on the floor didn't appeal to either one of us. It was actually comical though, as we set out that day with Seth's parents to mattress stores. Neither one of us had any idea what anything other than gas and convenience store coffee cost. Pre-marriage we had either lived at home, or in college dorms with "lovely" 2 in. thick pads they called mattresses, which were part of our room and board. So we put little thought into just how expensive mattresses and any other kind of furniture would be. Lugging home our motel quality, full size mattress, we came to realize that would could never afford convenience store coffee again.

Well we got over that conviction pretty quickly! And we still have that same mattress. It's fine. Except that my husband's arms are 5 ft. long and end up jabbing my in the forehead most nights. Anyway, this post is not about mattresses or coffee. Although I would like some coffee. And a new mattress.

After I began working a part time job, I started scouring the paper for used pieces of furniture. I soon found the quality three piece oak set we have used ever since. I love our table... with 3 leaves, we can seat a crowd. The buffet is handy as well, folding up when not being used to serve the fancy foods like pigs and a blanket and chips-n-dip that I use it for. The china cabinet pictured here... is well.... a china cabinet. I don't exactly own any china, or have any use for it. Not knowing what else to do with it, I requested some pretty dishes for a birthday. My husband knew it was one of the (many) unpractical, un- useful decisions I would make, and later regret. But because he knew I'd like them, he bought me the {thankfully} inexpensive set we keep in the china cabinet. We never use them. Ever. Because they are not dish washer safe. Because when we have company, I resort to paper plates, or my washable indestructible every day Correlle dishes. Because I only have service for 6. Because our company isn't the kind that require impressing with fancy wanna-be-china dishes from a china cabinet.

I do keep glass serving dishes in the cabinet, which actually do occasionally come out to be put to work. And since Maddie has been doing pre-school, I keep her school things in here. But for the most part, it's a giant waste of space. In the beginning of our married life, wasted space was okay. It was better than a bare wall. But now we have stuff... and kids. And kids' stuff. My husband's practical nature has slowly penetrated my soul and I crave more function out of all this space.

All of that to say: What should I do?

I have already boxed up the "fancy" dishes, and with Seth's whole hearted approval will sell them. I've considered removing the glass doors and simply using the shelves as... shelves. School stuff, craft stuff, books, etc. All in cute containers that match the room. I had already painted a shoe box for such purpose, which lasted less than a day before someone.... I suspect a certain red head... used it for a stool and put their little foot right through it.


Maybe I should sell the whole cabinet, separating it from it's siblings (the table and buffet). Something feels wrong about that. But maybe it's not wrong. Maybe I could sell it for enough to buy an entirely different thing altogether... a bench to provide a place to take off shoes when we come inside? Here in upstate NY, we do the whole Mr. Rogers thing and remove shoes as we come indoors. Because 9 months out of the year, it's snowy and muddy and leaf-y and yucky outside.

Another thought is to remove just the hutch part and leave the base cabinets (which I do use) and make that a sort of bench that isn't really a bench but we can put a pad down and sit on it anyway. A bench for the girls to curl up and and read a book?

I'm also considering (if I take the doors off but leave the hutch) covering the glass shelves with fabric so that it's not constantly showing finger prints or in other ways being damaged by the children as they get down their stuff.

I would love your input. I am definitely doing something with it. I need the area to be much more useful and earn it's keep. But I want it all to look nice too. Look nice but not look like it belongs in an 98 yr. old lady's parlor. Which it kind currently does. I'm embarrassed by that but I just didn't know what else to do with the thing! Please remember that at the time, I was a 20 yr. old newly wed who had never decorated anything other than a 3 ring binder cover. At least I knew enough not to decorate the cabinet with Lisa Frank stickers.

Any ideas? Thank you...



raising4princesses said...

hummm! I used to Love Lisa Frank stickers! That made me laugh thinking that you would mention them. I vote for keeping it and repurposing it. I love seeing pictures when people paint a dominating piece of furniture brick red, robin's egg blue, or willow green. I bought canvas fold out boxes to organize some of my girl's toys and school flashcards and such. They seem to come in all sizes and colors. But if you were going for more cute, maybe photo boxes from hobby lobby, or mason jars. I have my girl's crayons, markers, pencils, erasers....etc in glass jars with different types of pink ribbons tied on them. I also love when people use bold wall paper and line the back of the shelf wall.

Yes, I vote for making it a piece you love and not something you tolerate. Life is to short and hectic to deal with something you don't love. Have fun, Maria

Bethany said...

I agree with her. ^^^^^ Take the doors off, paint it, and get some cute boxes for storage. Please post pics of the finished project!

Coupon Crocodile said...

I would remove the glass and add fabric. You can easily add either dowels or tiny tension rods at the top and bottom. Cut the fabric about twice the width you are covering. Then you can store whatever you want behind the fabric.

Rena said...

Here are some ideas...